Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate: Since the news broke on Tuesday that Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, Harvard Law School's Laurence Tribe has been arguing that the president's conduct, in and of itself, is illegal and amounts to impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors." Tribe has been acting as citizen attorney general in the "shadow Cabinet" formed by progressive leaders in response to the Trump Administration and tweeting from the @ShadowingTrump handle. Tribe's tweets (from @tribelaw) have become their own form of must-see TV for the resistance. I reached him via email this morning, with a clutch of lingering questions we at Slate have had about the past week.

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Lithwick: You're started using the term obstruction of justice with regard to the president, and that's got a very precise legal meaning. At what point does Trump's conduct last week rise to the level of illegal obstruction?

Tribe: In my view, we have clearly passed that point, both as a technical matter under 18 USC 1505, 1512, and 1513, and, much more importantly, as a matter of what might be called the "common law" of presidential impeachment, as established principally by the House impeachment and Senate trial of Bill Clinton and by the articles of impeachment of Richard Nixon."

Lithwick: What is the legal/ethical significance of Donald Trump's Friday tweet threatening Jim Comey about taping his calls? Clearly, it was bad optics. But was it also more?

That's a clear instance of witness intimidation under 18 USC 1512-13 and obstruction of pending congressional proceedings under 18 USC 1505, given the obvious likelihood that Comey's testimony about who convened the infamous White House dinner involving himself and the president and who said what to whom at that dinner will be needed and sought by the pertinent congressional committees.

It also helps form part of the damning pattern of obstruction of justice of which President Trump has all but convicted himself.

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-You are now making the case that even absent any clear connection of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to throw the election, Trump is complicit in a cover-up, which is itself illegal? Is this a standalone crime from your perspective?

"Absolutely. Blowing smoke in the faces of duly constituted federal investigators so as to trip them up and make it harder both for them to uncover the truth and for them to persuade the people that they have done so is a serious abuse of power, regardless of whether that smoke concealed or came from any real fire. That's why one so often hears it said that the cover-up can be worse than the crime.

And that insight was at the base of the remarkably impressive testimony Sally Yates delivered under oath to a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee recently."

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2017-05-14 12:36 AM | Reply

The Democrats should stop the government until impeachment is started.

But they won't.

#2 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-05-14 12:45 AM | Reply

Trump must be impeached. Here's why.

By Laurence H. Tribe May 13 at 3:01 PM

The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice.

The remedy of impeachment was designed to create a last-resort mechanism for preserving our constitutional system. It operates by removing executive-branch officials who have so abused power through what the framers called "high crimes and misdemeanors" that they cannot be trusted to continue in office.

No American president has ever been removed for such abuses, although Andrew Johnson was impeached and came within a single vote of being convicted by the Senate and removed, and Richard Nixon resigned to avoid that fate.

Now the country is faced with a president whose conduct strongly suggests that he poses a danger to our system of government.

www.washingtonpost.com

#3 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-14 12:51 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Harvard Law School's Laurence Tribe

What does he know? He probably just got that job 'cause of book learnin' and edumacation.

But, does he know Jesus? That's what's important.

#4 | Posted by kudzu at 2017-05-14 05:53 AM | Reply

Go for it.

#5 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-05-14 08:36 PM | Reply

Preet Bharara: Are there still public servants who will say no to the president?

And in the tumult of this time, the question whose answer we should perhaps fear the most is the one evoked by that showdown: Are there still public servants who are prepared to say no to the president?

. . .

For me, the past week has been deja vu all over again. To restore faith in the rule of law, three obvious things must happen: First, we need a truly bipartisan investigation in Congress. That means no partisan nonsense -- just a commitment to finding the facts, whatever they may be, proving (or disproving) Russian interference in our election and anything related. Congress is a check and a balance, and never more important than when a bullying chief executive used to his own way seems not to remember the co-equal status of the other two branches.

Second, the new FBI director must be apolitical and sensitive to the law-enforcement mission, not someone with a long record of reflexive partisanship or commentary on the very investigative issues that will come before the bureau. Unfortunately, some of the candidates paraded by cameras this past weekend reality-show style fall into that category. I can't think of anything worse for FBI morale, for truth-finding or for public trust. More than ever the FBI needs a strong and stabilizing hand, which means somebody who has not spent most of his or her career pandering for votes, groveling for cash or putting party over principle.

Finally, I join in the common-sense call for an independent and uncompromised special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. Given the manner of Comey's firing and the pretextual reasons proffered for it, there is no other way. My former colleague, now-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, is a respected career prosecutor but has mostly deserved the doubts he generated with his peculiar press-release-style memo purporting to explain Comey's sudden sacking. He can still fix it. The move would not only ensure the independence of the investigation, but also provide evidence of Rosenstein's own independence.

History will judge this moment. It's not too late to get it right, and justice demands it.

www.washingtonpost.com

#6 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-14 09:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

ugh...

If you won't prosecute Mrs. Clinton for the Email mess, and the obstruction of justice she committed by deleting 20,000 emails ahead of an FBI probe into her illegal email server, you have no ground to stand on to accuse, let alone prosecute, anyone for obstruction.

And, it is waaayyyyy too late to do anything about it all now. Credibility is gone, only the most naive children still have any. By failing to go after Mrs. Clinton you have rendered the entire idea of Law, Order and Equal Justice non-operative.

#7 | Posted by AWinter at 2017-05-15 08:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

ugh...

If you won't prosecute Mrs. Clinton for the Email mess, and the obstruction of justice she committed by deleting 20,000 emails ahead of an FBI probe into her illegal email server, you have not ground to stand on to accuse, let alone prosecute, anyone for obstruction.

And, it is waaayyyyy too late to do anything about it all now. Credibility is gone, only the most naive children still have any. By failing to go after Mrs. Clinton you have rendered the entire idea of Law, Order and Equal Justice non-operative.

#8 | Posted by AWinter at 2017-05-15 08:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#8

If Donald committed a crime then there's grounds to prosecute him for a crime.

Not sure what you're talking about. Must be some stupid right wing talking point.

#9 | Posted by Zed at 2017-05-15 08:36 AM | Reply

"You have rendered the entire idea of Law, Order, and Equal Justice non-operative"

That would be YOU trying to do that, My Man.

#10 | Posted by Zed at 2017-05-15 08:40 AM | Reply

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If it makes you any happier, many of us feel that in his final days in the bunker Donald will try to arrest Clinton and likely Obama.

Donald operates on the principles of envy and vengeance.

#11 | Posted by Zed at 2017-05-15 08:46 AM | Reply

"If you won't prosecute Mrs. Clinton for the Email mess, and the obstruction of justice she committed by deleting 20,000 emails ahead of an FBI probe into her illegal email server,"

Easily refuted by just reminding this fool that her predecessor also used a private email server and didn't face multiple investigations over it because Democrats don't play politics with national security the way Republicans do.

#12 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-15 08:47 AM | Reply

"If you won't prosecute Clinton for the e-mail mess..."

Who is Attorney General? Walt Disney?

#13 | Posted by Zed at 2017-05-15 09:00 AM | Reply

Easily refuted by just reminding this fool that her predecessor also used a private email server and didn't face multiple investigations over it because Democrats don't play politics with national security the way Republicans do.

This is just false and really an outright lie, but go ahead and pander such cause it makes you think you partisanship towards your party is morally up standing.

Never mind those servers tied into the governments.

#14 | Posted by Crassus at 2017-05-15 09:22 AM | Reply

The signature on your cherished MAGA chapeau is a fake.

#15 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2017-05-15 09:25 AM | Reply

#13
Word in Orlando is he could be next-

#16 | Posted by Jimbob43 at 2017-05-15 10:08 AM | Reply

Yep, the French are the problem.....LOL

#17 | Posted by Crassus at 2017-05-15 10:16 AM | Reply

If you won't prosecute Mrs. Clinton for the Email mess, and the obstruction of justice she committed by deleting 20,000 emails ahead of an FBI probe into her illegal email server, you have not ground to stand on to accuse, let alone prosecute, anyone for obstruction.

#8 | POSTED BY AWINTER

The probe came about because of the deletion.

And let me know when Mrs. Clinton becomes president. THEN we can talk about it more.

#18 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-15 10:50 AM | Reply

This is just false and really an outright lie, but go ahead and pander such cause it makes you think you partisanship towards your party is morally up standing.
Never mind those servers tied into the governments.

#14 | POSTED BY CRASSUS

No, Colin Powell had a private email server. That's a fact. Stop lying constantly about everything.

#19 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-15 10:52 AM | Reply

Colin Powell had a private email server

Support what you are posting cause it is a out right lie, but you don't care about this do you.

#20 | Posted by Crassus at 2017-05-15 10:57 AM | Reply

When Powell arrived at the State Department, the information technology system was badly dated, he argued. And unlike Clinton, Powell never set up a private server.

Wow, didn't take me long Syco.......did the looking for you so you don't have to feel so bad!

