Did Trump Just Admit to Felony Obstruction?
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-12-02 13:15 by Karl Denninger
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Did Trump Just Admit to Felony Obstruction?
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Oh oh....

 by tickerguy

Two dumb things here.  First, Trump is stupid enough to own and use an iPhone.

But second, and not-at-all tongue-in-cheek, is the content of this tweet.

If Trump fired Flynn knowing Flynn had lied to the FBI and then attempted to get Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn's conduct (which he has also admitted to doing, which there is documentary evidence of, and which occurred after he fired Flynn) then Trump knew at the time he asked Comey to "let it go" that Flynn had committed a felony offense.

Does that meet the formal definition of Obstruction of Justice?

Sure looks like it to me, and Trump just appears to have admitted it in public.

Mueller no longer needs to prove why Trump fired Comey as the President just admitted to having actual knowledge of a felony crime and it is known that after he fired Flynn he attempted to get the investigation into said crime killed as the Comey memo on same is both contemporaneous and a legally-admissible official record.

Oops.

PS: Nixon, anyone?  Oh, and if you're wondering why Mueller would give Flynn a "get out of jail free" card when he likely has a number of things he can get him on and the lying alone is enough to lock him up you may have just discovered why Mueller was perfectly happy to let Flynn walk.

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User Info Did Trump Just Admit to Felony Obstruction? in forum [Market-Ticker]
Goforbroke
Posts: 7148
Incept: 2007-11-30
A True American Patriot!
Time to feed the chickens.
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The price of arrogance.

As President, he has totally ****ed (himself and us) up in so many ways.

Time to feed the chickens.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson

Tickerguy
Posts: 150674
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This is literally almost to-the-letter how Nixon ****ed himself.

He might NOT have known that the "plumbers" were breaking into The Watergate. But once he knew about it he tried to derail the investigation, and the tapes established that -- even with the tampered sections removed.

To know that Flynn lied to Pence is not actionable, as lying to the VP is not a crime. But to attempt to derail an FBI investigation when he had actual knowledge of felony conduct that was being investigated is a whole 'nother ballgame.

If I KNOW you robbed a bank, the FBI comes and starts asking questions about you, and I lie to them I'm ****ED. If I DON'T have any knowledge then while I might still get hosed it's nowhere near as serious a matter, as that's a "process" violation rather than obstruction. But once I have knowledge (or damn good reason to know, such as you suddenly appearing with a ****load of hookers, blow and $100 bills when your day job is sweeping floors) that very same lie probably gets me hard felony time in the federal slammer.

It's never the original act that gets these guys; they can survive that. It's their attempt to **** with it, and the arrogance of making an indelible, admissible record.

In this case Trump did it in public.

If there's anything approaching justice left in this country that tweet is going to come back and explode in his face like a Nork Nuke set off in the Oval Office.

PS: If you want to know why Flynn got a "get out of jail free" card, this might well be the reason......

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Goforbroke
Posts: 7148
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A True American Patriot!
Time to feed the chickens.
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That's what I tell my kids ... the fact that you ****ed up and did (fill in the blank) is minor compared to your lying about it.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
Themortgagedude
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saint louis
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This is a helluva chicken **** way to take down a President. It may work though.


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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Thetemplateblog
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Pa
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The timing doesn't make sense. Flynn was fired BEFORE he spoke to the FBI didn't he? Me thinks the tweet was just poorly worded as Trump has been known to do.

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Tickerguy
Posts: 150674
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Nope Template.

Trump tried to talk Comey out of stopping an in-process investigation into Flynn immediately after firing him. He had to know about it in order to do that, which meant Flynn talked (and lied to) to the FBI first.

You're making excuses and are exactly the definition of the problem, as is TMD.

Where's the "OFF" switch around here?

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Quik49
Posts: 4217
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There it is... right there in black and white... I had to fire him because....
Pretty straight forward...what an idiot.

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Long Vaseline....

Max_planck
Posts: 44
Incept: 2017-01-09

Southern Arizona
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The only excuse one could cling to is that Trump screwed up and included the FBI lying in today's tweet because it was just substantiated yesterday, and he was trying to make his firing reason(s) sound better. He failed to think through the implications with respect to the timeline.
Tickerguy
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Good luck with that one given that apparently there is documentary evidence that tends to suggest the White House Counsel knew before Flynn was fired as well.

Odds that he can run that excuse? Maybe decent prior to this morning, but now? Nope.

