Hundreds of former federal prosecutors have signed their names on the dotted line of a letter asserting that if Donald Trump wasn’t the President of the United States he would been charged for obstruction of justice.
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller noted in his report that is against DOJ policy to indict a sitting president, leading experts to opine that the obstruction volume of the report was “plainly an impeachment referral.” It seems the 379-and-counting former DOJ officials “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 prosecutors said that documented efforts to fire Mueller and “falsify evidence about that effort,” efforts to limit the scope of the investigation, and witness tampering were sufficient evidence of corrupt intent.
“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,” they said.
Next, they turned their attention to Trump’s efforts to have then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions unrecuse himself from overseeing the Russia probe, and more.
“[T]he President repeatedly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his legally-mandated decision to recuse himself from the investigation,” they said. The “President’s stated reason was that he wanted an attorney general who would ‘protect’ him, including from the Special Counsel investigation.”
“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,” they continued.
Finally, they said Trump’s conduct regarding Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort over the course of the investigation (pardon dangling, tweets, private messages, etc.) amounted to witness tampering and intimidation.
“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,” they concluded. “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.”
[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]
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