Even though his attorney says a sitting president cannot obstruct justice (he can), Special Counsel Robert Mueller is building what appears to be an airtight case of obstruction against Donald Trump.
NBC News reports:
“Special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to piece together what happened inside the White House over a critical 18-day period that began when senior officials were told that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was susceptible to blackmail by Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
“The questions about what happened between Jan. 26 and Flynn’s firing on Feb. 13 appear to relate to possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, say two people familiar with Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.”
Take a look at this timeline:
All of this raises a larger and more troubling question for the White House: Exactly when did Trump learn that Flynn had lied to the FBI? In his plea agreement, Flynn was charged for lying to the FBI on January 24, just a day after he was formally sworn in as National Security Adviser.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates has testified under oath that she informed White House Counsel Don McGahn on January 26 that Flynn had lied to members of the administration about his connections to both Russia and Turkey. But when did McGahn tell the president? Neither McGahn or any of Trump’s legal team will say when Trump learned about Flynn’s taking money from foreign governments.
If Trump knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI and he then told FBI Director James Comey, “I hope you can let this go,” that would be a clear violation of the law and the president would have been actively involved in attempting to obstruct justice. As NBC notes:
“If Trump knew his national security adviser lied to the FBI in the early days of his administration it would raise serious questions about why Flynn was not fired until Feb. 13, and whether Trump was attempting to obstruct justice when FBI Director James Comey says the president pressured him to drop his investigation into Flynn. Trump fired Comey on May 9.”
And then there’s this historical footnote: When articles of impeachment were drawn up against both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, one of the main charges levied against them was obstruction of justice.
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