President Donald Trump appears to have drawn an alarming lesson from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, according to Bloomberg Opinion columnist Jonathan Bernstein.
The president and his administration have refused to comply with congressional subpoenas and flouted a law requiring the Treasury Department to turn over his taxes, and Trump has indicated he will block Mueller and other witnesses from testifying about the Russia probe.
Mueller did not find evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but his report found plenty of questionable behavior and several clear instances of obstruction of justice -- and Trump seems to have been emboldened by the report.
"What if Trump is stonewalling Congress because the lesson he took from the Mueller report is that his behavior was perfectly okay?" Bernstein said.
Trump might not even be pretending that he didn't commit the misdeeds Mueller uncovered, Bernstein said, and might be gathering even more power with the help of his attorney general and Senate Republicans.
"What if instead he thinks that Attorney General William Barr, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans are now willing to go along with a theory of presidential power so expansive and unrestricted that even John Yoo and other advocates of executive authority are alarmed?" Bernstein said.