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Sun May 21, 2017, 03:05 PM

? For any lawyers, law professors, or people who pretend to be lawyers on the internets

Please tell me why Donald Trump is not guilty of breaking the following statute 1505,
Obstruction of Justice?

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Obstruction of justice
Obstruction of justice is defined in the omnibus clause of 18 U.S.C. § 1503, which provides that "whoever . . . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense)." Persons are charged under this statute based on allegations that a defendant intended to intefere with an official proceeding, by doing things such as destroying evidence, or intefering with the duties of jurors or court officers.

A person obstructs justice when they have a specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial proceeding. For a person to be convicted of obstructing justice, they must not only have the specific intent to obstruct the proceeding, but the person must know (1) that a proceeding was actually pending at the time; and (2) there must be a nexus between the defendant’s endeavor to obstruct justice and the proceeding, and the defendant must have knowledge of this nexus.

§ 1503 applies only to federal judicial proceedings. Under § 1505, however, a defendant can be convicted of obstruction of justice by obstructing a pending proceeding before Congress or a federal agency. A pending proceeding could include an informal investigation by an executive agency.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/obstruction_of_justice

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Reply ? For any lawyers, law professors, or people who pretend to be lawyers on the internets (Original post)
Botany May 2017 OP
Thomas Hurt May 2017 #1
marylandblue May 2017 #2
ElementaryPenguin May 2017 #3
bathroommonkey76 May 2017 #4
Cicada May 2017 #5
bench scientist May 2017 #6

Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 03:09 PM

1. The only people who are going to say if FF45 violated that statute is the Congress....

You, me and lawyers and on and on can say it all they want, but the only ones who really matter are the GOP caucus of the Congress.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 04:35 PM

2. I am a pretend lawyer

and yes I do believe it is obstruction. But I don"t believe the coverup is worse than the crime in this case. I believe he is covering up some awful things that would make Nixon blush.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 04:38 PM

3. Well, I'd hardly consider Lawrence Tribe, the foremost constitutional lawyer in the country, a

Pretend lawyer - and he said Trump's certainly guilty of obstruction of justice - and that's plenty good enough for me!!

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 04:43 PM

4. I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on TV.

 

TV juries would convict Donald Trump in 70% of the shows out today- The other 30% would blame Hillary b/c they are owned by Fox.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 05:04 PM

5. The prosecutor can decline to prosecute. The President is the prosecutor.

The constitution vests executive power in the President. The President is in effect the top federal prosecutor. Prosecutors choose not to prosecute those who have broken the law every day. For instance where I live the federal prosecutor will not prosecute anyone caught growing fewer than 100 marijuana plants. If she tells an attorney in her office not to prosecute Bob caught growing 80 plants that is not obstruction of justice. At least I have never heard of a prosecutor charged for obstruction for declining to prosecute. So it seems to me Trump can successfully argue that his order to not prosecute Flynn is also not obstruction. And it is not permissible to prosecute one person for a crime when no one else has been charged for doing the same thing. That is why Comey said Hillary could not be prosecuted for emails. Yes the words of the statute read literally apply to her but no one else ever has been prosecuted who lacked an intent for the information to go to an unauthorized recipient. So Hillary may not be prosecuted. Same with Trump. Sorry - Trump surely deserves to go to jail for many things. But not this one in my legal opinion as a lawyer.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 05:04 PM

6. a judicial proceeding is limited in definition.

Investigation by the FBI( which is part of the executive branch of government likely is not covered by this particular statute).
This statute likely is interpreted as court related proceedings. That's a guess from 2nd year law student. I'd have to look up case law to see how it's been interpreted. I'm on my phone, if I get a chance later I will.

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