CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed on Monday that President Barack Obama “clearly broke the law” by failing to provide notice to Congress at least 30 days before trading five Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Swatting down the Obama administration’s justification, Toobin argued that a presidential signing statement doesn’t mean the commander-in-chief no longer has to comply with the law.
“I think he clearly broke the law. The law says 30-days’ notice. He didn’t give 30-days’ notice,” Toobin said. “It is true he issued a signing statement, but signing statements are not law. Signing statements are the president’s opinion on what the law should be.”
“The law is on the books, and he didn’t follow it,” he continued.
When CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer pointed out that former President George W. Bush also issued signing statements, Toobin asserted that “liberals were outraged” when he did it.
“You realize, of course, you’re accusing the president of the United States of breaking the law,” Blitzer responded.
Even though it’s unlikely Congress will take any action, Toobin said it still “matters whether people follow the law or not.”