The witness-tampering hoax

The latest nonsense in the Mueller investigation is "witness tampering."  It seems that the president asked a few questions of Don McGahn and Reince Priebus "after" they spoke to Mueller's team.  In McGahn's case, the conversation was quite helpful, as Trump's recollection was faulty about an incident over Comey's firing that involved McGahn.  Oh, darn!  A potential perjury trap unsprung.

Now, real witness tampering in federal law is found at USC Sec. 1512.  And it doesn't include comparing a few notes after testimony.  It means killing, threatening, or intimidating a witness to alter testimony or evidence.

This event did trigger my recollection of a more likely case of a president and witness tampering.  It involved, of course, our modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, the Clintons.  During the Ken Starr investigation, the Clintons set up a controversial Joint Defense Team for all Clinton people to be coached and represented by the Clinton defense attorneys.  Slick Willie knew everything about the Starr and later the congressional proceedings, as he essentially rehearsed the witnesses ahead of time.  As with everything else the Clintons do, they got away with it.

Another similar Clinton stratagem is to misuse government lawyers as your personal ones, then hire them privately to help you when caught and claim lawyer-client privilege for the whole scheme.  That's what they did with Cheryl Mills throughout the email investigation in 2016. 

Sad to say, but Trump, and more importantly, Trump's lawyers, ought to study all the tricks the Clintons have used over the years to beat the rap.  Mueller's unprincipled prosecutors and their media allies are out for blood.  Let's hope it's starting to sink in at the White House that this was never going to be a fair fight. 

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.

The latest nonsense in the Mueller investigation is "witness tampering."  It seems that the president asked a few questions of Don McGahn and Reince Priebus "after" they spoke to Mueller's team.  In McGahn's case, the conversation was quite helpful, as Trump's recollection was faulty about an incident over Comey's firing that involved McGahn.  Oh, darn!  A potential perjury trap unsprung.

Now, real witness tampering in federal law is found at USC Sec. 1512.  And it doesn't include comparing a few notes after testimony.  It means killing, threatening, or intimidating a witness to alter testimony or evidence.

This event did trigger my recollection of a more likely case of a president and witness tampering.  It involved, of course, our modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, the Clintons.  During the Ken Starr investigation, the Clintons set up a controversial Joint Defense Team for all Clinton people to be coached and represented by the Clinton defense attorneys.  Slick Willie knew everything about the Starr and later the congressional proceedings, as he essentially rehearsed the witnesses ahead of time.  As with everything else the Clintons do, they got away with it.

Another similar Clinton stratagem is to misuse government lawyers as your personal ones, then hire them privately to help you when caught and claim lawyer-client privilege for the whole scheme.  That's what they did with Cheryl Mills throughout the email investigation in 2016. 

Sad to say, but Trump, and more importantly, Trump's lawyers, ought to study all the tricks the Clintons have used over the years to beat the rap.  Mueller's unprincipled prosecutors and their media allies are out for blood.  Let's hope it's starting to sink in at the White House that this was never going to be a fair fight. 

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.