Nadler Confronted on Comments His From Clinton Era That President Can't Commit Obstruction of Justice

August 26, 2018

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) was confronted on Sunday about his comments–made during former President Bill Clinton's impeachment–saying a president can't commit obstruction of justice.

NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd asked Nadler about his past comments, in which he was defending Clinton during the impeachment proceedings against him.

"Let me ask you this final question here, back in 1999, during the debate about whether or not Bill Clinton obstructed justice, you said at the time you were not convinced that a president could obstruct justice," Todd said. "Do you feel that way, that it's not one of the quote ‘might not be impeachable,’ put it this way, that obstruction of justice might not be an impeachable offense?"

"Well, I don't remember saying that, but if I said it, I said it, but no, I don't agree with that today. A president, anybody can obstruct justice," Nadler said. "Obstruction of justice under certain circumstances might be an impeachable offense. Remember, there is a very big difference between a crime which may or may not be impeachable and an impeachable offense which doesn't have to be a crime."

Naddler has been a member of Congress since 1992 and was part to the Clinton impeachment proceedings. In a 1998 floor speech, Nadler said Clinton perjuring himself was not an impeachable offense.

"Perjury is a serious crime and, if provable, should be prosecuted in a court of law. But it may or may not involve the president’s duties and performance in office. Perjury on a private matter, perjury regarding sex, is not a great and dangerous offense against the Nation. It is not an abuse of uniquely presidential power. It does not threaten our form of government. It is not an impeachable offense," Nalder said.

"Certainly I said at the time that perjury with regard to a private sexual affair did not threaten the Constitutional order, is a crime but was not an impeachable offense. Perjury regarding an attempt by a president to subvert the Constitutional order, to aggrandize power probably, would be an impeachable offense," Nadler told Todd.