January 14, 2018

HE'S NOT ONLY BRAGGED ABOUT OBSTRUCTING...:

Mueller's obstruction of justice case against Trump looks damning : This should worry Trump even more than allegations of collusion. (Zack Beauchamp, 1/10/18, vox.com)

[T]here's another kind of case against the president -- the argument that his various attempts to undermine the Russia investigation, like firing FBI Director James Comey, constitute criminal obstruction of justice. If Mueller feels he has enough evidence, then he could seek permission to indict and prosecute Trump. It's not clear that charges can actually be brought against a sitting president, but Mueller's findings could nevertheless be turned over to Congress -- and serve as the centerpiece of any impeachment proceedings against Trump.

That means it's obstruction, not collusion, that poses the biggest legal and political threat to President Trump.

"If Trump exercises his power -- even his lawful power -- with a corrupt motive of interfering with an investigation, that's obstruction," says Lisa Kern Griffin, an expert on criminal law at Duke University. "The attempt is sufficient, and it seems to be a matter of public record already."

There are basically two reasons Griffin and other legal observers believe Mueller has such a good case obstruction case. First, the evidence of obstruction is, from what we know publicly, far stronger than the evidence that Trump himself was involved in with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Second, the crime of obstruction is legally straightforward, whereas it's not obvious which laws Trump would have violated by accepting Russian assistance during the election.

The public, obviously, doesn't know everything Mueller does. It could be that the collusion case is a lot clearer, or the obstruction case a lot murkier, than it appears from the outside.

But what we do know suggests that Mueller is taking the obstruction charge seriously, and that his chances of making his case are quite good -- unless Trump decides to fire him or his boss.

...but alleged that he can't be held accountable for it, a view which both Democrat and Republican Congresses have dismissed:

Articles of Impeachment Adopted by the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary (July 27, 1974)

ARTICLE I

In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his consitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice...


H.Res.611 -- 105th Congress (1997-1998)

Article I: States that in his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice, in that William Jefferson Clinton swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth before a Federal grand jury of the United States. States that contrary to that oath, William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony to the grand jury.

Article II: States that in his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated the judicial process of the United States for his personal gain and exoneration, impeding the administration of justice in that William Jefferson Clinton willfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimony as part of a Federal civil rights action brought against him.

Article III: States that in his conduct while President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, and has to that end engaged personally, and through his subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or scheme designed to delay, impede, cover up, and conceal the existence of evidence and testimony related to a Federal civil rights action brought against him in a duly instituted judicial proceeding.

Posted by at January 14, 2018 10:01 AM

  

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