Saturday, February 17, 2018

Collusion and Obstruction

Andrew McCarthy continues to provide clarity. I appreciate him giving some credit to his opposition, that their acts might not have been simply partisan and evil, even if they are wrong.


Zachriel said...

It has become more urgent to ask: Why is there a special counsel in the Russia investigation?

"to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election" ... including "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump". — Rod Rosenstein

To get down to brass tacks: May the president of the United States be charged with obstruction based on non-criminal discretionary acts that are unquestionably within his constitutional authority as chief executive?

Of course he can. An otherwise lawful power can be criminally abused. Consider this scenario: A chief executive fires the attorney general, saying he did it to stop an investigation that involved himself.

Therefore, in this country, a prosecutor should be assigned only if there is strong evidence that a crime has been committed

The law allows a Special Counsel when the Acting Attorney General "determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted". That doesn't mean a criminal act has been proven, only that an investigation is warranted. Law enforcement often investigates based only on suspicion.

However, in this case, there was certainly a crime, including the DNC hack. There is also evidence of connections, witting or unwitting, between the Russians and the Trump campaign. These certainly should be investigated in order to root out the criminals and to protect the U.S. against such crimes in the future. Lying to the FBI about the matter or otherwise obstructing the investigation is a crime.

The question should never come up unless there is some “criminal investigation or prosecution” that creates a conflict of interest for Justice Department leadership.

Check and check. Meanwhile,

December 7, 1941: Japan attacks the United States.

FDR tweets: The Roosevelt campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It appears that you read the article, but did not engage any of its arguments. You repeated the ideas commonly held on the left, which McCarthy made arguments against.

You are certain, or say "of course," about things that are not obvious. I have to view that as a tactic rather than an honest effort to engage.

Zachriel said...

Assistant Village Idiot: It appears that you read the article, but did not engage any of its arguments.

In fact, we quoted the article directly, responding to each point in turn.

Assistant Village Idiot: You are certain, or say "of course," about things that are not obvious.

This is the closest you come to addressing an argument.

In fact, we justified our position by providing a general example of how an otherwise lawful power can be criminally abused. For a specific example, Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois had the legal power to appoint a replacement for Obama's vacant Senate seat, but he used that power for corrupt purposes.