Although the special counsel' Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference does not come to any concrete conclusion as to whether President Trump sought to obstructed justice, Robert Mueller's team did find and examine 10 "discrete acts" in which Mueller infers President Trump may have done so.
Let's have a look at one of the discrete acts. Let's have a look at the true legalities of the "Conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn". Let's not deflect off this discrete act, just consider this act. Did President Trump's conduct in regard to the Comey and Flynn conversation come to the level of being an indictable crime?
"Conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn"
The first instance of possible obstruction involves Mr. Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who left the administration just weeks into Mr. Trump's presidency after he misled FBI agents and top administration officials — including Vice President Mike Pence — about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn had said he had not discussed sanctions on Russia with Kislyak, a lie that Pence and others then repeated.
The day that Mr. Trump found out Flynn had lied to Pence and the FBI, he had dinner with Comey, whom he asked for "loyalty." Mr. Trump then secured Flynn's resignation on Feb. 13, 2017. "Now that we fired Flynn, the Russia thing is over," he told an outside adviser, who disagreed with the president's assessment.
That same day, Mr. Trump had another meeting with Comey and encouraged him to stop investigating Flynn. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go,
" Mr. Trump said.
The president then asked Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland to draft an internal memo "stating that the president had not directed Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak. McFarland declined because she did not know whether that was true, and a White House Counsel's Office attorney thought that the request would look like a quid pro quo for an ambassadorship she had been offered."
Don McGann also refused to write a false statement ordered by Trump when Trump ordered him to fire Sessions. Another OJ breach by the POTUS among others.
Wrong. Mueller explicitly stated that if Trump were a private citizen, he would be indicted for obstruction of justice.
The problem is not whether or not he obstructed (he did). The problem is that Mueller does not have the authority to say whether or not he's guilty of that because the only mechanism that exists to bring Trump to justice is impeachment and that is the responsibility of Congress.
Mueller could not have made that more clear - he can't say, he won't say, it's not within his responsibility to say. His job was to lay out the evidence and let Congress decide.
Quite frankly, the fact that the Democrats dragged him out to explain to them what their responsibilities are didn't help them very much.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... he didn't exonerate him either.
Oh, wait, that's not his job.
Obstruction, of what, and who cares...
Oh, wait, his political opponents care... they don't care about his innocence about what the investigation was about, they only care that someone says (rightly or wrongly) there is something else they can go after him for.
Hey, I can see how an admitted communist being Obama's head of the CIA, and sweeping under the rug all of Clinton's crimes that Comey gave her a pass on, is no big deal... but some obscure obstruction charge is worth ranting on endlessly about.
What a sad pathetic group we have leading our nation, this is the leadership emanating from Congress, specifically the House, if this is the alternative people have to look to... its almost a certainty Trump will be re-elected.
I am amazed that anyone doesn't see the instruction to fire Mueller as obstruction, not to mention all the lying about Trump's meetings with Russians and plans to build in Moscow. Nope. Nothing to see here. The laundry list is a mile long.
But I presume you're just tossing in Brennan's vote for Gus Hall? This tin foil hat stuff is just ridiculous.
However, I do agree that somebody should have been prosecuted for the destruction of those emails. However, the reason I think Clinton wasn't prosecuted is that because then George W. Bush would have been prosecuted and Dick Cheney and a host of others.
Trump was within his rights legally to fire Mueller. No one ever asks the question, if Trump would have fired him, would of he asked to have someone else takes his place?
There was lying about the meeting and discovered by media. But is lying a crime? No, it is not unless it is to in this case the FBI or Congress. Trump Jr did not lie to the FBI or congress nor did President Trump. Lying, in this case, is not a crime...
Yes, it's a crime. It's obstruction of justice.
So go ahead and admit you don't care if Trump broke the law, Ken. Are you one of the 1% of black voters who watch Fox News? Sounds like it...
I hope you will take a shot at answering my question in regards to Mueller's concern over the legality of obstruction. I chose the first act Mueller listed on his list of 10. I would appreciate your comment on that specific concern.
Did President Trump's conduct in regard to the Comey and Flynn conversation come to the level of being an indictable crime?
"Wrong. Mueller explicitly stated that if Trump were a private citizen, he would be indicted for obstruction of justice."
Don, could you add a resource where you found this info?
"The problem is not whether or not he obstructed (he did). The problem is that Mueller does not have the authority to say whether or not he's guilty of that because the only mechanism that exists to bring Trump to justice is impeachment and that is the responsibility of Congress."
We can move on from this point. It has been well established Mueller did not have the authority to indict the president. Yes, part of his job was to lay out the evidence.
