Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bharara: Sufficient Evidence of Trump Obstruction of Justice

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been bringing experienced prosecutors on board for the Russiagate investigation, including Andrew Weissman, the head of the Justice Department's criminal fraud division, and Michael Dreeben, the deputy Solicitor General overseeing the Department's criminal appellate docket. Both are acknowledged to be the very top in their field, and, along with other experienced prosecutors and investigators on major Federal cases, are the foundation for a prosecutorial "dream team."

One name that hasn't been mentioned as a team member -- yet -- is former U.S. Attorney for the Southern Manhattan district Preet Bharara, who was suddenly fired on March 11 by sociopath and inveterate liar Donald "Rump" Trump a day after he declined to take Rump's phone call. While the U.S. Attorney in New York City, Bharara developed a reputation for cracking major Wall Street financial fraud, organized crime, and espionage cases. Interestingly, he was in the audience at last Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, seated behind former FBI Director James Comey. Today, he appeared on ABC's This Week to discuss the Comey testimony, and offered his view that there was sufficient evidence to begin a case of obstruction of justice, adding that no one knows whether there is a "provable case" at this early stage.

Bharara also added an interesting account of his interactions with Rump as President-elect that parallels and reinforces Comey's testimony:
"In reporting the phone call to the chief of staff to the attorney general I said, it appeared to be that [Trump] was trying to cultivate some kind of relationship. It's a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president."
"Hypothetically to investigate business interests" of Rump. Given the likelihood that Rump's business dealings with Russia will be investigated, it would be Bharara's former office to provide the expertise to do so, since his business interests are headquartered in Manhattan. We hope Bharara's presence with Comey at the hearing and his opining on a Sunday public affairs program signals that he will be the next "dream team" prosecutor to be hired by Mueller. That, along with the most recent hires, should cause major concern in the White (Supremacist) House as they attempt to defend Rump.

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