Sunday, May 21, 2017

The "assumption" hypocrisy argument....

One of my favorite arguments is the old "if things were reversed" argument. It's such an irrelevant argument because the "hypothetical" reaction will no doubt be nothing more than a channeling of the accuser's "own" feelings on the subject. It never "really" tells us how the other person "might" feel (that's pure speculation). But if certainly cements what we know about how the accuser thinks.

So with that in mind, I have one of those great "assumption" hypocrisy arguments that I will toss out there as a question, allowing people to prove me wrong. Admitting full well that my own feelings on some of this will be brought to light.

At Issue: The subject of Obstruction

  • So what would happen if the Trump Department of Justice made the decision to provide many of the very Trump aids the left believe are targets in this probe "criminal immunity" to testify. What if, in exchange for the testimony that on top of the "criminal immunity" provided them, that any tangible evidence they turn over to the authorities will actually be destroyed. 
  • What if things start to look like the main culprit in all of this becomes "Player A". What if the Trump Department of Justice cuts a deal with Player A that the FBI will be given a limited amount of time to question them (one time - a matter of a few hours) and that any interview would not be given under oath. 
  • What if the person calling the shots (say Rod Rosenstein) was caught having a secret meeting with influential people very close to Player A? 

At what point, would those of you on the left decide that the DOJ was stepping over the line and actually working to hinder, interfere with, or even "obstruct" a criminal investigation by the FBI. Then ask yourself, at what point in time did you believe that the Obama/Lynch DOJ was stepping over that same line?

  • How would you feel at that point if in spite of what most people believe was valid evidence of a crime, that no grand jury was formed, and no neutral court was provided with any of the evidence... that the powers to be in the case decided to simply end things with the statement that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges" (even though many reasonable prosecutors argue that the would have brought it to a Grand Jury). That was it. Nothing more to be done. All of Trump's aides are free to go. Move on. Nothing to see here.

Then ask yourself if this would constitute any sort of obstruction or interference if it was done by the Trump DOJ?

Lastly, ask yourself why you viewed the actions of the Obama DOJ entirely differently than you would judge the same actions if it was the Trump DOJ... How log before you realize that the only obvious reason is partisanship and hypocrisy?


wphamilton said...

The day that Obama declared publicly that Clinton hadn't done anything illegal, during an ongoing investigation, I felt that he was crossing the line to interfere. To me, that was giving a green light to subordinates in the Justice Department, starting with Lynch, to actively obstruct the investigation.

One of my hopes with a Trump presidency was that he'd put a stop to that kind of practice in the Justice Department and the top political levels of the FBI. Unfortunately it seems to have intensified in some ways under Trump. I see no inconsistency in my viewpoints of the two administrations in this respect.

C.H. Truth said...

Where I would disagree with you WP is whether or not President Obama's statements all by themselves constituted any sort of legal obstruction. I believe that he had a legal right to say what he said, although I believe it was probably improper and probably unethical.

Where you may build a case that it constituted obstruction is whether or not you can show that those statements factored into the actual investigation. While I would tend to believe that there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that Obama interfered (probably more directly than through the press) -according to Dershowitz, directing the DOJ (and by proxy the FBI) regarding an investigation is within his rights as President.

9On the flip side, I don't see any evidence that anything Trump said or did actually altered the way that the FBI is handling the investigation)

But where I might differ from Dershowitz a bit is that I don't believe that this authority would be absolute... and I would offer sort of a "good faith" test...

Assuming Obama gave direction to the DOJ to back off the investigation on Clinton - was it done because he honestly believed that she was not guilty and that the investigation was a waste of resources... or did he believe shew was probably guilty, but did it because she was the Democratic nominee for President.

Mens Rea - was the motivation for either President to see a guilty person go free, or did they actually believe that the two investigations were lacking in reason and not a good place to put our resources?

Ultimately, isn't that the question we should be asking ourselves?

james said...

So Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice,
just attempted obstruction of justice?

Seems he'd better lawyer up.

james said...

McMaster Won’t Say If Trump Brought Up Meddling

President Trump’s national security adviser declined to say if the president confronted Russian officials about the country’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election during a meeting at the White House earlier this month, telling ABC News “there already was too much that’s been leaked from those meetings.”

Said McMaster: “I’m really concerned about these kind of leaks because it undermines everybody’s trust in that kind of an environment where you can have frank, candid and oftentimes unconventional conversations to try to protect American interests and secure the American people.”

Isn't Putin offering to provide a transcript?

C.H. Truth said...

"The gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news," H.R. McMaster said in an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Again... this backs my previous suggestion of most likely case. That Trump was not upset at Comey over the fact that there was an investigation. But that he was tired of Comey "grandstanding" in public... and because he likely holds Comey responsible for the leaks coming from the FBI.

james said...

Gosh,what did he tell the Russkies in the
Oval Office the day after he fired Comey?

wphamilton said...

Where I would disagree with you WP is whether or not President Obama's statements all by themselves constituted any sort of legal obstruction

Well that's different from the question you asked: "At what point ...was stepping over the line and actually working to hinder, interfere with, or even "obstruct" a criminal investigation by the FBI."

Hinder. Interfere with.

If you'd asked, at what point should criminal charges be filed, I'd have given you a different answer. The same goes for Trump. An investigation is warranted, because all indications are that he has hindered and interfered with the FBI investigation. It's a question now of finding legal evidence to prove it, or exonerate him, and if he has legally obstructed the FBI investigation he should be impeached. I'm holding Trump to exactly the same standards as Obama.