“President” Donald Trump’s discomfort with everything that has transpired since the release of the Mueller report is evident. First, he tells reporters that “no one disobeys his orders.” Now Trump is claiming on Twitter that Mueller didn’t speak to those who were ‘closest’ to him. Sure, Trump. He can keep trying to change the narrative, but it won’t change anything else. Perhaps he’s trying to offset his brand new approval rating from Reuters, which has him way down since the Mueller report was published: 37%. To further rub salt into Trump’s wounds, the poll also shows that 68% are more likely to believe that Trump or someone close to him broke the law, a number that is up from 49% just last month. Who wouldn’t try to change the narrative with numbers like these?
Donald Trump can claim all he wants that Mueller didn’t speak to anyone “closest” to him, but NPR tells a different story by revealing the identities of the people who refused to bend to Trump’s will. Most are as close as one can get to the president of the United States. Maybe Trump is referring to family members, and not those with whom he worked and tried to coerce into obstruction.
Don McGahn has already been subpoenaed by the House. He will undoubtedly confirm that Trump tried to force him to get Rod Rosenstein to terminate Mueller. According to NPR, Trump even called McGahn at home to harass him over it. McGahn, concerned that the Trump administration would resemble Nixon’s purge, decided that he would rather resign than be a part of this crime spree. Trump also asked McGahn to enlist the acting Attorney General in these efforts, since he had already fired Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. When Sessions refused to unrecuse, Trump then asked him to begin an investigation into Hillary Clinton. What? Knowing Trump, this was merely a move to deflect attention from himself and his worsening scandals.
Two people who cooperated with the investigation are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and White House official Rick Dearborn. These two names have not been as prominent as others, but when Trump couldn’t get McGahn and Sessions to bend to his will, he had the bright idea of calling Lewandowski and asking him to get Sessions to take back his recusal. Since Trump no longer had any type of control over Lewandowski, he simply dragged his feet on it.
The remaining names include Reince Priebus, who also threatened to resign rather than do Trump’s dirty work; Staff Secretary Rob Porter, to whom Trump reached out to test the loyalties of associate AG Rachel Brand, which Porter saw as an attempt to stop the investigation; James Comey, Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland; Rod Rosenstein; and Andrew McCabe, whom Trump famously screwed out of his retirement pension.
At this point, it is clear that Donald Trump knew that Mueller’s investigation would not bode well for him, and he did everything in his power to put a stop to it. That, folks, is called obstruction. At the very least, it is attempted obstruction, which in the real world carries the same legal weight – and punishment.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years