Donald Trump

Of Course Trump Should Avoid Talking To Mueller Voluntarily and Take the Fifth If/When Subpoenaed

"If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?" Donald Trump once said. He may be about to find out.

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Nick Gillespie

As Robert Mueller's investigation continues into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russians seeking to influence the 2016 election, I've got some free legal advice for the president of the United States: Don't talk to this guy voluntarily and, if subpoenaed, take the Fifth like a dime-store mafioso without batting an eye.

I write as a non-lawyer and as a non-fan, non-hater of Donald Trump. I write as someone who is seriously worried about the ways in which law enforcement routinely screws people not by catching them red-handed in a crime but by nailing them on things that are criminal-adjacent rather than the crime itself. I write as someone deeply concerned about factions within the government using largely uncontrollable powers to dispatch enemies.

If there's one thing even more foolish than a lawyer who takes himself as a client, it's anyone who freely talks to law enforcement when they can avoid it (which Trump can). As defense attorney, former federal prosecutor, and influential legal blogger Ken White wrote recently at Reason:

When the feds interview a subject or target, their goal is not mere information-gathering or fact-finding or "clearing a few things up." Their goal is the hunt….

The purpose of the "hunt" is to catch witnesses in a lie that may or may not really matter much to the larger issue at hand but will count enough to underwrite a conviction for, well, lying to law enforcement. That's what Trump associate George Papadopoulos got nailed for, and Michael Flynn too. Back in the day, that's what cost Martha Stewart her freedom (contrary to popular wisdom, her jail time had nothing to do with insider trading and more to do with defending herself in public). Once you've got someone on lying, obstructing justice, or anything else, you can then flip them to move up the pyramid to catch Mr. Big. Who in this case is Donald Trump.

When special counsels or FBI agents ask questions of one of these powerful people, they are not fact-finding. They've already done their homework. They've already gathered facts—almost certainly many more facts than the interviewee knows. They are asking questions the answers to which they can already prove, hoping that the interviewee will tell a provable lie, and thus commit a crime, or at least lock themselves into a feckless story that ties their hands later. The law that makes it a crime to lie to federal investigators does not require the lie to fool the investigators for a nanosecond. A lie must be "material" to be criminal, but that only means that the lie is the kind of statement that could conceivably influence the government, not one that actually did. The FBI can roll up with irrefutable proof of something, ask the target a question hoping for a lie, collect the lie they wanted, and reap a felony conviction.

Recall too that in the end it was Bill Clinton's lying and attempts to circumvent legal prosecution that got him into his most serious legal (though not political) trouble. There's no way to play nice with federal investigators and Trump has more leverage than any other person in America to push back and not participate, at least not voluntarily.

But what if Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify before a grand jury? That's a different matter than the president voluntarily sitting down for on-the-record talks (ones in which the compulsive blabbermouth and bullshit artist would doubtless produce enough contradictions, misstatements, and downright lies to keep him behind bars until The Rapture). It's not exactly settled whether a sitting president could refuse to comply with such a request in the current context. In Clinton v. Jones (1997), the Supreme Court said that Bill Clinton did have to testify, but that was a civil case (there were arguments at the time that his testimony could have been delayed if complying with court orders would have massively impacted his ability to serve as president). It seems likely that a president can be compelled to show up in a criminal matter, too, but that exact question has never been settled by the courts.

Earlier this year, Mueller reportedly was using the threat of a subpoena to get The Donald to voluntarily sit down with his team. Issuing one to the president wouldn't start a constitutional crisis per se, but it would mark what we might call a serious constitutional confrontation. Strip Trump out of the equation and this sort of legal investigation starts to look more and more like a Star Chamber proceeding, in which the president and his associates are going to get nailed on all sorts of semi-serious crimes and misdemeanors. You don't have to be Harvey Silverglate or Bernard Kerik to understand that it's a low-ball estimate to say that the typical American commits "three felonies a day." Mueller has effectively unlimited resources at his disposal and he knows how to use them.

The power to indict is no small thing, especially because it can so easily lead to convictions and pleas on charges that aren't the real focus of an investigation.

Mueller has issued hundreds of indictments and secured fistfuls of convictions, but none actually about, you know, collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Judge Dabney Friedrich of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently told Mueller's team to pound sand when it requested a delay in its case against Russian troll farms while another federal judge, T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, strongly rebuked Mueller's indictments regarding former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort. Manafort is starting an effective life sentence in the face based on dirt dug up during the Russia investigation, but none of the charges directly involve Trump or the 2016 election:

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort," [Judge Ellis] said. "You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead to Mr. Trump" and his eventual prosecution or impeachment.

"It's unlikely you're going to persuade me the special counsel has unfettered power to do whatever he wants," Ellis, who was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, said at a hearing on Manafort's motion to dismiss the Virginia charges.

Let's assume that Mueller does indeed subpoena Trump to testify, or even just come in for a friendly little chat. What should the president do then? Refuse to answer anything on Fifth Amendment grounds. One of the most-distressing aspects of the chatter around the Mueller investigation is the idea that taking the Fifth is tantamount to an admission of guilt. Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer who admitted to facilitating payments to the porn actress known as Stormy Daniels, has recently invoked his Fifth Amendment rights. A typical headline argues "Michael Cohen All But Admits Guilt By Pleading The 5th In The Stormy Daniels Case." Even Donald Trump falls into that argument, telling crowds during the 2016 campaign that Hillary Clinton's request for immunity when testifying about her email servers was an admission of guilt.

"If you are not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for?" Trump said at a campaign rally in Florida in September.

"The mob takes the Fifth Amendment," Trump said at a campaign event in Iowa later that month. "If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?"

As in so many other things, Trump was wrong then but was right back in 1990 when he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights almost 100 times during his divorce trial from first wife Ivana. I'm sure that many of Trump's critics who are now saying that taking the Fifth means you're guilty were singing a different tune just a few years ago. When the embattled IRS official Lois Lerner took the Fifth, I don't remember many liberals saying that meant she was guilty. And many conservatives who are today saying the Fifth Amendment is the bulwark of democracy were doubtless singing a different tune in the past as well.

While taking the Fifth would be a public-relations nightmare for Trump (If you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?), no one is more suited to waging a P.R. battle via social media and the bully pulpit of the presidency. His base has shown again and again that they'll follow him down whatever sewer he's willing to take them. For god's sake, he got evangelicals to go all in despite being a thrice-married, pussy-grabbing libertine. Standing up to what is already being cast as an illegitimate deep-state attempt to pull down the greatest president since Lincoln (as Trump and his acolytes surely see it) would not just be a walk in the park but more fun than Trump has ever had with his pants on.

