A former federal prosecutor said special counsel Robert Mueller should have no trouble proving an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.
Mimi Rocah, a former U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, said it was “chilling” that former CIA director John Brennan believed publicly available evidence existed to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — and now it was up to Mueller to determine which laws were broken.
“The question is, does it meet the elements of a criminal conspiracy that can be charged or written up as a charge either in a court of law or for impeachment proceedings, not that that’s the only standard for impeachment, of course,” Rocah said.
“I’m thinking more and more that those elements are going to be met,” she continued. “But obviously Mueller will be the one to decide those.”
Brennan said the special counsel must determine whether the Trump campaign was criminally liable for conspiracy, and whether the president had committed obstruction — and Rocah said he’d already helped prove the most difficult element for prosecutors.
“Usually the hardest part of an obstruction charge is not the act but showing someone’s intent, that they’re trying to influence the outcome of an investigation,” Rocah said. “Trump wears that intent on his sleeve.”
She said the president had made multiple public statements that help prosecutors show his state of mind in taking actions that could be considered obstruction.
“I mean, this statement about taking away Director Brennan’s security clearance because of his involvement in the Russia investigation seems to me to be very clear intent,” Rocah said.
“If I had a drug dealer that I was prosecuting,” she added, “and he said that he was going to retaliate against a witness because that witness was involved in an investigation against him, that would be really good evidence of obstruction — and that’s exactly what Mr. Trump is doing here.”