Congress has no authority to indict Trump either. Congress has the ability to impeach a sitting president for crimes and misdemeanors.
I agree the Dems should have just worked with the written report to prove their theory that the president committed crimes of obstruction. Mueller was not helpful. I would hope that Congress would do there job. But unfortunately, there is a great controversy over the 10 acts that Mueller listed. Do any of them really stand up to being a crime? That's why I possed the questions here. And felt it would be wise to look at one crime at a time.
When you're President and you prevent law enforcement from doing its job or try to prevent it, you're obstructing justice.
Trump firing Comey was his choice. He or any president as our laws stand can hire and fire the head of the FBI. And many have.
Trump was in his right to fire Mueller. As mentioned it would have been interesting to see if he would have had his AG hire someone else to take Mueller's place. We just will never know if he would have replaced Mueller.
In a normal circumstance, he does. But when the head of the FBI is looking into possible violations of the law pertaining to Trump's campaign, do you not think that moves into the area of Obstruction of Justice. If that overlap did not exist, I wholeheartedly agree that Trump has every right to remove Comey.
You make a logical point. However, I am just defending he broke on laws by firing Comey. The president can't be charged with a crime for firing Comey. This was part of Mueller's list of 10. It just does not prove obstruction. I think if we dissect each of Mueller's' list of possible obstruction we will find none would hold up a crime.
And I have 1,000 specialists in prosecuting the law that believe at least three or four of the instances fulfill all the elements of an obstruction charge. So, are you alright with allowing Trump to impede an investigation into a hostile foreign government that attacked our elections? If so, why?
He did not impede the investigation. No, I would not have been alright with it if he had. But the fact is he did not. I consider the facts, not it comes. Even if all of the lists of ten obstructions Mueller listed were crimes of obstruction ( and don't believe anyone of them were) Trump did not stop or inhibit the Mueller investigation. Which Mueller admitted in his testimony. he was provided the staff he chose and was provided the funds he needed along with the time he required...
When you ask the question, "are you alright with allowing Trump to impede an investigation into a hostile foreign government that attacked our elections?" We did an investigation that lasted over two years, and as far as I can see Trump did nothing to stop it. And he legally could have. I am fine if Congress wants to continue the investigation. Not sure why they feel they can do better than Mueller? Mueller found plenty of evidence that Russia interfered with our election. So, he did his job. And for Trump, he did not impede the investigation. I hope I have answered your question.
"He did not impede the investigation."
Then why did 1,000 federal prosecutors say that he did?
Federal prosecutors from both political parties.
I don't address that subject. I have done enough reading on the subject at this point to question their motives. I do realize this letter is factual, but I have not the time or the want to have a look at who sighed this letter.
Based on a report or the evidence of the case?
The Top Dog of PA's said no...
And the remainder of the PA's had nothing to say...at least not publicly...
And just because a PA decides to bring up an indictment, doesn't mean the court will hear it, or that the person would be found guilty...
Regardless if I agree or not with what the president or anyone else does, there is such a thing as innocent until proven guilty...and I would hope that we would apply that to anyone regardless of our personal feelings towards them.
There's enough in the report to know that he, at the very least, does not belong in the highest office of the land. He's in the same realm as Nixon at this point. Many of us are certain of his criminality and we'd like to see the evidence brought to an impeachment proceeding.
As for your question about the evidence, guess who is currently obstructing Congress from seeing it? Yup, another example of the cover up Trump is party to.
Well...seeing as the report was to only go to the AG....
And Mueller himself stating that there was a lack of evidence to prove collusion and that they didn't even really bother with the evidence for obstruction, since they couldn't do anything to the president anyways...
And Congress has paths to take if they wish the see it all (which they are working on)...and the president has the right to invoke executive privilege (which he has done)...so that is not obstructing...
The only way we can know if he is actually guilty or not is to have an impeachment hearing...as the president can't be presided by a judge, only congress...
So let's get the impeachment hearing underway...ever wonder why the Speaker hasn't started this yet? If there isn't evidence and Trump is completely cleared by Congress, it would kill the Democrat party and Trump would be re-elected...If there is evidence and Trump is found to be guilty and the Senate does nothing, then both parties might take a hit (pre-election and pending an outcome), but the Republicans would take a hit for sure after the fact...If there is evidence and Trump is guilty and Senate does do something, then Pence becomes president and the Republican party gets the credit, since the Senate is majority Republican...it is not a good situation for the Democratic party regardless of the outcome really...
And that is the reason I think, the Speaker is not pushing impeachment, but rather looking for ways to beat Trump in the election.
