The writer of this article, after reading the report entitled, “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election” (Robert S. Muller, III: Report), observed that Donald Trump (President of United States) committed the crime of “Obstruction of Justice,” but that the investigation, from day one, did not have the authority to bring the President of the United States to “justice” while in office.
The Office Of Legal Counsel (OLC), concluded that a sitting president may not be prosecuted, although, a criminal investigation during the President’s term is permissible. The OLC approached their investigation determined not to apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes.
The OLC also addressed concerns about sealed indictments. Even if an indictment were sealed during the President’s term, Office Of Legal Counsel reasoned “it would be very difficult to preserve [an indigents] secrecy,” and if an indictment became public, the stigma and opprobrium could imperil the President’s ability to govern. And so, there are no sealed indictments for Donald Trump resulting for the “Muller investigation.”
However, the OLC does recognizes “that a President does not have immunity after he leaves office.” For people, other than the President who may have committed an obstruction offense, “they may be prosecuted at this time.” People around Donald Trump were walking on thin ice.
The OLC summed up it’s investigation this was:
“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the Presidents actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
A Little Perspective
Donald Trump (President), looked into cameras and denied having any business in or connections to Russia. OLC, discovered “that as late as June 2016 the Trump Organization had been pursuing a licensing deal for a skyscraper to be built in Russia called Trump Tower Moscow.”
In February 2017, the President fired Michael Flynn, telling an outside advisor “Now that we fired Flynn, the Russia thing is over.” That same afternoon “the President cleared the Oval Office to have a one-on-one meeting with Comey.” The President said “ I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”
“On May 3, 2017, Comey testified in a congressional hearing, but declined to answer questions about whether the President was personally under investigation.” “Within days the President decided to Terminate Comey.”
The OLC has sections on “The appointment of a Special Counsel and efforts to remove him.” “Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation.” Efforts to prevent public disclosure of evidence.” Efforts to have the Attorney General take control of the investigation.” It’s just a document you have to read; it’s ripe with lies and crimes.
Sarah Sanders, taking her cues for the President stood before the cameras and lied consistently; “Sanders told this Office that her reference to hearing from countless members of the FBI was a “slip of the tongue”. She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBE agents had “lost confidence in Comey” was a comment she made in the heat of the moment that was not founded on anything.”
“Obstruction of justice can be motivated by a desire to protect non-criminal personal interest, to protect against investigations where underlying criminal liability falls into a gray area, or to avoid personal embarrassment. The injury to the integrity of the justice system is the same regardless of whether a person committed an underlying wrong.”
“Many of the President’s acts directed at witness, including discouragement of cooperation with the government and suggestions of possible future pardons, occurred in public view. While it may be more difficult to establish that public-facing acts were motivated by a corrupt intent, the president’s power to influence actions, persons, and events is enhanced by his unique ability to attract attention through use of mass communication. And no principle of law excludes public acts from the scope of obstruction statutes. If the likely effect of the acts is to intimidate witnesses or alter their testimony, the justice system’s integrity is equally threatened.”
“The Muller 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.”