'Weak': US attorney blasts GOP senators for using Trump's 'ignorance' as a defense against obstruction
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on Hurricane Maria relief efforts (Screenshot)

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the northern district of Alabama, spoke to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow late Thursday after the New York Times broke a story that President Donald Trump asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to close their investigation into Russia.


Maddow noted that Trump has been under scrutiny for obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI director James Comey. Trump's request to Republican senators reveals a pattern of behavior in allegedly trying to quash investigations.

"It's potentially obstruction of justice," Vance told Maddow. "It may be even more interesting to the [special counsel Robert] Mueller team because it would be evidence that they could use to demonstrate what the president's state of mind was and if he were to try to excuse the Comey firing as based on Comey's conduct...of the Clinton investigation. This continued pressure on senators to terminate the Russia investigation would be helpful to demonstrate that the Comey firing had the intention of terminating the Russia investigation."

She also explained that even if Trump was unaware of the way the laws work or that he was not supposed to make such requests, the laws don't allow for such an excuse.

"If he live in a bubble despite his experience in life, there is an old saying that young lawyers learn in law school," Vance continued. "Ignorance of the law is no defense. Would that apply here? I think that there are a number of factors that would work against the use of ignorance as a defense in addition to the fact it's unlikely he was sheerly likely or sheerly ignorant of the president shutting down an investigation."

She went on to explain that such a defense is outright "weak."

Watch the full commentary below: