On Wednesday, Donald Trump’s top attorney, Ty Cobb, called it quits, leaving the president’s legal team, and while Cobb said he’d been planning his exit for some time, a tweet his client sent out earlier in the morning may have been the real reason.
The tweet from Trump absolutely guarantees that he will indeed be charged with obstruction of justice:
A Rigged System – They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal “justice?” At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2018
In order for obstruction of justice to be proven in court, the prosecution has to have what’s known as “corrupt intent.” In other words, the person had to have been aware that he or she was attempting to forestall or hinder an investigation. And Trump just proved that his aim is to short-circuit the Department of Justice via “the powers granted to the Presidency.” The cherry on top is he said he will be forced to “get involved.”
Game, set, and match to Robert Mueller.
Of course, this isn’t the only instance of Trump clearly obstructing justice. Here’s a few more examples of how this president has done an imitation of a lawless dictator, believing there would be no long-term consequences for him:
- Trump tried to obtain a pledge of loyalty from former FBI Director James Comey. He did so in order to get Comey to back down on investigating Michael Flynn, who had been ousted as National Security Adviser after it was learned he was working as a foreign agent — i.e. taking money — from both Russia and Turkey.
- The president told White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller. When McGahn refused and threatened to resign, Trump told him to forget it.
Adam Serwer had this to say in The Atlantic regarding Trump and obstruction as it relates to the president’s attempt to dismiss Mueller:
“Legal experts say that Trump’s pattern of behavior has made the case against him much stronger, because that pattern shows Trump repeatedly attempting to undercut the investigations into Russian interference and obstruction, and then in some cases misleading the public about it. That Trump was unsuccessful in firing Mueller is irrelevant—obstruction is a crime whether or not the attempt succeeds.”
And now Robert Mueller has Trump’s own words in a tweet to use against him no matter what Trump tries to do from this point forward. The president has painted himself into a corner, and there is no escape route for him. Impeachment and prosecution await Donald Trump. The clock is now ticking.