Trump's pick for attorney general told DOJ in memo that firing Comey isn't obstruction of justice

Nov 23, 2010
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https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/19/politics/bill-barr-comey-obstruction/index.html

Former Attorney General William "Bill" Barr, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Justice Department, reached a decisive and controversial conclusion that Trump's interactions with ex-FBI Director James Comey would not constitute obstruction of justice, according to sources familiar with a newly revealed June 2018 memo to senior Justice officials.

Barr has not shied away from defending Trump's firing of Comey, but the June 8 memo -- first reported by the Wall Street Journal and being provided to lawmakers -- offers a more detailed analysis of one of the most consequential episodes of Trump's presidency, concluding that special counsel Robert Mueller's obstruction inquiry was "fatally misconceived," as Trump asking Comey to let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and later firing him were within his powers as head of the executive branch.
What do people think about the argument Barr makes? Keep in mind, this guy is from Pres. HW Bush's cabinet...I expect a lot of conservative judges feel the same way. If this goes to the Supreme Court, I don't see why they would see it differently.
 

Madonis

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Oct 21, 2018
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I thought it was the left that was supposed to be the hivemind? Not everyone has to agree with this guy.

There are conservatives out in the judicial system who aren't Trump partisans, but you never know who'll get the case.
 
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Arkage

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Sep 25, 2012
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So he's essentially claiming the President can't obstruct justice. I suppose that's fine so long as you rename "justice" to "President's justice" rather than the general "American justice" conception. In any case the argument is highly debated among experts. I assume it would go to the Supreme Court and they'd be the final arbiter. It's irrelevant whether the special council investigation into obstruction was "fatally misconceived" as the only thing that matters is the actual legal or political ramifications, which would in the end be out of the special council's hands.

And it's pretty damn hard to imagine Americans being OK with the idea that Presidents shouldn't be investigated for possibly manipulating the government in substantial ways for personal gain. We got rid of the king concept for a reason.
 
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SaviourMK2

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Jan 14, 2015
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So he's essentially claiming the President can't obstruct justice. I suppose that's fine so long as you rename "justice" to "President's justice" rather than the general "American justice" conception. In any case the argument is highly debated among experts. I assume it would go to the Supreme Court and they'd be the final arbiter. It's irrelevant whether the special council investigation into obstruction was "fatally misconceived" as the only thing that matters is the actual legal or political ramifications, which would in the end be out of the special council's hands.

And it's pretty damn hard to imagine Americans being OK with the idea that Presidents shouldn't be investigated for possibly manipulating the government in substantial ways for personal gain. We got rid of the king concept for a reason.
It's really not ok, but right wingers will say it is to "own the libs". It doesn't matter because it's Trump, if this was say... Obama, Clinton, Carter? Washington would be burning as fast as Paris.
 
Dec 3, 2018
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Comey’s business during the election was extremely unprofessional and malfeasant. He should’ve been fired by Obama.
 

danielberg

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Jun 20, 2018
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" Trumps pick for attorney general told DOJ in memo that firing Come isnt obstruction of justice."

Well it was his right and this is right, it obviously didn't stop the investigation soo yeah people may think a investigation is a one man show but in reality its a team sport, this doesn't suddenly chance just because the media sold it as the "comey" show or now as the "Mueller" show.
The thing with obstruction of justice is.. he has to actually obstruct justice which is hard to argue when he doesn't stop the investigation.
 
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Bolivar687

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Jun 13, 2014
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The obstruction argument never held much water to me, because obstruction of justice is normally added on to something that by itself is a criminal act - destroying evidence, intimidating witnesses, jury tampering, etc. A chief executive firing one of his officers is entirely up to his own discretion.

Now, it's just no longer tenable that firing Comey could in any way impede the Russia investigation. Comey himself just testified this week before Congress, insisting over two hundred and fifty times, that he had no knowledge of the origins of the Russia investigation during the campaign and that he was completely unaware of the early mistakes justice officials were making at the outset of the new administration. The common retort seems to be that Trump wanted to obstruct justice, he's just incompetent at it, which echoes the arguments against the travel ban and how its detractors reconciled why it omitted many of the largest majority-Muslim nations. The President is either breaking the law or he's too incompetent to do so, and you just can't have it both ways.