But like the Trump presidency itself, whether a protracted legal battle between the president and an independent investigation into his possible high crimes and misdemeanors would be good for the country is a very different matter. As noted, it wouldn't provoke a constitutional crisis as much as a confrontation. That sort of high-stakes game was bad enough during the Watergate fights over executive privilege and whether the president was above the law (he isn't, ultimately). Despite all the lies LBJ and Nixon told about the Vietnam War and other matters, public trust and confidence was, relatively speaking, extremely high both in the government and the media. In 1974, nearly 70 percent of Americans had a lot of confidence in the media. Today that figure stands at 42 percent. Despite (or because of?) all our gains in new media and platforms for expression, we trust the news we consume less and less, which will make coming to a common sense understanding of exactly what really did happen harder than ever to achieve.

Robert Mueller is a savvy guy and one who, despite his overzealousness at times, doesn't want to provoke a full-scale social-constitutional donnybrook. Trump could care less. Look for Mueller not to subpoena Trump but to put the screws to him in all sorts of other ways. I don't like that because it merely shows the nearly infinite power that federal law enforcement, including special counsels, have. If you care about fairness and equality in law enforcement, you've got to look on the Mueller investigation (and all the other effectively open-ended fishing expeditions that came before it, including Ken Starr's against Bill Clinton) with a jaundiced eye. And you need to also settle in your mind once and for all that taking the Fifth is not only not an admission of guilt, but a goddamned constitutional right every bit as much as religious freedom and not being forced to house soldiers during peacetime.

We need to have a serious conversation about what's wrong with American government and how to move into a new century (we're burning daylight in the 21st century so far, almost two decades in but it hasn't really started yet, has it?). But that's not going to happen via the Mueller investigation, Trump's Twitter spaz-outs, or constant partisan flip-flopping over using special counsels as a tool of political reprisal, taking the Fifth as a sign of guilt, or screaming bloody murder like a group of mental patients.

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  1. “Robert Mueller is a savvy guy and one who, despite his overzealousness at times, doesn’t want to provoke a full-scale social-constitutional donnybrook. ”

    If you mean he doesn’t pick fights he’s not guaranteed to win, then yes, I’d say based upon his long history of railroading the powerless, you are correct.

  2. “As Robert Mueller’s investigation continues into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russians”

    Wait, you honestly think that’s what’s still going on? That’s cute, Gillespie

    1. At least give us more Russia fever dreams so we can be entertained as you fully discredit yourself.

      1. Do you sleep well knowing you’ve taken it on yourself to do bitch propaganda work for that traitorous orange grifter?

        You seem to imply that the statement “No collusion!” is all the evidence you need.

        1. Your sane, Tony. Definitely not insane. The Russia collusion narrative was totally not a bullshit narrative pimped by partisans and warmongers seeking to further involve the US in the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts.

          Bill Kristol is proud of you

          1. Citation? Or is this just what your Russian handlers tell you to post?

            1. That you’re sane Tony?

              I’d like to see that citation as well.

            2. Hey dipshit,

              YOU’RE the one making the accusation Trump did something, so YOU’RE the one who has a case to prove. Americans, including orange presidents hated by sub-human leftoids, are PRESUMED INNOCENT. Of course, the undermining and inversion of American values is the very purpose anti-American shit heals like you advocate for, so it’s no surprise you ask for proof of innocence after making an accusation. You and your side are disgusting, which is why you’ve been in retreat for a decade now.

              1. You actually believe such total nonsense?
                Must be a Trumptard.

        2. “Do you sleep well knowing you’ve taken it on yourself to do bitch propaganda work for that traitorous orange grifter?”

          Loser, do you sleep at all knowing that you and miserable hag lost?

          1. Right. It’s all Hillary’s fault. I know, because Trump tells me, hourly. What a con job, and you believe it.

            1. “Right. It’s all Hillary’s fault. I know, because Trump tells me, hourly. What a con job, and you believe it.”

              What a fucking idiot.

      2. You do know that “The Russians rigged the election!” is an inside joke to us members of the Kochtopus who know the truth about who really rigged the election, right?

        1. We can’t reveal their identity, but it rhymes with “shilluminati.”

    2. Ginning up an obstruction / lying charge against Trump is all this investigation is about. That and punishing everyone who works for Trump with the process.

      1. More than punishing those who work with Trump this is about sending a signal to anyone who would ever work with an outsider against the deep state.

        Gillespie is willing to pretend this is just a Trump thing.

        1. ….signal to anyone who would ever work with an outsider against the deep state.

          Winner winner, chicken dinner.

          1. Michael Flynn broken fiscally and selling his house to pay his lawyers is exhibit #1.

      2. All those indictments and guilty pleas from innocent people. And the president is innocent too. That’s why he’ll take the fifth.

        Sure.

        1. “All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far”
          https://www.vox.com/policy-and
          -politics/2018/2/20/17031772/
          mueller-indictments-grand-jury

          Over a year and a half of totally open-ended investigation into what dim-wit (above) claims is the most crooked admin EVAH, and what do we have?
          Two guys charged with financial crimes when they had nothing to do with Trump.
          A whole passel of guys pleading guilty to ‘lying to the FBI’, and some of those guys worked on the Trump campaign.
          And let’s run up the count, since we need idiots like Rodger to click here:
          “5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies”
          Yep, really gettin’ the goods on Trump, aren’t you, Rodger?

  3. The report today, is that Trump offered to give written responses to any questions Mueller might have, and Mueller flatly rejected the idea. Even though they’d be just as legally obligated to be truthful.

    Which, yes, confirms that Mueller isn’t looking for answers. He just wants to turn a misstatement or senior moment into a perjury charge. It fits his MO to a “T”.

    1. But, why would Mueller need a perjury trap if the Russia collusion narrative is so air tight?

    2. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

      1. Richard Jewell probably thought the same thing. Hell, he knew he was a hero.

        How’d that work out for him?

        1. Except Trump is guilty as fuck.

          1. Of what, specifically?

            Try to cite relevant statutes, if you can.

            1. You’ll see.

              1. “Faith alone”

                This is a god damn religion to the totally not insane people like Tony

                1. I don’t know what’s gonna happen any more than you do. I’m in popcorn mode.

                  If you think I want Trump ousted and that demonic asshat Pence taking over the country, you’re mistaken.

                  1. demonic asshat Pence

                    Citation?

                  2. No, you’re just a partisan idiot, Tony

                    1. I’m one of the few here asking that the obviously corrupt president of the United States (that’s a government job in case you forgot) be held to some sort of account.

