April 19, 2019

ANDREW MCCARTHY: Mueller completely dropped the ball with obstruction punt.

There is evidence that cuts sharply against obstruction. The president could have shut down the investigation at any time, but he didn’t. He could have asserted executive privilege to deny the special counsel access to key White House witnesses, such as McGahn. To the contrary, numerous witnesses were made available voluntarily (there was no need to try to subpoena them to the grand jury), and well over a million documents were disclosed, including voluminous notes of meetings between the president and his White House counsel.

Most important, the special counsel found that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that the president’s frustration wasn’t over fear of guilt — the typical motivation for obstruction — but that the investigation was undermining his ability to govern the country. The existence of such a motive is a strong counter to evidence of a corrupt intent, critical because corrupt intent must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in an obstruction case.

In his report, Mueller didn’t resolve the issue. If he had been satisfied that there was no obstruction crime, he said, he would have so found. He claimed he wasn’t satisfied. Yet he was also not convinced that there was sufficient proof to charge. Therefore, he made no decision, leaving it to Attorney General William Barr to find that there was no obstruction.

This is unbecoming behavior for a prosecutor and an outrageous shifting of the burden of proof.

That was the whole point: In absence of any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, to hang an albatross of uncertainty around Trump’s neck. More than anything it’s an indication of just how desperate the Mueller team was to do something, anything to harm the Administration. The media’s willingness to go along with this obvious charade is just more proof that they’re no longer watchdogs against government overreach, but mere cogs in the Democrat-Media Complex.

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