Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Trump would face obstruction charges if he wasn't president, prosecutors say


Tom McCarthy
Mon 6 May 2019 17.55 EDT

Hundreds of former federal prosecutors – and counting – signed an open letter published on Monday expressing their belief that Donald Trump would have faced “multiple felony charges of obstruction of justice” if he were not president.

Multiple aspects of Trump’s conduct described in a report of the Trump-Russia investigation submitted in March by special counsel Robert Mueller were probably criminal, the prosecutors write. Mueller had declined to weigh whether to charge Trump, citing justice department guidelines prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.

But the letter’s signatories, which include prominent Republicans from administrations going back to Richard Nixon, said it was clear that Trump would have faced charges had he not been protected by the guidelines.

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the prosecutors wrote in part.

Trump has claimed that the Mueller report was a “complete exoneration” of his conduct. But the prosecutors outline three main areas in which they said that conduct warranted criminal charges:

The president’s efforts to fire Mueller and to falsify evidence about that effort

The president’s efforts to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation to exclude his conduct

The president’s efforts to prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators investigating him and his campaign

The signatories include former prosecutors at all levels, from line attorneys to US attorneys to special prosecutors to former senior officials in the Department of Justice. The letter was originally published with more than 300 signatures but had more than 450 by Monday afternoon.


No comments:

Post a Comment