I agree with starting the impeachment proceedings. There's plenty there to make a case. It would be interesting to see what happens in the Senate if there is enough evidence to prove the obstruction case.
Being able to hide evidence by using executive privilege sure does sound like obstruction to me. If the evidence clears him, why wouldn't he allow it to be seen by Congress?
For the same reason he's terrified for his tax returns to be revealed. If someone has nothing to hide they should want everything to be scrutinized.
And for the same reason he doesn't want the Classified Intel documents shown where Ivanka and Jerrod got preferential treatment.
If using executive privilege is obstruction, then there are more than a few presidents that were guilty of obstruction.
Democrats and Republicans twisting information to meet their agenda's...
I agree with that, even Obama's fast and furious episode could fall under this kind of conduct that should not be allowed.
In reality president, Trump did not stop any law enforcement agency from completing their job. He fully cooperated with the Mueller team. Yes, he did not do a sit down with Mueller but submitted written testimony. His words lead to no problems for the investigation. He did not obstruct Mueller from doing his job. In regards to my questions. He was well within his rights by law to fire Comey, His statements to Comey in regards to Fylnn and loyalty could be defended as a simple conversation.
I disagree emphatically. When you fire the leader of an investigation, the next person will be hesitant to make the hard choices to pursue the truth.
And Mueller testified Trump's answers were not truthful.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/us/p … eller.html
Or they will stay on track rather than go gallivanting off on tangents that have nothing to do with your investigation.
You are presuming that the fired leader did nothing wrong; that he was fired because he uncovered truth. This is not always the case; there could be dozens of reasons to fire someone, all related to non-performance.
And you are ignoring that this administration admitted in testimony to Mueller that they openly lied about the reasons they fired Comey.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/ … ey-1282275
At what point do you distrust people when they lie to you, Dan? If the Kool-Aid is strong enough, apparently never.
A lot of the written answers were "I can't recall," or "I have no memory of that." Plus, many went unanswered. How is this total cooperation, Shar?
Who said, "One of the great memories of all time"?
"[Trump] fully cooperated with the Mueller team"
"Did Donald Trump ‘fully’ cooperate with Mueller investigation? No"
https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-mete … gation-no/
Any non-lawyer can easily see the attempts Trump made to fire Mueller and obstruct the investigation, Don. The fact some are confused by this tells lots about their ability to see right from wrong where Trump is concerned.
Of course, some of this "confusion" is merely willful ignorance on their part.
Your comment here fits easily to both sides...the pro and con of Trump.
Those who love can see no wrong...and those who hate can see no right...
It doesn't require love or hate to see the truth, DS. I wish it were that simple.
You are correct...but truth can be subjective...facts are not...
And in this case...the facts are muddy due to a variety of reasons...
Which facts are muddy, DS? Aren't some of them crystal clear though? Trump blocking anything he can and ignoring subpoenas doesn't indicate he's willing for the "facts" to come to light.
This isn't subjective at all, it's the facts.
...using a legal means to block something doesn't mean guilt...
Most of the "facts" in this case are muddy...as the case is now closed by the special council, we are no longer talking about the same things, as blocking things now have nothing to do with the prior investigation, but a separate issue.
The report was never supposed to leave the office of the AG...and if it would have stayed there, we would have a completely different debate happening today...
If there was solid facts, Congress should have already started impeachment hearings. The fact they haven't, says the "facts" in question are being questioned...
So yeah...I would say the facts in this case are muddy...
It's not the facts that are holding impeachment back, it's that half the country bought the misrepresentation of the report's findings by Barr and that so many GOP Congressman support that 'muddy' narrative. Therefore, it's going to take more of the source material to break through to those that have bought the no obstruction falsehood.
Another reason why Trump is trying so hard to keep McGann from testifying. I have no problem seeing the facts as they are. No mud in my eyes...
Patience is a virtue. The most damaging evidence hasn't come out yet. It will begin to trickle into the public toward the middle of next year's election activity.
That's what people in DC always do -- on both sides. They release damaging evidence at just the right time.
I agree with you, Scott. There was a less percentage of voters who thought Nixon should be impeached than there is for Trump's impeachment.
It was only after the people actually started seeing Nixon's corruption during the proceedings they turned against him. This will be similar but even worse for the cretin than for Nixon.
I've almost forgotten what a normal POTUS acts like. Ever since Trump became POTUS there's been a scandal almost daily and sometimes more than one. He cannot talk without telling several lies and his attitude to some of his fellow citizens show his disdain and enmity towards them.
No, he's definitely not normal in any stretch of the imagination. Let's hear from those who want their children to turn out like him. But there are none....
