Some of that is embarrassing. Some of it is inappropriate. None of it is obstruction. So the President wanted his Attorney General to “unrecuse" himself. So the President asked various officials to say he was not under investigation. So what. Improper? Possibly. But that’s not close to illegally obstructing investigation of a crime.

Obstruction of justice without an underlying crime is always a hard case to make. Nixon obstructed investigation of the Watergate break-in. Obstruction requires an overt bad act, like arranging for hush money to be paid, erasing parts of a tape, deleting 30,000 emails, or committing perjury. Trump is not alleged to have done anything like that.

In the end, Mueller did not say any of these were an obstruction of justice offense that should be prosecuted once the President was out of office. He said he came to no conclusion about whether they were chargeable obstruction or not. He punted the prosecutorial decision to Rosenstein and Barr who decided that, as a matter of law, none of the acts could support an allegation of obstruction.

I can understand your disappointment. After two years of saying Trump was guilty of collusion, and that Mueller would prove it, how deflating it has been to have Mueller not accuse Trump of a single crime. You’ve been wrong on the central point. Like a losing contestant on a game show, obstruction is your door prize. But even on that Mueller can’t be clear enough. His double-negative pretzel logic doesn’t accuse Trump of criminality, but says if he found enough to clear Trump of obstruction he would have said so. That stands 1,000 years of legal principle on its head. It is a highly improper statement for a prosecutor to make.

You want us to keep reading and rereading Mueller’s words on possible instances where obstruction may have occurred and somehow find a definitive conclusion. It is not there, no matter how much you keep wishing it was.

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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