Donald Trump’s frequent tweets in which he denies any connection to Russia on his part, and pressing for investigation supposed ties between Russia and Democratic politicians contribute to charges that he’s trying to obstruct justice.
President Trump’s Twitter habit may become a legal liability for him, as his latest tweets about the Russia investigation could help build a potential case against him for obstruction of justice or witness intimidation, legal experts say.
Trump has repeatedly used his Twitter account to not only deny any connection to Russia on his account and on the part of his campaign, he’s used it to belittle witnesses such as George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, to attack both former CIA director James Comey and current special counsel Robert Mueller, and to pressure both Congress and the Justice Department to investigate accusations against Hillary Clinton.
All of that adds considerable weight to possible charges of obstruction.
Trump’s tweets about indictments in the Russia probe “could be used to further support a case against him for obstruction of justice,” said Barry Berke, a partner at the New York law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis and Frankel. …
“To the extent the president’s tweets regarding the indictment of Manafort and Gates or the cooperation of Papadopoulos are knowingly false and intended to mislead investigators, influence the testimony of others or cover up what actually occurred, that could support an obstruction of justice case,” Berke said.
Across his history of civil suits — up to and including the action that ultimately resulting in Trump paying a $25 million settlement over Trump University — Donald Trump has been vocal in his disdain for judges and the legal process. However, that attitude may not play so well with Mueller.
Trump managed to summarize most of his vague proposals into a single tweet.
…the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia,….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2017
Trump’s pressure to investigate them-not-him has paid off with people like the eagerly compliant Congressman Devin Nunes. In October, Nunes and his fellow Republicans announced not one, but three different committees were launching investigations of the Uranium One sale that was completed in 2010. The idea didn’t come out of nowhere. The Uranium One deal was a central part of the story told in the book Clinton Cash, written by an editor at Breitbart. The New York Times — in it’s infinite hunger for anything that’s anti-Clinton — got an “exclusive” on this material, and made frequent references to the accusations of a quid-pro-quo sale of American uranium to Russia during the campaign. Or, as the Times put it this week …
Some ties between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were disclosed in a book by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and frequent collaborator on films and books with Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News and the former White House chief strategist. Mr. Schweizer provided some of his information from his book, “Clinton Cash,” to The New York Times, which conducted its own reporting.
But while the investigation into Uranium One has the surface purpose of attacking Hillary, there’s a deeper, more central reason — it’s intended to cause problems for Mueller. Before his Twitter account was suspended, Trump pal Roger Stone gave away the game: By creating a second investigation in which Mueller plays a role due to his involvement in clearing the Uranium One deal in 2010, they can make it impossible to Mueller to continue with his investigation of Trump.
In other words, Trump now has three Congressional committees working diligently to assist in his obstruction.