Trump accused of obstruction of justice (was: Re: What does it mean to participate in society? )
jdb10987 at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 5 00:18:27 PDT 2019
On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, 02:17:26 AM PDT, Ryan Carboni <33389 at protonmail.com> wrote:
>What does it mean to participate in society? What does it mean to passively participate? What happens when you deny a person to even passively participate? If a person for example, anonymously goes to a hackerspace just to observe but everyone there is informed ahead of time, what does that say?
>The great ludicrousness of it all is that the President is accused of obstruction of justice and treason all the time. Very good laws.
I have a large amount of experience learning Federal laws, as many of you know. Not merely criminal and appeals law, but also Contract law, Tort law (including libel law), Patent law, copyright law, Anti-Trust law, and other areas. I learned those because, unfortunately, I had the time to do so. So, I think I can write with a substantial amount of justification.
I have not heard a single credible allegation that Trump has "obstructed justice" or "colluded with the Russians". What most people, including nearly all non-lawyers, don't realize is that the actual meaning of "obstruction of justice" (OOJ) cannot be determined merely by reading the words in the statutes. To understand this, it's necessary to look at years of case-law, decisions by courts on what does, and does not, constitute OOJ.
If someone is out driving, and rear-ends a prosecutor driving to work on an important case, that driver certainly impedes that prosecutor, but nobody calls it OOJ unless the driver knows he's a prosecutor and does so with the intention of impeding that prosecutor's work. THAT would be OOJ.
Trump fired Comey. If I had had the power to do so, I would have fired Comey on July 5, 2016, the date he gave that execrable speech claiming that "no reasonable prosecutor" would charge Hillary Clinton. I certainly wouldn't have allowed Comey to stay on the job after January 20, 2017, when Trump was inaugurated.
Comey lied, claiming that "no reasonable prosecutor" would charge her. Actually, it would be much closer to the truth to say to reasonable prosecutor would NOT charge her. Except those who refused to do so on purely political considerations: They want to see HRC become President. Comey, and his allies, fully knew that if the government had indicted her, she would almost certainly have lost the election. The only way, therefore, she could win the election is if they didn't indict her. They obviously chose the only way consistent with letting her win. That sure sounds like obstruction, to me. This assumes, of course, that there was in existence an arguably valid reason to indict: And there was such a reason, actually multiple reasons!
She was obviously guilty of violation of the Federal Records Act, which required her to arrange to have the contents of her private server backed up, essentially continuously, with the government, to the National Archives. She did not do that. She also had her staff delete 33,000 emails: Her justification is that those were "personal". That was a lie, too.
My understanding is that her famous emails were scanned for strings in their subjects, not the full text of the emails themselves. If the emails had at least one of a list of search-words, they would keep them, and the rest would be deleted. For example, what if some of the search terms for the scanning were "FBI", "CIA", "government", and "investigation". Suppose she had written an email which was titled, "Let's obstruct the FBBI's and CIIA's guvurnment investigayshun". Obviously, that wouldn't be caught in the scan, and therefore these emails would be deleted. They would be assumed to not be government emails.
Sound implausible? Well, suppose HRC had decided on this path as early as her appointment into office, say early 2009. Every email she wrote, she could have been aware that eventually, it would be scanned for its Subject, and deleted if one of a list of text-strings wasn't present. So, she could assure herself that any given email she wrote would be "lost", years from then, and with 'plausible deniability', at least a fig-leaf.
Another reason to charge her? Violation of the Espionage Act. She kept classified information (emails) in an insecure, unapproved server, apparently in a converted bathroom. She didn't have to have any "intent" here, and the people who talk about "intent" don't even know about what she was supposed to have "intent". She may have had no "intent" that this information find its way into the hands of some official enemy, let's say "the Russians!". Rather, she clearly intended that this information (including classified information) stay in an insecure location, one not approved for the secure storage of classified information.
How do we know? Apparently, HRC was given an official government email address, on an official government server, which she never used. That is key: At the beginning of her service, she had a decision to make. Which email addresses to use? She could have legally used her private server for government business, as long as: 1. It wasn't classified information. AND 2. It was contemporaneously backed up by an approved method to government servers. But no, she did not.
She could have made an effort to do this, putting "classified" emails onto the government-supplied server, and non-classified emails into her private server. If, later, some errors were made, that would at least look like a plausible, innocent error. But she did not do that, at all. "Where", we should ask her, "did you intend to keep classified emails, if you immediately chose not to use the government email address and server?" She would have had no answer, at least no non-incriminating answer. She clearly made a decision to keep classified information in an insecure location. And THAT constitutes INTENT. And the ostensible lack of "intent" is what Comey claimed justified not charging HRC. But Comey simply misrepresented the law. HRC HAD intent, just not the kind of intent Comey (falsely) claimed she didn't have. HRC had the intent to keep those classified emails in that insecure location. And that was a crime.
Another problem with the allegations of OOJ against Trump was the claim that by firing Comey, Trump was trying to obstruct the investigation into..what? According to this, the number of people the FBI employs is about 35,000. https://www.fbi.gov/about/faqs/how-many-people-work-for-the-fbiAnybody who claims that Trump "obstructed justice" based on the firing of Comey, has to provide a theory as to why firing one (1) employee of the FBI, even the top guy, somehow "obstructs" the remaining 34,999 employees from doing any necessary investigations. I cannot think of even a fanciful reason this should be so. I keep waiting for somebody to raise this issue, but I haven't seen it yet.
I think, in the minds of people who think Trump "obstructed justice", that was essentially symbolic: They knew that "their guy", Comey, would somehow protect the "Democrat Interests" if he had been allowed to stay in office, and by firing Comey, Trump "obstructed" Comey's own obstructions. I'm astonished that Trump didn't fire Comey the day he got into office, but delaying Comey's firing doesn't make that firing OOJ.
Why Trump chose that doofus Jeff Sessions, and why Trump didn't fire Sessions after no more than a few weeks after Sessions recused himself, I don't know. By mid-2017, there should have been at least a couple dozen prosecutions of HRC and Obama staff, and HRC herself. I feel sure that the Republicans would have done far better in the 2018 elections if his supporters hadn't been disappointed that Federal prosecutors appeared to be essentially ignoring the crimes of HRC and her staff, and Obama's staff as well. And, conceivably, Obama too.
Its hard to have any other conclusion that there was a "Mexican standoff" going on: The Democrats 'knew something' about Sessions or Trump, and likewise, they 'knew something' about the Democrats. Thus, Trump didn't prosecute the Democrats, and the Democrats were kept from doing something else.
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