                      You and your pals are licking his nutsack for no discernible reason other than the (R) after his name. It’s certainly not because he’s such a great president.

                      Go to some authoritarian blog and leave us government-skeptical liberty people alone, how about?

                    2. Yes, questioning the FBI and Bill Kristol is the mark of an authoritarian. The narrative is already collapsing. Your clinging to a sinking ship at this point

                    3. obviously corrupt

                      Citation?

                    4. Tony hated Comey before he loved him. I wonder why that was?

                    5. Go to some authoritarian blog and leave us government-skeptical liberty people alone, how about?

                      Bwuhahahahahahaha!

                      Sorry, man, I just…

                      Bwuhahahahahahaha!

                    6. Thank you. My humor us underappreciated.

                    7. It is not just your humor….

                      underappreciated is a value statement … how about we just stick with facts and say unappreciated.

    3. Don’t forget Trump’s lies. Y’know, the ones he can’t help telling every time he opens his mouth. Although I guess it is an open question whether you can accuse someone of lying who doesn’t know or care what the truth is.

      1. The fact that Trump is incapable of telling the truth is exactly why Mueller wants him to talk to him. The Russia fever dreams are not panning out. He needs something

    4. A shame that’s not how anyone will report it if they choose to even report it. Most likely all we’ll here is that Trump refused to be questioned and this is guilty of their wildest Russian fantasies.

    5. Even though they’d be just as legally obligated to be truthful.

      And they would likely be concise and clear. So yes, Mueller wants an interview as a farce to catch Trump in a misstatement that they twist into perjury unrelated to the matter actually being investigated.

    6. No, it shows that Mueller isn’t looking for lying answers from Trump’s lawyers. He’s looking for truthful answers from Trump, which you must know by now, would not be forthcoming.

      1. RodgerMitchell|5.8.18 @ 5:48PM|#
        “No, it shows that Mueller isn’t looking for lying answers from Trump’s lawyers. He’s looking for truthful answers from Trump, which you must know by now, would not be forthcoming.”

        Oh, poor Rodger. Poor, poor Rodger.
        You and that miserable hag lost, loser. Grow up.

  4. It’s pretty obvious Trump is guilty as hell of obstruction. The presumption of innocence is a legal term of art that people who judge others in a legal setting are supposed to entertain as they go about fact finding and judging. Outside the courtroom we’re not supposed to suspend our senses and ignore evidence that suggest guilt. It blows my fucking mind the way some of you guys fall for Trump’s cheap con game. Trump couldn’t have act guilter in these last two years and you have to willfully blind to ignore. If Trump pleads the 5th and refuses to offer testimony as a witness in this quasi counter intelligence investigation than he should be impeached but whatever I don’t even care because Pence is just a different kind of awful.

    1. I agree that if evidence indicates culpability Pres. Trump could be impeached. I believe no Democratic Senator should vote to convict Pres. Trump, however, barring revelation of extreme criminality, unless as part of a comprehensive solution that involves Vice Pres. Pence’s replacement by a consensus candidate.

      Republicans broke this. If they want help fixing it, Democrats and the American public should be compensated. Otherwise, let a hobbled Trump remain in office to brand Republicans and conservatives with backwardness, corruption, and bigotry among our improving electorate for at least a generation.

      1. “our improving electorate”

        I’m not sorry at all to hear you’ll die soon.

        1. improving = less rural, less backward, less religious, less white, less insular, and less bigoted with each publication of the obituaries

          you should understand this

          1. This piece of shit claims to be less bigoted.

      2. “unless as part of a comprehensive solution that involves Vice Pres. Pence’s replacement by a consensus candidate.”

        Hahahahahaha. Yeah, that’ll happen.

        So you’re saying she still has a chance?

        1. Remember when they called the impeachment of Clinton a coup d’etat?

          THIS is totally different than a coup. Totally.

        2. No, I’m saying Republicans should be stuck with Trump — an ineffectual, harried, emasculated, eviscerated, impotent Trump — for the entire four years.

          1. “…an ineffectual, harried, emasculated, eviscerated, impotent Trump –…”

            1) DeVos
            2) Gorsuch
            3) Ajit Pai, end net price fixing
            4) Major reduction in the growth of regulations
            5) Dow +30%
            6) Unemployment at 3.9%
            7) The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high
            8) Got repeal of the national medical insurance mandate.
            9) Withdrawal from Paris climate agreement.
            10) Not sure about the tax reform; any “reform” that leaves me subisdizing Musk’s customers is not what I hoped for. Let Musk run a company for once.
            11) In the waning days of 2017, the Trump administration pulled its support for the $13 billion Hudson Tunnel project.
            12) More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan
            13) MIGHT have a deal to de-nuke NK.
            And finally:
            14) Still making lefties steppin and fetchin like their pants is on fire and their asses are catchin’

            Keep poking your elbows on that keyboard, idiot.

      3. “Extreme criminality” is, as a practical matter, the threshold for getting a President impeached and convicted.

        Unless you add extreme abuse of office in a way that’s not indictable.

      4. What a hateful piece of work is AK.

      5. “Republicans broke this.”

        I do love when assholes like you project your bullshit fantasies out into the world, then expect everyone else to take you seriously. You made accusations based on a wholly made up dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and now that, not surprisingly, nothing came out of a politically investigation into nothing, you’re trying to blame republicans. You are everything that is wrong with politics. YOU broke everything and now say the burden to fix it is everyone else’s responsibility.

        But that’s to be expected. Childish temper tantrums, then blaming everyone else for the damage done during your tantrum forms the ideologic foundation of the democrat party.

    2. “It’s pretty obvious Trump is guilty as hell of obstruction.” It’s not obvious at all. Trump gave an opinion that the investigators eventually agreed with, they had to go with a BS perjury trap charge.

      Plenty of other stuff he’s probably guilty of from earlier business dealing, from tax evasion to fraud.

      1. There has to be an underlying crime in order to, you now, obstruct investigators from solving it. As the investigation has by their failure, proven that the crime they were commissioned to investigate didn’t actually occur, we are in pure fishing mode.

        1. There has to be an underlying crime in order to, you now, obstruct investigators from solving it.

          That sounds like an Ave Maria, Liberty, or Regent law degree talking.

          1. “That sounds like an Ave Maria, Liberty, or Regent law degree talking.”

            THAT reads like a lefty ignoramus grasping for straws.

      2. And suddenly, Trump has become honest. I believe that. I really do.

        Now, where is that bridge you sold me?

        1. RodgerMitchell|5.8.18 @ 5:50PM|#
          “And suddenly, Trump has become honest. I believe that. I really do.”

          And Rodger isn’t a fucking idiot!

