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Criminal defense lawyer explains exactly how Mueller can use Trump’s tweets to nail him for obstruction

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News broke on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller might use some of President Donald Trump’s past tweets to prove his intent to obstruct the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

As defense attorney Ken White writes on Twitter, Mueller and his team aren’t trying to make Trump’s tweets a crime, per se — rather, they might use them to piece together a mosaic, combined with other evidence, to determine the true motivations behind the president’s actions.

“A thing that is not a crime can be EVIDENCE of a crime,” writes White. “This is particularly true when it comes to a potential defendant’s mental state — what they knew and when they knew it, what they intended, and so forth.”

White then goes into the Rules of Evidence to give examples of how Mueller might use Trump’s tweets to establish intent.

“Take, for instance, FRE 404(b), which recognizes that uncharged bad behavior may be relevant to show things like intent, knowledge, motive, etc,” he writes. “Take, for instance, civil rights violations. I prosecuted some skinhead tweakers for menacing a multi-racial family to drive them from the neighborhood. Their skinhead dipsh*ttery was irrelevant to show ‘these are assh*les,’ but relevant to show their intent in attacking.”

Bringing it back to the president, White explains that Trump’s tweets attacking the Mueller probe, along with his attacks on key figures in the investigation such as former FBI Director James Comey, could really come back to burn the president when used as evidence against him.

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“In the case of the President of the United States, it’s perfectly plausible that his tweets could be evidence of (1) what he knew and when, and (2) what he intended when he did other things off of Twitter,” he writes. “It doesn’t mean the tweets themselves are a crime.”

Read the whole thread below.

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Trump betting he can win re-election by spinning new conspiracy theories to explain investigations: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump's association with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election may be over. But that does not mean the president is free from oversight.

According to Politico, Trump is still facing 15 civil and criminal probes by at least nine federal, state, and municipal agencies on everything from obstruction of justice to campaign finance violations to using his office to enrich his family and businesses. But president is not bothered by these investigations — or at least, he believes that he can use them to his political advantage.

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Meet the mysterious conservative lawyer who keeps turning up in the Russia probes

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A prominent conservative lawyer keeps showing up in dramas central to the Trump administration and its battles with Congress—and it turns out he has intimate knowledge of Felix Sater’s intelligence work for the U.S. government while he was working with Trump.

The Moscow-born Sater is the financial criminal and violent felon who worked closely with Trump for years while simultaneously serving as a long-term informant for the FBI and other national security agencies.

In 2015 and into mid-2016, Sater pushed for the development of a Trump Tower in Moscow with his old friend Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer, while trying to enlist support from the Russian government for Trump’s campaign.

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House Democrats have a new list of ‘star witnesses’ who are beyond Trump’s reach: report

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According to a report from Politico, House leaders have developed a new plan to get what are called "star witnesses" to appear in public hearings who are outside of Donald Trump's ability to block them from speaking by asserting executive privilege.

With former Oval Office employees avoiding or ignoring subpoenas as the White House runs interference for them, investigators are eyeing people who were close to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign -- but were not government employees.

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