Chris Marschner, who has had several, scored another Comment of the Day today with his reflections on the strange nature of “obstruction of justice ” charges, when justice would in fact be for no charges to be brought at all.
He was focusing on #3 in today’s warm-up, which discussed yesterday’s “resistance” theory that allegations that the President wanted to fire the Special Prosecutor (but didn’t) prove that he was trying to obstruct justice when he fired James Comey, who so, so deserved it.
I see unmistakable signs that the “resistance” is losing its already tenuous grip on reality, and is increasingly yielding the raw hate and fury that long ago supplanted any rational criticism of Donald Trump. Consider has-been Leftist documentarian Michael Moore, who with fellow progressive performers Mark Ruffalo, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie Perez and Cynthia Nixon, who have to do something between jobs, is pushing Monday’s Counter-State of the Union , which is only slightly more sensible than the “scream pointlessly at the sky” event. Remarkably, among Moore, Whoopie, Rosie, Cynthia and Mark there isn’t a single political science, history, economics, or government major. In fact, there isn’t a single college degree of any kind between them, or business, government or executive experience of any kind.
Michael Moore, speaking on behalf of MoveOn.org (Do the Time’s Up and #MeToo crowd recall that Move-On was spawned to protest Bill Clinton facing accountability for his cover-up of sexual misconduct? Nah.), sent out an email that read in part, before the fundraising pitch,
This situation is a nightmare. And the only reason that things aren’t FAR WORSE than they already are is that millions of us have come together to engage in our democracy, resist, and organize.
But our problems go far beyond one sociopath president. The mission that we are on and the work that we must do is to tear down the rigged system that produced Trump in the first place. We must imagine the America that we want to live in. We must create the post-Trump America.
And this is actually possible: The fierce, determined Resistance movement that began after Trump’s election could create an avalanche at the polls this November. Together, we can stop Trump and the GOP and begin the work of creating the country that we imagined.
The country the Moore imagined was called the USSR. But I digress.
Here is Chris Marschner’s Comment of the Day on the post, Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 1/27/2018: “If You Want It, Here’s How To Get It” Edition:
On point 3, better build bigger prisons when just thinking about something is considered a crime.
With that said, logic would dictate that in order for justice to be obstructed one must prove that justice was denied or delayed. Creating perjury traps when one cannot find evidence of wrongdoing could also be considered obstructing justice by creating conditions that should not otherwise exist.
If in fact no evidence can be presented to show a conspiracy to coordinate an effort with the Russians then how can one be charged with obstruction. Therefore, how could one obstruct a prosecution that cannot obtain a conviction on hard evidence. Obviously, if one can prove that the target acted to destroy evidence or compel perjury it would be obstruction. In this case, Trump cannot destroy an investigation because someone else will simply take his place. Obstruction should only be added to charges and not as stand alone charges except when you can prove that the obstructing act was a stand alone crime.
Justice is an ideal to be worked toward, not a federal department. Justice requires fairness to both sides.
Using Richard Painter logic, theoretically, demands for recusals could also be considered obstruction because it demands that one side that may give an appearance of conflict be removed from the process. How is that different than removing a lead investigator who too may have a conflict for other reasons?
Moreover, conspiring to not investigate a target as diligently because said target may one day be your boss should constitute obstruction of justice as well as a breach of fiduciary duty.