There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about obstruction of justice.
Obstruction of justice is a fascinating topic, to be sure. But whether the President of the United States obstructed justice when he fired the Director of the FBI is not exactly the most common scenario for white-collar criminal defendants.
One of my favorite bloggers wrote a helpful piece about the obstruction of justice statutes and evaluated how difficult it is to win a conviction under them.
A recent case from the Ninth Circuit confirms that winning an obstruction of justice charge is not an easy task. In United States v. Liew, the court reversed the defendant’s convictions for conspiracy to obstruct justice and for witness tampering because the government had not proved sufficient facts showing the defendant committed these crimes.
The conduct in this case is far afield from President Trump’s alleged wrongdoing, but this opinion offers demonstrates how aggressive prosecutors can be in bringing these as well as how difficult it can be to win them.