Preet Bharara: Mueller will be watching Trump's reaction to the charges. https://t.co/ygVra7MD2X— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 29, 2017
All eyes are on Special Counsel Robert Mueller as he is set to announce the first charges in his investigation of Russian collusion in the U.S. election last year.
However, equally important will be President Donald Trump's reaction to the indictments.
Preet Bharara, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who Trump fired just three months into his presidency, explained why Mueller will be monitoring Trump's response to the charges.
“I would look for a couple of things ... whether or not Donald Trump has some reaction and talks in a way that could be used against him in the future — because Bob Mueller would do that,” Bharara told “The State of the Union.”
Reactions such as intimidating witnesses, which Trump has a penchant for, could incriminate the POTUS.
“And the second thing I would look at is to see if the president of the United States is sending some kind of message to the potential defendant or other witnesses," Bharara added. "Is he sending a message of intimidation some way, through himself or his cohorts, suggesting that people should not be talking and people should keep their mouths shut? And whether or not he sends a message of reassurance.”
Bharara gave the example of Trump’s unhinged rant on national TV soon after he fired then-FBI director James Comey, who was probing collusion between Trump advisers and Russian officials.
In an NBC News interview, Trump somewhat admitted he had fired Comey because of "the Russia thing."
“And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said: ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.’”
However, considering Trump's initial reaction to the probe, which he called a "witch hunt," in a flurry of angry tweets, it appears Trump might just do the opposite of what Bharara suggested.
...are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2017
Banner, Thumbnail credit: Reuters