, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD: Excellent point made by my colleague @juliettekayyem just now as we discussed on @CNN: Our system is not designed to address, expose, or neutralize a national security threat when the threat is THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
2. The system *is* well equipped to handle merely criminal behavior: You know, garden variety Nixon-type presidential obstruction of justice and related crimes
3. But let’s look at the loopholes when POTUS may be furthering the interests of a foreign adversary: First, the Special Counsel regs, which do not contemplate a counterintelligence investigation, only a criminal one
4. This is why the Mueller Report only details the outcomes of crimes investigated, not the much bigger foreign intelligence and counterintelligence story (which is likely ongoing)
5. Even on the counterintelligence front, the FBI hits a wall in its ability to take action if the national security threat is POTUS himself. I explain why here washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/0…
6. Further, even congressional oversight enters a constitutional thicket when it comes to the President’s foreign affairs powers, as I explained in this thread
7. It means that POTUS can practically “go dark” when it comes to his conversations/negotiations with foreign leaders (as Trump has, repeatedly, in his private conversations w Putin, with no one present and destroying notes afterwards)
8. Congress could argue that oversight is required bc POTUS has broken the law or is abusing power...but you can’t make that argument if you don’t know or can’t find out the substance of the convo in the first place!
9. Similarly, Congress is hamstrung in using its ultimate check — impeachment — when it cannot even uncover or see the potentially illegal activity which would form the basis for it
10. This is the separation of powers roadblock that is created when POTUS is potentially abusing his foreign affairs and nat sec powers...like the Titanic, every compartment in the hull is being breached, bc the system doesn’t foresee hitting an iceberg in precisely this way
Sorry, I linked to wrong thread in Tweet #6! Here is the one I meant to reference
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