          1. Rodger is another example of why Reason.com comments need an “ignore” feature. All talking points and zero actual information content.

        2. “dishonest” “guilty of a crime”

          You’re welcome.

    3. Trump isn’t guilty of anything. But, I won’t try and debase you of that belief since you’re having it indicates your desire to believe it and not any rational support for your assertions. Rather, I will just tell you that nothing is ever going to come of this, Trump will not be impeached, and thanks to the Democrats wasting their time and energy on things that are both bullshit and which the public does not care about is likely to be re-elected. The knowledge of your misery over that prospect is enough for me and saves me wasting my time trying to have a rational debate about this issue.

      1. Imagine for a moment that their dreams come true. They manage to destroy this Administration and everyone in it with trumped up charges such as obstruction of justice. The mask comes completely off as the Deep State and the Democrats dance around in truimph.

        What then? I would guess the shooting probably starts – sure sounds a lot like how Roman civil wars got started. The next guy normals elect won’t be as nice as Trump.

        1. I’m sure not fan of Trump, but I would have voted for Satan rather than Hillary.

          But yes, I would get my rifle and stand on the WH fence line to defend this President from this attempted coup if it came to that.

          1. When you get mowed down by your betters, I will be content.

            1. “When you get mowed down by your betters, I will be content.”

              You’re hoping the NKVD makes an appearance, comrade?
              Why don’t you go arrange some mass starvation? Commies love to starve people to death.

            2. Betters my ass.
              You will be in hell where you belong.

            3. What’s your problem dude? What makes you so high and mighty that you think yourself better than anyone who has a different perspective than you?

              1. Based on what he said, you made a TOTAL public fool of yourself.
                And proved him correct.

    4. Legally, obstruction of justice requires that the act which obstructs the investigation be corrupt.

      That is to say, if the head prosecutor in an office says, “Drop that charge, you’ve got better things to spend your time on.”, or even “I see no reason we should put a widow in prison for something so minor.”, it’s not obstruction of justice, because he’s legally entitled to make that judgment call.

      Now, if he does it because he was paid to do it, or because he knows that following up the charge will lead to him being found guilty of something, THAT is obstruction of justice.

      Similarly, Trump, being the head of the Executive branch, is the boss of all these prosecutors and investigators, and is absolutely entitled to set investigational or prosecutorial priorities. Hell, he’s constitutionally entitled to just pardon somebody, Wham, they’re untouchable for whatever regardless of how guilty they might be.

      Similarly, he’s legally entitled to fire any and all of these clowns, even if he needs a vote from the Senate to hire replacements for some of them.

      Exercising these powers is not obstruction of justice unless it’s done corruptly. He’d have to have been bribed to do it, or be doing it to hide his own criminality.

      Which means you’d have to prove the bribe or criminality to make the case for obstruction of justice.

      1. To be clear, (As I was cut off.) the interference or obstruction of an investigation means nothing if you’re the head of the investigating department. The motive is everything.

        The motive is what you have to prove, not the interference.

        Good luck with that. Which is why Mueller wants to go for a perjury charge.

    5. It’s pretty obvious that Trump is likely not guilty of obstruction. If there’s no underlying crime that he’s trying to hide, then there’s no corrupt motive, and poof, there goes your obstruction. A President generally cannot commit obstruction merely by exercising his lawful executive powers. If there’s an underlying crime then the game changes.

      Your feeling that he “acts guilty” is completely subjective and colored by your political dislike or hatred. This is really what it’s all about and millions of people feel the same way you do. But it’s nothing but a subjective feeling and batshit crazy conspiracy theories. What you perceive as acting guilty is actually perfectly in keeping with Trump’s consistent character and strategy as to how he would act if innocent, but convinced that the swamp is out for blood regardless of justice.

      1. Obstruction of what?

        You cannot obstruct the ‘investigation’ of something that does not rise to the level of a crime.

        1. Well, um, actually you can, if you’re not in the chain of command above the prosecutor. Say a prosecutor is investigating you for insurance fraud, subpoenas your records, and you burn them instead of handing them over. Or, oh, I don’t know, bleachbit your server.

          It actually IS obstruction of justice, even if you weren’t guilty of insurance fraud. Because of the subpoena. Because if obstruction is successful, you can’t prove the crime, obstruction itself has to be a crime, in order to discourage it.

          This doesn’t apply to Trump because, as the boss of the investigator, he’s legally entitled to interfere with, or even shut down, investigations. Even to pardon people who’ve been convicted!

          In Trump’s case, just as in the case of a head prosecutor who tells one of his deputies to drop a case, you have to prove a corrupt motive to make it “obstruction”.

          But, not everybody is in that position, and you certainly can be nailed for obstructing justice without any underlying crime, if you’re not the investigator’s boss.

          1. Exactly. You push for prosecution of crime adjacency, not an actual crime.

      2. It’s pretty obvious that Trump is likely not guilty of obstruction

        Only his cult, which “forgot” that he confessed to it. Three times!

    6. guilty as hell of obstruction

      Citation?

      Pence is just a different kind of awful.

      Citation? (I mean, I too find it deplorable that he is extra careful about not appearing to exhibit impropriety with regard to his wife. //sarc)

      Trump couldn’t have act guilter in these last two years

      Citation? If you are referring to firing Comey, the president, no matter who it is, has the authority to fire the bureaucracy at will. And if I recall, leftists wanted Comey out when it seemed he was threatening the inevitable coronation of Her Shrillness.

      I really wish people like you would stop making me defend the likes of Trump. It’s just that your accusations are so painfully dumb and unfounded. Seriously, this muh-Russia fever dream is akin to calling Barry an islamofascist Manchurian candidate.

    7. It’s pretty obvious Trump is guilty as hell of obstruction.

      Hard to obstruct a lack of a crime.

      Trump couldn’t have act guilter in these last two years and you have to willfully blind to ignore.

      You are aware that, LITERALLY, the only known collusion involving Russia and the US election was with Hillary’s campaign, right?

      1. Really? She was at that meeting in Trump Tower? Wow, that’s some scoop you’ve got there.

        1. “Really? She was at that meeting in Trump Tower?”

          Lefty feigned ignorance is always amusing.
          Especially when it’s not feigned.

    8. “It’s pretty obvious Trump is guilty as hell of obstruction.”

      If that were true, there would be evidence. None have been supplied by anyone to prove Trump guilty of everything. Anti-American faggots, like you, though, think absence of evidence of guilt of a crime is proof of evidence of obstruction.

      1. None have been supplied by anyone to prove Trump guilty of everything.

        How would you know?

