New OLC Memo: NO BASIS for Mueller Obstruction of Justice Claims

New OLC Memo: NO BASIS for Mueller Obstruction of Justice Claims

May 28, 2021 – After four years of gaslighting the nation with the “Russia Collusion” hoax, more evidence continues to come forward that exonerates President Donald Trump and his campaign staff while exposing the corruption of Obama agencies. The Office of Legal Council (OLC) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) today released a memo finding that the allegations against the president did not meet the standards of obstruction of Justice.

Currently, former U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating the origins of the probe as Special Counsel. This latest information to surface once again displays the absolute corruption, politicization and weaponization of the DOJ and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that have permeated the Mueller Special Counsel’s dubious assertions of “Obstruction of Justice.”

George Washington University Law Professor  and Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley writes about this on his website. He is a nationally recognized legal authority and has been published in many prestigious publications.

The long-awaited, though partial, release of a memorandum from the Justice Department this week left many ‘frustrated,’ as predicted by the Washington Post, in Washington. The reason is what it did not contain.  Critics had sought the memo as the ‘smoking gun’ to show how former Attorney General Bill Barr scuttled any obstruction charges against Donald Trump. Instead, the memo showed the opposite. The staff of the OLC actually found that the allegations did not meet the standard of obstruction even without any defenses or privileges related to Trump’s office.

The issue of obstruction of justice ran throughout Barr’s second term as Attorney General. Before his confirmation hearing, a memo was released that Barr wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The memo discussed flaws in the use of the most likely federal provision on obstruction of justice against Trump. Barr was hammered by Democratic senators on his view of obstruction, as was I when I testified the next day as a witness. I agreed with many of the flaws noted by Barr in the memo.

Barr’s more nuanced arguments were drowned out by a long litany of experts like Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe who publicly insisted that obstruction was not only clearly established (with a long litany of other crimes) but that Barr’s rejection of that crime was evidence of his raw partisanship. In a public letter to me, Ralph Nader, Lou Fisher, and Bruce Fein stated that his rejection of obstruction was akin to ‘a papal encyclical that President Trump was innocent of obstruction of justice’ that ignored Mueller’s ‘chronicle [of] multiple instances of evidence of obstruction.’

Throughout this never-ending barrage, Barr remained largely silent on the internal review of the matter and declined to release the full OLC memo. That only increased speculation that Barr must be hiding countervailing conclusions of legal staff. We know now that (at least the now disclosed portion of) the memo supports Barr’s prior view and, despite that fact, he withheld the information out of concern for the confidentiality of the internal deliberations.

It turns out that the review and debate over the obstruction allegations began before Barr started as Attorney General. The memo also confirms that the Mueller staff was part of that analysis with career prosecutors at Main Justice. The memo states that the prosecutors reviewed the Mueller evidence and concluded that the evidence ‘examined by the Special Counsel could not, as a matter of law, support an obstruction charge under the circumstances. Accordingly, were there no constitutional barriers, we would recommend, under the Principles of Federal Prosecution, that you decline to commence such a prosecution.’ In plain English, that means that the prosecutors came to the same conclusion as Barr that the alleged conduct did not satisfy the elements of this crime. Moreover, it stated that it would reject such a charge even without consideration of any constitutional barriers presented by Trump’s office.

The new information was released after Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a scathing criticism of the Justice Department, including arguments and representations advanced by the Biden Justice Department. The Justice Department apologized for a lack of clarity on some points but said it would appeal the order to release of the entire OLC memo.

Jackson however lashed out at Barr. In issuing his controversial summary of the report, Jackson said Barr suggested that he had little time to review the whole Mueller report when ‘[t]he fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given.’

Jackson seems to ignore the obvious to justify the most sensational takes on these facts.  She declares: ‘So why did the attorney general’s advisers, at his request, create a memorandum that evaluated the prosecutorial merits of the facts amassed by the special counsel? Lifting the curtain reveals the answer to that too: getting a jump on public relations.’

The answer would seem obvious. Since his nomination, the issue of obstruction had been used to fuel allegations of partisanship and manipulation of the process. With the release of the report, it was likely to be focus of questions from Congress and the public. While the review of this question (according to the memo) began before Barr’s arrival, he wanted a clear and dispositive record of how this decision was made – and who made it. That certainly does anticipate public questions but it was also a responsible thing to do. He asked the OLC to render a formal opinion on the issue – just as the Obama Administration did in such important and public controversies.  Barr was creating a record of the conclusions of staff counsel on an issue of great national importance.  I still do not see why such a request is untoward or unusual.

