Barr: “It’s Not a Crime” for Trump to Demand Staffers Lie to Investigators

  
Via:  bob-nelson  •  2 months ago  •  8 comments

Barr: “It’s Not a Crime” for Trump to Demand Staffers Lie to Investigators
Isn’t that literally obstruction of justice?

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


originalAl Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Even before Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of the Mueller report, lawmakers and concerned citizens alike were worried that his bias for Donald Trump would lead him to act less like the top lawyer for the federal government and more like the president’s personal attorney. (Why else send a 19-page, unsolicited memo to the Justice Department calling the special counsel’s inquiry into potential obstruction of justice “fatally misconceived” and “grossly irresponsible”?) Those fears were not at all dispelled when Barr declined to prosecute Trump for obstruction, despite the 10 incidents laid out by Robert Mueller in which the president tried to do just that, or when he claimed that Trump couldn’t have had corrupt intent, when Mueller actually found numerous compromising episodes involving Russia and the Trump campaign that the president would have preferred to keep hidden.

In case there was any remaining doubt that William Barr sees his job as protecting Donald Trump, his testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee on Wednesday—the first of two days of public hearings on Capitol Hill—made perfectly clear where the attorney general’s allegiance lies. Even in a case where Trump literally instructed a White House lawyer to lie on the record (obstruction) to hide the fact that he tried to fire the man investigating him (obstruction).

“You . . . have a situation where a president essentially tries to change the lawyer’s account in order to prevent further criticism of himself,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told Barr during her allotted five minutes, pointing to the fact that the president told former White House counsel Don McGahn to lie to investigators about Trump instructing him to remove Mueller. Why, she wondered, is that not obstruction of justice? To which Barr responded, “Well, that’s not a crime.”

“So you can, in this situation, instruct someone to lie?” Feinstein asked.

“We felt that in that episode the government would not be able to establish obstruction,” Barr replied. “If you look at that episode . . . the instruction said ‘Go to [Rod] Rosenstein, raise the issue of conflict of interest and Mueller has to go because of this conflict of interest.’ So there’s not question that whatever instruction was given to McGahn had to to do with conflict of interest . . . To be obstruction of justice the lie has to be tied to impairing the evidence in a particular proceeding. McGahn had already given his evidence and I think it would be plausible that the purpose of McGahn memorializing what the president was asking was to make the record that the president never directed him to fire. And there is a distinction between saying to someone, ‘go fire him, go fire Mueller’ and saying ‘have him removed based on conflict.’”

At this point, Feinstein, speaking for all of us, asked, “And what would that conflict be?”

To which Barr responded, “The difference between them is that if you remove someone for conflict of interest, another person would be presumably . . . appointed,” failing to acknowledge that had McGahn complied with Trump’s request, the president would have likely continued to find “conflicts of interest” with every new special counsel.

Maybe Barr, the nation’s top law-enforcement official, just isn’t qualified to judge! “I’m not in the business of determining when lies are told to the American people,” he told Senator Richard Blumenthal at another point in the hearing. “I’m in the business of determining when a crime has been committed.” And if the lie is the crime? Look, we’re splitting hairs.

Elsewhere in the hearing, Barr:

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Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    2 months ago
“You . . . have a situation where a president essentially tries to change the lawyer’s account in order to prevent further criticism of himself,” Senator Dianne Feinstein told Barr during her allotted five minutes, pointing to the fact that the president told former White House counsel Don McGahn to lie to investigators about Trump instructing him to remove Mueller. Why, she wondered, is that not obstruction of justice? To which Barr responded, “Well, that’s not a crime.”
 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2  Vic Eldred    2 months ago

Vanity Fair - LEFT BIAS These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward liberal causes through story selection and/or political affiliation.  They may utilize strong loaded [...]

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/?s=vanity++fair


The only lie I see is in that title!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Vic Eldred @2    2 months ago
The only lie I see is in that title!

None so blind...

 
 
 
Greg Jones
2.1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1    2 months ago

The very fact that the investigation was completed and a report issued proves it was in no way obstructed.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @2.1.1    2 months ago
The very fact that the investigation was completed and a report issued proves it was in no way obstructed.

Well, the whole "collusion" thingy didn't work out too well for them despite the great Mueller investigating for over 2 years, so now it is on to something new. 

Gee, I wonder what will be next when this, too, doesn't pan put?

 
 
 
Sunshine
2.1.3  Sunshine  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.2    2 months ago
Gee, I wonder what will be next when this, too, doesn't pan put?

The Democrat's wild imaginations will think of something.

Some still think Trump is a Russian Agentman! jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tacos!
3  Tacos!    2 months ago

So much of this comes down to the element of corrupt intent. To have corrupt intent, it helps a lot if the person is actually guilty of a crime or believes he is protecting someone else who has committed a crime. While the issue of obstruction was left unresolved by the special counsel, the underlying crime of "collusion" - or more accurately conspiracy to defraud the government - was resolved and it was determined that no U.S. person conspired with the Russians.

So to return to the original point, if you haven't committed a crime, it's kind of hard to have corrupt intent to cover up something you didn't do. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it is really hard.

 
 
 
luther28
4  luther28    2 months ago

Isn’t that literally obstruction of justice?

I do believe it is.

 
 
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