        Anti-American faggots, like you

        Bellowing blowhard say blatantly crazy things like … no evidence — when you have no way of knowing . A level of bullshit almost equal to Trump’s

  5. All of a sudden when an (R) is in the White House, the president stops being part of government. Point taken on overzealous prosecution, but the end here would seem to be reigning in overzealous executive corruption. We don’t have any other means of doing that except the federal criminal justice system.

    1. We were so used to this narrative coming from the media during Obama’s reign as Africa King.

      1. No shit. Spying on reporters and their families. Using the IRS to attack enemies and allowing it to utterly ignore subpoenas. Running guns to Mexican cartels. Imposing illegal immigration laws. Permitting and facilitating the usage of an exceptionally illegal personal email server for government business. Multiple cabinet officials using different email names to avoid oversight.

        This is NOT corruption.

        Beating Hillary in an election, though, is clearly corrupt.

        1. But it was her turn!

    2. All of the sudden when an (R) is the in the White House, democrats continue their consistent attacks on our constitution and basic legal concepts. For democrats, democrats are always innocent, regardless of actual crimes committed. Also, for democrats, when democrats make accusations against republicans, this implies guilt, then you pretend the burden is on the (R) to prove innocence. In other words, the standard MO of anti-American assholes dedicated to undermining and destroying America.

      1. You’re both totally fucking useless.
        Left – Right = Zero

  6. Whether Pres. Trump wants to avoid questions by invoking the Fifth Amendment is his call.

    He should be judged harshly by educated, decent people for hypocrisy, self-dealing, lying, and other reasons, however. Everyone around him — but not the president — should be charged with the ‘most serious, provable’ crime (in line with Department of Justice guidance). Leniency in sentencing should be a response to demonstrations of remorse or cooperation with respect to identification and prosecution of more serious offenses.

    After Pres. Trump leaves office, he should be charged promptly with the ‘most serious, provable’ crime indicated by the investigation.

    1. If there is a crime to be proven go at it. But, this entire investigation was premised on Russia fever dreams. If no Russia fever dreams are validated then we have to acknowledge that this was all done to undo the results of the last election.

      If Trump gets busted for campaign violations, because of Stormy Daniels, so be it. But, the Russia fever dreams was always bunk and it has exposed a lot of people as warmongering partisan hacks. The people who pimped those nonsense conspiracy theories should never be trusted again

      1. Has any responsible source blessed the Trump campaign’s revealed-so-far interactions with Russia? The Republicans I have observed have used words such as “stupid” and “wrong” to describe what has been revealed thus far, and we may have plenty of revelation (Roger Stone, for example) remaining. Investigating the strange ties, communications, finances, etc. seemed a sensible course, which might explain why a series of Republicans has authorized or managed the investigation.

        I believe the Stormy Daniels-class (I expect more participants and seediness to emerge) offenses are minor sideshows. High-level money laundering, egregious tax evasion, and other financial fraud seems likely to constitute the main vein to be mined in this context.

        1. http://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05…..-manafort/

          Literally nothing has been revealed and that’s part of the reason why Mueller is struggling in court right now

          1. He’s not struggling in court, typical Trumpster.

        2. How are things going for the Pens these days Reverend? Or have you moved on to a new team being the typical low information bandwagon fan you likely are?

          1. Two Stanley Cups must suffice for the moment.

            Or five, if the relevant perspective moves beyond the immediate.

            Are the Capitals too busy shining their Cups to keep their eye on the prize this time around?

            1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|5.8.18 @ 6:11PM|#
              “Two Stanley Cups must suffice for the moment.”

              But you hope for the idiocy gold, asshole?

        3. http://www.scribd.com/document/378289…..from_embed

          Or if you don’t trust National Review just read the transcripts of the Manafort trial.

        4. Rev Kirkland was OBL’s persona before being OBL’s persona was cool.

        5. “Has any responsible source blessed the Trump campaign’s revealed-so-far interactions with Russia?”

          More than a year and a half, and you are asking instead of telling us?
          And what “interactions” do you have in mind? I mean the guy was running for President, and given that foreign policy is part of a President’s job, you’d expect him to have some “interactions”, right?
          How stupid are you?

      2. The jury said Edwards wasn’t guilty of campaign finance violations.

        Hard to make the case that Trumps’ actions are any different than Edwards.

    2. As you are neither educated or decent, I guess we will just have to take your word for it Arty.

  7. Of Course Trump Should Avoid Talking To Mueller Voluntarily and Take the Fifth If/When Subpoenaed

    Firing Mueller is also an option. 1) Agree to meeting. 2) Fire on spot.

  8. The tell in this matter is that Trump offered to answer any questions Mueller had in writing. Understand that he is under no obligation to answer anything. And no prosecutor I know would ever turn down the opportunity for the subject of an investigation or a key person in an investigation to answer questions in writing. Sure, you would rather do it in person with the bright light in their face and cops lying to them about the nature of the evidence, but writing is better than nothing. And it has the beauty of being an admission by a party opponent, meaning you can admit it if you want but the defendant if he ever becomes one at trial cannot.

    So why won’t Mueller do it? Indeed, if it is true as he claims that Trump isn’t the subject of an investigation, he should prefer written responses. They are still under oath and their being in writing ensures that Trump and his attorneys take the time to get them right. You want the truth, not some mistaken recollection made under the pressure of the interview. Of course, Mueller doesn’t want the truth. He is just setting a perjury trap in hopes he can find anything Trump says that can be disputed and thus justify this entire charade. The fact that he thinks he can get away with demanding an in-person interview when written under oath responses to any question he wants to ask has been offered shows that he is not only a crook but an arrogant and out of touch one at that.

    1. Although I have been quite critical of Trump, particularly with regard to filling the swamp with swamp creatures instead of draining it, I have never doubted, even for an instant, that the “Russia collusion” investigation poses a much greater threat to liberty than anything Trump or the Trump campaign may have done in securing electoral success.

      One of the reasons for my conviction is Robert Mueller. Contrary to the lionization treatment he has been accorded by the Morning Joe Republicans and the Mikas and the court historians like Jon Meacham, Mueller is the guy who conspired to keep four innocent men in jail who were framed by the FBI in the infamous Teddy Deegan murder. The FBI framed four men instead of pursuing who it knew were the real culprits. The four men, Joe Salvati, Peter Limone, Louie Greco, and Henry Tamelo, all went to prison.

      The case against the real killers was in the FBI’s files. John Connolly, the boyhood buddy of James Whitey Bulger, played a role in the continuing burial of the truth as did John Morris, another G-man. They would go to the Parole Board and intimidate members of the board.

