Steven Dettelbach, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and 2018 Democratic attorney general candidate, joined nearly 800 U.S. Department of Justice alumni in suggesting that President Donald Trump obstructed justice in a Monday letter.
“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the letter begins.
It goes on to state that the “Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge.” These acts include, according to the letter, conduct “that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process.”
The letter claims that the “evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceeding is overwhelming.” It discusses in detail the “attempts to fire Mueller and then create false evidence,” the “attempts to limit the Mueller investigation,” and the evidence of “witness tampering and intimidation.”
“As former federal prosecutors, we recognize that prosecuting obstruction of justice cases is critical because unchecked obstructions—which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished—puts our whole system of justice at risk,” the letter concludes. “We believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller report.”
At the time of publication, the letter was signed by nearly 800 Department of Justice alumni who say they “served under both Republican and Democratic administrations at different levels of the federal system.”
Dettelbach, who lost to Attorney General Dave Yost in the 2018 election, was joined by at least three other Ohio officials in signing the letter, including Nathaniel Jones, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
“Silence is simply not an appropriate response,” Dettelbach wrote on Twitter. “There is one set of rules for everyone in this nation. We call it the law.”
Silence is simply not an appropriate response. There is one set of rules for everyone in this nation. We call it the law. https://t.co/rNmeL3yJhG
— Steve Dettelbach (@SteveDettelbach) May 8, 2019
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Department of Justice Building” by Gregory Varnum. CC BY-SA 3.0.