Absent some kind of fugue state; a person knows for sure if they are a Russian spy. If a person was falsely accused of being one, that person could not be said to obstruct justice by rejecting calls to investigate the non-event that they know did not happen.
That’s the bottom line on the obstruction of justice charges and President Donald J. Trump. Robert Mueller refused to indict Trump because “the evidence does not establish the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein agree the evidence does not show that Trump intended to obstruct justice. Intent is, as you might imagine, the foundation of an obstruction charge.
Keep in mind that the Barr and Rosenstein prosecution analysis here is not a statement that the president cannot obstruct justice. That argument, put forth by many including Alan Dershowitz the famed lawyer and law professor, goes like this: The president is the head of the executive, where decisions on prosecutions are made. Those decisions to prosecute or not, are political and so when the president makes a decision to either refrain from or go forward with any given prosecution, that decision cannot be obstruction. It is simply a political decision – like whether to lower taxes on wine imports rather than grain exports. While this type of argument may be persuasive to the courts, it is not what Barr and Rosenstein base their decision on:
Our determination… is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
There is no case to be made not because the man is president, but because there is no compelling evidence to support obstruction charges. United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who appointed Mueller in the first place, concurs with this decision per the Barr letter. Rosenstein, in particular, is no Trump booster, having, according to the New York Times suggested secretly recording Trump and discussed 25th Amendment and involuntarily removing him from office. Hardly the stuff of a sycophant.
Since the years-long calls for a “collusion” prosecution were based not on evidence of same, but a cognitive dissonance between their expectations for Hillary Clinton’s victory, and reality. Their disillusionment, now revealed beyond debate for any who can read, will sadly yield more aftershocks as the truth sinks in, finally. The American people, all on their own, preferred Trump to Clinton.
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