Russia investigation special counsel, in addition to probing possible collusion between the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, is also conducting a wide-ranging investigation into obstruction of justice by Trump, a probe that The Washington Post has called, “likely to be much bigger than we realized.”
The obstruction investigation reportedly worries Trump more than Mueller’s collusion probe, The Post said, because Trump himself would be personally implicated in any obstruction charges, while it remains unclear whether Trump can be charged with collusion — that is, conspiracy — related to the Russia investigation.
But early on Wednesday morning, Trump committed “an attempt to obstruct justice hiding in plain sight,” according to California Representative Adam Schiff, 58, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor who in 1990, as The Los Angeles Times reported, successfully prosecuted Richard Miller, the first FBI agent ever charged with espionage for passing secret information to Russia, then part of the Soviet Union.
Schiff’s accusation in response to Trump’s Twitter rant — a rant reported by the Inquisitr — comes the day after new revelations that Trump may have knowingly obstructed justice when he pressured FBI Director James Comey to end a probe of Trump’s then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, as the Inquisitr also reported.
At about 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Trump posted a Twitter message calling on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put an end to Mueller’s investigation.
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further,” Trump wrote. “Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”
While Trump has long sounded the theme that Mueller is “conflicted,” top ethics experts Richard Painter and Norman Eisen have written in The Washington Post that the claims that Mueller has conflicts of interest are “specious” and “ridiculous.”
But Schiff on Wednesday said that Trump may have committed the crime of obstruction by attempting to shut down an investigation that appears likely to implicate himself.
Whether Sessions has the ability to end Mueller’s probe appears to be highly doubtful. In early 2017, Sessions recused himself from any matter relating to the 2016 presidential campaign, which would include Russia-related matters, after media reports revealed that he lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his own meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign, according to The Washington Post.
Trump was angered by Sessions’ recusal and attempted to pressure the former Alabama senator to change his mind, specifically so that Sessions could retain control of Mueller’s Russia investigation, according to a New York Times report.