After providing no solid evidence of ‘Russian Collusion,’ it appears that the Mueller team is now looking to find evidence of ‘obstruction’ of the investigation.
Though some people may have forgotten, with all the other news going on around the world, the Robert Mueller special investigation is still trying to find evidence that Donald Trump and other members of his campaign did something, anything, wrong, or colluded with Russia in some way.
According to sources, it now seems that Robert Mueller and his team are examining tweets from the President of the United States. In particular, they appear to be looking at ones about Attorney General Jeff Sessions (who the President nominated for that role) and former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey, who the President dismissed, according to the claims of three people supposedly briefed on the matters. It certainly seems like Mueller and company are grasping, but there’s not much anyone can do to stop them until the investigation comes to its conclusion, for good or ill, because it seems rather obvious that he won’t stop until he has some type of charge against Trump.
It seems that the Mueller team, after failing to find any evidence of Russian collusion (the thing that they were brought together to look for), are looking at possible charges of ‘obstruction’ of the investigation through his tweets.
Several of the statements the president made on Twitter came while both men were not doing anything to stop an investigation that, at least thus far, has been a complete and utter waste of time.
The Mueller team seems to hope that the negative tweets about people like Sessions and Comey, coupled with the fact that Donald Trump was ‘pressuring’ the men about the investigation, could make the case for obstruction, both by intimidating witnesses and by pressuring law enforcement officials over the investigation.
In fact, Mueller and company even want to question the president about his tweets, his statements, and more.
The investigators seem to be interested in looking into anything and everything, hoping to find something to harangue the President about.
Currently, it’s alleged that the team is looking into private interactions with Director Comey and Attorney General Sessions, as well as other senior officials, claims about ‘misleading’ White House statements, public attacks against various people involved, and claims of possible offers to pardon ‘potential witnesses.’
However, according to President Trump’s lawyers, nothing listed by the Mueller team amounts to obstruction.
Furthermore, the Trump legal team mentioned that many of the actions undertaken by the President, including the firing of former Director Comey, fall under his authority, and therefore suggested that the chief executive should not have to answer questions about ‘obstruction’ based on such actions.
However, according to the New York Times, some of the lawyers on the team expressed concerns that Mueller’s team, while lacking a singular ‘slam-dunk’ piece of evidence that they could use to prove their claims of obstruction or undue influence, could build a case suggesting that the President embarked on a broad effort to interfere with the ongoing investigation.
The special counsel’s legal team and investigators did not outright say that they were investigating obstruction, but rather that they wanted to ask Donald J. Trump questions of a certain nature, combined with the fact that they are allegedly scrutinizing his actions under 18 United States Code section 1512, ‘Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or Informant.’
Mueller’s team declined to provide any explanation or comment, and Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, dismissed the interest in 18 U.S.C. 1512 as a part of a desperate game to undermine the President.
Proving such misconduct would likely be difficult, and there are many hurdles before he could definitively make a claim that Donald Trump sought to interfere in the ‘Russian collusion’ investigation.
He would need to find credible witnesses, and (unlike with Hillary’s emails) he would need evidence that President Trump acted with criminal intent.
Even if the special investigation turns up enough evidence that the President criminally tried to obstruct the probe, there’s still question as to what the Mueller investigation could do about it.
Mr. Mueller already said that he would abide by a precedent set in the Nixon-era, and reinforced in the Clinton-era, which suggests that the sitting President cannot be indicted while serving his term.
If, therefore, he doesn’t plan to make his case in court, then Mueller would likely turn over his information, and his recommended charges, to Congress.
Then the lawmakers would decide whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings.
It’s true that throughout the process, Donald Trump has continued to take the offensive on Twitter, condemning everything from the investigation itself, which he often declares a ‘witch hunt’ or a ‘waste of time’ to the former Director of the FBI, and everyone in-between.
However, it will likely be difficult for the special investigation, and its prosecutors, to turn that into evidence of an attempt to undermine the investigation or obstruct it, unless there is more information to back up that narrative.
This news suggests that the investigation is still not anywhere near its conclusion, and that it will likely still be in the news cycle during the upcoming midterm election season. Perhaps Mueller is waiting to see if democrats can win in November?