Clearly there is more to this memo so we might find something truly incriminating or embarrassing, but the record of the OLC review is not one of them. Indeed, if Barr had not requested such a letter, the same pundits would now be questioning what was concluded and whether Barr imposed his own previously stated view in the matter. The letter created a record of how the conclusion was reached and who reached that conclusion.

The controversy of Barr’s summary largely focused on a couple lines where he said that the underlying facts from by Mueller would not satisfy the elements of the crime of obstruction. It turns out that staff had made that conclusion as did some of us from existing and controlling case law. Moreover, Barr stated that the reason for the delay in the release was the removal of any grand jury material as required by federal law.

The released portions does not contradict Barr’s claim that he could not simply release a two-volume, 450-page report. One can fairly criticize aspects of that summary but the delay of the release of the report (and need for a summary) falls more squarely on Mueller. Past hearings established that Barr and Rosenstein told Mueller that they wanted his staff to flag grand jury material because Barr wanted to release the redacted report rather than a summary.  Mueller appears to have simply ignored that instruction from his superiors. As a result, a full review had to be performed with Mueller’s staff to remove grand jury material, which is mandatory under federal rules.  If Mueller had flagged and redacted the grand jury material, the redacted report could have been released without much delay as Barr preferred.

The memo also undermines the claims raised in the first impeachment of Donald Trump. I testified in that hearing and disagreed with my three co-witnesses (Professors Michael Gerhardt, Pamela Karlan, and Noah Feldman) who insisted that Trump had committed obstruction of justice. They were not alone. Democrats and the media paraded a letter from over 450 prosecutors who declared unequivocally that ‘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 actual prosecutors at Main Justice found that not only would the allegations not meet the standard for obstruction of justice but that it would still be the case even if Trump was not the President of the United States.  The contrast shows the danger of such gotcha letters. With thousands of professors and prosecutors, it is not particularly difficult to get hundreds of signatories to support one side or another in a controversy. The Justice Department does not prosecute by plebiscite and this is why. – Jonathan Turley

Barr was smeared by Democrats in the beginning of his tenure as Attorney General as “Trump’s Sword and Shield.” They made baseless allegations and accusations of unfair and unethical protection of Trump by his “allies” which turned out to largely be false.

Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s “pitbull” has a history of gross corruption and perversion of justice for political and self-serving ends. Margot Cleveland of the Federalist exposed this when she got records unsealed showing his misconduct in the Enron case, during which he ruined the lives of several innocent people:

The now unsealed records expose efforts by Weissmann, and the Enron Task Force he led, to intimidate witnesses and to interfere in the attorney-client relationship of a cooperating witness. Several affidavits unsealed last week catalogued veiled threats made to witnesses the Enron defendants sought to interview. However, because many of the attorneys would speak only off the record to Enron’s attorneys, the courts refused to consider the affidavits sufficient to prove prosecutorial misconduct.

Two attorneys, however, were willing to testify. In a just-unsealed affidavit, one lawyer stated that an FBI agent working for the Enron Task Force overseen by Weissmann warned his client against talking to the Enron defense team because ‘those are bad guys.’ The second attorney stated that an FBI agent had made veiled threats against his client in a separate Enron trial.

Still more troubling, though, was an email Weissmann sent to William Dolan, one of the two attorneys representing a cooperating witness, Ken Rice, concerning Rice’s second attorney, Dan Cogdell. Weissmann’s email accused Cogdell of having a conflict of interest because Cogdell was seen talking with another defense lawyer. In the email, Weissmann suggested Cogdell’s supposed conflict left Rice two options: ‘instructs his lawyers who they can speak to and who they cannot;’ [or] determine[] that his attorney has not acted in Rice’s best interests and gets rid of him.’

In addition to Weissmann’s inappropriate attempt to push Cogdell off the case, a 17-page report unsealed on Thursday by expert witness Michael Tigar detailed many more vagrancies. Especially troubling to Tigar was the Enron Task Force’s use of ‘multiple grand juries working over several years’ not to ‘return fresh indictments or start new cases, but to make the threat of indictment real and tangible’ to the nearly 90 unindicted co-conspirators. – The Federalist

I encourage our readers to look at the documents from the Enron Task Force. You will find them quite illuminating. Andrew Weissmann should have been disbarred way back then, and yet he was rewarded for this illegal behavior. And therein lies the problem.