Yes, many in the country "bought into the AG interpretation of the Mueller report. William Barr's credentials certainly prepared to make such a decision. He is well versed in constitutional law.
The congress has the ability to impeach the president. If they have a case against him they need to bring it. This is their job. It matters little what half the country support, they have a job, and if they have proof of any crimes the president committed it's time they start impeachment. They have nothing and are using the possible impeachment narrative to gin up the Dem's base. We all need to realize this and demand Congress to either produce a case or stop their destructive narrative. It makes them look foolish.
Sadly the HubPages forum may be a microcosm of the country. There are swathes of people who genuinely believe Donald Trump is the best president the country has ever had. If someone is that far "gone", is trying to reason with them even worth the effort?
Ye, as I mentioned ". Yes, he did not do a sit down with Mueller but submitted written testimony". And I actually don't consider the list of 10 any form of true obstruction. All of the points Mueller listed did not impede the investigation. Mueller actually gave testimony to that fact at the congressional hearing. he gave testimony that he had the funds, the time, and the staff to do his investigation. he admitted to never being fired. I will make an atemp to relocate the link to that testamony.
Does it make a difference to you if Trump TRIED to fire Muller, Shar?
No, it does not. He could have fired him himself. It does make me wonder why he asked another to fire Mueller. I would like to know what Trump thought he would accomplish by asking McGahn to fire Mueller.
We'll get to hear it from the horses mouth, Shar. McGahn will eventually tell us what he told Robert Mueller during the interview. You said you read the report, but apparently you missed this part.
Hope Hicks will also enlighten us on what went on during the payoffs to Trump's paramours, unless of course, she lies for her former boss. I doubt seriously she wants to depend on a pardon from Trump for her freedom.
Randy, much of McGahn's testimony is in the Mueller report? I would assume the report would have all the juicy stuff, would it not?
The "paramour" case was thrown out on the New York court weeks ago? And Hope Hicks was interviewed by Congress a few weeks back?
Yes, and Hicks lied to congress in the process. The very reason they want her back in the near future as McGahn will be as well. And Don Jr, and Jarrod and Ivanka. They all have some questions to answer from Congress.
And they all have legal rights. There is nothing in the Mueller report that involves Ivanka. Jarrod, and Don Jr, as well as Hope Hicks, have all been questioned under oath. I see that you feel they should all be questioned once again? I would only think this would backfire on the Congress, as the Muller questioning has? No, really all would be very careful when answering questions, all would have attorneys at their sides. Common sense tells me nothing new would be learned, and the Congress would look like they are chasing their tails.
I would have no problem seeing any of them requestioned, but I do think it's a waste of time. If Hicks lied to Congress it is up to them to bring charges, and if they can prove she lied they should. It seems that Congress is accusing the president of obstructing justice, and Hicks of lying to Congress. They need to do their job. Makes one thing they have nothing on either. Just more politicking.
It's the very reason Hicks and others will have to appear before congress again, Shar. Hicks gave Mueller different answers than she gave congress so she'll have to explain why she did that. I hope you can understand lying to congress is a indictable offense.
The same for Jr. as he refused to answer questions the last time before congress. His ass is in a bind as well...
Actually, Mueller himself when the question on the three criteria for obstruction disagreed with the criteria? I posted his testimony in regards to the three criteria question. Quote from your resource.
"“Your report found on page 89, volume 2, that substantial evidence indicates that by June 17, the president knew his conduct was under investigation by a federal prosecutor who would present any evidence of federal crimes to a grand jury. True?” Jeffries asked.
“True,” Mueller said, confirming the nexus to an official proceeding.
Jeffries then moved on to the third element, corrupt intent, and Mueller once again effectively affirmed the point:
Jeffries: Is it fair to say the president viewed the special counsel’s investigation as adverse to his own interest?
Mueller: I think that generally is true.
Jeffries: The investigation found evidence, quote, “that the president knew that he should not have directed Don McGahn to fire the special counsel.” Correct?
Mueller: Where do you have that quote?
Jeffries: Page 90, volume 2. “There’s evidence that the president knew he should not have made those calls to McGahn,” closed quote.
Mueller: I see that. Yes, that’s accurate.
Mueller, seeing the trick, tried to cut it off. “Let me just say, if I might, I don’t subscribe necessarily to your—the way you analyzed that. I’m not saying it’s out of the ballpark, but I’m not supportive of that analytical charge,” he said."
Please, not Mueller said "Let me just say, if I might, I don’t subscribe necessarily to your—the way you analyzed that. I’m not saying it’s out of the ballpark, but I’m not supportive of that analytical charge,” he said."
Mueller clearly did not support Jeffries 3 criteria the way Jeffries applied it in his questioning.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi … ce/594634/
Because the facts in the report satisfy the three arms of an obstruction charge, but Mueller was doing everything he could not to be the one to end up at that conclusion. Jeffries expertly displayed that the conclusion can be reached that Trump committed obstruction based on what was in the report. The report says it, but for some odd reason, Mueller never wants to.
Jefferies presented his 3 criteria theory. Mueller clearly said he did not ascribe to it. Not sure what you are not understanding?
What did you get from his statement? Mueller stated "I’m not saying it’s out of the ballpark, but I’m not supportive of that analytical charge" He openly said I'm not supportive of that ANALYTICAL charge...
"Mueller said "Let me just say, if I might, I don’t subscribe necessarily to your—the way you analyzed that. I’m not saying it’s out of the ballpark, but I’m not supportive of that analytical charge,” he said."
relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning in regard to this
I am afraid we must agree to disagree.
But he also didn't deny them as in "I'm not saying it's out of the ballpark." What does this mean to you, Shar?
But this doesn't address the subpoenas already issued to Hicks and others because of their untruthful answers before congress the first time.
Mueller clear stated he did not agree with the logic Jeffries was using. Yes, he did say "Mueller, tried to cut Jeffries off. by saying “Let me just say, if I might, I don’t subscribe necessarily to your—the way you analyzed that. I’m not saying it’s out of the ballpark, but I’m not supportive of that analytical charge,” he said."
he clearly had the last word, and said "I’m not supportive of that analytical charge,”
relating to or using analysis or logical reasoning.
Randy his statement was very clear.
You don't think an attempt to limit the scope of the investigation obstructing it? Threatening witnesses is not obstruction? Attempting to fire the man running the investigation (for a second time) is not obstruction?
Clearly you do not understand obstruction.
She did admit she had no legal education, but damn...
I can assure you after all the reading I have done the past couple weeks on the subject of obstruction I am becoming acquainted with what is and what isn't obstruction. Trump did not have anything to do with laying out the scope of what Mueller could investigate. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that defined Mueller’s investigative mandate. I am not sure what witnesses you speak of? And yet again Trump could have fired Mueller at any time.
I can assure you he could not fire Mueller because he was investigating Trump. You can assure, I can assure...six of one, half a dozen of the other, Shar. You are definitely not as qualified to render an opinion on Trump's behavior than the 1000+ prosecutors who signed the opinion he had committed OJ.
I never said was qualified to make a legal decision in regards to Trump's behavior or matters of possible crimes. I am very ale to find existing laws on obstruction and so are you...
Yes I am, and why I said Trump broke the law by trying to fire Mueller even though he didn't succeed in the endeavor.
I would need you to prove that Randy. Here is the very definition of Obstruction of Justice
"obstruction of justice
ob·struc·tion of justice | \ əb-ˈstrək-shən-\
Legal Definition of obstruction of justice
: the crime or act of willfully interfering with the process of justice and law especially by influencing, threatening, harming, or impeding a witness, potential witness, juror, or judicial or legal officer or by furnishing false information in or otherwise impeding an investigation or legal process
the defendant's obstruction of justice led to a more severe sentence
The very context of the definition exonerates the president.
": the crime or act of willfully interfering with the process of justice and law "
Trump did not interfere with the process of the investigation. Mueller openly testified he was given time, funds, staff to complete the investigation. When asked the question if he was fired he responded "no"
If any of Trump's. antics would have impeded or stopped the investigation he would be guilty of obstructing justice.
This article will help you understand how the attempt to fire Mueller qualifies as obstruction of justice.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi … ce/594634/
This one explains that he didn't actually need to succeed in accomplishing his obstruction to be charged with trying to obstruct it:
https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house … r-congress
Yes, Rosenstein defined the mandate, and Trump dictated a letter to Lewandoski to be delivered to Sessions. In the letter, Trump wanted Sessions to limit the scope of the investigation to future elections only. How is that not trying to obstruct the investigation into what happened? That is, literally, the definition of impeding it.
Trump took an unprovoked shot at Cohen's family, specifically his father-in-law, in the week of his testimony. Many saw that as witness tampering. Pretty sure tampering with witnesses is obstruction.
Trump could not have had Mueller fired at any time. That would have been akin to the Saturday Night Massacre and Congress would have impeached him on the spot and he knew it.
Funny how Trump supporters leave out the "unless it's investigation into himself" clause. No matter how many times you point it out, they still throw the same old BS in there. No wonder they're so easily led...
Randy, you love to insult, label and make what you believe to be quick witted retorts.
