Media Mention

Donald Ayer: Accountability for Abuse of Power

May 11, 2020

Note: this piece was originally published in Newsweek, and features a quote from Checks & Balances member Donald Ayer. 

In a separate video, former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman says “if a president is deemed to be above the law, that no one can hold him accountable, then we’re in a very dangerous position because that means a president can do whatever they want.”

“His lawyer actually said in court that the rule they’re looking for in the Vance case that would enforce the principle that the president, even if he shot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue, he could not be held accountable for it while he’s president,” Donald Ayer, who served as U.S. Deputy Attorney General during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, told Newsweek on Monday. “Now, he could be after, but he couldn’t be prosecuted for that conduct in state court and that is just not the law.”

Trump has alleged that under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, he has complete immunity and cannot be the subject of any criminal investigations.

According to Ayer, Trump is the only president to attempt to use that argument. “There aren’t any other major Supreme Court cases on the subject relating to a president on this subject,” Ayer said, “so I don’t think someone else has tried to do that.”

Read the full piece at Newsweek.