Senate judiciary probe may review obstruction of justice
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 0:19
Donald Trump surprised many of his Twitter followers last Friday when the president came out and admitted that he's under a federal investigation in the fallout of Russian meddling in the presidential election and whether Trump's campaign played a role in it.
Foolishly allowing himself to be baited by a Washington Post report that special counsel Robert Mueller is now weighing whether the president committed an obstruction crime, Trump tweeted: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" "I think you're reading more into the tweet than what's there". During his exchange with anchor Chris Wallace, Jay Sekulow twice complained about Trump being under investigation, then clarified that expressing frustration about Trump being under investigation does not amount to a concession that the president actually is being investigated.although he might be. What journalists focused on like a laser on was the first four words of the president's tweet: "I am being investigated". Trump confirmed that he was over Twitter, dismissing the inquiry as a witch hunt.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said, "The FBI is going to do its job".
Trump insists his campaign had nothing to do with Russian efforts to undermine credibility in the US election.
He said, however, that Sekulow's comments could mean the White House was taking the position that no investigation exists until Mueller's team officially confirms it, disregarding media reports based on anonymous sourcing.
Rosenstein is the only official who could fire Mueller, because Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously recused himself from the probe into Russian interference in last year's presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded with the Russians.
But should Trump be under investigation?
Were Trump to go through with it anyway, it would be the most politically self-destructive act of his young presidency. "And I think the answer is they want to lay the foundation to discredit whatever Bob Mueller comes up with".
"He's not afraid of the investigation - there is no investigation", Sekulow said, adding, "there is not an investigation of the President of the United States, period".
So the president is not under investigation.
This is the whole story in a nutshell: Trump has not been notified that he's the target of an investigation.
Rather, the FBI is a component of the executive branch, with Article II of the Constitution assigning to the president the position of head of the executive branch, along with the comprehensive power to hire and fire personnel and commence or modify investigations at his discretion.
Appearing on the Sunday talk shows, new Trump legal defender Jay Sekulow set out to deny Trump was under investigation (calling the president a liar?). "He's been a fighter his whole life", former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on ABC's "This Week".
FILE - In this June 8, 2017, file photo, Marc Kasowitz personal attorney of President Donald Trump makes a statement at the National Press Club, following the congressional testimony of former FBI Director James Comey in Washington. The New York Times reported Monday that Corallo's recent tweets have included praise for Mueller and a suggestion that Vice President Mike Pence should be the Republican nominee in 2020.