Jonathan Turley in today’s USA Today says that the latest news about Trump’s demand for Sessions to “unrecuse himself” (like Nunes?) from the Russia investigation, may reveal the president defense to an obstruction charge in court.
Let me say right off, that I don’t trust Turley whatsoever. He portends to be a deep thinking law professor who the right sees as a “liberal” but liberals see as a “libertarian.” This article doesn’t seem so much to “reveal” any strategy, because that would imply someone in the Trump camp “thought” about the strategy early on in the campaign, and that would not be Trump, nor did he have a decent lawyer until just recently. That means, to me, that Turley is telegraphing a strategy to Trump – keep that in mind throughout what he has to say.
Turley takes clear illegal behavior, and turns it inside out to be a “real defense.” It is scary as hell that anyone could believe this:
The challenge for Trump’s counsel is to develop a defense where such self-defeating acts become acts of self-defense. The defense would go something like this: Trump was convinced that the Justice Department was leading an effort to obstruct his administration or even engineer his removal as president. Trump had long denounced the Justice Department as a hostile agency. In addition to calling for an investigation into bias at the Justice Department, Trump sought to have his own appointees in key positions to guarantee fairness, including Sessions.
Trump can claim that, while his actions may be viewed as unorthodox or inappropriate, they were motivated by a real fear of a rigged investigation. Accordingly, he wanted his own attorney general to guarantee a fair investigation and not just leave him to the designs and discretion of a hostile agency.
OR may I offer a counter point?
Or, it could be that Trump feared a real investigation and therefore was desperately attempting to rig his own damn control of the investigation. Yes, Trump telegraphed early his fear of the intelligence community, and that is almost surely because Trump knew the intelligence agencies could fking bury him if they so chose.
Turley then exposes himself by demonstrating an adherence to RW lies after lies, Sally Yates “unprecedented” (Jon? The damn order was “unprecedented” and someone needed to do something about it, you mole) refusal to implement the order, that the FBI went off the Steele Dossier “paid for by Hillary Clinton” – Wrong, paid for first by the Free Beacon, a conservative group … I am done doing Turley’s dirty work.
Here is Turley’s conclusion:
That may seem like a less than compelling defense, particularly when an independent investigation was started and would be overseen by his own appointee, Rod Rosenstein. Indeed, it is the type of defense that is better suited not for acquittal but a hung jury. It allows a juror to agree on the occurrence of the acts but still vote to acquit on the intent behind the acts. The point is not to prove a deep state conspiracy but to show a reasonable fear that an investigation by this agency would not be fair.
Yeah, except he won’t go talk to that investigator – that’s not someone concerned about whether or not an investigation is fair, that is someone unwilling to go and answer questions.
Turley is telegraphing a defense to the Trump team, one they might’ve figured out by now. But, I still don’t like it, nor should you, and we ought to call it out every single damn time we see it. All you need do is repeat over and over “I love it!” and “He won’t talk to the Special Counsel.”
That ends Turley’s argument.