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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Trump requests Supreme Court stay on subpoena in Russia probe

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WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday filed a second request with the Supreme Court seeking to block a subpoena from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

If the high court takes the case and reverses an earlier decision, it could set a troubling precedent in the future for presidents who fight criminal investigations.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel advised in 1974 that presidents had a broad grant of constitutional immunity from prosecution, which the high court reaffirmed in a 2004 ruling.

The unsigned memo, submitted to the high court in 2005, states that even the appointment of a special counsel to conduct a criminal investigation was not a serious encroachment on the presidential prerogatives to decide on how to conduct foreign policy.

The memo then lays out five types of crimes a president can be charged with. All except obstruction of justice were covered by the Constitution.

Some of the highest-ranking Republican lawmakers have insisted that Trump be investigated for potential obstruction of justice, based on a variety of issues, such as his firing of James B. Comey as FBI director.

A District Court ordered the release of a letter on May 3, 2010 from Trump to two prominent Republican donors, alleging improper lobbying by a former business partner, on behalf of a group that proposed a joint venture to build a Trump-branded casino in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

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