Trump’s Sessions Tweet Itself Isn’t Obstruction of Justice — CNN Legal Analyst

Arturo Kim
August 3, 2018

Coats declined to comment on Trump's meeting with Putin, saying, "I am not in a position fully to understand what happened in Helsinki".

Trump reportedly was urging his attorneys to allow him to speak to Mueller, The New York Times reported on Wednesday, even though they've counseled him to refuse the request. "It's the president's opinion".

Though Trump has previously called for an end to Mueller's probe, Wednesday's tweets were the most direct to be aimed at Sessions - and they drew sharp criticism, including from some members of Trump's own party.

Trump's lawyers have argued that a president can not be charged with obstruction of justice given the sweeping executive powers granted under the Constitution.

Recently, Giuliani has begun repeating the line in media appearances that while no collusion with Russian Federation ever happened, it would not have been a crime even if it did.

An African-American pastor praised President Donald Trump and his administration's efforts in communities of faith, particularly in the African-American community, at a roundtable at the White House on August 1.

"The president's not obstructing, he's fighting back", said Sanders, dismissing the idea Trump's tweets could be tantamount to obstruction of justice. He also called it a "a disgrace to USA".

The president's anger came the day after the start of the trial of Manafort, who is facing federal charges of bank fraud and tax evasion. And Trump's White House.

"Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders".

"These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion - a Hoax!" he said. But the two senators said their plan has run into hurdles for months - and say the Russian threat is real headed into the midterms.

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In June, he said the jailing of his former campaign chairman in advance of his trial was "a tough sentence", charging that a federal judge's decision to respond to allegations of witness tampering was "very unfair". The timing is interesting too - his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has just gone on trial, accused of failing to declare the extent of his business connections with pro-Moscow Ukrainian politicians.

Earlier this year, Congress distributed $380 million to all 50 states to enhance election-related cybersecurity.

But Trump apparently named Sessions in his tweet as he is dissatisfied that the investigation is continuing. As a legal matter, however, it is far from clear that the tweet, in and of itself, is obstruction.

Trump's team has attempted to set terms for what investigators can ask him and in what format.

One of the president's confidants deemed Trump in "a dark place", seething about the longlasting probe and the media's depiction of his White House under siege.

Coats comments follow several weeks where Trump's views surrounding election meddling have been repeatedly called into question.

Also on Wednesday, counsel to the president, Jay Sekulow, told Fox News that the president's tweet was not an order. "Put up - I mean I guess if we were playing poker (you would say) 'Put up or shut up.' What do you got?" "The president is stating his opinion, he's stating it clearly, and he's certainly expressing the frustration that he has with the level of corruption that we've seen from people like Jim Comey, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe", Sanders said.

But Mr. Mueller remains interested in key areas that Mr. Trump's lawyers worry will prove problematic for him, particularly whether he obstructed justice when he fired James Comey as the FBI Director. "I don't think there's any reasonable view of this tweet that could be construed that way". Dowd and Trump's other lawyers have said they could fight such a subpoena on constitutional grounds.

In view of the tweet, "I think it would be helpful to have the debate on that bill", Collins said.

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