Donald Trump has been having a bad week. Whatever intimidation games he and his Republican co-conspirators in Congress have been playing this week against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, they haven’t worked, as Mueller is still on the job. Nor has Trump gotten to fire FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, like he wanted to. Instead Trump has exploded in a ball of Twitter rage this weekend. One respected legal expert says Trump just incriminated himself.
Trump got antsy on Saturday afternoon and tweeted this screed, not a word of which is true or accurate: “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” This led Richard Painter, the current University of Minnesota law professor and former chief ethics lawyer for the George W. Bush White House, to point out that Trump had just incriminated himself.
Painter responded to Trump’s post by tweeting “Another Tweet for Mueller’s evidence file. This is part of a pattern of intimidation of McCabe who is a material witness in the investigation of obstruction of justice by Donald Trump.” Then he added “You don’t like McCabe because he is a witness to your obstruction of justice. These are yet more incriminating Tweets. Is your foolish lawyer going to say that he wrote these Tweets too?”
Robert Mueller is still carefully building a comprehensive obstruction of justice case against Donald Trump, and he can’t pull the trigger on it until he’s made it so bulletproof that Trump and his allies have no way of preventing it from taking Trump down. In the mean time, Richard Painter is correct: these kinds of Trump tweets only serve to bolster Mueller’s case. Trump is illegally trying to intimidate a witness in plain sight.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report