Anyway, if influencing an investigation leads to obstruction of justice, a president is not allowed to do that. Nixon was charged on obstruction of justice because he tried to use the CIA to interfere with the FBI's investigation. It was his attempts to cover up the crime that got him, rather than the crime itself.
Genuine question: How do you quote individual lines?
I create a new table for each quote.
Yellow circle is new table.
Select 1 Col and 1 Row.
If you mess something up, you can delete the table by placing your cursor inside of it, then clicking on the button in the red circle.
Nixon was never actually charged with anything.
Because congress dropped its impeachment proceedings once he resigned. And President Ford pardoned Nixon from further criminal prosecution.
But before the resignation, they were going to charge him on obstruction of justice.
And, yes, using one government agency to interfere with another's investigation would indeed be obstruction of justice. But Trump didn't do that. His methods were so straightforward that it was perfectly legal. He's the president. He's allowed to make his desires known to his subordinates. It's shady, but perfectly legal.
By desires, you mean the way he phrased it to Comey? It may depend on how a jury would see it.
If someone walks up to you and says "That's a nice daughter you have there. It'd be a shame if something were to happen to her...", the "I was just expressing my thoughts and concerns" defense probably wouldn't convince a jury that it wasn't a threat.
Comey said under oath that he was "stunned" by Trump's request, and that he "saw it as a direction".
Couple this with asking Comey for loyalty, and then firing Comey because (at least partially) of the Russia investigation, and it does look like there's a decent case to be made for obstruction of justice. Both when he talked to Comey alone, and when he fired him.
Comey was replaced by a special council, who was appointed right when Trump was interviewing a replacement for Comey, so Trump may very well have just made the situation even worse for himself. But when it comes to obstruction of justice, it doesn't matter whether or not it resulted in the intended outcome. Intent is enough.
I'm sure it would. But information is strictly free in a legal sense. Otherwise, anyone that offered a candidate good advise that they take and see an uptick in their polls would be violating campaign finance laws because that advise was worth more than $2,700.
I don't know that "a think of value" would be measured in dollars. I don't expect that to be the case.
However, this law relates to something of value gained from a foreign nation. If this wasn't a legal issue, Trump and his team probably wouldn't change their story about his knowledge and involvement of this meeting multiple times, and his son wouldn't have been questioned about it by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Though since I'm not a legal expert, I can only comment on how it appears. But legal experts are saying that they could very well have committed a crime.
Former federal prosecutor Jeff Cramer said that if Trump approved the meeting, it was “clearly a violation of criminal law”—specifically, the campaign-finance laws that prohibit campaigns from soliciting things of value from foreign nationals. “And it gives color to all the cover-ups,” Cramer said. Trump and his surrogates have denied that the president knew about the meeting approximately 20 times over the last year. Trump also personally dictated a misleading statement about the meeting on his son’s behalf, which left out the fact that the Russians had offered the campaign dirt on Clinton.
Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and a former special counsel to then–Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller, said that if prosecutors “could establish that Trump approved the meeting with foreign nationals to receive derogatory information about his opponent—a thing of value—it would fall squarely within the black letter of campaign-finance laws. It would be difficult to dispute that the campaign received a thing of value when the candidate knew of the purpose and approved of the meeting.”
If former federal prosecutors say it would be a clear cut case of a crime, then I don't think it's something that can be ruled out.
That is factually incorrect. The travel restrictions were upheld in several courts. And those courts that issued injunctions found them overturned by the Supreme Court long before June. Furthermore, the notion that they had to be redrafted many times is incorrect. The original travel restrictions were indeed flawed as they could be interpreted to restrict travel for people who already had legal access to the United States, even green card holders. However, instructions quickly went out stating not to interpret the orders that way. The travel restrictions then had a single major renovation about a month later which stood in courts and was allowed to remain in effect until it expired on its own. Once the temporary restrictions expired, Trump then issued the presidential proclamation that is currently in effect.
The notion that the travel restrictions had to be re-written several times is a false narrative. The truth is that there was only one significant revision, and that was issued barely a month later.
Well here's how I read it;
"Large portions of the order were subsequently blocked by federal courts, which ruled that those sections violated the Fifth Amendment. The revised Executive Order 13780 was also blocked by the courts. The third version, Presidential Proclamation 9645, was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States on June 26, 2018 in the case Trump v. Hawaii."
It sounds like there were three versions of the travel ban. The first two were in the form of executive orders, and the third was through a presidential proclamation.
As for what changed in the third version, I've only skimmed through it, but one change between version 2 and 3 was that Sudan was no longer on the list of banned countries. It was in Version 2.
I wasn't aware that some courts upheld it though, so that was my mistake. Not sure which 'Yellen' you're refering to. But my point was that Sally Yates decision to oppose it was not an outlandish decision that several courts, including the Supreme Court, didn't do as well.
Yates was told by Ted Cruz that she was fired because she refused to implement an executive order based on a law that grants the president the right to "suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants."
Yates added that there was a provision added to that very law, that stated: "no person shall receive preference or be discriminated against an issuance of a visa because of race, nationality, or place of birth".
She was probably fired primarily due to this and the fact that she was supposed to leave anyway.
But it's interesting to see the timeline of her contact with the White House about Michael Flynn.