      Robert Mueller also participated in the effort to maintain the frame-up. As US attorney for Massachusetts, Mueller wrote several letters to the Massachusetts Parole Board urging that the wrongly convicted men remain behind bars.

      Mueller was privy to the evidence that the four men had been framed.

      1. Meuller was also the lead for the anthrax investigation. There, the government spent years and millions of dollars trying to frame one innocent man. Then, after that guy was able to win a seven million dollar settlement for the damage they did to his life, picked out another innocent man and drove him to suicide thus allowing the government to declare him “probably guilty” and close the case with one innocent life ended, one nearly ruined and the guilty parties still unknown.

        Think about how awful the FBI must have been for the subject of the investigation to get that kind of a settlement. That is the only time I have heard of anyone who wasn’t wrongfully convicted getting a settlement like that. Mueller is just evil. I reserve that word for few people. But I think it is appropriate in Mueller’s case.

      2. Two of the framed men died in prison. The other two were released by a federal district court judge who just happened to be a classmate of Bill and Hillary Clinton at Yale law school.

        It took the House of Representatives threatening to hold John Ashbrook in contempt before the Justice Dept. released the FBI documents which showed that the FBI knew who the real murderers were.

        The two men who were released, Salvati and Limone, along with the estates of the other two, were awarded 102 million bucks against the government for their false imprisonment which was predicated upon perjured testimony purchased by the FBI.

        The frame-up was not exactly a secret. Vinnie “Big Vinnie” Teresa, a lieutenant to New England crime boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca, wrote of it in his famous tell all, “My Life in the Mafia,” which was published in 1973.

        1. Why doesn’t one of the Reason scribes take this angle, i.e., his sordid, corrupt history, on Mueller?

          1. TWo reasons. It doesn’t fit the anti-Trump narrative and it happened in Boston not Washington.

        2. The FBI and US Attorney’s office in Boston became an active partner with the Winter Hill Gang for well over a decade. I think that is the worst FBI DOJ scandal of all time. It is worse than Ruby Ridge or Holder’s gun running to Mexico or anything else I am aware of. They allowed the Winter Hill Gang to have a reign of murder and terror over Boston and even helped them by framing innocent people for their murders. It is just horrific. So horrific, I don’t think people fully believe it even when they hear the truth.

          1. Howie Carr of WRKO, author of The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century and Kennedy Babylon (great read) amongst other books, has chronicled the subject for many years.

            If you don’t know him, John, he is a treasure. He has been a columnist at the Boston Herald for over thirty years. When we wrote of the late Massachusetts Speaker of the House, George Keverian, he would do as Rep. George Keverian (D-Papa Ginos) because the former Speaker was about four bills.

            He has had a talk show for about 25 years. Every so often, he would have a contest in which callers had to guess how many uhs either Teddy Kennedy or his nephew, Joe Kennedy, uttered in a given sound clip.

            He wrote the Foreword to the book upon which the Chappaquiddick film is based.

  9. Reason bought into an FBI and Bill Kristol narrative even as that narrative was already collapsing so as to appease their betters. They should not be taken seriously again

    1. Do they pay by the word or by the post?

      1. I don’t know. That’s a good question. They’d probably hire you at this point. Submit an application. I’d read your articles, if you presented the anti-war liberalism of the early 2000’s. God knows they don’t cover foreign policy enough

    2. so as to appease their betters.

      The deplorable rubes don’t seem to like it when anyone acknowledges their betters.

      1. You’re not anyone’s better.

        1. Isn’t Arty in the “better off dead” category?

          Just asking for a friend! LOL

    3. “Again”? I came back here after a long absence, just to read Volokh, and I figured out Reason wasn’t serious anymore in about the first five minutes.

      Sad fate for a once great magazine.

  10. Nick vastly overrates Meuller and his team’s cleverness and intelligence here. Meuller and his team are all crooked prosecutors who have made their careers either forcing people to plead guilty under the threat of spending the rest of their lives in prison if they didn’t or going to court only when they have withheld evidence to ensure it is in no way a fair trial. They get away with this because most people they prosecute don’t have the resources to fight back and the cases they are involved with are apolitical enough to allow them to get the media to lie for them without consequence. Only later long after the trial does some appellate court finally hold them to any standards. But that only happens after public attention has been moved on, often doesn’t result in undoing the injustice, and doesn’t damage their careers or undo the benefits they have obtained for getting the conviction anyway.

    Mueller and his team are thugs and bullies. They have never had to be in a fair fight or in one that the public actually paid attention to beyond being a readymade lynch mob for the government. And they are going to end up getting their asses handed to them. You watch. We are already seeing the beginnings of this with the judge excoriating them in the Manfort case. It will not be the last time.

    1. Some Reason staff think it preposterous that Trump is running a chess game on them but Mueller is a master chess player according to them. Reality shows us that Trump has run circles around the media time and time again while Mueller is straying so far from his mission that he cannot even spell Russia anymore.

      1. LC, you might be interested in reading about Mueller’s role in covering up the FBI’s role in the matter I addressed above.

  11. Has anyone here not watched this video yet? Don’t Talk to the Police.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE

  12. ” I write as someone deeply concerned about factions within the government using largely uncontrollable powers to dispatch enemies.”

    Perhaps you should worry about the most dishonest president in American history, and the damage he is doing to America and to Americans.

    Perhaps you should worry about the immigrant children whose lives he is destroying. Perhaps you should worry about a White House that cannot deliver a line without repeatedly changing it.

    Perhaps you should worry about an America that reneges on treaties, and will have difficulty convincing the rest of the world it won’t happen again.

    Perhaps you should worry about the repeated, hourly lies, and the widening gap between the rich and the rest.

    Perhaps you should worry about appointing people to lead agencies, whose missions they fight against.

    Perhaps you should worry about your children’s health, as pollution and gobal warming are encouraged.

    Perhaps you should worry about your own sanity.

    1. “Perhaps you should worry about your own sanity.”

      Yes, Rodger, you certainly should.
      Lefty imbeciles are nothing but raging cases of idiocy.

    2. Rodger, why are you even here? You seem to be a prog who has never had to question his assumptions, as you just seem to assume that people will buy into your emotion-laden content-less talking points without having to back them up with actual information.

      Outside of Tony and AK, the former of whom seems to like being called idiots, and the latter of whom likes to spew his hate, you’re unlikely to find anyone here who accepts your fact-less conclusions.

      If you want to convince, try actually providing some reason that may do so. At least here at Reason.com.

    3. You speak as if someone can’t be worried about more than one thing at a time. One can be concerned that Trump is a shady real estate developer who is in a job he can’t handle, while simultaneously being concerned that Mueller is a shady prosecutor who worries more about winning than about justice.

