Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this



By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association 

Photo:  President Trump during a national address.  Image via CNN broadcast 

May 8, 2019 (San Diego) - Retired attorney Robert “Bob” Ross says lawyers have a hard time agreeing to sign anything “where they aren’t able to make amendments or change words.”

But Rose — and at least seven other former San Diego federal prosecutors — did just that when they agreed to add their names to an open letter that said Donald Trump would face “multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice” if he weren’t president.

“But for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the Mueller Report,” said a Department of Justice “alumni statement” posted Monday on Medium.

As of Tuesday, it had about 700 signatories.

At least eight were former prosecutors in the San Diego-based U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Besides Rose, who spent 12 years working under Presidents Ford through Reagan, they were:

  • Stephen Anear, who served for seven years during the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations.
  • Raymond J. “Jerry” Coughlan Jr., 10 years under Nixon, Reagan, Ford and Carter.
  • Thomas “Tom” Coffin, 21 years under Reagan, Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Ford and Carter.
  • George Hardy, 34 years under Reagan, Clinton, Carter, Obama and both Bushes.
  • Gay Hugo-Martinez, 16 years under Carter, Reagan, Bush I and Clinton.
  • Pamela “Pam” Naughton, eight years  under Carter and Reagan.
  • And Robert Semmer, 11 years under Nixon, Ford and Carter.

The 930-word letter said the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller describes several acts that “satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge.”

“All of this conduct — trying to control and mpede the investigation against the President by leveraging his authority over others — is similar to conduct we have seen charged against other public officials and people in powerful positions,” the letter said.

