Benjamin Wittes is most popularly known in political circles for being a friend of former FBI Director James Comey, but in legal circles he’s best known as a Senior Fellow at Brookings and the Editor in Chief of Lawfare. He’s also become a leading voice documenting the criminal investigation that’s begun swallowing Donald Trump whole. Now he says that Trump is tweeting himself into criminal charges as we speak.
On Saturday afternoon, Trump posted a frantic series of oddly specific and thoroughly dishonest denials about his various scandals. First he tried to refute the Pee Pee Tape by falsely claiming that “Officials behind the now discredited “Dossier” plead the Fifth. Justice Department and/or FBI should immediately release who paid for it.” Then he tried to refute his Russian Facebook ads scandal by tweeting that “Keep hearing about “tiny” amount of money spent on Facebook ads. What about the billions of dollars of Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC & CBS? Crooked Hillary Clinton spent hundreds of millions of dollars more on Presidential Election than I did. Facebook was on her side, not mine!”
That prompted Wittes to quote those Trump tweets while adding his own legal analysis: “Every tweet about these pending investigative matters is evidence in another pending matter: an active obstruction of justice investigation.” (link). In other words, in essence, Trump is moving himself closer to criminal obstruction charges with each new tweet of this type. Even as he’s trying to distract the public from these scandals, he’s unwittingly making Robert Mueller’s job that much easier.
Mueller is attempting to carefully craft the kind of legally bulletproof case that has the greatest chance of taking down Donald Trump and his various co-conspirators – and that requires being meticulous. Although the mainstream public continues to urge Mueller to “hurry,” the reality is that he only gets one shot at this, and he has to get it 100% right in order to succeed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report