You seem to be arguing that one can be guilty of a crime even if there is no “overtly bad” behavior. That it is simply enough to have bad intent. Please read the statutes: there is no crime called “Intent to Obstruct” or “Intent to Do Bad”. Intent is an element in proving an overt bad act is in fact criminal. But you need the bad act.

As Alan Dershowitz stated:

“Every crime, including obstruction of justice, requires both an actus reus (a criminal act) and a mens rea (an unlawful — and in the case of obstruction, a corrupt — intent). Before a prosecutor gets to the intent, he or she must first establish an illegal act.

The ancient principle of nulla poena sine lege stands for the proposition that no one can be punished for doing an act that is not prohibited by law. … Under that rule, prosecutors don’t get to charge people with crimes based only on their state of mind — thought crimes. There must first be proof of an illegal act.”

So yes I am saying there does have to be an overt bad act in order to make a case for obstruction. Merely discussing behavior that might be obstruction is not in itself obstruction. So I ask: What overt act did Trump do that was in furtherance of obstruction?

I claim, that in the case of Trump, no actual obstruction occurred. Mueller received reams of documents and was denied none. He even had access to interview the White House Counsel, which Trump could have prevented by invoking Executive Privilege. Trump did not perjure himself and he did not order payments of hush money or the erasure or 18 minutes of tape. In what actual way was the investigation obstructed?

Here is what you wrote:

In the case of obstruction, the intent is what’s important and from the president’s behavior, it’s clear that he is attempting to interfere in the investigation, considering how much time he spends trying to proclaim his innocents, slandering those involved, and hysterically screaming about the guilt of others.

None of that constitutes attempts to obstruct an investigation. There is no obstruction in proclaiming your innocence or screaming about the guilt of others. It is called freedom of speech. There are exceptions — if you willfully lie and give the police false information, that could be obstruction. But if you think someone else did a criminal act and say so, that is not even close to obstruction.

Further, no president has ever been charged with obstruction for exercising powers explicitly granted to the President. Even Nixon was not charged with obstruction for firing a Special Prosecutor, the Attorney General, and the Assistant Attorney General in the infamous Saturday Night Massacre.

In general, exercising your rights is not and cannot be legal obstruction even if the exercise of those rights is in fact obstructing an investigation. For example, the police come to your door and want to come in to look for some evidence. You say “No, not without a warrant!” . You have certainly obstructed their investigation but that does not constitute criminal obstruction.

Let me put the challenge on you. Do you have a case where any official has been held guilty of obstruction without an overt bad act?

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

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