In March of 2019, two senior Justice Department officials penned a memo to their boss, Attorney General William Barr, outlining the reasons why the then-president of the United States shouldn’t be charged with obstruction of justice.

That memo, never previously released, shows that all the hysterical speculation, all the confident predictions about Trump being frog-marched off to prison, all the wildly off-base “analysis’ about the obstruction case against Donald Trump was a bunch of cow manure.

Associated Press:

Though the decision to clear Trump of obstruction has been well-documented, the newly disclosed memo offers additional details about how two of the department’s senior-most leaders arrived at that conclusion. The department’s decision was notable because special counsel Robert Mueller, who led the Russia investigation, declined in his 448-page report to decide whether Trump had obstructed justice but pointedly did not absolve him either.

Mueller would have had a mutiny on his hands if he absolved Trump. So he chose to punt the ball to the AG, knowing that clearing the president would be seen as a partisan act.

But Mueller’s report cited 10 instances of possible obstruction. Surely one of them was prosecutable, yes?

The Mueller report scrutinized 10 instances in which Trump lashed out or otherwise injected himself into the Russia investigation. Those include his May 2017 firing of then-FBI director James Comey; his request to Comey three months earlier to drop an investigation into his administration’s national security adviser Michael Flynn; and his subsequent efforts to have Mueller fired.

In their memo, the two officials, Edward O’Callaghan and Steven Engel, asserted that none of those acts amount to criminal obstruction of justice and said evidence suggested that Trump took the steps he did “not for an illegal purpose” but because he believed the investigation was politically motivated and hampering his ability to govern.

Trump saw what was happening to him as a political witch hunt. That was cited in the memo as a primary reason the president should not be charged with a crime.

“After the President provided his direction, in each instance, the orders were not carried out,” the memo states. “Of course, it is true that an act may constitute an attempt or an endeavor, even if unsuccessful. But the facts that the President could have given these directions himself, and did not remove any subordinate for failing to convey his directions, weigh against finding an intent to obstruct justice.”

They argued that the facts in the Trump investigation did not match up with any other prior obstruction prosecutions. Most of the obstruction cases cited by Mueller, they said, involved instances in which there was an inherently wrongful effort to hide or destroy evidence or to thwart the investigation of an underlying crime. Those factors do not exist here, they wrote.

You will note a curious lack of interest in this memo in the media. Could it be that it makes them look like hysterical ninnies, reading major criminal activity into the “cover-up” of Trump’s crimes by the White House?

No corrections. No walk backs. Certainly no apologies. It’s almost as if it never happened.


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