She was acting Attorney General between Jan 20 - Jan 30.
And she was in contact with the White House about her concerns over Flynn on January 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 30.
The 28th and 29th were Saturday and Sunday (not sure if she worked those days) but basically she was in contact with the White House about her concerns over Flynn pretty much every day since she first raised the issue, until she got fired.
Here's a timeline of events: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/timeline-sally-yates-warnings-white-house-mike-flynn/story?id=47272979
Considering how Trump risked obstruction of justice charges with Comey to protect Flynn, it's not out of the realm of possibility that another reason for why he fired Yates was to get her to stop inquiring about Flynn. But that's a thought I would only revisit if we at one point find out that Flynn knows something very damaging for Trump. Until then, it's just something to keep in mind.
That's not the way precedent works.
Ah, so that's the disconnect. There was no jury. Cohen plead guilty. That stopped there from being any "actual controversy" for the court to decide. Hence, no judge ever ruled on it and there is no precedent to be had.
So the onus is still on the prosecution for any future cases to prove that their interpretation of the law is correct.
I didn't actually mean a precedence in legal terms. I probably should have avoided that term. But it was similar to what I had in mind, so.
I don't mean that the Cohen case would establish how future cases on this particular law is handled. I meant that in the eventuality of a Trump trial, the fact that Cohen was convicted for a crime for doing the exact same thing, is something that the jury would be aware of, when they make their decision. So if you're a member of the jury and leaning towards believing it was a crime, it would be hard to ignore that another man pleaded guilty to doing exactly that. Knowing that someone was sentenced for this exact thing can prevent second guessing yourself.
By 'the onus is on Trump's legal team' I was referring to changing the only legal ruling we have on the act.
Cohen is to be sentenced for committing a crime. And Trump was named as a co-conspirator in that crime.
If the act that Cohen committed is ever going to be considered anything but criminal, it would be Trump's legal team who would be tasked with doing it. Of course, they wouldn't just voluntarily do this for no reason. It would start with the prosecution making a case against Trump.
All I originally meant to say was, if there would ever be a day where courts would potentially define the Cohen payoff as legal, rather than illegal, Trump would need to stand trial for that. The reason I said that in response to you talking about whether or not it was a crime, is because it would be very interesting to see Trump stand trial.
I'm not sure how federal laws would make it worse. Personally, I think that perjury is the bigger crime as it comes to being a president. If this were firmly law, I might think they were equal, but the stretched interpretation needed to charge Trump seems a lesser crime than the bright line that Clinton crossed.
And, like I said, I haven't seen anything that makes me think the Russia stuff is anything more than a dry well.
Oh no, I mean "the crime" that the coverup is meant to hide, rather than the cover up itself.
And to avoid further confusion, I'll state this right now. Clinton having sex wasn't a crime, which is why I put it in quotations. And I'm aware that the coverup of it is a crime.
What I mean is, Clinton's coverup was ultimately about having sex. Trump's coverup would be about federal law, and possibly several other things as well that are much more severe than having sex in the oval office.
One of the reasons Democrats didn't vote against Clinton during the impeachment, aside from party over country, and how deep the cover up went (he didn't fire anyone investigating him for example) was probably the nature of the act he was trying to cover up.
If it wasn't sex, but a matter of national security, or worse, then we may very well have seen a different turnout.
However, I will say that I doubt "sex in the office" vs "campaign finance laws" would make much of a difference (on the assumption that Trump and Clinton's coverups went equally deep). It would have to be something more serious.
But it may very well come down to how deep and severe the cover up is.
Well, Trump hasn't said anything under oath so far, so you're literally projecting a future crime. Though I don't disagree and I expect that's why Trump will never answer any questions under oath. The guy is a B.S. artist by birth and can't help himself.
Either way, until he actually is placed under oath he certainly hasn't committed perjury, so it doesn't matter as to this discussion.
Yeah, but because it's Trump of all people, it's something worth thinking about. I watched the Comey hearing live, at a sports bar. I don't know who asked them to flip to that channel, but I was surprised to see so many people interested in it, in a sports bar of all places.
Anyway, as fascinated as I was to hear what Comey had to say, you bet I would be many times more interested to see how Trump speaks under oath considering his history with saying things that aren't true. I almost wouldn't be surprised if he perjures himself on something completely irrelevant and unnecessary.
It's possible. But the whole thing really feels like a fishing expedition to me. Since the start I thought that it would follow the typical presidential investigative course and come up empty on the original charge, but morph into catching people on process charges or other completely unrelated items. See Clinton's investigation starting with Whitewater or the Valarie Plame investigation hitting Scooter Libby, not the leaker, on perjury.
frankly find the hubbub about Russia itself to be a lot of wishful thinking.
Well the purpose of the investigation was to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. On that note, it's staying on track, with more indictments and guilty pleas rolling in all the time. Though some of these charges that have come as a result of the investigation have been unrelated to the Russian interference. But that's just fine if you ask me. The more crooks they take off the streets, the better.
Last edited by Hiku - on 23 August 2018
It's not a Trump investigation. If he was involved somehow then that's a bonus for anyone who wants Trump gone, but even in the case that they find no wrongdoing from Trump, it's important that they're able to finish their investigation properly.