Trump Openly Admits to Obstruction of Justice

Welp. It's official. Trump has brazenly admitted to obstructing justice. Will anyone do anything about it?

From CNN (auto-play at link), the story from the White House press conference:

Earlier Thursday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Comey firing may hasten the agency's investigation into Russian meddling.

"We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity," she said, referring to the FBI's probe into Moscow's interference in last year's election. "And we think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen."

Okay, so we want to see the probe "come to its conclusion" and removing Comey will help that. Uh-huh.

If that weren't enough, there was Trump's interview with NBC's Lester Holt, which I mentioned in yesterday's We Resist thread. When a fuller version of the interview came out, it seems Trump made several damaging, and even incriminating, statements.

In that interview, Trump said that he had called Comey to ask if he were under investigation.

He also said he made up his mind to fire Comey because the Russia-Trump connection is a "made-up story."

No, you didn't misread that. The President of the United States said he fired the man investigating him because, according to him, the subject of a federal investigation, he's innocent.

This is not how the Constitution works.

For bonus points in the ignorance/arrogance category, Trump openly admitted that he knowingly kept Flynn on despite warnings that Flynn was compromised, because Flynn was a general and all and deserved a chance, amirite?

NBC has clips and the extended interview available.

Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, a consistent Trump critic, writes bluntly: No good lawyer would have let Trump give Lester Holt this interview.

Trump implausibly claimed James B. Comey told him he was not under investigation while simultaneously acknowledging that the campaign for which he was the candidate is. Not only would it have been highly improper for Comey to talk about the investigation (and smack of obstruction since the question was asked during a dinner discussing Comey staying on), it would have also been untrue. Comey has testified under oath that Trump’s campaign is under investigation so it would be impossible to rule out Trump’s complicity. Trump’s repeatedly quizzing Comey on the investigation can also be seen as an ongoing attempt to interfere with the investigation. Trump’s remarks not only strain credulity, they also effectively waive the executive privilege on conversations with Comey. Conversely, if they are true he effectively has confessed to obstruction.

Trump is in deep trouble, primarily because his own staff, enablers and media cohorts cannot keep up with his lies. They might consider not saying anything until they are sure what the permanent cover story is.

Now let's all engage in a thought experiment, shall we? Let's imagine President Hillary Clinton firing the head of an agency investigating the Benghazi stuff that we know the GOP was planning to keep alive. Let's imagine she openly said she'd contacted the head of the investigation to ask about it. And let's imagine she admitted she'd kept on someone she was warned was a security risk.

The GOP would have had the articles of impeachment drawn up within the hour.

Remember: they screamed when Bill Clinton (with poor judgement, in my opinion) spoke with Loretta Lynch on the tarmac about grandkids while the Justice Department was investigating bullshit charges about Hillary Clinton's private server. They did so loudly enough that Lynch recused herself from the investigation, put Comey in charge, and well, we know how that ended.

But now? Well, according to Seun Min Kim and Burgess Everett at Politico, GOP Senators are still unwilling to support calls for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor. And only two Senators support even the appointment of a select committee focused solely on investigating Trump-Russia ties:the very same Senators who have done so for months, McCain and Graham. Nothing has changed. As Kim and Burgess write:

It’s a familiar dance between Donald Trump and the congressional GOP: Trump does something widely seen as a brazen violation of political norms. Even as some Republicans call him out, most defend Trump’s actions or decline to take action directly challenging his administration.

I think this sums it up:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he’d need to see “some evidence that people investigating it are not doing a good job before we want to have something different.”

“I haven’t heard anybody accused of a crime yet,” Paul said. “Accuse someone of a crime, show they did something wrong, show us some evidence. Just to have an investigation to have an investigation, I don’t think is a good idea. We’ve got plenty of investigations.”

Show they did something wrong before you investigate? That's the whole point of investigations, genius. And your "plenty" of investigations don't have the resources a single focused one would have. These guys can't even get their excuses straight. Also? YOU HAVE ALL THE EVIDENCE YOU NEED, HE SAID IT ON FUCKING TV.


To sum: Trump admits crime and malfeasance on tv. GOP collectively shrugs.

It remains to be seen if Trump will face any real consequences for his statements.

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