Remember when Donald Trump’s second White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, was supposed to be taking the job in order to keep the unstable Trump in line? As it turns out, not so much. Kelly has been using his position to steer Trump toward even more racist positions on immigration. And now that Kelly has landed in Trump’s doghouse anyway, he’s been committing blatant acts of obstruction of justice to try to get back into Trump’s good graces. Now he’s been busted for it.
Here’s how Bloomberg is characterizing John Kelly’s recent behavior: “Kelly held separate meetings or phone calls with senior Justice Department officials last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to convey Trump’s displeasure and lecture them on the White House’s expectations.” (link). That’s the textbook definition of felony obstruction of justice. Kelly has apparently been adding that he doesn’t want them to do anything “illegal or unethical” but that won’t get him off the hook. The mere act of attempting to influence the investigation on Trump’s behalf meets the definition of obstruction, even if he didn’t ask anyone to do anything “wrong.”
So now what? Kelly has been in government for decades, and he presumably knows the definition of obstruction of justice. Yet in his desperate fervor to get back on Trump’s good side so he can keep pushing racist anti-immigrant positions, Kelly appears to have forgotten what he was doing – or perhaps he was somehow too naive to figure out that the DOJ would rat him out for it.
This is obstruction. This is the kind of thing that government officials go to prison for. John Kelly is now a felon. Special Counsel Robert Mueller can, and almost surely will, target Kelly in the hope of forcing him to flip on Donald Trump. Not only has Trump destroyed Kelly, he’s probably just created yet another insider cooperating witness against him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report