Trump Calls Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation “Phony” and “Witch Hunt” In Latest Tweet Blast

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedWashington was awaken this morning with our now regular sound of a tweet from the President. At 6:55 am, President Donald Trump blasted the report that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating him for obstruction of justice.  He called the whole thing based on a “phony story” — a likely dig at former FBI Director James Comey.  I previously raised my concern about the alleged leak from the Special Counsel’s office.  The fact that the office is investigating obstruction is hardly news.  Even those of us who have expressed substantial reservations about the legal basis for an obstruction charge against the President have said that there was ample reason to investigate such allegations.  However, the leak in the Washington Post undermines the credibility not of the President but the Special Counsel.  Similarly, I have previously said that these tweets from the President are highly damaging to both his public and legal case.  Recent polling finds that only one in five voters support Trump’s firing of Comey and a majority now believe that he did meddle in the Russian investigation.

This morning, the following tweet flew out of the White House:


They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

Once again, the tweet is not without foundation. There is no known proof of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. I have been openly skeptical about the claims and openly critical of the treatment officials like Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the controversy. However, that is not the point.  Trump is the focus of a criminal investigation and it is exceptionally poor judgment to be tweeting about the investigation.

Trump then an hour later called the investigation by Mueller a witch hunt:

You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! 

Trump has repeatedly lambasted the Russia probe as a “witch hunt,” using the phrase in at least eight tweets since March.

These tweets and prior alleged statements adds to questions over the role of White House Counsel Don McGahn.  If the President repeatedly raised the investigation with Comey and others, it would presumably have occurred over the fierce objections of counsel.  That leads to the question of whether Trump is simply not consulting with the White House Counsel — a deeply troubling concern in itself.  These continued tweets only magnifies the concern over whether McGahn is able to offer effective counseling to the President.  Worse yet, an obstruction investigation may invariably lead to McGahn and what he has advised the President — making him a potential witness. There are obviously confidentiality and privilege issues in such inquiries. However, there are also crime and fraud exceptions to such claims.  McGahn is an experienced and accomplished lawyer. He knows how to handle himself in such investigation.  Yet, the President’s continued discussion (and alleged intervention) into aspects of the investigation could put his position under great scrutiny.



165 thoughts on “Trump Calls Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation “Phony” and “Witch Hunt” In Latest Tweet Blast”

  1. “Trump has repeatedly lambasted the Russia probe as a ‘witch hunt’….”

    Incorrect statement, by inadvertent omission. Trump has not repeatedly lambasted the Russia probe as a witch hunt. He has repeatedly lambasted the claim that he colluded with the Russian government to win the election as a witch hunt.

    And here’s the thing: He’s totally right. It *is* a witch hunt. So *on this matter* you are basically criticizing Trump for telling the straight up truth.

    While it’s quite true that Trump can be duly criticized on a number of issues, this certainly is not one of them.

  2. Rosenstein was hired before Comey was fired. In case you forget, he wrote the memo detailing reasons to fire Comey.
    I don’t even think there is an investigation into obstruction. I think it’s another fake leak like the one NYT used about the many meetings between Trump campaign staff and Russian agents. I can’t see a lawyer of the reputation of Mueller, being that clumsy.
    It is more likely that Mueller looked briefly at the obstruction case and dismissed it summarily.

  3. Maybe because Prof Turley is a lawyer he doesn’t understand how insane this all seems to non-lawyers. Somehow – 5 months into a Presidency – we have a special prosecutor – appointed by some obscure DAG, investigating the POTUS for something that no one can even say is a crime. And somehow, there’s all this absurd legal mumbo-jumbo which prevents Trump from shutting it down. Only DAG can shut it down, and now Rothenstein is saying HE may recuse himself.

    Big Picture: All this legal minutia is a distraction from the real issues. We want the POTUS to deal with healthcare, economy, etc. and all we’re talking about some non-existent crime that can’t be proven one way or the other. Trump needs to fire Muller, or revise his charter to drastically de-scope his investigation or put a six month time limit. I know how lawyers hate deadlines. Why their precious independence requires them to take years and years to finally come to a conclusion. It time for non-lawyers to step in and change that..

  4. Pence hires Richard Cullen as a personal lawyer on Russia investigation. Cullen is a former law partner of Comey, and godfather to one of Comey’s daughters. He is well seasoned with political scandals, having worked on Abramoff, Iran-Contra and Watergate. I smell a RAT!

  5. Why did Sessions hire Rosenstein when Rosenstein worked under Mueller for three years, and Mueller was a longtime friend and colleague of Comey?

    1. Trump hired Rosenstein when he fired Sally Yates and he was confirmed by congress,

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