Is there Obstruction of Justice and/or Collusion going on now (or has there been) in the Mueller Russia Collusion Investigation of the Trump Campaign? If so, who is guilty? What is truthful we are hearing from the Mueller Investigation — from both sides?
There are so many facets to the answers to these questions we cannot answer them all with accompanying facts and examples in just one setting. For the sake of YOUR time, this is a two-part presentation. First, we will talk about “The Truth.” Secondly, we will discuss (with examples of) how “The Truth” is being abused and even abandoned in this investigation as well as other Justice matters in Washington.
The “Playing Field”
Before we get started, there are a few things we need to settle for the purposes of this conversation:
- Collusion defined in federal law: where two persons (or business entities through their officers or other employees) enter into a deceitful agreement, usually secret, to defraud and/or gain an unfair advantage over a third party, competitors, consumers or those with whom they are negotiating. Collusion can include secret price or wage fixing, secret rebates, or pretending to be independent of each other when actually conspiring together for their joint enrichment. “Collusion” in federal law attaches specifically to antitrust actions in which two or more people or companies work together to fix prices — such as two competing cell phone entities or oil companies collude with each other to set prices for consumers to secure unfair financial benefits. There is NO place in the Mueller Trump “Collusion” investigation where such a statute is applicable. Collusion, as used by the Press in the Mueller investigation, does not exist as a crime.
- Obstruction of Justice defined: (a) Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or 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 punished as provided in subsection (b).
That definition does not require that there be a direct order that would quash or affect the investigation.
Let’s Analyze Collusion in the Mueller Investigation Scenario
After 15 months of investigation (and for the second time in a formal indictment), the Justice Department has stated that it is not alleging any knowing collusion between Trump campaign officials or associates and the Russians. Back in February, Mueller handed down his major indictment of 13 Russians for actively interfering with the 2016 election by spreading false information. Both Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expressly noted that the evidence involved “unwitting” communications with Russians adopting false identities. This indictment shows that same pattern of clearly concealed identities in seeking to hack and distribute email information from the Democratic campaign and its associates.
When noted at the time of the February indictment that it was strikingly silent on evidence of collusion, some insisted that the indictment did not cover the hacking operation and that Mueller was likely waiting to indict Trump officials colluding on the theft and distribution of the emails. We are still waiting. While the indictment speaks of both a reporter and a Trump campaign associate unwittingly communicating with the Russians, the indictment does not allege knowing collusion. That does not mean that no one colluded on some level, but after 15 months we have yet to see compelling evidence of collusion by Trump or his campaign.
There are some individuals who, according to media reports, may have sought hacked material from WikiLeaks. There also is an unnamed journalist who sought such information, and even an unnamed candidate for Congress. That does not mean, however, that it is a crime for reporters or academics or political activists to review such information if they did not play a role in illegal removal.
The efforts of the Russian operations detailed in these indictments do not establish a particularly significant impact on the election. When the Russians began this operation in 2016, we were already divided as a nation between the two least popular candidates ever to run for the White House. Thirteen trolls in St. Petersburg, or 12 military hackers in Moscow, certainly could spit into that raging ocean, but it remains highly unlikely to have had a material impact on the election.
To summarize Collusion as is used from the beginning of the Mueller investigation: Collusion is NOT a violation of any federal statute, even IF it was unearthed by Mueller.
Obstruction of Justice in the Mueller Investigation Scenario
From even before the formal inception of the Muller probe, politicians and Leftist Media members have tossed the “Obstruction of Justice” allegation against President Trump all day every day. We defined “Obstruction of Justice” in #2 above.
We could provide video after video, speech after speech, and news story after news story here that each contain multiple allegations and examples of how the President was/is guilty of obstructing justice. As recently as several days ago, Democrat members of Congress railed about the President’s obstruction because of a tweet:
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to the USA!”
The cry is that Trump is telling the Attorney General to stop the Mueller investigation “right now.” Unfortunately for the angry Democrats and the Mainstream Media, the President’s tweets are NOT by law obstruction, especially in light of his saying to A.G. Sessions he “should” stop this Rigged Witch Hunt but stops short of telling him to stop. And even if he told Sessions to stop the investigation, it would not be Obstruction of Justice. (See/listen to tomorrow’s story “The Truth Part II” for details of this)
To help us all to understand what IS and what is NOT Obstruction, Senator James Risch (R-ID) in the Senate hearing with former FBI Director James Comey brought up this topic in Q & A. This will make understanding Obstruction easier. Risch used his time during the Intelligence Committee hearing to probe whether President Donald Trump had explicitly “ordered” or “directed” former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who was fired just 24 days into the new administration.
Comey said that he took it as an order, but that Trump used the words “I hope.”
Risch asked Comey, “Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?” Comey said he wasn’t sure, but, “I took it as a direction. I mean, this is the president of the United States, with me alone, saying, I hope this. I took it as: This is what he wants me to do.”
Risch seemed satisfied he’d scored his point. “He said, ‘I hope.’ You don’t know of anyone who’s ever been charged for hoping something. Is that a fair statement?” Comey shrugged, “I don’t as I sit here.”
The exchange raises the question, then, of whether an explicit order is necessary for the definition of obstruction of justice. Here’s the relevant section of the federal legal code (our emphasis):
(a) Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or 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 punished as provided in subsection (b).
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has a different take on the President’s tweet:
Unfortunately for the Senator and the Liberal Media, he (and they) are dead wrong at calling such tweets and any other previous statements made by President Trump as obstruction of justice. By statute, they are absolutely wrong.
So why do they continue?
The Mid-Term elections. Democrats have NO platform…NO agenda…NOTHING to attract their base to turn out in force to vote the House back to Democrats and Nancy Pelosi. Their only hope is to find something — anything — to discredit this president, even if it is not factual.
- Dems cannot use the economy against the President;
- Dems cannot use unemployment against the President;
- Dems cannot use foreign policy against the President;
- Dems cannot use lack of American confidence in his leadership against the President.
There is nothing of substance they can point to any bad policy or negativity in the Nation to discredit President Trump or his policies in office. Therefore they have only one thing left: blame of Obstruction of Justice and/or Russian collusion — neither of which is substantive or applicable to President Trump, his administration, or his staff.
Tomorrow we will look closely at REAL obstruction of justice playing out right under our noses as part of the Mueller probe, the day-to-day operations of the Department of Justice and the FBI. We will also look closely at obstruction by the Clintons and James Comey and what is underway to call those guilty to task.
Remember this: one of the age-old methods to deflect attention from wrongdoing is to loudly scream angrily at our foes, blaming them for exactly what we are guilty of themselves. (It’s the “real version” of “the first chicken to cackle is the one who laid the egg”)
Additionally, we will discuss strategy being planned (even already implemented in part) by the Democrat Party to craftily take the House of Representatives back from the G.O.P., and even wrestle away a few Senate seats.
The Fat Lady hasn’t started singing yet!