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Max_planck
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Southern Arizona
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Michael Issikof spinning on CNN that we don't know for sure that Yates told the White House Counsel specifically that Flynn had lied to the FBI, her testimony was that she told them Flynn was not truthful to the Vice President and subject to blackmail.
Tickerguy
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That might have held up until this morning now it won't

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Orionrising
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the whole concept of a president being able to obstruct justice is an interesting one, especially with the pardon power. It appears to have been handled wrong in this case.

I would say trump could have constitutionally told Comey " I pardon Flynn" and left it at that and it would have been constitutional. Now asking to stop an investigation vs ordering may be a very different thing.

"and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."

Is rather vague and I doubt there is much history of related case law.
Themortgagedude
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saint louis
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What is the appropriate statute? Google isn't my friend on this.

Personally I don't see him asking the FBI director to go easy on Flynn as obstruction. If he had ordered that or fired him at that time I think it would be very easy to make the case. But I'm open to changing my mind after I read the statute.

Also it would be pretty ****ty if he was prosecuted for this after all that Clinton did to obstruct. But I don't want to go down that hole. When you start excusing one criminal because they aren't as bad as another you don't have a rule of law anymore.

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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Tickerguy
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But he DID fire Comey..

Quit making excuses.

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Themortgagedude
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saint louis
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The official reason Comey was fired was that Rod Rosenstein thought he had mishandled the Clinton investigation. I think to make the obstruction case you have to connect the dots here. Would be rather interesting to bring Rosenstein to the stand and ask if that actually was the case. And it's hard to believe that it's true since Rosenstein appointed Mueller.

It's easy to draw the conclusion that Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein puppet mastered the whole firing to bring Mueller on the job.


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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Tickerguy
Posts: 150674
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Nope all you need is the attempt to stop the investigation. That's obstruction right there.

Unless you don't give a **** about the rule of law. In which case..



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Themortgagedude
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saint louis
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Well if we can get an equal application of the law I'm all in favor. I'm not in favor of an over zealous prosecution of one administration because they aren't part of the club and turning a blind eye to the actions of the UniParty candidate. This whole investigation has been based on lies and innuendo and it stinks. To convict the Donald of obstruction you would have to convince a jury that he was trying to intimidate Comey. I don't think you could do that but - I don't think that it would be that hard to convince the CongressCritters to get rid of him if they thought they could get by with it. There is a case to be made.

Like I said yesterday if I were Trump I'd be fighting back and would have done so a long time ago.

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I think its time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that our founding fathers intended for us. Ronald Reagan 1964
Teresajude
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There is a constitutional problem with claiming that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. The FBI is an executive agency; from a constitutional standpoint it can be argued to be wielding the power of the executive. As the head of the executive branch, Trump was fully within his legal authority to ORDER Comey to end the investigation.

Trump exercising his constitutional authority CANNOT be obstruction of justice.

If you disagree with the firing, then you can lobby congress to impeach him. There is no legal question here, only a political one.
Saints
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When officials in the Justice department decide whether to prosecute someone like Flynn for lying to the FBI or let it go because there's no crime behind the lie would you call that obstruction of justice or prosecutorial discretion? Trump is head of the executive and ultimately boss of the justice department. Who are Comey or Mueller to say Trump who could simply pardon Flynn obstructed justice?
Rickcaird
Posts: 153
Incept: 2009-08-17

Boynton Beach, Fl
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Trump had every right to fire Comey regardless of his reason The FBI director serves at his pleasure. If it were any other way, any FBI director could keep his job just by investigating the President.

But, Trump fired Flynn for lying to Pence. Trump would have no way of knowing if Flynn lied to the FBI. In fact, any such lying would have occurred after Flynn left the administration.

But, worse, how did the FBI get the transcript of Flynn? Flynn was not breaking any laws when he talked to the Soviet Ambassador. He should never have been unmasked in the first place. FISA warrants are nonsense and a direct affront to the US Constitution.
Tickerguy
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You guys and dolls are all full of ****.

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Flyanddive
Posts: 2434
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The Swamp handed Trump a rope, and he hung himself. I feel the outrage though, Hillary did thousands of times worse, but she is above the law.

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Tickerguy
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Sorry but one ****up does not excuse another. If you think it does get the **** out. Now.

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Flyanddive
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Detroit
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Oh no, I think they all deserve to share a jail cell together.

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"I've seen people go into real poverty trying to pretend to be rich."
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