Reached by Times of San Diego, several of the former prosecutors stressed that the letter “ignored party lines” just as they once did for the government.
“We valued honesty above all other things,” said Rose, 68, retired from the San Diego firm Sheppard Mullin. “And then to see this play out for political purposes is disturbing.”
Photo, right:  Former San Diego federal prosecutor Jerry Coughlan said of the Mueller report: “There’s more than enough evidence here to charge somebody. It seemed pretty easy to me.” Image via coughlanmediation.com.
Said Coughlan, 75: “U.S. attorneys’ offices are by definition just nonpartisan. I don’t ever remember thinking about a case in terms of politics. You wouldn’t. That’s out of bounds.”
Said Hugo-Martinez, 76: “For almost 20 years I prosecuted people, and I didn’t care whether they were Republicans or Democrats. All I cared about was: Did they commit a crime, and did they meet the federal guideline for being prosecuted? And that was it.”
Hugo-Martinez, Coughlan and Rose had something else in common: They once were Republicans.
Rose says he was a registered Republican until about three years ago, and now holds no party affiliation.
He left the GOP because “it didn’t resemble anything I ever believed in,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview. “Really, the party is dead as it once existed. It now resembles … the Whigs of the 19th century.”
Coughlan, a Democrat now, said “Reagan probably ended it.”
And Hugo-Martinez, a former Del Mar councilwoman who voted for Barry Goldwater for president in 1964, said: “Under current circumstances, I would never be a Republican.” (She says she was active in the “Flip the 49th” drive that led to Democrat Mike Levin succeeding GOP incumbent Rep. Darrell Issa.)
Naughton, who works for DLA Piper in San Diego, declined to give her party affiliation but said “the letter speaks for itself.”
An assistant U.S. attorney in San Diego from 1981 to 1987, Naughton went on to become counsel to the House Iran-Contra probe, deposing Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese, a former San Diegan. She also was counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during 1988-1989 impeachment proceedings against federal Judge Walter Nixon of Mississippi.
“She examined witnesses at hearings, including Judge Nixon, conducted depositions and interviews, prepared exhibits, reviewed grand jury and other documents, drafted legal memoranda on the history of impeachment and attached legal standards, drafted factual summaries and prepared members of Congress for the proceedings which culminated in the impeachment of Judge Nixon by the US House of Representatives,” says her professional biography.
Photo, left:  Former San Diego federal prosecutor Gay Hugo-Martinez said: “I think [Trump] is the worst president the United States has ever had. He is ruining our relationship with every one of our international partners that we’ve had for years. The worst thing that he did was pull us out of the Paris [climate] accord. … In addition to that, the man is a racist.” Image via YouTube.com
Hugo-Martinez, who prosecuted Jerry Dominelli lover Nancy Hoover in the 1980s Ponzi scheme case, said she “wholeheartedly” agreed with Monday’s letter “because it’s the truth.”
Before moving to San Diego, she spent seven years with the U.S. Department of Justice going after organized crime figures in Chicago — including prosecutions involving obstruction of justice. In San Diego, she focused on white-collar crime.
Still a Del Mar resident, she owns an apartment in Paris. But when she travels to France “I’m ashamed [Trump’s] my president…. Their game is to delay, delay, delay [congressional oversight] until the election. … And Trump loves this.”
Rose was critical of public comments by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
“It becomes aggravating to see people — both laymen and the highest law enforcement officer in the country — just distort the law and issue conclusions that are false,” Rose said. “Barr’s an intelligent, experienced former attorney general. I don’t think there’s any way honestly he could believe the statement that he made (on Trump not obstructing justice). But he made it.”
Rose said 10 acts of potential obstruction have been known for a couple of years.
He’s also suspicious of Barr for saying Trump didn’t commit a crime by conspiring with Russians to win the election but then, “without any corrupt intent, do everything possible to block an investigation of his innocence.”
Coughlan, a former lawyer for ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, still works as a mediator. He says he read some of the Mueller report online but now has the Washington Post version in hard copy.
“No doubt about it,” he said. “I actually think Volume 1 is brutal — on all the contacts that Russia had with his campaign … and their failure to do anything about it. It must have been a very close call for Mueller to decide there’s not quite enough there to charge him.”
Calling Trump the worst client in the world, Coughlan said once the president is out of office, “he’ll be called on the carpet by some U.S. attorney’s office.”
He says he’s seen obstruction of justice several times in his career, but usually the prosecutor tells a defense attorney to say stop it, and it ends there.
“None of this should have happened,” Coughlan said of Trump’s documented efforts to impede Mueller.
Rose likens Mueller’s findings to a doctor who diagnoses a patient with pleurisy through symptoms.
“You can’t be sincere and say that there’s no possibility of obstruction when there’s been no underlying crime,” he said.
Referring to Barr’s disputed summary of Meuller’s conclusions, Rose said: “Maybe we shouldn’t accept the first thing we were told that there’s nothing to see here — move along, case closed.”



Agreed, it’s all FAKE

Trump Supporters DEMAND that this President show ALL his Tax Returns to show these CRAZY LIBERALS that he’s the GREATEST PRESIDENT we’ve ever had and that he’s one TRUE TREMENDOUS LEADER based on his past UNDENIABLE TRACK RECORD as a PATRIOT and that once and for all he’s truly a SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN!!!! YOU SHOW ‘EM DONALD J TRUMP, WE HAVE FAITH AND TRUST YOUR CLAIMS!

President Trump sent me a Tweet this morning!

President Trump sent me a Tweet this morning stating: "I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller. In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report, with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!"

NYT just got 10 years of Trump taxes: he lost over $1 billion.

Here is their bombshell investigation:  https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/07/us/politics/donald-trump-...  

Trump's coauthor of his "Art of the Deal" book, published during that time period, now says it should taken off shelves or reclassified as "fiction." 

Clearly Trump was not the successful businessman he claimed to be, at  least during the decade shown in his tax returns.

Easy Tiger....

