Thoughts on New York Times Report on Trump’s Order to Fire Mueller

Thoughts on New York Times Report on Trump’s Order to Fire Mueller

President Trump’s desire, even with initial planning, to fire Special Counsel Mueller, is not by itself the crime of obstruction. People being investigated from time to time request the removal of a prosecutor based on alleged bias and that effort has not been prosecuted as obstruction. Ordinarily, obstruction centers on false statements, falsification, destruction of evidence, or misconduct with witnesses such as attempting to secure false testimony, trying to prevent testimony or other forms of witness tampering.

Moreover, removing Mueller would not stop the investigation which involves dozens of prosecutors and agents for whom another highly competent leader would be found.

Even so, the reported information, if true, holds perils for President Trump. It could certainly be evidence of an intent to suppress the truth which, if coupled with other obstructive events, could add to a case of obstruction.

Further, if Trump does submit to questioning, either before the grand jury or in an FBI interview, he will be asked about this and if there are false denials, then a traditional case of obstruction could be developed based on any false statements.

Read the New York Times article here.

 

Florida Dems May See Unintended Consequences in Vote on Felons Voting

This Fall, Florida’s voters will be able to vote on whether 1.5 million felons voting rights should be restored. Democrats may not have considered that their support for this amendment may backfire when it comes to Republican voter turnout.

If approved by 60 percent of voters, the amendment would restore voting rights to Floridians with felony convictions after they fully complete their sentences, including parole or probation. –Orlando Sentinel

Democrats could win the 60 percent vote needed to pass this amendment, but it’s not going to be easy. There are certainly good reasons to support restoring voting rights to most felons who have paid their debt to society, but the politics of this could backfire. Meanwhile, opposition to the measure, fueled by Republican voters, could harm Democrats in this year’s critical state races.

Coffey believes that with Florida’s known slim margins in elections, Democrats need to thoughtfully consider the outcome of every move they make leading up to this vote.

 

 

My Legal Reaction to Jeff Session’s on Marijuana

The Department of Justice (DOJ) clearly can reverse its non-enforcement of federal law and begin immediately to arrest sellers and distributors of marijuana irrespective of state laws. Because this would have such dramatic consequences for many who have relied on past practices of non-enforcement by DOJ, the Feds would logically give prior warning even though they are not legally required to do so. And they would presumably- either locally or nationally- establish criteria prioritizing states without medical marijuana laws before launching raids in states where it is a firmly established and widely accepted business.

But the US laws remain on the books for AG Sessions to prosecute aggressively if he so chooses. Many, if not most, federal judges and prosecutors will lack enthusiasm but must still follow the law. Meanwhile, many voters, especially Millennials otherwise bored with current politics, will be energized to oppose these measures.

The marijuana issue was a sleeping time bomb during the 2016 elections getting scant attention as Millennials and others who care about the issue assumed nothing could change so they could ignore it, complain about both candidates and do little about the election. Many may awaken abruptly from this slumber.

Read the Forbes article Coffey is quoted in here.