  13. Invoke the Fifth? Nah! Trump should pull a Hillary and answer every question, including “State your name for the record.” with “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall.”

    Mueller views his job as protecting the equally corrupt beltway establishment politicians and administrative state bureaucrats.

    1. That is stupid, if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is lying that is lying to the FBI, which is a crime. Have you read the article?

      So either he lies to the FBI, or he’s mentally unfit 😉

      1. raphidae|5.8.18 @ 10:25PM|#
        “That is stupid, if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is lying that is lying to the FBI, which is a crime. Have you read the article?”
        Oh, OH look lefty asshole hopes Trump can get caught by the Martha Stewart rule!

        “So either he lies to the FBI, or he’s mentally unfit ;)”
        Are you a fucking ignoramus or just a random liar?

        1. LOL! You’re calling me a “lefty”? That’s hilarious! Maybe ease up on the partisan insult trigger there. If I were an American citizen I’d have voted for Trump and I definitely don’t have any love for Hillary or Democrats in general.

          Anyway, what do you think is untrue in what I said?

          1. The part about “proving he lied to the FBI”. You see, that’s the type of process crime that many in this thread have already addressed. It’s EASY to prove someone “lied” to the FBI, if you confuse the questions enough.

  14. It will be enough for me if a bunch of right-wing jerks such as Manafort, Flynn, Gates, and the like are properly found guilty.

    But if this were a volunteer fire company carnival chuck-a-luck game my first nickel, at the moment, would go on ‘Trump charged in massive money laundering scheme as he departs presidency; Supreme Court to consider legality of last-minute self-pardon.’

    Just a hunch.

    Carry on, clingers. I’m sure Paul Manafort’s family derives great spiritual consolation from your predictions.

    1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|5.8.18 @ 6:20PM|#
      “It will be enough for me if a bunch of right-wing jerks such as Manafort, Flynn, Gates, and the like are properly found guilty.”

      Guilty of what, you idiot? Being to the right and more sane than you?

      1. Guilty of what, you idiot?

        What they’ve confessed and/or been indicted for!
        But, if you simply bellow LOUDER ….

        1. “What they’ve confessed and/or been indicted for!”

          ‘Lying to an FBI agent’ by some who actually were part of the Trump campaign sometime in their lives, 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies who had nothing to do with Trump and two indictments for financial crimes, which, if they are true, happened before the guys had anything to do with Trump.
          And this after more than a year and a half with braying asses like you claiming ‘WE’LL GIT ‘EM!!!!”
          Yep, real important stuff, there.

          “But, if you simply bellow LOUDER ….”
          As in deed you do, you fucking idiot.

          1. you fucking idiot.

            (sneer). LOOKEE SEEE.

            First he says NO CRIMINAL GUILT

            CALLED OUT AS A LIAR

            Then ADMITS they are guilty — confesses his BULLSHIT, but SNEERS at the crimes
            BECAUSE HILLARY (pees pants laughing)

            And this after more than a year and a half

            Hillary’s is TWICE AS LONG … NO EVIDENCE …. KEEP BRAYING

            Then ….LIES about his confessed bullshit (changes the individuals from “Manafort, Flynn, Gates,”)

            (Not ALL cyber-bullies are raging psychopaths, but the PROOF on Sevo is both visible and undeniable. But, he will deny anyhow, because thugs ATTACK, even when they make public jackasses of themselves. …. Assault is their only value.)

            P.S. This lying Trumptard has NO CLUE what Mueller has. But :LOYALTY TO TRIBE Uber Alles

            1. Read the comment, you fucking idiot.
              I did not say “no criminal guilt”, I simply listed that on which Meuller has so far wasted his time and my money.
              No one associated with Trump at the time of the supposed offense has been accused of anything other than that horrible crime which landed Martha Stewart in jail. Real hot stuff you got there, if your dementia says so.
              Oh, and “P.S. This lying Trumptard has NO CLUE what Mueller has.”

              “All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far”
              https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics
              /2018/2/20/17031772/mueller-
              indictments-grand-jury

              Read and weep, asshole; here’s your hat; what’s your hurry? Man I hope I don’t end up a blithering idiot when I get old!
              But keep on screaming, you fucking idiot. Your rep needs reinforcement.

              1. (boldface in self-defense from MORE aggression .. the psycho REPEATS what is already a PROVEN LIE)

                Read the comment, you fucking idiot.

                My PLEASURE! (smrk)

                I did not say “no criminal guilt”

                Those are YOUR quite marks. One more time … THIS is what you said.

                if a bunch of right-wing jerks such as Manafort, Flynn, Gates, and the like are properly found guilty.”

                Guilty of what, you idiot? Being to the right and more sane than you?


                Same LIE. Same Proof

                I simply listed that on which Meuller has so far wasted his time and my money.

                DIVERSION + LIE
                ONE ,.. MORE ,.. TIME ,.. FOR …. PSYCHOS ….

                That was AFTER you were a PROVEN LIAR on Manafort, Flynn and Gates…. and has NOTHING to do with what you attacked (THEIR guilt/confession/indictment)

                All of Robert Mueller’s indictments and plea deals in the Russia investigation so far”

                ANOTHER DIVERSION from Manafort, Flynn and Gates.

                MORE PROOF: Sevo, like Trump is a SHAMELESS LIAR, and CYBER-BULLY.

                SEVENTH REQUEST … HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT EVIDENCE MUELLER HAS?

                1. That is a wonder of bullshit; seek help.

                2. If there were any evidence of collusion, it would have already come out. That’s why there is so much going on regarding violations that had NOTHING to do with collusion. Mueller is fishing.

                  Read it through an objective lens and it all becomes obvious.

                  1. If there were any evidence of collusion, it would have already come out.

                    WHY? How ignorant are you?

    2. It’s always “enough” for lefties to see righties in prison, even if they’re not actually guilty of anything. Because below the surface, lefties are fascist thugs.

  15. More sucking up to the alt-right.
    More sucking up to Trumpsters (CLAIMING to know what proof Mueller has or doesn’t have, disguised with personal insults/
    More anti-gummint (not pro-liberty) hysteria for the Reason goobertariat.

    It’s TRUMP who says only the guilty take the Fifth.
    So Nick cleverly SEEMS to cover both sides, while defending Trump as any other member of the right-wing political elite. With bullshit and supposition … while whining about bullshit and supposition.
    PURELY tribal ranting.

