Obstruction of Justice

Welcome back to Crime Time, where I do my best to explain the various crimes involved in the Russian Investigation.

Today’s crime is a bit nebulous, a little vague as to what it covers, but has quite a bite.

Obstruction of Justice

QUICK OVERVIEW

Obstruction of justice is the impedance of an investigation, or other criminal matter, usually by someone who isn’t directly under investigation at the time.

In English, that means screwing with the cops, lawyers, or judges.

Obstruction of Justice is often tacked on to other charges like bribery, witness tampering, or destruction of evidence.

EXAMPLES

Let’s say Tony, a mafia boss, finds out that his lieutenant Mike is under investigation for running an illegal casino out of his house. If Mike gets busted, not only does Tony lose a revenue source, but he could get implicated as well.

Tony decides to call in a favor owed to him by a local politician. Tony gets the politician to get the District Attorney to not prosecute the case against Mike. Just to be on the safe side, Tony gets Mike to destroy some evidence that could implicate him, and also puts some pressure on a few witnesses.

Tony did quite a few illegal things, but they all fall under Obstruction of Justice.

PENALTIES

Depending on the jurisdiction, jail time and fines. If the person was in a position of public trust, they’ll get removed from that.

FAMOUS EXAMPLE

Richard M. Nixon. When he gave the go-ahead for his staff to cover up the Watergate break-in, Nixon committed Obstruction of Justice.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TRUMP?

On multiple occasions, Trump has attempted to kill the Russian Investigation. He has fired attorneys looking into it, he hired an Attorney General specifically to keep it from getting to him, and has tampered with witnesses and press statements regarding the investigation.

Oh, and he fired the Director of the FBI, gave a false reason for it on paper, then said he did it because of the “Russian thing”, and bragged about it the next day to the Russian Ambassador.

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