What you do with such commentary, is alienate those who have more open minds, and are willing to consider Trump's faults, you push them into supporting him with the very ignorance and arrogance in speaking to others that you attribute to Trump.
There is plenty to dislike about Trump, but there is even more to dislike about how things have been run in D.C. for the last 25 years, or some of the insane and economically impossible ideas the Democrats are currently flaunting as proposed policy.
Since when is a tax break for the rich that puts the country into a trillion dollar deficit economically possible? When the wealthy and corporations actually pay taxes, when we're not investing in a military that's already more than the next nine countries combined, perhaps using government resources to invest in its citizens won't seem like such a stretch to you.
You said: "[Trump] fully cooperated with the Mueller team".
In addition to the Politifact article which rates that claim as "false"(1), the Special Counsel's own testimony under oath also contradicts that assertion:
"Demings: Director Mueller, isn't it fair to say that the president's written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didn't answer many of your questions, but where he did his answers show that he wasn't always being truthful.
Mueller: There (ph) -- I would say generally."(2)
Do inadequate, incomplete and untruthful answers demonstrate that Trump "fully cooperated" with the investigation? Or does it demonstrate that he, in fact, did not?
Nadler: Did the president refuse a request to be interviewed by you and your team?
Nadler: And is it true that you tried for more than a year to secure an interview with the president?
Nadler: And is it true that you and your team advised the president's lawyer that, quote, "an interview with the president is vital to our investigation," close quote?
Mueller: Yes. Yes.
Nadler: And is it true that you also, quote, "stated that it is in the interest of the presidency and the public for an interview to take place," close quote?
Nadler: But the president still refused to sit for an interview by you or your team?
Mueller: True. True."
Does a refusal to be interviewed demonstrate that Trump "fully cooperated" with the investigation? Or does it demonstrate that he, in fact, did not?
(1) https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-mete … gation-no/
(2) https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congre … y-n1033216
I have agreed the president was not fully cooperative? I must make mention Demings question. If you watch the footage you might see Mueller did not appear to understand the question. His answer seemed inappropriate to the question. But, that is just my take.
Did Trump's statements in regards to Fylnn constitute a crime or were they just comment meant to offer his opinion on how he hoped the Fylnn investigation would go? Is asking Comey for loyalty a crime?
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/book-ex … d=62781399
https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w- … eral-crime
https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-ju … r-is-wrong
If it isn't a crime, it should be. The FBI isn't controlled by Trump and it isn't his job to tell them what to do about a criminal investigation.
You know what Randy, I sort of agree with you on this one. But the law as it stands gives Trump the authority to fire and hire the head of the FBI. This is something the Congress should look into, and change the law if appropriate.
It's not about authority. The Special Counsel outlined three elements required for an action to be considered obstruction of justice:
1. "an obstructive act"
2. "some form of nexus between the obstructive act and an official proceeding"
3. ". . . criminal (i.e., corrupt) intent"
https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf (page 192)
So an action can be within someone's authority but still be obstruction of justice. A simple example:
A detective is close to finding evidence about a corrupt police captain. The police captain replaces the detective on the case with someone loyal who will cover up the evidence.
Does the captain have the authority to assign a different detective to the case? Yes. Does that action also meet the requirements for obstruction of justice? Yes, because: 1) the action could obstruct a case against the captain; 2) the action was related to an official proceeding, i.e. a criminal investigation; and 3) the action was done to prevent incriminating evidence being discovered.
So the captain acted within his authority, but also, according to the criteria in Mueller's report, committed obstruction of justice.
Likewise, Trump may have acted within his authority, but he also, according to the criteria in Mueller's report, committed obstruction of justice.
The way I understand it, at least 5 of 10 events met all 3 of the criteria to be considered Obstruction of Justice.
Not the best example,
As it would be IA doing the investigating, not a detective that worked for the Corrupt CO...
But, firing someone and replacing them as you have outlined...would be considered criminal intent...
In the case of the president, that didn't actually happen to Mueller who was conducting the investigation, so that would be next to impossible to prove criminal intent...
The firing of Comey was for a number of reasons, one of which, the president just didn't like him. And the president was "acting" on the recommendation of the AG and DAG...I think it was mostly because the president didn't like him.
You can refine the example however you want (maybe it's a homicide investigation, but could lead to a corruption case if left unobstructed). The point is that someone can act within their authority, but also commit obstruction of justice.
