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Comment of the Day II: executive privilege doesn’t cover criminal activities. If he gets away with this lame excuse, it will make a mockery of our constitutional form of government.

2019-05-08
Michael Tyndall
San Francisco
Times Pick

This is just ridiculous. Executive privilege only makes sense if it’s necessary for the operation of a criminal enterprise run by the Trump crime family. Executive privilege doesn’t cover criminal activities, and that question is exactly the point of further congressional investigation. That constitutionally mandated oversight doesn’t disappear because Trump wants to shut it down. It just doesn’t. The Mueller report is the result of the special counsel‘s investigation of Russian interference, possible conspiracy by the Trump campaign, and obstruction of justice by Trump himself. It supposedly exonerates him from ‘collusion’ with the Russian government, itself a meaningless legal concept, as well as any acts of obstruction. Except that the report details multiple Russian government efforts to interfere with our election on Trump’s behalf, multiple knowing contacts by senior Trump campaign members with Russian proxies and cutouts, multiple knowing lies about those contacts, and the report explicitly doesn’t exonerate Trump of multiple possible counts of obstruction of justice. This is desperation time for Trump, Inc. If he gets away with this lame excuse, it will make a mockery of our constitutional form of government.

Nick

@kojak The report didn’t clear the president of obstruction of justice, and specifically stated so. It did lay out significant evidence across multiple events, many of which do amount to criminal obstruction of justice. The report explained clearly that, per OLC policy, a sitting president cannot be indicted. Mueller intentionally left the next steps in the hands of Congress to decide on impeachment. If impeached and convicted, only then could the president be charged criminally and indicted. Congress should be using the report as a roadmap to inform their decision. Unfortunately, they do not have the full report. The very person that is the subject of the report is witholding it and obstructing its resolution. The bipartisan House Committee on Oversight and Reform has the security clearance, and should be given the full report and its underlying evidence. Despite the attempts to spin the report as exoneration, it is in fact very damning for the president. It may not show specific coordination and conspiracy with Russia, but it does have a lot of evidence of corruption and obstruction of justice. Furthermore, it outlines attempts by the Trump campaign and associates to gain help from Russia; just nothing amounted to criminal conspiracy (cue Giuliani “Collusion is not a crime” http://www.thehill.com/homenews/administration/399461-giuliani-collusion-is-not-a-crime). Why obstruct so much if you’re innocent?

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