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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Who charges Don Jr. and Breitbart for witness tampering? 

by Spocko

Wednesday Don Jr. linked to a Breitbart article naming the alleged Whistleblower.
"Don Jr., Thug That He Is, Outs Person He Claims Is Whistleblower"
Following Rand Paul's lead, Don Jr. decides to tweet out Breitbart's article identifying the person they *think* is the whistleblower. That puts a target on the person's back, whistleblower or not.    By Aliza Worthington  Crooks and Liars 
I knew this was coming and it pisses me off. The good news is that most organizations have held off naming the person. But that doesn't stop the intimidation.

 Aliza Worthington addresses this excellently in this C&L piece, so I'll repeat it here:
 We won't link to it here, because WE respect the law. WE recognize that the information might be incorrect. WE don't want to put the target on the back of either a misidentified person, or a correctly identified whistleblower who is entitled to full legal protection of privacy and personal safety the president's demon spawn just obliterated.
It's worth noting that as of this writing, none of the cable news channels have reported this person's name, either, even Fox News. (Though, it's also worth noting that many on Fox News are saying the whistleblower is NOT entitled to privacy OR protection...) But unlike the Trump crime family, cable networks have legal divisions that are concerned with following the law and protecting their institutions from lawsuits and worse, so no mention of the name that has been put out there as the whistleblower's — correctly or not. (Emphasis mine.)
I've written about witness tampering and the whistleblowers recently hoping that some experts will actually go into detail on what it will take to bust people for witness intimidation coming from Trump and his Republicans supporters. Trump threatens whistleblowers and witnesses, isn't that a crime? #AskPreet Bharara  If they don't go into detail today I'll have to call another expert.
 I don't know why, but when I called and said, "This is Spocko. I write for Hullabaloo, Crooks and Liars and my blog Spocko's Brain and I'd like to ask you about successful prosecutions of witness tampering cases." they didn't return my call. Vulcan discrimination? 

I also would like an expert to remind people that White House lawyers haven't had a problem going after cable TV shows, news organizations and individual blogs and bloggers for putting up information that they consider defamation. They even went after this blog for linking to a Lawrence O'Donnell story. (Link )  

 Lawrence O'Donnell, publicly retracted his story, and so did we at Hullabaloo in this post We are very, very sorry. Super sorry. Very super-sorry. Legal threats work. Trump and his White House know this.

And, since the whistleblowers lawyers won't confirm or deny that the person named is their client, they won't be sending out letters to anyone. But someone should.

Where is the Department of Justice? They are the ones who are supposed to enforce the witness tampering and whistleblower statutes. I see people on Fox arguing about what the whistleblower laws do or don't cover. They want to use the person's background to attack the whistleblower, It's what they do. They WANT to move the focus to the person instead of the contents of the story.

These discussions of the details of the whistleblower statue ignore the larger point of the witness intimidation. The President does it publicly. It's still a crime. I'll link again to the Barb McQuade video from  March 2019 on The Rachel Maddow show, Making the threat is a crime, even if it doesn't work.
"It's a crime to knowingly intimidate, threaten or corruptly persuade another person with intent to influence, prevent or delay their testimony. -Barbara McQuade

I believe in the importance of  people remaining publicly Anonymous in cases like this. Trump Senior's witness intimidation SHOULD be added to his articles of impeachment.

 But Donald Junior is not an elected official. He can be charged with a crime.  He can be sued. The Breitbart organization can be sued. They can go down like Gawker did. (What is NOT ironic is that the lawyer that successfully sued Gawker is the lawyer the White House used to go after Lawrence O'Donnell and this blog and successfully got a retraction.)

Don Jr. really getting into his role as a witch hunter.

I looked at the Justice Department statues on tampering with witnesses and informants and it seems to cover a number of proceedings.
It applies to proceedings before Congress, executive departments, and administrative agencies, and to civil and criminal judicial proceedings, including grand jury proceedings.
I  also looked at who it applies to:
Section 1512 protects potential as well as actual witnesses. With the addition of the words "any person," it is clear that a witness is "one who knew or was expected to know material facts and was expected to testify to them before pending judicial proceedings."

Donald Jr. can be charged with a crime. Who should be charging him? Why won't they? How will he try and wriggle out of it? What advice will he ignore that will dig him in deeper? Why won't he be charged then? National Enquirering minds expect Don Jr. will weasel out of charges.

If we had an Attorney General who worked for the people, instead of the President, Don Jr. could go to jail for this. But as they say, "It's good to be the Prince."