Billy Barr, self-appointed (almost) Attorney General now groveling before Trump has made statements that support the conviction of President of the Electoral College Donald J. Trump of Obstruction of Justice.
On June 8, 2018, Billy Boy authored a “Memorandum” addressed to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Asst. AG Steve Engel re: “Mueller’s ‘Obstruction’ Theory”. He argued that “obstruction laws do not criminalize just any act that can influence a ‘proceeding’. Rather they are concerned with acts intended to have a particular kind of impact.”
He then goes on to pen this gem: “Obviously, the President and any other official can commit obstruction in this classic sense of sabotaging a proceeding’s truth-finding function. Thus, for example, if a President knowingly destroys or alters evidence, suborns perjury, or induces a witness to change testimony, or commits any act impairing the integrity or availability of evidence, then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction.”
Mueller, in Volume II of his Report, finds that the President clearly committed many of these obstruction of justice acts that his AG previously found to be the criminal acts of obstruction of justice.
Mueller found possible obstruction of justice factual results, which tie in well to Barr’s findings of what would constitute obstruction of justice, before he knew what was in the Mueller Report
Mueller found the following possible obstruction of justice factual results, which tie in well to Barr’s findings of what would constitute obstruction of justice, before he knew what was in the Mueller Report:
- The Campaign’s response to reports about Russian support for Trump, including Trump’s public skepticism “that Russia was responsible for the hacks at the same time as he and other campaign officials privately sought information [REDACTED] about any further planned WikiLeaks releases” and that he “denied having any business in or connections to Russia” (Sabotaging a proceeding’s truth-finding function; knowingly alters evidence)
- Conduct involving FBI Director James Comey and Michael Flynn-“on January 27,2017, the day after the President was told that Flynn had lied to the Vice President and had made similar statements to the FBI, the President invited Comey to a private dinner at the White House and told Comey that he needed loyalty...Shortly after requesting Flynn’s resignation and speaking privately to Comey, the President sought to have Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland draft an internal letter stating that the President has not directed Flynn to discuss sanctions with Kislyak...a White House Counsel’s Office attorney thought that the request would look like a quid pro quo for an ambassadorship she had been offered.” (Suborning perjury; inducing a witness to change testimony)
- The President’s reaction to the continuing Russia investigation, including asking McGahn to stop Sessions from recusing, and then asking him to “unrecuse”. (Sabotaging)
- The President’s termination of Comey, and telling Russian officials that “he had faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off” and telling Lester Holt that he “just decided to do it” and that he was thinking that “this thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story”.
- The appointment of a Special Counsel and Trump’s efforts to remove him.
Trump states that it was “the end of his presidency”, and that Mueller had conflicts of interest and therefore could not serve and directing McGahn to call the Acting AG and tell him Mueller had conflicts of interest and must be removed. (Sabotaging, and impairing the availability of evidence)
- Trump’s efforts to curtail Mueller’s investigation, including asking former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to deliver a message to Sessions that the investigation was very unfair to the President, who had done nothing wrong, and that Mueller should focus on future elections. (Sabotaging; impairing evidence)
- Trump’s efforts to prevent public disclosure of evidence, including matters relating to the June 9, 2016 meeting with Russians in Trump Tower, and drafting the press release. (Altering evidence; impairing the availability of evidence)
- Trump’s efforts to have the AG take control of the investigation, including investigating Hillary Clinton and that if Sessions unrecused, and took back the Russian investigation, he would be a “hero”. (Sabotaging)
- Trump’s efforts to have McGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have Mueller removed. (Suborning perjury)
- Trump’s conduct towards Flynn and Manafort, including buttering up Flynn after he withdrew from the joint defense agreement, and then made threatening statements through his personal lawyer, and declined to rule out a pardon for Manafort and [REDACTED]. (Inducing a witness to change testimony).
- Trump’s conduct involving Michael Cohen, including urging him to “stay on message” and not contradict the President, urging him to “stay strong”, and dangling a pardon (Suborning perjury).
- All these are found in Volume II, pp. 3-6, as detailed in the following 176 pages.
To conclude, here are the obstruction of justice offenses that Barr found would be clear criminal acts if committed by Trump:
- ”Knowingly destroys or alters evidence”
- “Suborns perjury”
- “Induces a witness to change testimony”
- “Commits any act impairing the integrity or availability of evidence”
- And generally, “Sabotaging a proceeding’s truth-finding function”
Although Mueller did not find that in every instance cited above there was enough evidence to convict Trump of a criminal obstruction of justice “beyond a reasonable doubt”, based on what he could uncover, the test Congress is using is whether Trump abused his power as President and was unfit for office. There clearly is enough evidence in the Mueller Report to support this conclusion.
Billy Boy has given Congress a roadmap for how to proceed in its impeachment inquiry.