Thursday, June 15, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

The Post is reporting that President Trump is now personally under investigation by the special counsel for possible obstruction of justice, and this morning, Trump is in full meltdown-martyr mode over it. In a couple of tweets, he lashed out wildly at an unnamed “they,” who (raged Trump) failed to get him on collusion charges and are now trying to get him on “obstruction,” which he railed at as the “single greatest witch hunt in American history,” one that is “led by very bad and conflicted people.”


Trump’s claims of persecution should be taken as more than mere deflection or an effort to stoke his supporters’ grievances. They hint that Trump could still try to remove Mueller, a possibility that must be taken more seriously now that Trump is a target.

He may have to fire Sessions and Rosenstein to get to Mueller.
Trump’s own words, in multiple settings, are potentially key pieces of evidence against him. Trump publicly admitted he fired Comey because of unhappiness with the Russia investigation. Comey testified that Trump’s demand for “loyalty” came in the context of a conversation about whether Comey would continue to serve as FBI director at his pleasure.
Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

A little something we call cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller’s office has taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate that his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government.


Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week.


It is doubtful that the White House could ultimately use executive privilege to try to block them from speaking to Mueller’s investigators. Experts point out that the Supreme Court ruled during the Watergate scandal that officials cannot use privilege to withhold evidence in criminal prosecutions.


Mueller is overseeing a host of investigations involving people who are or were in Trump’s orbit, people familiar with the probe said. The investigation is examining possible contacts with Russian operatives as well as any suspicious financial activity related to those individuals.
Damn. He fucked himself up good.
The Justice Department has long held that it would not be appropriate to indict a sitting president. Instead, experts say, the onus would be on Congress to review any findings of criminal misconduct and then decide whether to initiate impeachment proceedings.
That takes all the satisfaction out of it. Why is it not appropriate to indict a criminal? If indeed that's what he is.
Coats told associates that Trump had asked him whether Coats could intervene with Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe, according to officials.


A day or two after the March 22 meeting, Trump telephoned Coats and Rogers to separately ask them to issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of coordination between his campaign and the Russian government.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the president’s requests, officials said.

It is unclear whether Ledgett had direct contact with Trump or other top officials about the Russia probe, but he wrote an internal NSA memo documenting the president’s phone call with Rogers, according to officials.
Apparently nobody trusts the man.
[T]he team Robert Mueller is building provides clues about which way the investigation is heading.

One is a veteran of the Watergate investigation, and Donald Trump – like Richard Nixon – was reported on Wednesday to now be under investigation for obstruction of justice. Other team members have specialities that could point toward where Mueller is looking after taking over control of the investigation from the FBI: money laundering, financial fraud and Russian organised crime.

There it is. That's what they're trying to hide.

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