When pressed, Trump loves to claim he’s never met people he’s had sex with or assaulted, among other personal contacts, saying that he doubts that he would recognize them in person, even if they chose his Vice President, lived in his building, etc.
Let’s see, we know that Trump was warned in 2016, so despite his claims, he knew anyway, because the shady Russians go back decades.
And he’s known Manafort from his days working with Roger Stone, who will be in the barrel very soon.
If only there had been same way for the Trump campaign to know that Manafort, a resident of Trump Tower—who’d made his fortune as a political consultant to dictators and had largely been absent from Republican politics for two decades—was involved in some shady business. Like, say, Google.
And then there’s the keeping the lies straight.
Spent the day at my Funny & kind friend Felix Sater’s beautiful LI home. We shared stories about NY real estate, our mutual friend, visiting our mutual friend on the set of the Apprentice, Russia & video tapes. pic.twitter.com/szrjdNKA4C
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) May 2, 2018
Our lawless president is using twitter this morning to signal to Manafort, just in case Manafort missed the point of the D’Souza pardon and the Blagojevich teaser. The continuing failure of congressional leaders to defend democracy is a shocking betrayal of our nation.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 3, 2018
Admitting to a crime by claiming one has absolute power: L’état, c’est moi
- 2/ Here’s the key admission, contradicting previous Trump statements: “You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.”…
- 3/ “His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion.” But the statement was *false*. Jr. said the meeting was “primarily” about adoption.
- 4/ This is the relevant criminal obstruction statute, 18 USC 1512: “(b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—…
(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(2) cause or induce any person to—
(A) withhold testimony,…
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years.” Proceedings were foreseen.
- 6/ In the first tweet of this thread, I wrote “close enough to obstruction.” Let me clarify: There is now probable cause that Trump violated 18 USC 1512 by tampering with a witness and committed a felony. And probable cause is the requirement for an indictment…
- I’m not yet persuaded that a sitting president can be indicted. But the officials who participated in this obstruction arguably could be, and given this stunning admission, Trump should be removed from office for a high crime.
- 8/ Remember that Trump lawyer Mark Corallo resigned over this event, reportedly because he thought it was close enough to obstruction. And he spoke to Mueller about it.
- *Correction: Corallo is not a lawyer, even though he is often referred to being on Trump’s legal team and though he worked in the Bush DOJ.
- 10/ If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the U.S., or to defraud the U.S., or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more… do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined or imprisoned”
- 11/ @RDEliason drew my attention to this statute last year. Mueller already has a guilty plea from Rick Gates based on this application: schemes “to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful gov functions by deceit, craft, or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest.”
- 12/ This is Don Jr’s original statement, which @realDonaldTrump dictated: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared & Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active & popular with American families years ago…”
- 13/ “…and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.” False. Arguably, @realDonaldTrump “corruptly persuaded” another person and “engaged in misleading conduct” to influence testimony, violating 18USC1512.
- 14/ Just to clarify a small point: The Sekulow/Dowd letter says Mueller has received material “indicating” Trump dictated Don Jr’s letter about Trump Tower. My analysis assumes that such material is sufficient for probable cause that @realDonaldTrump did in fact dictate.
- 15/ Can writing a press release be obstruction? Obstruction applies not only to existing proceedings but also “foreseeable” proceedings. A press statement as Mueller is investigating this event obviously sets up Don Jr’s Congress testimony in 2017 & any inevitable FBI interview.
- 16/ Trump wasn’t on Air Force One dictating a new ad campaign for The Apprentice. He was setting a legal strategy he assumed would work. “Hicks allegedly told President Donald Trump on a conference call that the Trump Jr. emails ‘will never get out…'”
“Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” —Richard Nixon to David Frost, 1977 pic.twitter.com/DADT5ccKdW
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 3, 2018
He’s grasping at straws, bringing in Godwin, and his first try misspelled “Counsel” again.