The man has accomplished more and made more in a day than you will in a lifetime, might wanna sit this one out, Sister. LOL

No one is implying trump hasn

No one is implying trump hasn't done some good for our country, but one must admit that he has said and done things he should not have. To deny this is an atrocity, and I get irritated at people with blind loyalty. If Trump were a democrat, the republicans would be doing the same thing as what's happening right now with the investigations, etc. Think back when Obama wa president. The republicans attacked him (and still do) constantly. Yet if he was such a terrible president, then how did he get re-elected for a second term? Trump comes off as a suspicious person by his actions. Clearly he appears to be hiding something. I did not vote for him because of his arrogance, the way he operated his business ventures, treatment of women, etc. and I felt that something was just not quite right about him. He acts very unprofessional and child like when he goes on a tirade, especially on Twitter. So yeah, I don't like him so much, yet this has nothing to do with party affiliation. I'm an independent voter - non partisan. Does not matter to me who the commander in chief is, or if he or she is a democrat, republican or other, I will voice my opinions. No president has been perfect. We can find faults in every one of them. But a few have done some very bad things, and the news media in many ways help keep them under control, via public scrutiny. News media outlets are a voice for the people. ECM is quite neutral regarding subject matters as far as I see. I look at it this way: it's my choice to read and watch whatever I want. If I disagree with how news or whatever is presented to me, I find another venue. I don't slam the media because of what I perceive as their view. After all, they are entitled to say whatever is on their mind. Radio talk show hosts are notorious for biased opinions on many subjects, yet calling them up and arguing over it would get a person nowhere. In this country we all have the right to Free Speech - in the right context and medium of course. let's stick to the subject matter and stop attacking one another, and please remain respectful. Maybe then we all can have constructive opinions. Y'all have a better day :-)

Conservative viewpoint = No representaion here.

Is there ever going to be any representation on this site for Conservatives, or our viewpoint? It seems like every columnist on this site publishes nothing but anti-Trump anti-Conservative op-ed's and "Stories". All links published in the "News" section refer to extremely biased news sites i.e. CNN and NYT and not a single Conservative source, why is that? You may not want to acknowledge it, but there are a lot of good things going on in our country thanks to the current administration and it would be nice to see some of those in the headlines for once. There are also a lot of Conservatives in East County which you claim to represent, but I've yet to see it. I've seen others on here point out the same lack of representation, only to get booted off by the editor.

We avoid blatantly biased sources as much as possible.

Fox and MSNBC lean right and  left, so we rarely link to those unless it's something like a natural disaster where they're first on the scene.  Fox in particular has been found to play fast and loose with the facts far too often to be considered trustworthy, and MSNBC, while better researched, is biased, too. 

We had a pro-Trump story just this week here on him condemning the synagogue shooting and hate crimes against all places of worship:  https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/poway-rabbi-mayor-goldstein-and-el-ca...  

Before Trump and his Hitleresque effort to discredit long-standing reputable media, CNN and the NYT were widely considered to be solid mainstream news sites, and in the NYT case, one that has won many Pulitzer Prizes for journalism. 

Just because propagandists try to smear reputable media organizations is not a reason to drop linking to them. The NYT and Washington Post are two national newspapers that have long-standing sources in Washington that many other media outlets don't have.  Trump fears these media outlets and their teams of investigative reporters, which is why he has tried to discredit them in his followers' minds. 

If you want right wing propaganda only or left wing propaganda only there are plenty of other places to find it. 

Politically slanted narrative

Reading those comments certainly smacks of attacks on one party, the President and the current administration. Most of these attorneys are Monday morning quarterbacks, no longer credible and reflect a concerted continual attack to oust him. I view the Administrations, overall performance as very good, and would like to see support and positive editorials reflecting this. As far as loyalists and bad behavior go, nothing specific aka Fake news. Track record to date reflects A grade for performance. The pied piper gets an F. Visibility, open minds and facts count.

Message loud & clear!

This article should serve as a wake up call for the loyalists who continue to protect Trump. He's done some very egregious things during his life, and has not changed for the better. All this power as POTUS has warped him even further. And he is definitely hiding some possible bad behavior by doing everything he can to thwart any investigations into the Mueller report (unredacted) and his tax returns. I believe if Trump was a Democrat, the Republicans would already had him tried and convicted by now.