396 prosecutors say Trump would be charged if he were not president

Trump would be facing MULTIPLE felony charges if he wasn’t president claim HUNDREDS of former federal prosecutors including former aides to

  • The prosecutors, trial lawyers, and former U.S. attorneys voiced their complaints in a letter posted on Medium 
  • The Mueller report cited internal Justice Department guidelines and declined to make a judgement on obstruction 
  • Attorney General Bill Barr then announced that he and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein decided not to charge Trump
  • The prosecutors wrote that were it not for the internal guidelines, Trump would get charged with ‘multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice’ 

Nearly 400 prosecutors have signed onto a letter arguing that if he were an ordinary citizen, President Trump would be facing ‘multiple felony charges’ of obstruction of justice.

The prosecutors, consisting of former U.S. attorneys, Justice Department officials, lawyers, and senior Justice Department officials, cite the Mueller report, and say Trump would have been charged were it not for internal DOJ guidelines that state a president can’t be prosecuted while in office.  

‘Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,’ the prosecutors wrote, in a letter posted on Medium.

President Donald Trump would be charged with obstruction if it weren’t for internal Justice Department guidelines shielding presidents, a group of nearly 400 prosecutors wrote

‘The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process,’ they continued, before examining several episodes that Mueller’s team probed at length.   

‘We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment. Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here,’ they continue. 

‘In our system, every accused person is presumed innocent and it is always the government’s burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.’

Prominent officials signing on to the letter include Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel to Independent Counsel Ken Starr, Jeffrey Harris, a top assistant to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani when he was a Justice Department official, and William Weld, a former U.S. attorney who is running against Trump for the 2020 GOP presidential nomination. 

Attorney General Bill Barr has defied a Judiciary Committee subpoena, saying it would be illegal for him to turn over grand jury materials to Congress

The letter came on a day Trump lawyer Michael Cohen reported to prison for a three-year sentence for lying to Congress and a campaign finance violation

 Twenty of the signers are former U.S. attorneys, according to the Washington Post.  

The letter cites Trump’s efforts to fire Mueller ‘and to falsify evidence about that effort,’ his efforts to limit the scope of the Mueller probe, and to ‘prevent witnesses from cooperating with investigators probing him and his campaign.’ 

‘As former federal prosecutors, we recognize that prosecuting obstruction of justice cases is critical because unchecked obstruction — which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished — puts our whole system of justice at risk,’ they wrote. ‘We believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report.’

A group called Protect Democracy published the letter. 

It notes that the signatories are Republicans and Democrats from different levels in the justice system.    

The letter came on a when longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen reported to prison, and House Judiciary Committee Democrats prepared to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena for the full, un-redacted Mueller report. 

The Mueller report details Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey as one of ten episodes investigated for possible obstruction

White House Counsel Don McGahn said Trump directed him to tell the deputy attorney general that Mueller had to go

Efforts to get rid of Mueller 

The report provided new details on Trump’s actions to stifle the probe that he has long derided as a ‘witch hunt.’ The report states that Trump called White House counsel Don McGahn ‘and directed him to have the Special Counsel removed because of asserted conflicts of interest. McGahn did not carry out the instruction for fear of being seen as triggering another Saturday Night Massacre and instead prepared to resign. ‘ 

It also states that Trump asked McGahn to write a memo ‘for our files’ denying Trump had told him to fire Mueller.

Former chief of staff Reince Priebus recalled McGahn said the president had asked him to ‘do crazy s***.’

Efforts to limit the probe 

On efforts to limit the Mueller probe, the letter states: The president ‘repeatedly pressured then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his legally-mandated decision to recuse himself from the investigation.

‘The President’s stated reason was that he wanted an attorney general who would “protect” him, including from the Special Counsel investigation. He also directed then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to fire Sessions and Priebus refused.’

The Mueller report quotes contemporaneous notes by Priebus from a 2017 trip aboard Marine One with Trump. Trump told him that he ‘need[ed] a letter of resignation on [his] desk immediately’ and that sessions had ‘no choice’ but ‘must immediately resign,’ according to his notes in the report. 

Witness tampering and intimidation    

According to the letter: ‘The Special Counsel’s report establishes that the President tried to influence the decisions of both Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort with regard to cooperating with investigators. Some of this tampering and intimidation, including the dangling of pardons, was done in plain sight via tweets and public statements; other such behavior was done via private messages through private attorneys, such as Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani’s message to Cohen’s lawyer that Cohen should “[s]leep well tonight[], you have friends in high places.” 

The Mueller report says campaign Chair Paul Manafort told his deputy Rick Gates that he spoke to Trump’s personal counsel and they were ‘going to take care of us.’

 Manafort also told Gates it would be ‘stupid to plead,’ according to the report.  Trump stated publicly that he felt ‘badly’ about how Manafort had been treated. However when it came to Michael Cohen, who was assisting prosecutors, Trump called him a ‘rat.’

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