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      07-26-2019, 03:11 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by ScottyRyan2019 View Post
Not true at all. There are circumstances where you can have a charge and conviction for Obstruction of Justice under federal law with no underlying crime committed or charged.

Obstruction of justice is defined as "Interference with the orderly administration of law and justice" and is found in 18 U S C 1501 - 1521. Although it can vary slightly by statute, generally these are elements required for conviction:

1: There was a pending federal judicial proceeding
2: The defendant knew of the proceeding, and
3: The defendant had the corrupt intent to interfere with or attempted to interfere with the proceeding.

Nowhere does it state an underlying crime need be committed.

Let me give you an example: You are the Vice President of the United States (see what I did there ). The Feds suspect you of committing a crime. They launch an investigation. Now, we all know that not all investigations result in charges because not all investigations result in crimes being uncovered. So lets say this is one of those cases.

You KNOW for sure you did not commit the crime you are being investigated for. However, you know that if the Feds dig deep enough, they are going to likely uncover some potentially highly embarrassing and potentially damaging information about you that is not criminal in nature (maybe you had a bunch of affairs with porn stars you don't want people knowing about because you are a bible banger). So, you decide to obstruct their investigation by tampering with witnesses , destroying some documents, and trying to get the head of the investigation fired.

You have just committed Obstruction of Justice under federal law even though no underlying crime was committed or charged.
Yup - you are correct and an obstruction of justice charge could be levied. But the odds of a prosecutor taking it up is damn slim. Even if you could get a prosecutor to file the charges, the chance of a guilty verdict in court would be nearly zero. Hence the comment below:

Originally Posted by CigarPundit View Post
Yeah, being guilty of the underlying crime is not technically legally necessary for obstruction, but it’s pretty tough to get a conviction when the target is not guilty for a number of reasons: (1) it’s a chicken shit process crime; (2) it’s almost impossible to prove mens rea (intent) when the Target honestly (and correctly) believes that he is not guilty of the crime he is being investigated for. That’s why you don’t see prosecutions in such situations unless they are politically motivated.
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