#21 | Posted by Crassus at 2017-05-15 11:06 AM | Reply

gee that was tough

www.politico.com

Powell's statement came after a top Democrat released an email Powell sent Clinton in early 2009 describing his use of personal communication devices in State's secure executive suite despite warnings from security officials that such use could jeopardize classified information.

#22 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-05-15 11:08 AM | Reply

"With respect to records, if I sent an email from my public email account to an addressee at another public email account it would not have gone through State Department servers. It was a private conversation similar to a phone call. If I sent it to a state.gov address it should have been captured and retained by State servers," Powell said. "I was not aware at the time of any requirement for private, unclassified exchanges to be treated as official records."

"They gave me all kinds of nonsense about how they gave out signals and could be read by spies, etc.," Powell wrote, referring to personnel from State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. "I had numerous meetings with them. We even opened one [device] up for them to try to explain to me why it was more dangerous than say, a remote control for one of the many tvs in the suite. Or something embedded in my shoe heel. They never satisfied me and NSA/CIA wouldn't back off. So, we just went about our business and stopped asking."

"I had an ancient version of a PDA and used it," Powell added in the email.

#23 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-05-15 11:10 AM | Reply

www.theguardian.com

Colin Powell told Hillary Clinton, his successor as secretary of state, that he used a personal computer to email foreign leaders "without going through State Department servers", a seven-year-old email exchange reveals.


What I did do was have a personal computer that was hooked up to a private phone line (sounds ancient.) So I could communicate with a wide range of friends directly without it going through the State Department servers. I even used it to do business with some foreign leaders and some of the senior folks in the Department on their personal email accounts. I did the same thing on the road in hotels.

#24 | Posted by truthhurts at 2017-05-15 11:13 AM | Reply

Deflecting to talk about Clinton's emails isn't going to change this fact:

Morning Joe says FBI close to exposing the president: ‘It's a criminal issue -- and Trump knows that'

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough believes President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey because he sensed the investigation was getting close to revealing whatever criminal actions he's trying to hide.

Scarborough said he's heard from FBI sources that the investigation had gathered steam in recent weeks, and he said Comey was fired in response to that development.
"They have already found the string and they are pulling on it, based on my contacts inside the FBI and they are starting to tug on that string, and they are going to keep tugging, keeping going, and it's accelerated because of the way he fired Comey, and he knows it," Scarborough said.

www.rawstory.com

Even if the Clinton investigation is reopened and she is prosecuted and found guilty, it isn't going to change the fact that Trump has obstructed justice and he, too, is being investigated.

#25 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-15 11:26 AM | Reply

No, Colin Powell had a private email server. That's a fact. Stop lying constantly about everything.

#19 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2017-05-15 10:52 AM | FLAG:

Were Powell's emails being intercepted by Carlos Danger or any other known child sex offenders?

#26 | Posted by fishpaw at 2017-05-15 02:35 PM | Reply

I REALLY wish that the potus would just hire comey back.....so I could sit back and watch the dems go back to demanding that comey be.........fired.

THAT would be 'special' and I 'guarandamntee' you...that's EXACTLY what the dems and media would do.

#28 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2017-05-15 03:52 PM | Reply

r or any other known child sex offenders?

#26 | Posted by fishpaw at 2017-05-15 02:35 PM | Reply | Fl

good one....STILL NO CHARGES.......

even someone like this...if they're in the 'clinton cartel'....the law simply does not apply.

#29 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2017-05-15 03:54 PM | Reply

Crassus, where did you go? It gets proven Powell used a private email server and that you are DR's biggest liar...and you just disappear from the thread?

No one is surprised.

#30 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-15 04:52 PM | Reply

I REALLY wish that the potus would just hire comey back.....so I could sit back and watch the dems go back to demanding that comey be.........fired.
THAT would be 'special' and I 'guarandamntee' you...that's EXACTLY what the dems and media would do.

#28 | POSTED BY AFKABL2

Yes, we know. You love Mother Russia. We get it.

#31 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-15 04:53 PM | Reply

Wait, you guys do realize that if you prosecute Clinton for the private email server, you also have to prosecute Trump, right?

He uses his personal, outdated, privately issued Blackberry to conduct business. It hosts backups of his emails.

#32 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-15 05:01 PM | Reply

Trump just disclosed vital national classified security information to the Russians in a meeting. He didn't have to be hacked. He just gave it away. Now can we impeach him?

Honestly, if anyone mentions Hillary Clinton's email server again, you shouldn't even be allowed to post here anymore. We're talking about being careless with national security information versus just giving it to the Russians casually in a meeting.

#33 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-15 09:10 PM | Reply

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