Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner: "The Case for Obstruction Charges"

The Case for Obstruction Charges
Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner
The New York Times
June 15, 2017

Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, appears to be looking into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

It is not easy to prove that a president committed the crime of obstruction, but if publicly reported facts are accurate, Mr. Mueller is likely to find that he has a strong case against Mr. Trump.

Obstruction of justice is a serious offense that lay at the core of Bill Clinton’s impeachment and forced the resignation of Richard Nixon. The Watergate-era cliché “The cover-up is worse than the crime” misses the point that the cover-up is a crime. Congress has made it a felony for any person — including the president — to “corruptly” interfere with a proceeding before a federal agency. Powerful evidence has emerged in recent weeks suggesting that President Trump did indeed interfere with the F.B.I. investigation of Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, which is part of the broader Russia inquiry.

Faculty: 
Daniel Hemel
Faculty: 
Eric A. Posner