Will Trump Face Obstruction of Justice Charge?

Brian Becker of “Loud and Clear” asked Jim Kavanagh* (Polemicist.net) and Ray to place some context around the dump-Trump campaign now gathering steam – accusing him of obstruction of justice.

June 15, 2017 (17 minutes – you can begin at minute 1:07)

Obstruction of justice seems to have edged out “collusion” with the Russians, as the preferred path among leaders of a new GWOT campaign, at least for the nonce.  It almost seems as though the leaders of this campaign decided to dust off the earlier-used-but-then-unceremoniously-discarded acronym for the “Global War on Terror,” and morph it into a slogan for their effort to “Get Wid of Trump.”

Mirable dictu, the obstruction charge dominated the Sunday talk shows yesterday and got page-one treatment in the NY Times and Washington Post this morning.  (In contrast, if you’re interested in less important things – like war with Russia – you must turn the pages to A10 in the Times and A9 in the Post to read about a challenge to Russia that matters, the U.S. shoot-down yesterday of a Syrian warplane in Syria.)

Brian Becker led off with the obstruction story, providing an easy lead into what the ins and outs of the issue and the key dramatis personae – former FBI Director James Comey and his old pal and mentor, former FBI Director Robert Mueller – special prosecutor investigating matters in which Comey credibility and future is at stake, since he played a major role in them.  Yes, you read that right.

Since this issue is key – and, thank goodness, susceptible of a common-sense, non-lawyerly approach – Ray rang some changes on that theme during the interview with Becker and Kavanagh, and then again later that day during a panel discussion on Making News/Faking News, sharing speaking chores with Professor Mark Crispin Miller, at an event co-sponsored by All Souls Church, and the Big Apple Coffee Party.  (See next posting.)


The following day, Ray found the thrust of his remarks mirrored – and better said – by Byron York of the Washington Examiner, who reports the opinion of a “Hill lawyer”:


It’s somewhat ironic, no? I mean, the whole purpose of the special counsel is to have a prosecutor from outside the government and outside of the normal chain of command because inherent conflicts render the Justice Department incapable of handling it. So, now the special counsel is a close friend (mentor/mentee relationship) with the star witness, who by his own admission leaked the memos at least in part to engineer the appointment of a special counsel. Only in Washington. You can’t make this stuff up.

Former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel Coleen Rowley has observed both Muller and Comey up-close-and personal.  She enjoyed relatively free access to the pages of the New York Times until a couple of weeks ago, when she sent the op-ed editors a draft to which they never replied.  The essence of it can be found at:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/06/russia-gates-mythical-heroes/.  With respect to conflicts of interest, Rowley also notes that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – like Comey – previously worked for Mueller and that the two are close – posing yet another possible conflict.

When James Comey was nominated to be head of the FBI, the Times did oblige Rowley by publishing an op-ed with specific suggestions as to what questions the Senators should ask him.  That, too, if worth a re-read:


Staying Downtown: Thanks to Catholic Worker hospitality in the Bowery, Ray was again staying in the Bowery – this time in the room where Dorothy Day’s lived and worked.  On Thursday he did the interview by phone from there – thinking all the while about how she identified “the filthy rotten system” as the main problem.  A gutsy woman, Dorothy; I do think her spirit gave me a nudge or two.


Such people are often pushed to the margins during their lives, and then named saints once they can no longer cause trouble. When folks would call Dorothy a “saint,” she would reply forcefully, “Do not dismiss me so easily.”  No matter.  The Catholic hierarchy in New York and their friends in the Vatican are hell-bent, so to speak, to canonize her.


*(Jim Kavanagh also is a Fordham graduate; his father taught at Fordham Law School at the same time as Ray’s.)