George Conway Cites Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering Statutes in Response to Trump Tweet


George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne, had an interesting reaction to President Donald Trump‘s tweet commending Roger Stone for refusing to testify against him as part of the special counsel investigation.

Trump applauded Stone, his longtime adviser, and ripped Robert Mueller in a tweet Monday:

Conway’s response was terse:

18 U.S. Code § 1503 and 1512, as Twitter users have helpfully pointed out, are obstruction of justice and witness tampering statutes.

Former acting U.S. solicitor general Neal Katyal agreed:

Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes last wrote about 1512 after Trump praised Manafort for not taking a plea deal from Mueller. Per Lawfare:

Before making any more comments that a reasonable person in Paul Manafort’s shoes—or Robert Mueller’s shoes—might construe as urging Manafort not to “flip” or dangling the possibility of a pardon, there is a federal statute Trump might want to consult: 18 U.S. Code § 1512(b). That law makes it a federal crime “knowingly” to “corruptly persuade[] another person … with intent to … influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding” or “cause or induce any person to withhold testimony . . . from an official proceeding.” It also makes it a crime to attempt to do so.

Like other obstructions of justice, the witness tampering statute requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of specific corrupt intent on the part of the defendant. So don’t hold your breath for Mueller to leap to accuse the president of a violation.

[Photo via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin