CNN legal expert: Obama ‘clearly broke the law’ on POW swap

President Obama broke the law by failing to give Congress 30 days’ notice before agreeing to swap Guantanamo Bay detainees for a U. S. soldier held by the Taliban for five years, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Monday.

“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin told “Situation Room” anchor Wolf Blitzer. “The law says 30 days’ notice. He didn’t give 30 days’ notice.”

Obama issued a “signing statement” authorizing the transaction, but Toobin said he believes such an order is not legally sufficient.

Blitzer was quick to point out that President George W. Bush also issued signing statements during his term, and Toobin agreed that many presidents have done the same. But Toobin said such orders were not always considered legal.

“You realize, of course, you’re accusing the president of the United States of breaking the law,” Blitzer said.

Toobin agreed, but said Congress is not likely to do anything about it, Toobin said.

“I do think that his critics have a very good point here,” he said. “But, you know, it matters whether people follow the law or not.”

Watch the segment here via CNN:

Susan Rice hits Sunday shows to defend Obama on prisoner release; ‘a conscious decision to break the law?’


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