Law Professor Explains Why Trump Never Obstructed

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley recently said on MSNBC, “In terms of obstruction and collusion, I don’t think the ball has moved materially closer to Trump.” He added that the Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels controversies and the potential risk to Donald Trump Jr. are “the existential threats.”

Turley claimed, “[A] victory in the Manafort trial is not necessarily a big victory for the investigation per se. It is not connected to the campaign. It’s a conventional prosecution. It doesn’t mean that he’s innocent, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have been prosecuted, but it doesn’t say that much about the investigation. In terms of obstruction and collusion, I don’t think the ball has moved materially closer to Trump. I think the greatest dangers remain, as I’ve said before, on the margins, on the borders, coming from McDougal and Daniels controversies, coming from the risk that Donald Trump Jr. could be in, if anyone supports any of these accounts. Those have always, in my view, been the existential threats. And so, I think what I’m looking at primarily, is not a direct hit on obstruction or collusion, but whether some of these collateral issues are going to move closer.”

adding, “[W]hat they really need to show for collusion, and maybe Mueller has something like this, would be a quid pro quo, any type of wink wink, nod nod agreement with the Russians that, for example, there might be some change on sanctions if they help on the elections. That’s the type of evidence that would materially change the situation.”

“I think there’s two dangers. One is that these collateral investigations could come very close to the White House. I think they’ve moved closer. But the other great danger is Trump’s response to something like an investigation or indictment of his son. That creates a great unpredictability for the Trump team as to how he might respond. He could very well respond as a parent instead of a president. He could issue a bunch of firings and pardons. So, this thing could really change and turn on a dime. And I think everyone is watching that closely. But I think that where I would be looking, as a criminal defense attorney, is on the edges.”