Criminal Defendants Should Stop Being Potted Plants

EDWARD PALTZIK – The recent federal corruption convictions of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver underscore an increasingly evident fact: criminal defendants do not testify frequently enough in their own defense.  I have represented numerous criminal defendants both in state and federal court, so I am well aware of the downsides of defendants testifying, not to mention the conventional wisdom about doing so within the defense bar.  However, if the end result is a conviction and prison sentence, then conventional thinking must be re-examined.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is a basic legal canon and part of our cultural ethos.  The Constitution requires the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and it doesn’t require criminal defendants to testify or otherwise prove their innocence.  Thus, jurors are instructed not to infer guilt from a defendant’s failure to testify.  But in the real world, theory is often trumped by human nature.  In the courtroom, legal standards, theoretical rules, and a judge’s instructions don’t always carry as much weight as intuition, credibility, and likeability.

Most criminal defense attorneys believe that a defendant should be kept off the witness stand at almost all costs.  They are content to rely solely on their cross-examination of prosecution witnesses without presenting any defense case, arguing that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt has not been proved. 

Of course, a lot can go wrong when a defendant testifies.  Prior bad acts, criminal convictions, or inconsistent statements can undermine the defendant’s credibility.  Both judge and jury may deem the testimony self-serving and/or untruthful, leading not only to a conviction but also a harsher sentence.   

Yet, the risks of defendant testimony must be weighed against the reality that jurors are human beings who, in all likelihood, will view a defendant’s failure to testify negatively.  Jurors are often of the opinion that an innocent defendant would proclaim as much on the stand.  Cowering at the defense table and speaking through the voice of a lawyer whom jurors are predisposed to disbelieve – is a recipe for conviction

Sometimes the defendant is boxed in by the evidence and has no choice but to remain off the stand.  Moreover, there are some well-publicized exceptions to my argument, like the recent surprising acquittal in Vincent Asaro’s “Goodfellas” trial.  But too often the defendant is kept on the sidelines because attorneys can’t escape the prison of conventional thinking and fear being second-guessed if their client testifies and is still convicted. 

In the case of Skelos and Silver, maybe their fates were sealed no matter what defense strategies or courtroom tactics their attorneys utilized.  But that only creates a stronger case for testifying in one’s defense.  Like so many other high-profile white-collar defendants in finance and politics who matched up against Preet Bharara, the formidable U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Skelos and Silver’s defenses rested on the idea that the government failed to prove its case rather than giving the jury an alternative story to believe.

It’s always easy to second-guess from afar, as I am doing now.  However, the defense bar’s fear of losing boldly has allowed federal prosecutors to score lay-up after lay-up.  The bottom line is losing is still losing, which, in the criminal context, means someone’s freedom.  Defense attorneys should start to recognize that a robust strategy entails more than just telling jurors about the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt.  Some circumstances demand that clients stand up and proclaim their innocence, conventional wisdom be damned. 

Edward Paltzik is a litigation Partner at the law firm Joshpe Law Group LLP. He has tried numerous criminal and civil cases in state and federal court.

HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’ HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’ HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’ HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’
HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’ HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’ HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’ HERE IS A LIST OF EVERY SINGLE TIME OBAMA COMMITTED AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE THAT DEMS & MEDIA COVERED UP “Impeach!” It’s been more than eight years since Democrats uttered that word – long enough for anyone to wonder if it was still in their vocabulary, considering the deafening silence through the dozens of serious scandals during President Obama’s administration – but now that President Trump is the man in the White House, it’s back with a vengeance. Democrats everywhere are wildly slinging the “I” word, hoping to nail Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors after the New York Times claimed a memo written by former FBI Director James Comey said the president urged him to end the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Some members of Congress are getting in on the action. They include Reps. Maxine Water, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Texas. Even a Republican, Rep. Justin Amash, claimed Wednesday there are grounds to impeach President Trump. House Oversign Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked for the alleged Comey memo and other documents. Chaffetz tweeted that he is prepared to subpoena the information. And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., invoked “Watergate.” Now the Democratic Party is reportedly poll testing impeachment as a 2018 election issue. More than 1 million people signed a petition calling on Congress to impeach Trump. Wasting no time Wednesday, the mainstream media sprang into action, enthusiastically echoing the left’s impeachment calls. MSNBC launched a Watergate ad implying Trump is America’s new Richard Nixon. “Watergate. We know its name because there were reporters who never stopped asking questions,” says MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who hinted that Trump is next on the impeachment chopping block. “Now, who knows where the questions will take us. But I know this: I’m not going to stop asking them.” Meanwhile, some overzealous members of the left plastered fliers around Washington, D.C., demanding all White House staffers resign Wednesday. The posters read: “If you work for this White House you are complicit in hate-mongering, lies, corrupt taking of Americans’ tax money via self-dealing and emoluments, and quite possibly federal crimes and treason. Also, any wars will be on your soul. … Resign now.” But constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, who voted for President Obama, warned “impeachment” enthusiasts not to get ahead of themselves with President Trump. Why? At this time, there’s no evidence Trump actually committed a crime. “The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo,” Turley wrote in a May 17 opinion piece posted at the Hill. Turley explained: For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code. However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct. A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.” However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him. . Obama’s Iran nuke deal Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server Obama IRS targets conservatives Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters Obamacare & Obama’s false promises Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order Benghazi-gate Operation Fast & Furious 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl Extortion 17 ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act Illegally conducting war against Libya NSA: Spying on Americans Muslim Brotherhood ties Miriam Carey Birth certificate Executive orders Solyndra and the lost $535 million Egypt Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’