Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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As the impeachment kinda-sorta-but-not-really inquiry against President Donald Trump staggers along like Ted Kennedy after a weekend at the Kennedy Compound, we’re starting to get a clearer idea of what exactly the President is accused of doing this time: obstruction of justice as it pertains to an investigation into a telephone call between the United States and Ukraine. To put it simply, the Trump White House has stated no one from the Administration should participate in the House inquiry due to how the investigation is being conducted.

This is one of those cases where both the Left and the Right have the wrong idea. So, in order to try to straighten out everyone involved, I’m devoting this week’s Lexicon to delving into obstruction of justice. Get your pens and notebooks ready, kids…

obstruction of justice

What the Left thinks it means – preventing Congress from investigating the President

What the Right thinks it means – a crime the President didn’t commit because there wasn’t a crime

What it really means – preventing law enforcement from investigating a crime

Our criminal justice system is based on the idea the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, impeachment is more of a political animal than criminal justice is, so the rules get fuzzier than Nick Offerman in a lumberjack camp. In the political arena, you are guilty even if you are proven innocent in spite of a preponderance of the evidence. And impeachment is no different.

At the heart of the latest impeachment talk is obstruction of justice. This has legal implications, which in the political arena make it easier to make a case for impeachment but requires evidence. That’s where the Left and Right get it wrong. The Left says Trump preventing Administration officials hinders their investigation and, thus, preventing them from getting to the truth of the Ukraine phone call situation. (Which is to say, getting to anything that can be made into a major scandal.) The Right says there can be no obstruction of justice because there was no crime committed.

And people wonder why I take ibuprofen like Tic Tacs these days.

Here’s the deal: you can obstruct justice in absence of a crime, but there really isn’t a crime here, and the impeachment inquiry in its current form isn’t the place to make that determination.

Let’s take the first portion of that statement, well, first. If there is an investigation into an alleged crime, anything you do to obstruct that investigation is illegal. Even in jest. And, yes, even when there turns out to be no crime committed. The fact you hindered a law enforcement investigation is what will get you in trouble. Don’t wind up like Jussie Smollet, kids.

Now, for the inquiry not being the right venue to address allegations of obstruction of justice. First off, there are six House committees involved in the inquiry, five of which aren’t the Judiciary Committee. That means there are five more committees than necessary to investigate the alleged crime. That may be a Leslie Knope wet dream, but it’s wasteful and unnecessary, especially considering the amount of airtime Adam Schiff has gotten off this. And Schiff isn’t even on the House Judiciary Committee! Ironically, he’s the head of the House Intelligence Committee, but then again no one may be better qualified to reflect the intelligence of House Democrats than Schiff.

The other aspect of this that should trouble anybody with a lick of common sense is the fact this inquiry isn’t so much an inquiry as it is an inquisition. Since Democrats run the House, they write the rules, so they can set the parameters of any investigation or hearing. However, since we’re dealing with a specific illegal act, the rule of law should be followed. As it stands, it isn’t. When partisan politics gets involved, the only law that’s followed is the law of the jungle. That may make Leftists swoon in this case, but it comes with two major problems. First, it undermines the legal arguments being made in favor of President Trump’s impeachment. It’s hard to hang your hat on the rule of law when you’re not following it. And second, it sets a precedent. Remember when former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to a majority vote when it came to federal judge confirmations in the Senate? The Left cheered when he did it, but when current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did it, they lost their shit. I guarantee if the House goes Republican under a Democrat President, there will be investigations galore, and it will have zero to do with the rule of law, and you won’t have a leg to stand on because you literally started it.

In the meantime, the question remains of whether President Trump obstructed justice. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s hard to say he did based on the Left’s reactions when he complies with their requests/demands. It’s never good enough for the Left. If Trump released his tax returns, they would ask for some obscure IRS document that ultimately wouldn’t impact his returns, but would make it appear as though Trump was hiding something. Trump released a partial translation of his call with the Ukrainian leader which ultimately showed there was no illegal activity going on (unless you consider investigating Hunter Biden’s apparently shady dealings with the Ukraine while his dad was Vice President illegal). And who backed up Trump’s assessment of the call? The Ukraine.

At this point, it’s easier to pick out the number of “impeachable offenses” Trump hasn’t been accused of than it is to count the number of ones he has been accused of. The Left is using impeachment much like it used the IRS under President Barack Obama: a political tool to bludgeon their opponents while running interference on their own shady dealings. But as far as obstruction of justice is concerned, I honestly don’t see it, and I’m saying this as someone who isn’t a Trump supporter. It sounds ominous and gives red meat (or tofu for vegetarians and vegans) to a group of people already predisposed to hate President Trump to hate him even more and call for his impeachment, removal, imprisonment, and so on.

