Obstruction Of Justice Against ‘The Donald?’
Obstruction Of Justice
Against ‘The Donald?’
Congratulations, Donald Trump. You are OFFICIALLY under investigation for obstruction of justice!
Last week, The Washington Post broke the news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now actively investigating Donald Trump and his possible attempt to obstruct justice in the ongoing Russia collusion probe. Nevermind Trump’s claims that former FBI Director James Comey assured him multiple times that he is not a target of any investigation — that was then and this is now.
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” Trump angrily tweeted on Friday about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
According to The Post, Robert Mueller wants to know why Trump allegedly asked Comey to ignore any connection between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia, then fired Comey when he didn’t obey. If Mueller is able to confirm that Trump attempted an obstruction of justice by asking Comey to let the Flynn case go, it could “trump” any collusion with Russia claims and lead to an all but certain end to the Trump presidency.
Mueller has assembled an all-star team of lawyers and investigators, proving that he means business and is employing an all out “follow-the-money” approach to the investigation. They include Lisa Page, a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s organized crime department whose specialty involves international organized crime and money laundering cases; Andrew Weissmann, a seasoned prosecutor who oversaw cases against high-profile organized crime figures on Wall Street in the early 1990s as well as 30 individuals implicated in the Enron fraud scandal; James Quarles, a specialist in campaign-finance research for the former Watergate task force; Michael Dreeben, who is widely considered as “the best criminal appellate lawyer in America”; and Aaron Zebley, a former senior counselor in the DOJ’s National Security Division specializing in cyber security.
The all-star team of investigators are examining if Trump had any financial incentives — including business ties or outstanding debt — to establish a relationship (via Michael Flynn and other Trump campaign operatives) with Moscow. They are said to be considering his tax records, his continued business interests while president, as well as Eric Trump’s 2014 braggadocious claim that the Trump family had secured access to $100 million from Russian lenders to fund their golf courses.
The Washington Post has reported that “Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities” since the 1980s, “and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world.” The Trump Organization is also believed to have received loans from Russia when it was struggling in the 1990s. The report also said that the family’s bank of choice has long been Deutsche Bank, which was the only bank willing to loan to Trump after a series of bankruptcies.
If investigators are able to establish a money trail, they may be able to piece together why Donald Trump wanted any queries into Michael Flynn to go away… and (when that didn’t happen) why he wanted James Comey fired… which could then lead to a charge of obstruction of justice.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
– Donald Trump to James Comey
February 14, 2017
On Friday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attempted to aid Trump’s “witch hunt” claims, saying that it’s impossible for a president to obstruct justice.
“Technically, the President of the United States cannot obstruct justice,” Gingrich said at the National Press Club. “The President of the United States is the chief executive officer of the United States. If he wants to fire the FBI director, all he’s got to do is fire him.”
Gingrich added that any investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice in the Russia probe is related to a failed attempt to prove election collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, in what he calls the “Russia Fantasy.”
“Everybody on the left has been walking around town chanting, ‘Watch for the Russian connection, watch for the Russian connection, look for the collusion,'” Gingrich said. “Turns out, even Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the (Senate) intelligence committee, says there is zero evidence of collusion. So now the newest one is, ‘Ah, but there was obstruction of justice over the collusion.'”
Interestingly, Gingrich’s claims that it’s impossible to go after a sitting president for obstruction of justice is all a theatrical attempt to lend support to Trump. In 1998 and while speaker of the House, Gingrich voted to impeach President Bill Clinton on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.
Historically, the downfall of Richard Nixon was never due to the actual break-in of the Watergate building, but rather one of his own doing related to the cover-up that followed. Well, that appears to be the fate Donald Trump is rapidly heading toward.
Donald Trump may never be found guilty of colluding with Russia. However, he may very well be found guilty of attempting to cover-up and obstruct the investigation. If so, Trump’s downfall — like Nixon’s — will be of his own doing.
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