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Hundreds of former federal prosecutors say Trump would have been prosecuted for obstruction if he were not President


This news story was published on May 7, 2019.
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President Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hundreds of former federal prosecutors and lawyers say President Donald Trump would have been prosecuted for obstruction of justice if he were not President.

The law experts signed off on a document posted to Medium.com.  As of Tuesday, May 7, over 600 signatures were not he document.

STATEMENT BY FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTORS

May 6

We are former federal prosecutors. We served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system: as line attorneys, supervisors, special prosecutors, United States Attorneys, and senior officials at the Department of Justice. The offices in which we served were small, medium, and large; urban, suburban, and rural; and located in all parts of our country.

Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.

The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming. These include:

· The President’s efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort;

· The President’s efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct; and

· The President’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign.

Attempts to fire Mueller and then create false evidence

Despite being advised by then-White House Counsel Don McGahn that he could face legal jeopardy for doing so, Trump directed McGahn on multiple occasions to fire Mueller or to gin up false conflicts of interest as a pretext for getting rid of the Special Counsel. When these acts began to come into public view, Trump made “repeated efforts to have McGahn deny the story” — going so far as to tell McGahn to write a letter “for our files” falsely denying that Trump had directed Mueller’s termination.

Firing Mueller would have seriously impeded the investigation of the President and his associates — obstruction in its most literal sense. Directing the creation of false government records in order to prevent or discredit truthful testimony is similarly unlawful. The Special Counsel’s report states: “Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Counsel terminated, the President acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn’s account in order to deflect or prevent scrutiny of the President’s conduct toward the investigation.”

Attempts to limit the Mueller investigation

The report describes multiple efforts by the president to curtail the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation.

First, the President repeatedly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his legally-mandated decision to recuse himself from the investigation. The President’s stated reason was that he wanted an attorney general who would “protect” him, including from the Special Counsel investigation. He also directed then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to fire Sessions and Priebus refused.

Second, after McGahn told the President that he could not contact Sessions himself to discuss the investigation, Trump went outside the White House, instructing his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to carry a demand to Sessions to direct Mueller to confine his investigation to future elections. Lewandowski tried and failed to contact Sessions in private. After a second meeting with Trump, Lewandowski passed Trump’s message to senior White House official Rick Dearborn, who Lewandowski thought would be a better messenger because of his prior relationship with Sessions. Dearborn did not pass along Trump’s message.

As the report explains, “[s]ubstantial 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” — in other words, the President employed a private citizen to try to get the Attorney General to limit the scope of an ongoing investigation into the President and his associates.

All of this conduct — trying to control and impede the investigation against the President by leveraging his authority over others — is similar to conduct we have seen charged against other public officials and people in powerful positions.

Witness tampering and intimidation

The Special Counsel’s report establishes that the President tried to influence the decisions of both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort with regard to cooperating with investigators. Some of this tampering and intimidation, including the dangling of pardons, was done in plain sight via tweets and public statements; other such behavior was done via private messages through private attorneys, such as Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani’s message to Cohen’s lawyer that Cohen should “[s]leep well tonight[], you have friends in high places.”

Of course, these aren’t the only acts of potential obstruction detailed by the Special Counsel. It would be well within the purview of normal prosecutorial judgment also to charge other acts detailed in the report.

We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment. Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here. In our system, every accused person is presumed innocent and it is always the government’s burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.

As former federal prosecutors, we recognize that prosecuting obstruction of justice cases is critical because unchecked obstruction — which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished — puts our whole system of justice at risk. We believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report.

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15 Responses to Hundreds of former federal prosecutors say Trump would have been prosecuted for obstruction if he were not President

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2019 at 9:26 am

    You have to be a moron to believe that liberal garbage !

  2. Avatar

    For The Record Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Easy to get politically motivated lawyers to sign onto a politically motivated letter.

    I read the whole Mueller report and found that all the references to “obstruction” were based on OPINION taken from the perspective of “looking for evidence” of wrongdoing. Mueller said himself he could not bring changes of obstruction based on the investigation and material he reviewed.

    BOTTOM LINE: You can’t have “obstruction” if there was no crime committed in the first place.

  3. Avatar

    Harry Sach Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2019 at 6:58 am

    So as not to offend any of our democrat, liberal friends, I won’t mention anything about either Bill and/or Hillary Clinton or Obama, doing things that could have been considered as obstructing justice. Well all know the only justice that pride of clowns, cares about is their own.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 8, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      Yeah, I know. Did you know that they were part of the conspiracy that killed JFK? I read that Obama was supposed to be the shooter but they decided to go with the white guy. Bill and Hillary got overruled by Soros.

      • Avatar

        Your Scarsm Is Missplaced Reply Report comment

        May 9, 2019 at 7:04 am

        JFK was killed because he opposed the plan to change America’s culture and economic system. He announced it as a “plot” when he was the commencement speaker at the University of Miami in 1962. He told the graduating class he was going to use the “bully pulpit” to expose. It cost him his life!

        One thing for sure the plan to “change” America’s culture has succeeded and it hasn’t been for the better.

        Instead of sarcasm, you might want to examine our history. The success of capitalism made America the exceptional country we became. It’s not too late to reverse the negative trends of the last 60 years!

        Letters like this are nothing but “politics of destruction”. Yours and mine.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 9, 2019 at 2:54 pm

          My “scarsm” is not misplaced. Every time the right gets their panties in a bunch they resort to what about Bill, Hillary and Obama. And, yes, capitalism did make our country what it is today, However, because it grew unchecked it has morphed into an oligarchy that is destroying the principles upon which this country was founded. Checks and balances were placed throughout our system in government and business to guard against the oligarchy but the present administration is swiftly removing those checks and balances and we are plunging back into a country where the rich get richer on the backs of the working people.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    GOP = greed over people.

    • Avatar

      WRONG Reply Report comment

      May 8, 2019 at 7:25 am

      DEMOCRATS = GREED OVER PEOPLE

      DEMOCRATS = HATE

      DEMOCRATS = MURDERING BABIES IN THE WOMB

      DEMOCRATS = SOCIALISM/COMMUNISM

      DEMOCRATS = OPPRESSION

      AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 8, 2019 at 10:00 pm

        Must be difficult going threw life with you head so full of dung.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 9, 2019 at 10:34 am

          …threw…? And another LIBUFFOON posts.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    So the crime he obstructed was a nonexistent one based on a dossier that was a total made up political attack. He obstructed a made up charge. I call that self defense.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    he belongs in hell

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 8, 2019 at 7:22 am

      President Trump is the best President in our lifetime. He is MAGA! Yea!

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    All Liberal Democrats!

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    And hillary would have been put out of our misery 2 years ago for treason if she wasn’t billary