President Donald Trump on Monday morning continued his attacks against the FBI and the special counsel investigation, which is looking into Russian meddling in United States elections and potential collusion efforts by those on Trump’s 2016 campaign team.
Trump made several tweets on Monday lamenting the inquiry led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump belittled that investigation by suggesting that “13 Angry Democrats” are "in charge" of it.
The 13 Angry Democrats in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in place that actually protects people from injustice...and just wait ‘till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
In actuality, the ideologies of investigators on Mueller’s team are not as partisan as Trump makes them out to be. Mueller himself was once a registered Republican and was appointed as director of the FBI under Republican President George W. Bush in 2001. To reach Trump’s conclusions, that this investigation is a partisan attack against him, is laughable.
The "chain of command" for the inquiry also lends credence to the idea that the special counsel is not a partisan "witch hunt." The government official overseeing Mueller’s investigation — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — is also a Republican, and he's a Trump appointment to boot.
Besides trying to blatantly lie about the investigation being a partisan “witch hunt,” Trump also sent out a tweet deriding suggestions that he obstructed justice on Monday morning. Citing a controversial and Republican-authored House report that suggested no evidence of collusion existed, Trump proposed that the investigation was trying to find new ways to come at him instead.
“So now the Probe says OK, what else is there? How about Obstruction for a made up, phony crime,” he wrote. “There is no [obstruction], it’s called Fighting Back.”
The Russia Witch Hunt is rapidly losing credibility. House Intelligence Committee found No Collusion, Coordination or anything else with Russia. So now the Probe says OK, what else is there? How about Obstruction for a made up, phony crime.There is no O, it’s called Fighting Back— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
What Trump fails to understand is that obstruction of justice doesn’t require another crime to be committed — one can interfere with an investigation and illegally impede it even if no other crime is found. Indeed, the reason why obstruction is a crime in the first place is because interference in an investigation can result in the unattainability of evidence gathering.
Defending oneself against charges is one thing; but there are lines that cannot be crossed, and “fighting back,” if it includes crossing those lines, is unacceptable even for the president to cross.
Shortly after Trump sent out his tweets, Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia pointed out that the president is trying to act more like the law doesn’t apply to him due to some imaginary privilege Trump believes he wields.
“You don’t get to suspend the rule of law or shut down investigations into your potential crimes,” Beyer said. “You are not a king.”
Getting competent lawyers to represent you has been a challenge, but there must be someone who can explain to you what “obstruction of justice” means.— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 7, 2018
You don’t get to suspend the rule of law or shut down investigations into your potential crimes. You are not a king. https://t.co/dr9Xsjb5AH
Beyer is absolutely correct in his assessment. Trump does believe he’s afforded special treatment for being the president. In some circumstances, that is arguably true — but when it comes to the rule of law, the president must be held accountable.
Trump’s continued attempts to interfere with this investigation, including his tantrums online, are disingenuous, and his protestations are themselves attempts to derail the special counsel’s important work.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Yuri Gripas/Reuters