Screengrab from https://youtu.be/Lp41DKd5w5g
I am going to do something I hate doing: Talk about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
The reason I hate doing this is that it became an obsession as much as Benghazi was. Both incidents were horrible, yes, but many let it get in the way of discussing bigger issues during the 2016 campaign. Many on the right are still obsessed with the email scandal and it’s largely a weight they like to hang around James Comey’s neck.
However, as much as it frustrates me that people on the right can’t get over these issues, many on the left appear set to react the same way to Attorney General William Barr’s rationale on the lack of obstruction charges against President Donald Trump.
Barr’s letter regarding the Mueller investigation states that it’s understandable that no charges of obstruction were brought up because there was no underlying crime that the obstruction was meant to cover up. Therefore, there is no reason to claim obstruction. Mueller’s report itself, it seems, does not exonerate Trump of obstruction, but simply doesn’t deal with the question at all.
However, legal experts, according to the Washington Post‘s Aaron Blake, argue that this isn’t sound legal reasoning.
Barr argued that absence of collusion was mitigating factor when it came to obstruction, because it suggests a lack of "corrupt intent."
But Mueller did prove plenty of crimes that impacted Trump — and Trump despised narrative that Russia elected him.https://t.co/kYadAiNPuA
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) March 25, 2019
Legal experts say it’s odd that he emphasized the lack of an underlying, proven crime, given that’s not necessary for obstruction of justice.
“I think this is the weakest part of Attorney General Barr’s conclusions,” said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “You do not need to prove an underlying crime to prove obstruction of justice. Martha Stewart is quite aware of this fact.”
“For example,” added former federal prosecutor David Alan Sklansky, now of Stanford University, “if the President wrongfully tried to block the investigation into Russian interference in the election because he wanted to protect the Russians, or because he didn’t want people to know that a foreign government had tried to hack the election in his favor, that would constitute obstruction.”
Okay, sure. I can buy that. I am possibly even willing to buy that. However, I am not fully willing to buy that because a lot of people pushing this idea that Barr is out of line were silent when James Comey announced that Hillary Clinton had, in fact, broken the actual law, but had no intent to so there’s no reason to charge her.
Much like you don’t need an underlying crime in order to commit obstruction, you don’t have to have intent in order to be guilty of mishandling classified information.
That’s the frustrating thing here. I was more or less willing to give up the Clinton email scandal and move on, because it’s clear Hillary is no longer a force that we as an American society will ever have to really deal with ever again. But, it bears mentioning now because the people pushing this whole case for obstruction with no solid proof that Trump actually did it willfully ignored the fact that Clinton actually did break the law and was protected by a now-proven lunatic who wants the spotlight more than he ever wanted justice.
So, I’m sorry to rip this scab off. But I have to. I have to point this out because there are so many dishonest people out there pushing without evidence (this is becoming a pretty regular feature of the modern progressive movement) the claim that someone committed a major crime while they ignore the fact that solid evidence exists that one of their own really did.
Sorry. That’s not gonna fly.