Turley: Trump Fell Short Of Obstruction "By Some Distance"; "Laughable" To Bring Case To Court

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CBS News legal analyst Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, appeared on Monday's broadcast of 'CBS This Morning' to discuss special counsel Robert Mueller's report, President Trump, and what's next after the Russia investigation. Turley said while the president may not have obstructed justice, he is not exonerated.

Turley told an unsettled Gayle King, who claimed "eyebrows are being raised" over Attorney General Bill Barr's decision that no obstruction took place, no prosecutor would bring this case to court.





"I think that quite frankly I don't know any prosecutor who would bring this case into an actual court of law. It would be rather laughable," Turley said in an attempt to assuage King's fears.

"The fact is that it's very hard actually to obstruct something that is not an underlying crime," the law professor said.

"The fact is, much of what the president did was highly inappropriate and arguably acts of obstruction. But did he fall short of that line? Yeah, I think he fell short by some distance," Turley concluded.

GAYLE KING, CO-HOST: A couple of eyebrows are being raised that [Barr] made this decision that there's no obstruction in less than two days, that they moved too quickly maybe.

TURLEY: I don't think that's true. I think that quite frankly I don't know any prosecutor who would bring this case into an actual court of law. It would be rather laughable.

KING: You predicted it two years ago.

TURLEY: I did. The fact is that it's very hard actually to obstruct something that is not an underlying crime. President Trump made a really good effort at that. I mean, he almost counterpunched his way into an obstruction case, but it's very difficult. What Barr is saying is it's not possible. You can actually still obstruct something that wasn't an original crime but in this case, there's really not the facts for that. He has other defenses to make. This is not, in my view, a close case on obstruction...

The fact is, much of what the president did was highly inappropriate and arguably acts of obstruction. But did he fall short of that line? Yeah, I think he fell short by some distance.

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