On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation is widening its probe to include possible obstruction violations by President Trump. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is interviewing a number of intelligence officials who are known to had conversations with Trump about the Russia investigation. Upon learning the news, Trump again Tweeted his apparent frustration.
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
Trump’s tweet appears to be in reference to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In May, Rosenstein wrote a memo criticizing the former FBI director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case (Comey Termination letters) and laid out a case for Comey’s termination. Trump then fired Comey, and used the memo as justification. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also held up that memo to justify Comey’s firing. Rosenstein later hired Robert Mueller as special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference with the election. Ironically, Mueller was given the power to investigate other injustices that he may uncover during the course of his work, which apparently now circle back to the presidents potential obstruction of justice.
Trump’s tweet actually holds little water. Soon after Comey’s firing the president made it clear that Rosenstein’s memo had nothing to do with his decision to fire Comey, that he was going to do it anyway (Trump’s reason for firing Comey). In addition, Rosenstein himself may be asked to answer questions regarding if Trump (or Jeff Sessions) pressured him to write his memo in the first place.
During the past few months, Trump has gone out of his way to reiterate that former FBI Director Comey had told him that he was not personally under investigation. Comey confirmed he told the president as much when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It seems a bit odd that Trump would give significance to the difference between his entire campaign (and many of his current staff) being investigated for wrongdoing, and he, himself being investigated. Is there much of a difference?
On Sunday, Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow, appeared on many of the Sunday morning news shows to declare that the president was not under investigation. This was a complete contradiction of the president’s own tweet that declared that he was. Sekulow claimed that neither the president nor his staff had been notified that the president was under investigation. As it happens, there is no obligation of the special prosecutor to notify anybody as to whether they are under investigation. Given Mueller’s ability to investigate all possible wrongdoings, it would make sense that every person involved with the campaign, including the president, would be under investigation. You can see Sekulow’s bizarre interaction with Fox’s Chris Wallace below.
The truly sad thing is that Trump is self imploding. This issue isn’t in the press every day because of the Democrats. Trump is having his attorneys go on TV to talk about the investigation (and doing a terrible job of making excuses). While he may complain about the investigation being a witch hunt, Trump is doing everything he can to keep his name at the forefront of every news cycle, be it good news, bad news, or in this case, sad news.Tweet