Criminal intent is notoriously hard to prove directly. That is why there is a well established principle that criminal intent can be determined by circumstantial evidence. That has to be the case given the difficulty, as the Special Counsel's report notes:
"The principle that intent can be inferred from circumstantial evidence is a necessity in criminal cases, given the right of a subject to assert his privilege against compelled self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment and therefore decline to testify. Accordingly, determinations on intent are frequently reached without the opportunity to interview an investigatory subject."
https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf (page 13)
Also in the report, Mueller outlines all of Trump's actions in terms of how they relate to the three elements of obstruction of justice, in the "analysis" section for each action. For example:
"Intent. Substantial evidence indicates that the President's effort to have Sessions limit the scope of the Special Counsel's investigation to future election interference was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President' s and his campaign's conduct."
https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf (page 97) (emphasis added)
"Intent. In analyzing the President's intent in his actions towards Cohen as a potential witness, there is evidence that could support the inference that the President intended to discourage Cohen from cooperating with the government because Cohen's information would shed adverse light on the President's campaign-period conduct and statements."
Based on all the information in the report related to criminal intent (there is much more than I have quoted here), and the principle outlined above, I don't think a prosecutor would have any difficulty establishing criminal intent.
Intended to prevent, but didn't.
Intended to discourage, but didn't.
Accomplished, with the intention of preventing.
Accomplished, with the intention of discouraging.
Much of what is written in that report is people making the claim that it was what they were told to do or inferred to do, but didn't do...
If what everyone said is true (let's say it is)….
At best, he made the attempt (kinda feeble attempt) to get people to try to obstruct parts of the investigation. He could have taken steps to actually and literally obstruct part or all of the investigation. There is more than a few things he could have done within his authority, but he didn't.
I am not a Judge, but I think if I was a member of a jury and this evidence was presented, minus the parties involved, but just this evidence against your average citizen, I would be hard pressed to say guilty...and if added to the "collusion" and that was found to be seriously lacking in evidence...it would be even more so difficult to make a guilty call.
And I am making this determination based on just what is provided and taking out the parties involved...The Guilty beyond a shadow of doubt is just not there....at best there is a maybe guilty of something...
"'It is well established that a[n] [obstruction-of-justice] offense is complete when one corruptly endeavors to obstruct or impede the due administration of justice; the prosecution need not prove that the due administration of justice was actually obstructed or impeded.' United States v. Davis, 854 F .3d 1276, 1292 (11th Cir. 2017) (internal quotation marks omitted)" (my emphasis).
https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf (page 12)
So we have evidence that Trump performed actions that meet the three requirements of obstruction of justice, as outlined in the Special Counsel's report.
And there is jurisprudence that indicates the prosecution does not need not prove that "justice was actually obstructed or impeded" in order to prosecute for obstruction of justice.
This outlines a variety of obstruction issues:
https://time.com/5573521/donald-trump-o … n-justice/
I read the entire Mueller report. It took weeks and is very boring. I am well aware of the "list Od Ten". This is why I listed just one of the 10. I had hoped to show how ridiculous these allegations are. But your resource was appreciated.
Serious kudos to you for reading that report and wanting to know what exactly was in it. It amazes me that, after reading it, you think the allegations are ridiculous given the lies that were told. Not telling the truth, as we have seen with past presidents, is enough for an impeachment.
Yes, kudos for reading the report.
To your other point, it's funny how hundreds of federal prosecutors -- including Republicans -- read the Mueller report and said Trump would be indicted if he weren't President.
But Trump supporters who get their legal expertise from Fox News are sure he is innocent.
https://thehill.com/policy/national-sec … bstruction
https://www.newsweek.com/ex-gop-federal … eo-1441394
I was listening to Mueller's testimony and what I thought I heard him say in response to the question: "Would Trump be indicted if he were a private citizen" was "yes". But as noted below, another person heard the word "Could".
What's perhaps even more funny and sad is we're going to have a Democratic president at some point who's going to be the Left's version of Trump and is going to pull all this same stuff and the Right will be apoplectic with rage (as will I). Not having standards that remain consistent no matter the politician or the political stripe is essential if America is going to avoid turning into a dictatorship.
You are correct. The question had the word "could" in it. Mueller answered yes.
"Would" doesn't make sense. It's like asking Mueller to predict with certainty that Trump will be indicted after he leaves. There's no way for Mueller to know what prosecutors and a grand jury in the future will do.
https://www.vox.com/2019/7/24/20708535/ … ict-office
In response to your second paragraph, if Biden won the elction, I don't think based on his past behavior that he will act in any way like Trump.
" "Would Trump be indicted if he were a private citizen" was "yes". But as noted below, another person heard the word "Could"."
No, he actually did not, and Mueller was asked a general question by Rep Buck on law... Trump was not referred to.
Yes, he was referred to. They were talking about Trump. They were talking about Mueller's report about Trump.
No actually Buck never spoke Trump's name once during his questioning. His line of questioning was entirely about the law. And Mueller did not mention the president's name either. Buck's questioning is very clear, and his education and work in law precede he previously served as District Attorney for Weld County, Colorado. I found him very enlightening, and credible. He spoke Mueller's language, and it was clear Mueller was comfortable answering his questions. This was refreshing, because through most of Mueller's testimony he was uncomfortable, and could not answer many Representatives questions.
at time 4:54...the question is asked...could you charge the president with a crime after he left office (in reference to, as a sitting president he could not be charged with a crime by Mueller)…
Well of course Mueller could charge him with a crime if he wasn't in office...not that he had evidence to do so, just that it is possible...
I notice earlier in that clip ~3:30, that the report has Mueller recommending to not charge the president or anyone with collusion due to lack of evidence....and around~ 3:54, the question is asked...if there was sufficient evidence to convict the President or anyone else of obstruction, and Mueller answers..."that they did not make that calculation.." why not? Because a sitting president cannot be indicted due to the current rules of the DOJ.
So once again I will refer to lack of evidence in part one and didn't bother for part two...so...the question of if a former president can be charged or not doesn't really matter, as the answer to that is of course yes....but rather...the question should be:
Given the evidence, and if Trump was not the sitting president, would you indict him for the allegations being presented, of Collusion and Obstruction?...
Did that question ever get asked, because I may have missed it, as I wasn't able to watch the whole thing?
I think Mueller said he wouldn't answer the hypothetical question, DS. He tried his best to use the report itself to answer questions.
No, it was not. But it has been reported by media... By adding Trump's name. It well appears if Trump committed any crimes Mueller could have and should have added such charges in his report. Knowing the A president could be indicted after he leaves the office. Mueller did not do commit to saying there were crimes committed which he by law could have. No, he could not indict but could have reported any cries to the DOJ. he certainly gave his finding on no collusion., making a clear statement in his report to Barr. he could have given his findings on any crime he found during his investigation. Buck's questioning also covers this line of thought.
Here is a link that is on the subject. It gets right to the heart of the matter in regard to Fylnn and Comey. That
s the subject. I hope to systematically point out Mueller list of 10 obstructions hold no water legally. If one reads the report they will see this is list holds no water.
"I hope to systematically point out Mueller list of 10 obstructions hold no water legally."
I'm sorry, and I don't say this with mean intention, but Mueller has far more legal expertise than you.
If you want to defend Trump, that is your right, but you will have more credibility with defending his policies than taking on more than 1,000 federal prosecutors and a wide variety of other legal experts.
I take no offense. However, I must point out, I made no mention of Trump. My main question on this thread refers to only one of Mueller's acts that were listed in the report in Vol 2 referring to possible obstruction. I never made any claim to being an expert in the law. I should have reworded my statement to indicate if one reads the report they might come to the conclusion Mueller's list holds no water.
"Wrong. Mueller explicitly stated that if Trump were a private citizen, he would be indicted for obstruction of justice."
Where did he say this Crankilicious?
This was an interestingly phrased question...the word "COULD" was used...
and the answer was...Yes, as a private citizen, he COULD be....not "SHOULD or WOULD"
Of course, any private citizen COULD be charged with a crime...but just being charged, doesn't mean you are guilty...
I think many people seem to forget, that this report wasn't required to ever leave the AG's office...
"Wrong. Mueller explicitly stated that if Trump were a private citizen, he would be indicted for obstruction of justice."
I must ask you to provide a resource for this accusation. I watched the Mueller testimony, and I did not hear Mueller mak such a statement. Youtube has Mueller's complete testimony. Could you pinpoint the statement and provide the resource. I realize several media outlets did make that very statement. I need proof...
The word "could" was use...
Could he be...
not would or should
There are plenty of sources including Mueller's own testimony.
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-ne … ing-office
Yes, Mueller did make this statement.
"Asked by Buck, "Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?" and "You could charge the President of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?" Mueller responded simply, "Yes," both times.
The question was a general question asked By Rep. Buck in regards to the law. You need to listen to the testimony where this statement was made. You need to put it into the context of the testimony that leads up to that statement. I think if you listen to Rep Bucks questioning you will see the US News although did not misquote Buck but did not put his statement into its proper context. Mueller was simply answering a question on the law. Mueller was not referring to any given president. Just answering a question o law. I have added a link to youtube with the entire Buck questioning of Mueller. I think this testimony is also helpful in Fylnn. and Comey matter. Very interesting testimony that just never made to the light of day.
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