On Wednesday morning, President Trump tried to make a case that investigators had no good reason to raid the office, home, and hotel room of his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen. But in doing so, Trump seemed to casually admit to obstruction of justice.
“I (we) are… doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus,” Trump tweeted. “No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!”
….doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
Suffice it to say there is no “fighting back” exception to obstruction of justice charges, which were part of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Trump’s tweet comes almost 11 months to the day after he seemed to admit to obstructing justice during an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt conducted just days after he fired FBI Director James Comey — who at the time was overseeing the investigation into the Trump campaign.
Trump told Holt that “when I decided to do it, I said to myself… this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.” In short, Trump admitted his decision to fire Comey was motivated by his frustration about the FBI’s investigation of his campaign.
Pres. Trump on firing Comey: "I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story." https://t.co/hxqM1LI6BE
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) May 11, 2017
The president’s extraordinary Twitter admission comes a day after responded to news of the Cohen raid by expressing deep confusion about attorney-client privilege. In a tweet, Trump proclaimed that “Attorney–client privilege is dead!” — apparently oblivious to the existence of the “crime-fraud exception,” which means communications between you and your attorney about future criminal acts are not protected.
Trump is not a lawyer, and his legal team is currently in chaos. His former lead attorney responding to Mueller’s investigation, John Dowd, resigned late last month — reportedly because he and Trump weren’t on the same page about whether sitting for an interview was a good idea. Two replacements he sought to add to his team decided not to join it, purportedly due to a conflict of interest. That left Trump’s least qualified lawyer, Jay Sekulow, as a de facto leader of his legal team.
Last month, Bloomberg reported that Mueller’s investigation pertaining to obstruction of justice is “close to completion, but he may set it aside while he finishes other key parts of his probe, such as possible collusion and the hacking of Democrats.”