Special counsel Robert Mueller had promised President Donald Trump that he was not the target or even a suspect in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. However, in wake of the news about the hacking, the president has taken steps that have prompted investigators to look closer.
According to The New York Times, Trump’s tweets, actions and public statements have drawn enough attention that Mueller is now investigating them as part of an obstruction of justice probe.
The president not only fired former FBI Director James Comey and admitted to it being tied to the Russia investigation, he’s also employed a disinformation campaign on Twitter.
Trump’s lawyers claim that none of what Mueller has focused on falls under obstruction and the president’s decision to fire Comey fell under his right as president. They think that Trump shouldn’t even have to answer to Mueller on the issue of obstruction.
Privately, however, The Times said that Trump’s lawyers have been concerned about it.
“The special counsel’s investigators have told Mr. Trump’s lawyers they are examining the tweets under a wide-ranging obstruction-of-justice law beefed up after the Enron accounting scandal, according to the three people,” The Times wrote. “The investigators did not explicitly say they were examining possible witness tampering, but the nature of the questions they want to ask the president, and the fact that they are scrutinizing his actions under a section of the United States Code titled ‘Tampering With a Witness, Victim, or an Informant,’ raised concerns for his lawyers about Mr. Trump’s exposure in the investigation.”
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed it was all nonsense, saying that because Trump’s statements were public, they’re not obstruction.
“If you’re going to obstruct justice, you do it quietly and secretly, not in public,” he said.
Trump has attacked not only Comey but even called his own Attorney General “weak” for not going after the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton. He’s also claimed that the Democrats are the ones that colluded with Russia because their server was hacked.