The norms and long-standing practices protecting the Justice Department’s independence reflect constitutional principles that limit the situations in which the White House may interfere in law enforcement matters involving specific parties. In short, it is constitutionally appropriate for the President to set generally-applicable policies and priorities in order to enforce the laws of Congress. But with the exception of certain narrow types of circumstances, however, it will likely conflict with the Constitution for the White House to intervene in the Justice Department’s handling of an enforcement matter involving specific parties. And if the White House intervention is based on personal or corrupted interests, such interventions will always be unconstitutional.
October 18, 2018 at 12:03 PM EDT