Mueller outlined 5 instances of Trump obstruction of justice

TO THE EDITOR

In Donna Okeefe's latest opinion piece about the Mueller Report, she has several false and misleading statements. The right and Trump surrogates are trying to peddle this to the public.

In her first sentence, she states that Mueller's investigation found no evidence of impeachable offenses. In fact Mueller outlines FIVE instances of Trump's possible obstruction of justice, which are impeachable. Following DOJ guidelines (which are just guidelines) that a sitting president cannot be indicted, he presents a roadmap for the House to impeach based on obstruction.

As to "collusion", this is not a federal legal term. Mueller was investigating criminal conspiracy with a foreign government to influence our election. Mueller didn't find enough evidence to prove a conspiracy. This begs the question of why Trump and so many associates had contacts with Russians and lied about it. Lost in all this is also Mueller's conclusion, as well as that of all our intelligence agencies of Russian interference in our presidential election to help Trump win. Donna also claims spending more money on investigations, Democrats are not "exercising their responsibilities in Congress." By investigating the most corrupt President in modern history, in fact they are exercising their constitutional duty of oversight which every patriotic American should be proud of.

Thomas Loosmore

River Falls

Column rife with misinformation

TO THE EDITOR

D.M. Okeefe's column "High crimes and misdemeanors and obsessions" is rife with misinformation regarding the Mueller investigation and report. However, I will limit my critique to three issues.

First, Mueller's team was charged with investing whether anyone in the United States was engaged in criminal conspiracy with operatives of the Russian government to affect the 2016 presidential election. Our intelligence community knew that the Russians had influenced our election with ads in social media platforms and other means, and Mueller was charged with investigating whether anyone in the Trump campaign was engaged in criminal conspiracy with them. Mueller concluded that even though members of the Trump orbit met with Russians, he also concluded that the contacts did not rise to criminal conspiracy. "Collusion" is not defined as a crime in the criminal code. Treason was never an issue, since a person can only commit treason by conspiring with the enemy in a time of war. See Article III, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution.

Second, the responsibility of impeaching a president falls solely to the U. S. House of Representatives. A president does not need to commit a crime in order to be impeached. Impeachment is the act of charging a president with egregious behavior while in office. After hearings to present evidence, the Senate then decides whether to convict and remove him from office. Impeachment is not a criminal prosecution.

Which brings me to my third point, obstruction of justice. Mueller reserved judgment as to obstruction of justice. Since he believes that he could not indict any sitting president with a crime pursuant to a Department of Justice practice to not indict a sitting president, he could not charge Trump. He stated clearly in his report that he did not exonerate Trump and that when Trump leaves office, either at the end of his term or if impeached and removed from office, he could then be charged with the crime of obstruction of justice, and a court, not Congress, would determine guilt. See footnote 1091, page 178, Volume II of the Mueller report.

With so much misinformation being disseminated regarding the Mueller investigation and report, it is irresponsible for a columnist to perpetuate inaccurate information.

Rebecca Wright

Hudson

D.M. OKeefe piece

TO THE EDITOR

An opinion column by D.M. OKeefe: Views from the Right printed in the RF Journal Thursday, April 25, 2019, points a "finger of shame" at Democrats who are looking more thoroughly at Special Counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report. In the piece Ms. OKeefe makes the claim that Mueller's investigation found no evidence for impeachable offenses.

However, here is what FOX News Senior Legal Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano said on the subject: "Mueller laid out at least a half-dozen crimes of obstruction committed by Trump..."

If it were only me or Democrats in the House of Representatives saying that, Ms. OKeefe and her ilk would be screaming fake news. But Napolitano is a devoted conservative and long-time fixture at FOX News. He goes on to say: "The president's job is to enforce federal law. ...[O]rdering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless, and condemnable."

Ms. OKeefe, I think, fancies herself a shrewd and thoughtful writer; someone who best represents the views of "the right."

Who can condemn Ms. OKeefe for being "shrewd and thoughtful" when promoting her views. But I think being thoroughly honest is more credible. The most honest thing Ms. OKeefe wrote in her April 25, 2019 piece about the Mueller Report is this line: "They can't let go of what they need to be true--the president is a fraud and a crook."

Ms. OKeefe's Views from the Right is intended bias, yet she decries "bias" by Democrats doing the job they are, in part, elected to do. Indeed, they would be doing all Americans a disservice if they stopped their oversight. Impeachment should be regarded seriously; but they cannot back away from impeaching a president who has shown he is unwilling to uphold the rule of law.

Sources: CDT by News Corpse. FOX News Senior Analyst Says Trump's Obstruction is 'Unlawful, Defenseless, and Condemnable'. April 25, 2019. Dailykos.com.

Roger Hammond

River Falls

OKeefe should the TRUTH

TO THE EDITOR

D. M. Okeefe's "View from the Right" column was so outrageous, I needed to comment. She used "collusion", "treason" and "obstruction" interchangeably as if they were the same thing. THEY ARE NOT.

Treason: the crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.

Obstruction: the action of deliberately hindering a legal process.

Collusion: illegal cooperation or conspiracy, especially between ostensible opponents.

Okeefe also claims twice that to prove collusion you must have two witnesses. I could only find that in the Bible, Deuteronomy 19:15 requires more than one witness to prove a crime.

Okeefe said, "Impeachment is a condemnation for alleged criminal behavior." No, impeachment is a CHARGE of criminal behavior by the HOUSE which is adjudicated by the SENATE. Impeachment and the verdict are two separate processes carried out by two different bodies of congress.

Okeefe says Mueller's investigation "found no impeachable offenses." UNTRUE - the report lists several actions of obstruction of justice which is a crime and an impeachable offense, but Mueller did not charge Trump in the report because the Department of Justice (Mueller's employer) has a policy of not charging a sitting president.

Here are a few of the instances of Trump's obstruction listed in Mueller's report: Trump's conduct regarding the Flynn investigation, firing Comey in an attempt to stop the investigation, efforts to fire Mueller, covering up his efforts to fire Mueller, efforts to conceal the reason for the Trump Tower meeting, wanting Attorney General Sessions to take over the investigation, ordering McGahn to deny Trump's attempt to fire Mueller, Trump's conduct toward Flynn, Trump's conduct toward Manafort, trying to influence Cohen's testimony, Trump's conduct toward Cohen.

The report gave all the evidence and left it up to the HOUSE to charge the president, which is the correct constitutional process. If the evidence is not used now, it can be used when Trump is no longer president.

The newspaper says they do not pay Okeefe so I can't blame the paper for publishing false information. Therefore, Okeefe should be more careful with her "facts."

Cheryl Maplethorpe

Town of Clifton