Imagine if President Trump had written an op-ed or gone on TV with a message to those who might be subpoenaed by, say, Adam Schiff or Jerrold Nadler: REFUSE TO COOPERATE.
Can you even imagine the fevered cries of “Obstruction!!”? Of course, in the chess game that was the phony “Trump/Russia” investigation, they managed to set it up so that virtually anything Trump said or did, even it it was well within his authority as President, could be viewed as obstruction of justice.
But Andrew Weissmann, former special counsel Robert Mueller’s infamous “pit bull” whose specialty is withholding exculpatory evidence, has quite arguably obstructed justice himself. Here’s the story from Daniel Chaitin in THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER.
In an op-ed in THE NEW YORK TIMES (where else?), he and co-author Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Department special counsel, urged Justice Department officials to consider not cooperating with two investigations being overseen by Attorney General Bill Barr. There’s the wide-ranging John Durham investigation, and also the John Bash investigation into all that unmasking of American citizens. (Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was one of those unmasked, but there were many more.)
The reason Weissmann and Goodman are making a stink is that they don’t want either of the reports to come out before the election. So they maintain that putting it out before the election would be political --- an attempt to interfere with the election. But I say that keeping a completed report under wraps until AFTER the election would be political --- a calculated attempt to interfere with the election by keeping voters in the dark. Likewise, interfering with the investigation so that the report can’t be completed in time would be political. Sounds like obstruction to me.
"What can be done if Mr. Barr seeks to take actions in service of the President’s political ambitions?” they wrote. “...Employees who witness or are asked to participate in such political actions –- who all swore an oath to the Constitution and must obey Department policies –- can refuse, report and, if necessary, resign. Other models include speaking with Congress under subpoena or resigning and then communicating directly to the public. Reputable organizations are at the ready to advise whistle-blowers about the risks and benefits of pursuing these paths."
They’re probably talking about that same law firm that protected the “anonymous” whistleblower that kicked off Trump’s impeachment. How conveeeeenient. Of course, if Barr does anything at all that happens to benefit Trump, it must have been done “in service to the President’s political ambitions.”
One big take-away from Weissmann’s behavior is that he must think these investigations found some really, really bad stuff.
By the way, if you’re interested in a book not to buy, Weissmann has a book coming out in September, purported to explain why the Mueller team could have “done more” in their Russia investigation. Well, let’s see...according to Sidney Powell, they sure could have “done more” to get exculpatory documents to defense attorneys! A lot more.