Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump would be indicted if he weren’t president

Published

on

- Commentary

f Donald Trump were the president of any private or public entity — if he were the president of anything, that is, except the United States — he would be under indictment today for obstruction of justice, intimidating witnesses and conspiracy, at a minimum. That is what the Mueller report, even in redacted form, tells us in no uncertain language.

‘No obstruction”? That’s merely another Trump lie, repeated by his public relations flack, Bill Barr, who operates under the guise of the U.S. attorney general.

ADVERTISEMENT

The rules that govern the Justice Department prohibit criminal prosecution of a sitting U.S. president. Fortunately for him, but unfortunately for our country, that means Trump will escape the usual consequences of nearly a dozen instances of felonious behavior outlined by Mueller. Ordering around his subordinates like an old-time mob boss, the president repeatedly attempted to curtail Mueller’s investigation.

Anyone who has been paying attention saw several of these interventions unfold, starting with his attempt to prevent the prosecution of former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and his dismissal of the uncooperative FBI Director James Comey, and his public efforts to bully Attorney General Jeff Sessions (who showed surprising backbone by insisting on his own recusal from the Russia probe). But Trump’s malfeasance went far beyond those more-or-less public incidents.

Based on extensive, credible and corroborated testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn, Mueller reveals several attempts by Trump to have the special counsel fired and the investigation ended. McGahn recalled the president phoning him from Camp David on a June Saturday in 2017 and ordering him to call Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with instructions to fire Mueller. Instead, McGahn wisely told Reince Priebus, then chief of staff, that the president had told him to “do crazy s—.”

So insistent was Trump — barking, “Mueller has to go,” and “You gotta do this. You gotta call Rod” — that McGahn considered resigning. He didn’t want to be remembered in history as a pawn in a crooked president’s Saturday Night Massacre.

When everyone thought the president spent all his time watching Fox News, tweeting and eating burgers, he was often occupied with his incessant attempts to disrupt or end the Russia probe. As the report notes: “Our investigation found multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels,” it continued. “These actions ranged from efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect of the Attorney General’s recusal; to the attempted use of official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential to influence their testimony.”

Like McGahn, several others caught up in Trump’s obstruction efforts, including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, deflected his bullying — which probably saved them from indictment.

But the notion that the president’s failure to derail the probe somehow mitigates his obvious guilt is wrong. Obstruction doesn’t have to succeed to be worthy of indictment. It is just as wrong as the notion, articulated by the hackish Barr, that if there was no underlying crime of conspiracy with the Russians, there could be no obstruction charge. In fact, nearly every legal expert dismisses that theory as pure nonsense. Many people have gone to prison for obstruction without any underlying crime.

ADVERTISEMENT

Were there underlying offenses of conspiracy with a hostile foreign power? The report’s first part enumerates many shameful instances between Russians and the Trump inner circle, which “expected” help from that foreign adversary. According to Mueller, however, no crime could be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

But consider what we now know Trump himself said to Sessions when first told of the special counsel’s appointment. He knew what his son Don Jr. and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had done; he knew that he had lied about Trump Tower Moscow, and many other things. He knew what Paul Manafort — whom he succeeded in silencing with a promised pardon — had done.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Oh my God. This is terrible,” he said, according to the report. “This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f—ed.”

He had the motive, the method and the many opportunities to obstruct justice, exactly as former President Richard Nixon did. The question that every honest member of Congress now faces is whether he has earned the same fate.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Protesters give Donald Trump a one-finger salute as Marine One flies over DC protests

Published

on

President Donald Trump returned to Washington, DC on Saturday as large crowds of protesters fill the city's streets.

Trump had flown to Florida to see the launch of the SpaceX Starship and returned as the sun was going down.

BuzzFeed News reporter Ellie Hall captured a picture of Marine One approaching the White House -- and being welcomed back to town with raised middle fingers.

Trump, in Marine One, just did a flyover of the protest area outside the White House.

Protesters flipped off the president’s helicopter.#dcprotest #MAGANIGHT #GeorgeFloydProtests pic.twitter.com/EMgCaOof1J

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump announces he has unilaterally decided to let Putin back into the G7 Summit: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he intends to let Russia attend the next Group of Seven summit.

Since 2014, Russia's membership in the organization has been suspending in response to Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea. That changed the name from the G8 Summit to the G7 Summit.

The announcement came from pool reporter Gabby Orr of Politico, who said Trump will also invite South Korea, Australia and India to the next summit, which he is postponing until September.

More via pooler: “‘I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,’ he said. Alyssa Farah said this is bringing together our traditional allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Seattle mayor imposes emergency curfew — set to begin only 14 minutes after her announcement

Published

on

The mayor of Seattle announced on Twitter that she would be signing an executive order imposing a curfew.

"I will soon be signing an emergency order and the city of Seattle will be imposing a 5 pm curfew soon," Durkin tweeted at 4:46 p.m. -- only 14 minutes before the order was set to go into effect.

"Crowds need to disburse from downtown immediately," she ordered.

"While many individuals gathered peaceful, some individuals have started fires and are destroying buildings. There are multiple fires downtown and it is an extremely dangerous situation. @Seattelfire (sic) does not have access to buildings," she continued.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image