    1. You can’t fake this kind of insanity

      1. I’m hoping he has in-home care.

        1. With bullshit and supposition … while whining about bullshit and supposition.
          PURELY tribal ranting.

          1. Get help, Mike; STFU and quit making an absolute ass of yourself.

            1. Now THREE assaults … by TWO bullies … (so far) … triggered snowflakes
              (sneer)

              1. Keep screaming Mike; it just adds to your rep.

                1. SELF-DEFENSE
                  Continue your assaults, conforming what is already known

                  1. Keep screaming, grandpa, your rep is secure.
                    BTW, fuck off.

    2. Michael – your hate is what drives this. Nothing else. Not crime, not evidence, not logic.

      Pure hate.

      As long as you allow this to happen, you won’t be able to see anything.

  16. The hunt for Trump is a wonderful example of abusive prosecutorial power. No one is safe from it. On the other hand, Trump deserves it. He is a mean, disrespectful, despicable, vicious man with dangerous power.

    If he is hoist on his own petard, that would be great!

    1. “The hunt for Trump is a wonderful example of abusive prosecutorial power. No one is safe from it. On the other hand, Trump deserves it. He is a mean, disrespectful, despicable, vicious man with dangerous power.
      If he is hoist on his own petard, that would be great!”

      So long as the (un-constitutional) hammer falls on those who hold opinions other than yours, you’re fine with that?
      Oh, and prove it’s ‘his own petard’; I’m calling bullshit.
      Fuck off, slaver.

  17. He cant actually plead the fifth, not practically.

    Once Trump pleads the fifth Mueller will offer him immunity, after which he can’t plead the fifth anymore and has to answer and then what he didn’t want to say better turn out to actually be incriminating (since that is the only reason why someone may plead the fifth). Otherwise it’s actual obstruction of justice.

    The 5th amendment protects against incriminating oneself, after immunity is given it no longer applies since you can’t be prosecuted anymore.

    The catch is that the incriminating information provided could then still be used for I mpeachment, that being a political process rather than criminal.

    So it’s good you aren’t a lawyer, because that’s horrible advice. Mueller would probably like Trump to plead the fifth very much 🙂

    1. “Once Trump pleads the fifth Mueller will offer him immunity, after which he can’t plead the fifth anymore and has to answer and then what he didn’t want to say better turn out to actually be incriminating (since that is the only reason why someone may plead the fifth). Otherwise it’s actual obstruction of justice.
      The 5th amendment protects against incriminating oneself, after immunity is given it no longer applies since you can’t be prosecuted anymore.
      The catch is that the incriminating information provided could then still be used for I mpeachment, that being a political process rather than criminal.”

      I’m sure lefties found that very clever. But:
      1) Cop a hag: ‘I don’t remember’.
      2) Serves at the pleasure of the President: ‘You’re fired’.
      3) ‘I refuse to answer that question’.
      OK, lefty, what ya got?

      1. Trtump’s confession of obstruction. THREE TIMES.

        Serves at the pleasure of the President: ‘You’re fired’.

        The President took an OATH to faithfully execute the law of the land.

        As an authoritarian thug yourself, it’s no surprise that you support Trump’s Napoleonic “mentality”.
        Birds of a feather ….

        1. “Trtump’s confession of obstruction. THREE TIMES.”
          Uh, nice try, idiot.
          Happened only in the minds of fucking assholes like you.

        2. It’s been pretty well explained above that for obstruction of justice there needs to be an underlying *crime*, of which there is *zero evidence*.

          Plus the obstruction needs to be *corrupt*, of which there is, again, *zero evidence*.

          For someone writing about “faithfully execut[ing] the law of the land” you don’t seem to be worried much about a prosecutor trying to engineer “lying to the FBI” charges with not a shred of evidence of another crime in sight. It’s the equivalent of being arrested and then only being charged for resisting arrest.

          If the FBI took a long hard look at even a week of your life for months and then hauled you in for a friendly chat about that week, are you sure you wouldn’t mis-remember a few things here and there that could plausibly be construed as a lie?

          You know you can’t be sure and they could almost certainly charge you (and anyone else in such a situation) with lying to the FBI as well. This would not be due process, it’d be clear abuse of “the law of the land”.

          In any other case you’d see that as well, but in this case you feel he’s so obviously guilty that it doesn’t matter how he gets charged as long as he’s prosecuted, no wait, persecuted. The end justifies the means, as long as it is your end, huh?

          1/2

          1. 2/2

            The fact is that people like you normalise a prosecution based solely on the belief of guilt by the prosecutor and a mob of other people egging him on. And it happens so publicly that a lot of other prosecutors will feel that this is clearly not such a big deal, and a *lot* of people will suffer the consequences in the future. Hundreds. Thousands. Most of them minorities that you like to think (and say!) you care about I might add.

            And for what? Pure resentment, because even if Trump is removed from office the left doesn’t actually *get* anything but revenge. The office doesn’t then go to Hillary or any other Democrat, no Pence would be next in line. But he sure *looks* pretty guilty too, don’t you agree? I’m sure he’d be guilty of lying to the FBI too, eventually. Maybe he has had dinner with a woman that wasn’t his wife after all!

            Trump is a vulgar man, but you are really the vilest type of egocentric hypocrite there is and you know it. You truly disgust me.

          2. It’s been pretty well explained above that for obstruction of justice there needs to be an underlying *crime*, of which there is *zero evidence*.LAUGHABLY stupid … the PURPOSE of obstruction is to …. OBSTRUCT … the investigation, so that the evidence is not found.

            When I raped your mother, I obstructed the investigation, so they never found the evidence. So I’m innocent? In your psychiatric ward.

            Good little robot.

      2. Still not a lefty 😉

        Yeah, a few well-placed “I can’t recall” will do fine for Trump. But they need to be *well-placed* and not as a response to “State your name for the record.

        I was just pointing out that pleading the fifth (the advice in the article) is definitely not a good idea since;

        1) He’d basically tell Mueller that he has information he thinks *may* incriminate him, which he’d then have to divulge after being granted immunity, providing ammunition for impeachment, and additionally,

        2) Pleading the fifth would tell the public he’s worried about incriminating himself (i.e. a crime exists), which would leave the crime in question open to be filled in by speculation by the media (i.e. Muh-Russia!!!). I’m not totally sure, but I’d guess “for what crime did you think you might incriminate yourself?” would be a valid question too which would have to be answered after receiving immunity.

        Anyway, of course the whole Russia-probe is beyond ridiculous at this point (maybe from the start even). Perhaps there should be a special prosecutor to investigate the special prosecutor.

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  19. If Trump invokes the Fifth then they would be able to grant him immunity from prosecution and compel him to answer questions.

    Then his testimony could be used to make the case for Impeachment.

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