Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Oct. 09, 2019 2 min read

I *so* agree with those who note how *difficult* it is for Americans to understand the Mueller Report. Try as I might, I can't summarize it. Whenever I try, I end up saying something like, "Trump obstructed the Mueller probe, which is a crime."

Oh, wait... I just summarized it.

1/ I think the hundreds of poor people charged with obstruction every day in America should just have their attorneys tell their judges, "Hey there, Your Lordship, isn't this just too confusing to understand? Let's call it, huh? I mean, it's not like any of this is written down?"

2/ I mean really, what *is* "obstruction"? Who really knows? Does anyone? I don't think so. No one ever bothered to write it down. I think all charges of obstruction nationwide should probably just be dropped immediately, right? Because it's so confusing? And like kind of a drag?

3/ There's this long history of our justice system going first and hardest after our richest, most powerful, most famous citizens, and I'm not at *all* comfortable with it. Why should these hardworking folks face fantastical charges like "obstruction" while we let the poor slide?

4/ If you think about it, Trump's really the victim here. Shouldn't America have like *written* laws that tell you you're not allowed to obstruct a pending criminal investigation? I mean, until we have any of this written down, it's just not fair to hold Trump accountable, is it?

5/ Yeah, the more I think about it, it's just not right to make up a crime called "obstruction" on the spot and then say Trump isn't allowed to do it. I'm pretty sure we have to *write it down* first. I feel confident saying Trump should be let off the hook here until we do that.

6/ I've been a lawyer 18 years, and honestly I'm a bit surprised no one's suggested before that we *write down* the things people aren't allowed to do. Anyway, thanks everyone for letting me think this through out loud. Summary: Free Trump! No more rich victims of unwritten laws!

UPDATE/ A lawyer from Maine just DMed me claiming he knows of a law on the books that prohibits interfering with a pending criminal investigation. He can't remember what it's called; he says it's a never-repealed 19th c. statute. Anyway, I'll look into it and get back to you all!


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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