The more CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin read of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the more he saw evidence of “obstruction of justice.”
During the Thursday panel discussion digesting the report, Toobin proclaimed, “If this isn’t obstruction of justice, I’d like to see what is obstruction of justice.”
The moment came after reporter Pamela Brown read a section about when President Donald Trump discovered a special counsel had been appointed.
“Oh, my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency,” Trump said in June 2017 according to Mueller. “I’m f*cked.”
“We’re learning that the president called his then-White House counsel Don McGahn at home over the weekend and told Don McGahn, directed him to call Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, saying, ‘Robert Mueller could not stay on as special counsel because there are conflicts of interest.’ We’ve learned that Don McGahn said he would not do so, that [it] would be another Saturday night massacre and that was not something that he was going to do.”
This points to an “intent” of obstruction of justice, according to Toobin.
“I mean, the scale and the number of episodes in the way that the president tried to stop this investigation without stopping it, and that needs to be pointed out, is just extraordinary,” Toobin said. “And you want to talk about motive — I mean, the part that Pamela just quoted, he’s sitting there looking at an investigation where he says, ‘this is the end of my presidency.’ So, he spends the next year trying to interfere with that investigation so his presidency doesn’t end.”
Toobin called it a “clear indication” of motive for obstruction.
“If you look at the extraordinary details here, the often minute-by-minute analysis of who the president is calling and when and what he’s saying including phone calls I certainly wasn’t aware to Corey Lewandowski,” Toobin continued. “I suppose, you know, one explanation for all of this is that he was just blowing off steam and the invariable explanation that we always get from Sarah Sanders that he was just joking, but it’s a lot of evidence of obstruction of justice.”
Dana Bash noted that if Trump clearly “wasn’t worried about collusion — if he really meant it, why was he doing all of this?”
There were 10 different examples quoted of obstruction, and Mueller did not determine one way or the other in his findings. He said only that if he had “not” found obstruction of justice, he would have said so.
Watch the full conversation below: