Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Don’t Get Your Panties In A Bunch

How quickly we’ve moved from the Russia! Russia! Russia! Collusion! Collusion! Collusion! offense to the “Trump could still have obstructed justice — even if he didn't break the lawdefense.

Image result for Hillary claims trump obstructed justice meme“Any Person Other Than Trump Would Have Been Indicted For Obstruction”  – Hillary Clinton

Logic aside, apparently you needn’t have a crime in order to commit obstruction, as explained in this WaPo piece: Barr is wrong: Obstruction of justice doesn’t require another underlying crime.

“It is black letter law that a defendant can satisfy the corrupt intent criterion for obstruction even if the defendant himself committed no underlying crime.”

He cites Hip Hop mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick as an example (which I think in this context is racist but that’s the WaPo’s problem).

Former Detroit mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick went to jail for obstructing justice in 2008 after he lied under oath about an extramarital affair.

Regardless of the ex-mayors race that’s a really bad example as Kawame was convicted on a total of 24 federal felony counts, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and racketeering - in addition to obstruction of justice and perjury. So I’m not sure I’ll put much stock in the author’s legal opinion even though he is “an assistant professor of law at the University of Chicago.” So was Barack Obama and we’ve seen how much he knew about constitutional law.

But getting back to the issue at hand, I see that 426 former federal prosecutors have signed onto a “bipartisan” statement declaring that the behavior described in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report would have resulted in obstruction of justice charges had it not come from a sitting president. Given the number of cases of prosecutorial overreach and outright malfeasance that I personally know of this does not impress me in the least. So my advice to this - I’m willing to guess predominantly Democrat leaning - batch of former prosecutors: don’t get your panties in a bunch.

And regarding their claim that “unchecked obstruction—which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished—puts our whole system of justice at risk,” what about Hillary? She actually deleted emails after a federal investigation was underway. If “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case” against a presidential candidate who BleachBit evidence I fail to see why they would “bring such a case” against the guy who actually won the presidency and did not erase any evidence, remove any investigator,  denying access to any documents or fail to make staff lawyers available to the special prosecutors.

But that’s just me, what do I know? I don’t have a law degree that I can fling around like a partisan noose.