That’s really what this whole impeachment inquiry fiasco is about. After 2016, Leftists are scared Trump could win again, and given the clown car of candidates they have this time, they are right to be afraid. That’s no excuse for running roughshod over the rule of law, especially when it comes to the impact of impeachment. To put it simply, Leftists want Donald Trump impeached for corruption because he asked an ally to assist in the investigation of corruption that may have had an impact on the 2016 Presidential Election, which is legal to do in the first place given the fact we have an agreement with that ally to do just that. That’s not obstruction of justice; that’s preservation of justice, the same justice Leftists have been demanding since 2016 when they were concerned with foreign countries interfering with our elections. But apparently it’s only a problem when that interference is against the Left’s candidates.

Leftists need to get off this obstruction of justice kick and realize they’re barking up the wrong tree. And the Right need to stop with the stupid “it’s not obstruction if there’s no crime” bullshit because it’s legally and logically wrong.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need some ibuprofen.



Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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There are times when a topic for a blog post is harder to find than the point of an Elizabeth Warren Presidential run, but there are other times when the perfect topic drops into your lap. Ladies and gentlemen, the latter occurred, thanks to the Mueller Report.

Whether you were hoping Robert Mueller’s report would exonerate or condemn President Donald Trump, the world waited with bated breath for a 400+ page report with redactions. It was almost like watching fans waiting for the next Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Quest to Buy J. K. Rowling a 43rd House. And what we found was…well, let’s just go to the definition and analysis.

the Mueller Report

What the Left thinks it means – a report that proves Donald Trump obstructed justice and worked with the Russians to steal the 2016 Presidential election

What it really means – one of the most expensive door jams in American political history

I’m not usually cynical, but when it comes to politics and the theater of the magnitude of the Mueller Report, it’s hard not to be. From the beginning, I felt it was going to be an inconclusive waste of time (and taxpayer money) because no one was going to be happy with the outcome. If the report proved beyond a reasonable doubt Donald Trump worked with the Russians to win the 2016 Presidential election, a good chunk of the country would say it was fake news, no matter how well sourced it was. If the report showed Trump was as innocent as a newborn, a good chunk of the country would claim the report was a sham and that Trump used his power and influence to affect the outcome.

And what we got was firmly between these two extremes. A redacted report (as required by law after the Starr Report) made the Left mad because they know there’s good stuff that proves Trump is guilty. And even if there isn’t, they claim there’s enough there to warrant impeachment. The report also made Trump supporters ecstatic because it showed (even with the redactions) that the President wasn’t guilty and the investigation was a sham from the word go. To me, however, the Mueller Report doesn’t prove Trump’s guilt or innocence because it wasn’t meant to do either.

At its core, the Mueller Report was a mutli-million dollar job project for people who want to keep our eyes off the real issues in this country, not the least of which being the federal government spying on a private citizen in the hopes of getting some dirt to help a severely flawed candidate limp into the White House because it was “her turn.”

But I’m totally not cynical.

Yes, there were a number of Trump associates who plead guilty to crimes…that were unrelated to the campaign itself. Yes, the funds seized from the aforementioned guilty parties was more than the cost of the investigation…which ultimately didn’t turn up anything concrete about the actual subject matter of the investigation, Donald Trump. Yes, the report uncovered suggestions that Trump may have possibly broken the law…but leaves that open to interpretation to the point of being irrelevant. Yes, the report did leave the job of holding the President accountable to the crimes (real or imagined) to Congress…which is what they are supposed to do anyway. In other words, we’re pretty much back where we started, but now we have a report.

Yay for us?

The real kicker here is the Mueller Report might be worthless at the jump because it may not be used as grounds for impeachment. Under that little document the kids today call the Constitution, a President can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. But what if the crimes are committed before the President is sworn in? That’s a question the Left hasn’t thought to ask before now in their rush to impeach Trump, and it’s a question the Right hasn’t thought to ask before now in their rush to defend Trump. And it’s a pretty big question to be overlooked.

Put simply, the Mueller Report is a lot like making hot dogs: you’ll enjoy it better if you don’t think about what went into making it. The problem (among several I could rattle off here) is the reason we have the report in the first place is fundamentally flawed and politically motivated, which makes any result questionable at best. I’m not a fan of the President, but I have to call bullshit when I see it, and basing an entire impeachment case off the Mueller Report and what lead up to it is USDA Grade A all-American bullshit. Expecting good results from bad faith is foolish.

It’s important that we separate the report from the man, however. Robert Mueller may be a choirboy or a criminal, but until we know the man, we should not judge him. From where I sit, he has kept his mouth shut for the most part while investigating the allegations, so that speaks well of his commitment to justice. Let’s not malign him until he acts or says something that warrants it.

In the meantime, let’s direct our ire towards the Mueller Report and make sure we’re not getting caught up in the debate over minutia coming from it. There are serious legal, Constitutional, and ethical concerns that need to be addressed before any action can and should be taken.

But knowing politicians, they can’t be bothered with said concerns because they ruin the political narrative.

But, still totally not cynical.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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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!