05:15 GMT01 October 2020
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    The continuing fallout of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s decision not to indict US President Donald Trump for obstruction of the Russiagate investigation persists because the media is so heavily invested in it and the Democrats believe it’ll win them the White House in 2020, Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer, told Sputnik.

    Kovalik told Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear Tuesday that "obstruction issues go away if it's found there's no underlying crime," as Mueller found. "So the obstruction issue therefore, really shouldn't be an issue any more, and now it's being used as a political hot potato."

    ​This week, nearly 700 former federal prosecutors signed an open letter saying they would have indicted Trump if he weren't currently president.

    "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 says, which was organized by nonprofit group Project Democracy.

    Some of the big names on the statement include Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who was once a US attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-MA), who used to be a prosecutor in the US attorney's office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    When Mueller delivered the report last month on his nearly two-year-long investigation into alleged Russian collusion with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, he passed the decision on to Attorney General William Barr as to whether or not Trump should be indicted for obstruction of justice. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined there wasn't sufficient evidence in the report to support such a charge.

    Noting that an indictment is not a conviction, Kovalik, who is the author of the book "The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World," said that "what these particular prosecutors are really saying is that in their discretion, they would have indicted someone who was not president in such circumstances."

    "Maybe that's true. Again, people are often indicted for lying to federal investigators, [they] can be arrested for lying to customs agents, for example, for very minor things. But again, it's up to the prosecutor whether they want to waste the time to try someone for such a thing."

    However, Kovalik noted that the fact of Trump being president is actually "a big issue" in this case, because it centres on the question of whether or not Trump's actions as president, such as firing FBI Director James Comey, could really be proven to be willful obstruction of the investigation or if any effect on the investigation was simply a consequence of Trump's stature and purview as president.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    Mueller Report, Russiagate, obstruction of justice, letter, prosecutors, Loud and Clear, Dan Kovalik, Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, William Barr
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