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Trump May Get Away With Obstruction Of Congress. Again.

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WASHINGTON – Nearly two years after getting away with obstruction of Congress while he was president, Donald Trump may get away with it again, this time as a former president trying to block an investigation into the insurrection he incited.

While Trump – who tried to overthrow American democracy after losing reelection – has the right to ask successor Joe Biden to block the release of official documents from his administration, he has gone far beyond that by instructing his former aides not to comply with subpoenas from a House committee demanding both their personal documents and their testimony.

Nevertheless, legal experts said that proving the crime of obstruction of Congress could be difficult, as there is no clear legal precedent and Trump could claim he was asserting “executive privilege” in good faith.

“That is an unresolved issue in the law,” said J. Michael Luttig, a former federal appellate court judge.

Even Norm Eisen, who worked for the House committee that pursued Trump’s first impeachment and strongly supports dealing with Trump’s behaviour more aggressively, said the ambiguity in the law is “barely colourable enough that he is unlikely to be prosecuted for obstruction.”

US law makes it a felony punishable by as much as five years in prison to obstruct or impede an official proceeding, including a probe by either chamber of Congress.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich denied that Trump was engaging in obstruction, pointing to the phrase “to the fullest extent permitted by law” in a letter from Trump’s lawyer to one-time chief strategist Steve Bannon as proof Trump was asking Bannon to do no more than legally permitted. Bannon, in the weeks prior to attack on the US Capitol in January 2021, hosted a radio show that pushed Trump to use that day’s certification ceremony to overturn the election.

The committee has issued subpoenas to Bannon, Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Pentagon chief of staff Kash Patel, and social media aide Dan Scavino. Meadows and Patel are “engaging” with the committee, according to the panel. Scavino did not respond to queries from HuffPost, while Bannon’s lawyer says he is refusing to comply at Trump’s request.

How does a president have a constitutional privilege to withhold documents that may show his involvement in a violent insurrection and attempted political coup?Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)

The Biden White House........

© HuffPost

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