A part of the document that supported former Attorney General William Barr’s decision not to charge then-President Trump with “obstruction” over the now-debunked Russia collusion claims has been released, and it’s leaving anti-Trumpers frustrated.
It’s because it reveals that the official legal recommendation in the case was that Trump would not be charged based on the evidence even if he was a private citizen – and not given any presidential immunity.
A report from Ed Morrissey at HotAir explained that Judge Amy Jackson in Washington had ordered parts of the internal Department of Justice memo revealed, giving the government time to appeal to keep it secret.
Meanwhile, a few portions came out, and according to the report, “it looks like a dud – another in a series of involving the Russia-collusion hypothesis and subsequent special-counsel probe.”
The parts revealed confirmed the U.S. Office of Legal Counsel, consulted by Barr, had arrived at the same conclusion as Barr – that there could be no charges filed.
The OLC said, “Certain of the conduct examined by the Special Counsel could not, as a matter of law, support an obstruction charge under the circumstances. Accordingly, were there no constitutional barrier, we would recommend, under the Principles of Federal Prosecution, that you decline to commence such a prosecution.”
The background is that Democrats paid for and orchestrated the fictional and now-debunked Steele dossier that made wild accusations about then-candidate Donald Trump. They maneuvered it into the public domain, and then used it, and other pretenses, to obtain court permission for the federal government’s intel agencies to spy on Trump’s campaign regarding allegations the campaign was colluding with Russia, a weaponization of the power of the United States against a private political organization.
The claims collapsed when FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller reported he didn’t find evidence of collusion. However, Democrats remained giddy with the possibility that Trump could be charged with “obstruction” for his statements and actions during the investigation.
Mueller declined to make that decision, but Barr reviewed the facts and announced there would be no charges.
The internal discussions behind that announcement are what the Democrats still were hoping somehow would provide fodder for their continuing war against Trump, which already has included two failed impeach-and-remove attempts while he was in office.
A Washington Post report noted that for decades, DOJ policy has been that sitting presidents could not be charged with a crime. But the memo portions released reveal that wasn’t even necessarily used, and there was the OLC recommendation against prosecution.
“In other words, Trump’s status as president isn’t what saved him from prosecution in the end. Mueller didn’t make enough of a case for prosecution even if Trump had been a private citizen at that point, at least in the view of the OLC attorneys,” the HotAir report said.
Morrissey reported there was nothing unethical about Barr’s consultations with the OLC on legal points.
“Had Barr been consulting with Mueller all along without disclosing it, that might have been a problem for the credibility of Mueller’s report. This, however, appears to be in line with the OLC’s purpose — as an advisory board, not an independent watchdog. Like so many of the supposed gotchas in the Russia-collusion quest, this one winds up as nothing much more than a process issue.”
At a PJMedia report was the comment, “The Left and the media long suspected that the Department of Justice memo upon which former Attorney General William Barr based his decision not to prosecute then-president Donald Trump for obstruction of justice contained a ‘smoking gun’ that would prove Trump guilty and discredit Barr’s conclusions.”
It continued, “The OLC recommended against prosecuting Trump, not only because there are constitutional issues with prosecuting a president for obstruction, but also because even if Trump were a private citizen, there wouldn’t be enough evidence.”
The report said, “The bottom line is that legally, Trump could not be prosecuted even if he wasn’t president. That’s not going down very well on the Left today.”
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