Vice President Mike Pence could be implicated in certain crimes related to the circumstances surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, according to legal experts focused on the case.One of those crimes may be obstruction of justice.Professor Jed Shugerman, who teaches at Fordham Law School, took to Twitter over the weekend after news broke that Pence received a copy of the original draft letter outlining President Donald Trump’s reasons for firing Comey.According to the New York Times‘ reporting, that letter was drafted by senior adviser Stephen Miller, contained thoughts from the president, ran multiple pages long and read like a “screed.” Its submission was argued against by White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II who criticized its tone.McGahn won out and the original letter was not given to Comey. A copy was given to deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who then wrote the letter outlining the official justification for … [Read more...] about Legal Experts: Pence May Now Be Implicated in Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of justice
Donald Trump is being investigated by the FBI for obstruction of justice. Trump pretty much confirmed the probe during a weekend tweet, despite his new attorney going on the cable news circuit to deny that his boss was under investigation.Legal scholars have debated whether, based on his interaction with former FBI Director James Comey, Trump violated federal law with the intent to “corruptly influence” an investigation. Pundits have pontificated about whether Trump’s lawyer would even know if the FBI was investigating, and whether he should cooperate. However, what’s been pretty much ignored during this entire mess is that even if federal investigators find evidence that Trump committed obstruction of justice, the Department of Justice likely can’t do anything about it. That’s because almost all legal scholars agree that sitting U.S. presidents are immune from indictment for the duration of their presidency. … [Read more...] about Why President Trump Won’t Be Indicted For Obstruction of Justice
Wednesday brought a new CNN report that claims fired FBI Director James Comey will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Not only that, but he is expected to say President Donald Trump pressured him to end the feds’ investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. If this report pans out, then a question gets raised: Could Trump do this? If the allegation gets proven, would this be legal?A New York Times report from May 16 claimed that Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into Flynn.“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” the president allegedly said. (The White House denied that report.)For months, the President’s critics have thrown around the term “obstruction of justice,” especially when discussing the possibility of impeachment. Professor Jonathan Turley, of George Washington University Law School, says that … [Read more...] about If Comey Testifies Trump ‘Pressured’ Him to End Russia Investigation, Legally, Is That Obstruction of Justice?
Earlier this week, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse accused White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders of obstruction of justice. This post explains why the Democrat’s charges are laughable.Whitehouse claimed that Sanders’ recent comments disparaging former FBI Director James Comey were more or less akin to witness tampering. He even cited a statute to bolster his sensational claim.The Hashtag Resistance immediately seized upon Whitehouse’s claim in an attempt to score some cheap points and gin up outrage, but, predictably, Eric Boehlert, didn’t focus on the statute in question in a post at the Hillary Clinton dead-enders site, ShareBlue. So, let’s take a look at the law cited by Whitehouse and see if we can make any legal sense out of his accusations. (Spoilers: we can’t.)Whitehouse said: There’s a statute, 1504 in the obstruction of justice statutes, that talks about attempts to influence grand jurors. So the … [Read more...] about Why Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Remarks About Comey Are Nowhere Near Obstruction Of Justice
President Donald Trump has been accused of obstructing justice by a former White House ethics attorney. There are multiple arguments for that charge undergirded by multiple statutes. In the interest of brevity, we’ll explore just one here.Norman Eisen served as chief ethics lawyer for the Obama administration. Today he outlined the possibility of an obstruction charge in an op-ed discussing the president’s tweet-storm in response to the guilty plea by former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.It’s not worth re-hashing the entirety of the Papadopoulos story here, but suffice to say, what the public knows is: Papadopoulos lied to the FBI on numerous occasions regarding the Trump campaign’s Russian contacts, got caught lying about his involvement with those contacts, and has now reached a plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller.Trump’s response to this news came via Twitter, natch. He wrote: The Fake News is working overtime. … [Read more...] about Fmr White House Lawyer: Trump Tweet Against Papadopoulos May Be Obstruction of Justice