Posts Tagged ‘obstruction of justice’

Paul Manafort Is In the Gray Bar Hotel

June 15, 2018

Paul Manafort Is In the Gray Bar Hotel
Paul Manafort’s new LinkedIn photo.

Paul Manafort has homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Hamptons, Florida, and Virginia, but he’ll spend the summer in federal jail. His bail was revoked after he was caught tampering with witnesses in one of his two federal trials, resulting in new charges of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy. He’s due in federal court in Virginia on July 25th. His second trial in DC is slated for September 17th.

More:

“Paul Manafort is in the klink. It’s OK to be pleased,” Virginia Heffernan, Los Angeles Times

“Judge Orders Paul Manafort Jailed Before Trial, Citing New Obstruction Charges,” Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times

“From ‘the Count’ to inmate: The fall of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort,” Tom Hamburger, Washington Post

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Donald Trump: Above the Law?

December 5, 2017

Donald Trump: Above the Law?

John Dowd, one of President Trump’s lawyers, told Mike Allen of Axios that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice:

“The ‘President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.'”

“The Articles of Impeachment against Nixon began by saying he ‘obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice.'”

— “Trump lawyer claims the ‘President cannot obstruct justice,'” Mike Allen, Axios

Presidents can’t obstruct justice? Attorney General Jeff Sessions disagrees. Back in 1999, as an Alabama senator, he said “The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President’s intent to obstruct justice,” he said, referring to Bill Clinton.

“Sessions isn’t alone. More than 40 current GOP members of Congress voted for the impeachment or removal of Clinton from office for obstruction of justice. They include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who mounted his own passionate appeal to remove Clinton from office for obstruction of justice – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who was a House member at the time. In all, 17 sitting senators supported the obstruction of justice charge against Clinton in 1998 and 1999.”

— “Sessions argued in Clinton impeachment that presidents can obstruct justice,” Kyle Cheney, Politico

More:

“Trump’s Lawyer Claims the President Is Above the Law,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump’s I-am-the-law defense on the Russia investigation,” Chris Cillizza, CNN

“A bold new legal defense for Trump: Presidents cannot obstruct justice,” Sari Horwitz and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“19 Times President Trump May Have Obstructed Justice,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

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Image: Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The White House Lawyers Up

June 21, 2017

The White House Lawyers Up

President Trump hired a lawyer to help him with Trump-Russia investigations. In fact, he hired a whole bunch of lawyers. His vice president and son-in-law are hiring lawyers. Even the president’s lawyer has hired a lawyer.

Though four top law firms turned down the chance to represent Team Trump, this administration is creating lots of high paying jobs for DC lawyers.

Job Creation. Another campaign promise met.

More:

“White-collar lawyers see opportunity in Trump scandals,” Darren Samuelsohn and Andrew Restuccia, Politico

Update:

“Sessions Hires Attorney as Russia Probe Expands,” Daily Beast

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Special Counsel Investigating Trump for Obstruction of Justice

June 16, 2017

Special Counsel Investigating Trump for Obstruction of Justice

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating President Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice, reports the Washington Post. As in Watergate, investigation of the crime — in this case, Russian meddling  in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible coordination with the Trump campaign — has expanded to include the cover-up. Investigators are also looking for evidence of related money laundering by Trump associates.

By his own admission, Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey to obstruct the investigation into Russian links to the Trump campaign, and the president appears to have asked top intelligence officials to refute charges of Russian coordination with his 2016 campaign. On Thursday, an RNC statement and a tweet by the president confirmed the existence of the obstruction probe. The president’s personal legal team merely condemned the leak, not denying the obstruction probe itself. Mr. Trump conflated the issues of 2016 campaign coordination with the obstruction investigation, claiming it’s all a “witch hunt.”

More:

“Mueller Seeks to Talk to Intelligence Officials, Hinting at Inquiry of Trump,” Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, New York Times

“Even Trump’s Aides Blame Him for Obstruction Probe: ‘President Did This to Himself,'” Lachan Markay, Asawin Suesaeng, Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast

“Trump thinks ‘they’ created his legal problems. He created his legal problems.” Ezra Klein, Vox

“Trump: ‘You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history,'” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

“GOP Sen. Tells Trump: Investigation Is ‘Not A Witch Hunt, No,'” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

“What the law says about ‘obstruction of justice,'” Shannon Vavra, Axios

“Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump,” Rebecca Tan and Alex Ward, Vox

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Credibility: Comey Versus Trump

June 12, 2017

On June 8th, former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee that President Trump asked him to end the FBI investigation of former White House advisor Michael Flynn’s Russian contacts.

Senator Martin Heinrich ( D – NM): “A lot of this comes down to who should we believe. Do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you?”

James Comey: “I think people should look at the whole body of my testimony because, as I used to say to juries when I talked about a witness, you can’t cherry-pick it. You can’t say ‘I like these things he said, but on this, he’s a dirty, rotten liar’. You can’t say, ‘I like these things he said but on this, he’s a [rot]ten liar’. You have to take it together.”

“… in looking at any witness, you look at consistency, track record, demeanor, record over time, that sort of thing.”

President Trump refuted Mr. Comey’s charges that he sought to impede the Flynn investigation, and offered to testify under oath about the matter. The last time Donald Trump offered sworn testimony, in 2007, he was forced to admit to lying 30 times.

Video clip: Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in Royal Wedding (1951). Music by Burton Lane, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

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Comey Filed a Memo of Trump’s Obstruction Request

May 17, 2017

Comey Filed a Memo of Trump's Obstruction Request

“President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

‘I hope you can let this go,’ the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

— “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation,” Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

More:

“Notes made by former FBI director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe,” Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“U.S. lawmakers want to see Comey memo on Trump meeting,” Bill Trott and Peter Cooney, Reuters

“Chaffetz demands Comey-Trump memos in letter to FBI,” Heather Caygle, Politico

“Senate Intel Committee Wants Comey Memos And Testimony,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Law professor: ‘If the allegations are true, Trump has committed a serious federal crime,’” Dylan Matthews, Vox

“Another Bomb Drops: Initial Thoughts on Trump Asking Comey to Kill the Flynn Investigation,” Helen Klein Murillo, Jack Goldsmith, Susan Hennessey, et al., Lawfare

“Is Trump guilty of obstruction of justice? That depends …,” William Yeomans, The Hill

“What Is Obstruction of Justice? An Often-Murky Crime, Explained,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“Legal analysts: Trump might have obstructed justice, if Comey’s allegation is true,” Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“A Short History of Presidential Obstruction of Justice,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

“Donald Trump has committed the exact offense that forced Richard Nixon to resign,”
Updated by Dylan Matthews, Vox

“Comey’s Memo Is the Smoking Gun of Donald Trump’s Watergate,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“GOP Rep. Justin Amash on Comey memo: if true, there are grounds for impeachment,” Tara Golshan, Vox

“‘I think we’re in impeachment territory,’ says David Gergen, former aide to Nixon and Clinton,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

“Is the Comey Memo the Beginning of the End for Trump?” David Remnick, The New Yorker

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