Trump Just Admitted to Obstruction of Justice & Russian Collusion
Today, Trump said the following:
Why it ties together both collusion with Russia & obstruction of justice charges
On December 29th, 2016 the outgoing Obama administration placed sanctions on Russia for its alleged election meddling. The sanctions themselves were pretty weak sauce; some Russian intelligence officers were pushed out of a compound, and agencies that may have been involved with election hacking were subject to new sanctions. In characteristic fashion, the Obama administration saw a threat to the core of American democracy, and responded weakly. While underwhelming, the response of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin was astounding. He invited Americans to a Christmas party.
“As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.”
Behind the scenes, however, Trump’s choice for National Security Advisor, former General Michael Flynn, telephoned Russia’s ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak. From a Dominican beach resort, he promised the Russian ambassador that the Trump administration would not take any retaliatory actions. Putin’s warm response to the sanctions appears to be a direct outcome of this promise from the incoming administration. Unfortunately for Flynn, the FBI routinely monitored calls to Kislyak, and his call was one that had been intercepted.
What makes the Flynn episode particularly troubling is that Trump had no excuse for hiring him. Obama warned him not to hire Flynn on November 10th, 2016, two days after the election. Within the first week of the Trump administration in late January of 2017, then acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned Trump about Flynn’s susceptibility to blackmail.
With the flood of stories about Russia in the news, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that by February 13th of 2017, the evidence of overt collusion with the Putin regime had already forced Flynn’s resignation. A smoking gun had been found. We are not debating whether or not their was collusion. We are debating the extent of it, the degrees of involvement by members of the Trump camp, and how many crimes were committed in the process.
If Russian collusion was established by February 13th, 2017 the case for obstruction of justice began the following day. On February 14th, 2017 Trump told James Comey
Trumps tweet today (December 2nd, 2017) confirms that he knew Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time. When Comey did not drop it, Trump dropped him. On May 9th, 2017 Trump fired Comey. On May 10th, 2017 Trump bragged to both Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that
The following day, on May 11th, 2017, Trump said on national TV about the Comey firing
“And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, “You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
Watch Lester Holt's Extended Interview With President Trump
In an NBC News exclusive interview, President Trump revealed to Lester Holt that he was preparing to fire FBI Director…
Fast forward to yesterday, December 1st, 2017, and Mike Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI. It is also revealed that he is cooperating with the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The sequence of events couldn't’ be more clear: Mike Flynn as a private citizen negotiated with Russia over sanctions, interfering with American diplomacy. He did so on behest of other private citizens. While Trump had just won the election in 2016, he was not yet a US government official, and would not be until the inauguration in late January of 2017. Mike Flynn was successful, but then lied to the FBI about his actions. Flynn’s mishandling of the situation led to his resignation in February, with Trump then asking then FBI Director Comey to drop any actions against Flynn. When this did not happen, Comey was fired, and Trump proceeded to brag to Russian officials and on US TV that he did so because of the Russian investigation.
Which gives you the background to understand just how incriminating Trump’s most recent public statement is.