Although the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has dropped, President Donald Trump is still clearly feeling the heat from the Russia scandal. He freaked out on Twitter this Thursday afternoon over supposedly having been “framed” in the ordeal, completely ignoring the evidence that piled up against him and pressing on with the originally scrutinized behavior as if just to prove that he can.
‘“Donald Trump was being framed, he fought back. That is not Obstruction.” – Jesse Watters. I had the right to end the whole Witch Hunt if I wanted. I could have fired everyone, including Mueller, if I wanted. I chose not to. I had the RIGHT to use Executive Privilege. I didn’t!’
Unsurprisingly, the situation is far more nuanced than Trump lets on. His blanket assertion that he could have put a stop to the Russia investigation with no consequences if he chose that path is false.
Although Mueller did not conclude there was any evidence of criminally prosecutable conspiracy with the Russians on the Trump team’s part, he was far less definitive on the question of possible obstruction of justice. His report lays out a number of instances in which it strongly appeared that the president undertook steps to thwart the Russia investigation that warranted a refusal to clear Trump of the obstruction of justice allegations. Yet, Trump is still freely pressing ahead with the same behavior anyway!
The scrutinized and possibly prosecutable obstruction included plenty of tweets like the one above. For example, there’s pressure on then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his recusal and limit the Russia investigation to future election interference from the Kremlin that Mueller says “substantial evidence indicates… was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President’s and his campaign’s conduct.” That pressure eventually included plenty of public meltdowns, and Trump got Sessions out the day after the midterm elections last year after he refused to acquiesce to his wishes.
There are other instances where the president’s intent to obstruct justice seemed pretty clear to the point of warranting Mueller refusing to exonerate the president. For example, his abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey clearly fit the pattern of Trump seeking to thwart the investigation. On other occasions, his obstruction attempts were thwarted by his staff refusing to follow his orders to carry out what former White House counsel Don McGahn called “crazy shit.”
Despite all of this, Trump is sticking to his line that he is the white knight in this scenario! It’s straightforward lying that his base will no doubt eat up.
Check out Twitter’s response…
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