A huge group of nearly 400 former federal prosecutors have signed on to a public statement saying that Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice if he were not president. The list includes many Republicans, not just Democrats. And they say it isn’t even a close call despite AG Barr’s claim that the evidence gathered by Mueller doesn’t support obstruction charges.
More than 370 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he held.
The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William P. Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.
Mueller had declined to say one way or the other whether Trump should have been charged, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted, as well as concerns about the fairness of accusing someone for whom there can be no court proceeding.“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 former federal prosecutors wrote.
“We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment,” they added. “Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here. . . . But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.”
I think they’re absolutely right. If we had a functioning Congress with any hint of ethics or non-partisan concerns, impeachment charges would be inevitable. Remember, the impeachment charges against both Nixon and Congress were largely for obstruction of justice. But we do not have such a congress and with Republicans in charge of the Senate, it’s almost inconceivable that they would vote to remove him from office even if the House Democrats filed such charges.