Leftists are hoping for a major Christmas present thanks to their new Santa Claus, Robert Mueller in the form of an obstruction of justice indictment against President Donald Trump. When you consider the multiple problems with the Mueller investigation make it more useless than a corner sofa set in a round building, the Left might be getting a piece of coal in their stockings.
Since the “Trump colluded with Russia” line has run its course (and uncovered actual collusion between Russia and Hillary Clinton/DNC), the Left is pivoting to obstruction of justice using President Trump’s firing of James Comey as proof he was trying to delay or disrupt the investigation into his ties with Russia. Whether these charges have any legal weight to them is questionable, but what isn’t questionable is the Left may not have that great a grasp on what obstruction of justice actually is.
Fortunately, I do, or this would be a really short blog post.
obstruction of justice
What the Left thinks it means – preventing an investigation into a crime, such as Donald Trump has committed
What it really means – hindering an investigation into a crime, not unlike what the Clintons/DNC have done
First off, obstruction of justice isn’t a partisan matter. Neither major party has a monopoly of criminal activity and attempts to cover it up through various means, such as misdirection, lying to investigators, or generally being a smug assbag with good lawyers. Having said that, I have seen more attempts to obstruct justice coming from the Left than I have from the Right in recent years.
But before we jump too much further into the matter, we need to understand what the obstruction of justice charge entails. And that requires a bit more than a sassy definition from a justly underpaid blogger.
The Legal Information Institute states obstruction of justice:
is defined in the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1503, which provides that “whoever . . . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense).” Persons are charged under this statute based on allegations that a defendant intended to interfere with an official proceeding, by doing things such as destroying evidence, or interfering with the duties of jurors or court officers.
A person obstructs justice when they have a specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial proceeding. For a person to be convicted of obstructing justice, they must not only have the specific intent to obstruct the proceeding, but the person must know (1) that a proceeding was actually pending at the time; and (2) there must be a nexus between the defendant’s endeavor to obstruct justice and the proceeding, and the defendant must have knowledge of this nexus.
- 1503 applies only to federal judicial proceedings. Under § 1505, however, a defendant can be convicted of obstruction of justice by obstructing a pending proceeding before Congress or a federal agency. A pending proceeding could include an informal investigation by an executive agency.
To put it another way, obstruction requires intent, knowledge, and a clear connection between the action to obstruct and the investigation or judicial proceeding.Here’s where the Left gets it wrong with Trump: his actions don’t meet the legal threshold, no matter what their anti-Trump hysteria tells them. FBI Director James Comey was not all that effective, as evidenced by his mishandling of the case against Hillary Clinton. It was so bad even Democrats were calling for him to resign. Then…Trump happened. Overnight, Comey went from Joe Biden level incompetence to Solomon reincarnated, in spite of the fact he didn’t really lose his incompetence. Trump fired Comey, which he had every right to do because, well, he’s the freaking President, and the Left came up with the obstruction of justice story. After all, the only reason Trump got rid of Comey was because he was closing in on proof of Russia’s collusion with the Trump campaign right?
Oooooh, sor-ray. Seems Comey was fired for the aforementioned incompetence, and the investigation into the alleged collusion continued on unabated. There is even some question as to whether Trump knew he was under investigation based on what Comey has said. So, let’s see…the President had the power to fire Comey and would have known the firing would not have stopped the investigation…and it’s up in the air whether Trump knew he was being investigated…and the investigation didn’t stop as a result of the firing. Kinda puts a damper on the Obstruction-A-Palooza the Left has been dreaming of.
Collusion is off the table, and now obstruction of justice is off the table, or should be under normal circumstances. Ah, but the Left isn’t on speaking terms with normal, so they’ll continue to make the case for obstruction of justice in spite of the facts. And remember, kids, the Left is fact-based (just ask them). But to those of us outside of the Leftist bubble, it’s hard to see where there is a legal case to be made.
But there is another element: the political. Even if the legal case is on shakier ground than a sinkhole on the San Andreas Fault, the fact the allegations continue becomes a political cudgel for the Left to use whenever mentioning President Trump. And since the Left preys upon the ignorant, it will continue to pump out stories to make it seem like Trump is hiding something. All it takes is a momentary lapse of common sense to believe it.
And all it takes to burst the Leftist bubble is to point out the facts. Unfortunately for the Left, I’m kinda partial to facts, which makes me a porcupine. Hey, I’ve been called worse!