It was dirty cop Weissmann who orchestrated the SDNY trumped up charges against Steve Bannon, also later dropped:

This past week former Trump Team Strategist Steve Bannon was indicted with three others on charges related to their building a wall on the Southern border by the SDNY.   This indictment screams of Andrew Weissmann corruption and prosecutorial abuse.

As we reported previously, dirty cop Robert Mueller and his deputy in crime Andrew Weissmann indicted a number of innocent individuals and companies of crimes over the years. Mueller is a crook and so is Weissmann who was at Hillary’s inauguration party and was informed of the fake Russia dossier in its very early days in 2016.  (Of course, Weissmann never considered this a conflict of interest preventing him from joining the Mueller investigative team. )

Sydney Powell recently was on with Mark Levin on his show on FOX News and she described the actions taken by former FBI Head Robert Mueller during the Enron case in the early 2000’s. Powell wrote LICENSED TO LIE: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice after seeing a core group of federal prosecutors break all the rules, make up crimes, hide evidence, and send innocent people to prison in the Enron case. When she saw them promoted to the top of the US legal system at the DOJ and FBI she had had enough.

Powell discusses how Mueller hand picked Weissmann wanting this corrupt attorney on his team.

Mueller and Weissmann made up a crime that resulted in the complete destruction of Arthur Andersen and the loss of more than 80,000 jobs for those employed by this corporation. This crime was eventually overturned by the US Supreme Court unanimously but it was far too late for all involved because the company was totally destroyed years before the Supreme Court decision.

Mueller and Weissmann not only attacked innocents using the full might of the US government, they also committed crimes. In recently uncovered documents from the Enron case, Weissmann threatened a witness.

Next, according to Powell, Mueller and Weissmann created crimes to indict four Americans at Merrill Lynch. They put these four individuals through ten years of ‘unmitigated hell’. Putting at least one of the four in solitary confinement.

Move forward more than a decade and Mueller and Weissmann joined hands again but this time in the corrupt and unconstitutional Mueller Special Counsel team. Because of this, none of the crimes or corrupt actions taken against the President and those closest to him are legal or just.

Paul Manafort was indicted on a number of crimes by corrupt Mueller and his gang. The problem with their initial indictment was that the actions under indictment were reviewed by the FBI previously and not considered crimes. The FBI interviewed Manafort in 2014 for the same crimes they indicted him on a few years later but neglected to press charges then because Obama gang members were involved. – Gateway Pundit

This sort of corruption within our government agencies like the Department of Justice and FBI is unconscionable. Those involved in these crimes have been shown to be hopelessly political and corrupt. As you can see this goes back decades, and without accountability or punishment for crimes, these agencies have become emboldened.

Weissmann had big plans for this fake obstruction of justice charge, and he was planning on using his contacts and lapdogs in the media to fight the case in the court of public opinion — a corrupt establishment collaboration useful when they know they cannot win cases on merit. Bill Barr poured a bucket of cold water on that plan, enraging Weissmann et al. Barr allowed Trump to circumvent this narrative and plan. Much to his credit, he was loudly against the DOJ being politicized and weaponized, as he made clear in numerous public speeches he made.

Over decades, these institutions had already become dismally perverted. Barr was appointed far too late in the game to effectively challenge a process that had been going on unabated for decades. The DOJ needs to be “burnt to the ground and the earth salted,” metaphorically only of course, as do the rest of these horribly out of control agencies. I truly believe that we must start anew, with new staff in order to preserve the American justice system.

Barr’s crucial mistake and miscalculation was thinking that he could preserve the institution by not seeking recompense against those who broke the law and abused their position with regard to the Russia hoax. So, he placated the masses with the Durham investigation, ran out the clock, and allowed the real perpetrators to get away with their crimes. Barr thought the best way to stop the DOJ from being vindictive and political is to not be vindictive and political. That was his greatest misunderstanding.

Now that Barr is gone, the institutional rot within the system is putrefying, and our system of justice is withering away. The Left has now seized power, which Barr himself allowed in his failure to look into systemic voter fraud and now Hunter Biden walks free after the revelations of his sexual perversions, blackmail, pornography, bribes, kickbacks and pay-for-play with the “big guy.”

The FBI has become even more weaponized, with the raiding and arresting of political prisoners without prior criminal records rotting in jail without possibility of bail — for trespassing. The SDNY continues its harassment and fishing expedition against President Trump and Joe Biden is currently steering the country into the ground while imploding our economy.

If only someone had held these tyrants accountable. If only someone had the spine to stop them and pursue legal action against them for the very real crimes they committed. Now the inmates are running the asylum.

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