The Comey firing seems a piece with how over twenty-five ranking justice officials have also been fired, demoted, or resigned in the wake of ethical improprieties with respect to how they've acted under this administration. The Washington Post now reports that ethics officials are trying to get the acting AG to step away from the Russia investigation, and influencers are calling for the same for the incoming AG. It is woefully problematic if the people credibly raising serious legal and ethical issues with the special counsel are not allowed to go anywhere near it, and the only ones allowed to be involved are those willing to look the other way. With the only Americans targeted by the investigation are going to jail for crimes entirely unrelated to Russia interference, or for lying about things which are not in and of themselves crimes, the number of ethical improprieties and legal deficiencies of the investigation are only going to multiply going forward.

I don't think anything he wrote is controversial or unsound, but his confirmation hearings have the potential to be a serious shitstorm, which should at least make for more entertaining television once again coming out of Senate committee chambers.
 
Nov 23, 2010
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I thought it was the left that was supposed to be the hivemind? Not everyone has to agree with this guy.

There are conservatives out in the judicial system who aren't Trump partisans, but you never know who'll get the case.
Didn't say they did. I'm saying I don't think the US's Supreme Court conservatives will disagree with the former AG under George HW Bush. He made an intellectual argument in this memo they could get behind.
 

Arkage

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Sep 25, 2012
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The obstruction argument never held much water to me, because obstruction of justice is normally added on to something that by itself is a criminal act - destroying evidence, intimidating witnesses, jury tampering, etc. A chief executive firing one of his officers is entirely up to his own discretion.

Now, it's just no longer tenable that firing Comey could in any way impede the Russia investigation. Comey himself just testified this week before Congress, insisting over two hundred and fifty times, that he had no knowledge of the origins of the Russia investigation during the campaign and that he was completely unaware of the early mistakes justice officials were making at the outset of the new administration. The common retort seems to be that Trump wanted to obstruct justice, he's just incompetent at it, which echoes the arguments against the travel ban and how its detractors reconciled why it omitted many of the largest majority-Muslim nations. The President is either breaking the law or he's too incompetent to do so, and you just can't have it both ways.

The Comey firing seems a piece with how over twenty-five ranking justice officials have also been fired, demoted, or resigned in the wake of ethical improprieties with respect to how they've acted under this administration. The Washington Post now reports that ethics officials are trying to get the acting AG to step away from the Russia investigation, and influencers are calling for the same for the incoming AG. It is woefully problematic if the people credibly raising serious legal and ethical issues with the special counsel are not allowed to go anywhere near it, and the only ones allowed to be involved are those willing to look the other way. With the only Americans targeted by the investigation are going to jail for crimes entirely unrelated to Russia interference, or for lying about things which are not in and of themselves crimes, the number of ethical improprieties and legal deficiencies of the investigation are only going to multiply going forward.

I don't think anything he wrote is controversial or unsound, but his confirmation hearings have the potential to be a serious shitstorm, which should at least make for more entertaining television once again coming out of Senate committee chambers.
Trump arguably intimidated Comey when he asked him to let the Flynn thing go and asked for an oath of loyalty. Trump denies either of these things happened, but we both know Trump is full of horseshit concerning things like this. For someone who wants to be viewed as a "straight talker" who "tells it like it is" he certainly ends up denying a ton of shit that is clearly within his character.

It doesn't matter what Comey did or didn't know, it matters what Trump thought he knew. Trump already admitted to that he was contextualizing the firing of Comey within his anxiety over the Russia investigation.

"When I decided to just [fire him] I said to myself, I said, ya know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the democrats [...]" -Trumps CNN interview
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” -Trump to Russian Officials

And you can both try to break the law while failing to commit the intended crime. Trying to rob a person with no money on them is still a crime.

Also, there are no "credible" nor "serious" legal or ethical issues with the special counsel. It was appointed and monitored by Rod Rosenstein, who is also a completely credible person. Mueller was widely hailed as a credible person with lots of experience. He fired two people who were compromised by possible bias. There is literally zero evidence the Mueller has done anything legally or ethically wrong, and is in fact defending our Democracy by already imprisoning close friends of the President who happened to be criminals, as well as indicting Russian spies both inside and out of the country. The fact is that Trump keeps attempting to hire blatantly anti-Special Council people into the office that will report back to him about what's going on. It is in fact the only way Trump could gain some control over the investigation into himself, and he's wielding that power as much as he can.

I.E. your whole framing is complete horseshit, even if well presented! :messenger_ok:
 
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