Trump’s unprecedented efforts to impede Mueller’s Russia probe and his call to investigate political opponents draws the wrath of current and former DOJ law enforcement officials.
As Politico reported on Friday, “Trump is putting his Justice Department in an impossible spot by demanding that it investigate his political opponents.”
With his forceful pleas via Twitter and recent media interviews to launch inquiries into everything from Hillary Clinton’s e-mails to an Obama-era uranium deal, the president is essentially setting the department up for a major breach of protocol if it actually follows through on his requests, according to former government attorneys and prosecutors.
Paul Rosenzweig, a former George W. Bush-era Homeland Security official and senior counsel from the Kenneth Starr investigation into President Bill Clinton, told Politico that “There is a reason why we have a norm against presidential interference in criminal investigations,” and “Trump is the living, breathing proof-case for that norm.”
Trump has repeated taken to Twitter to demand the Justice Department investigate his political opponent, Hillary Clinton, most recently on Thursday and Friday when he tweeted:
Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H This is real collusion and dishonesty. Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering – where is our Justice Department?
Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems. New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary. What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus people are angry. At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!
The real story on Collusion is in Donna B’s new book. Crooked Hillary bought the DNC & then stole the Democratic Primary from Crazy Bernie! Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept
“Any probe would be suspect from the get-go because it was instigated by Trump against his former political rival and was promised during the campaign and then only revived when Trump got into his own political hot water,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a former U.S. Attorney who worked on the Bush-era special-counsel inquiry into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson.
“I cannot imagine DOJ would entertain this, at least I would hope not,” he continued, adding, “It would set a horrendous precedent if the president of the United States could dictate to the DOJ who should be investigated and then start that practice by investigating his former political rival.”
In a stunning admission, Trump told talk radio host Larry O’Connor that he was “very frustrated” that he couldn’t order the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton.
WMAL, a Washington D.C. news and talk radio station, posted a partial transcript of the Thursday interview:
Trump: The saddest thing is, because I am the President of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things I would love to be doing and I am very frustrated by it. I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with her dossier, and the kind of money… It’s very discouraging to me. I’ll be honest, I’m very unhappy with it, that the Justice Department isn’t going…maybe they are but you know as President, and I think you understand this, as a President you’re not supposed to be involved in that process. But hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out.
And then there are the first indictments to be handed down by Mueller. As Business Insider reported last week, “Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election,” and “former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials” and is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
Later on Monday, Trump took to his Twitter account in an attempt to downplay the indictments and to defame Papadopoulos, a potential government witness, calling him a liar.
Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus????? Also, there is NO COLLUSION! The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was “no collusion” and events mentioned took place long before he came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George [Papadopoulos], who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!
Turning to those remarks, Politico reports that: “In the Papadopoulos case, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman warned that the president had defamed a potential government witness who is likely to be called in a federal trial.”
“This could be grounds for Mueller to obtain a gag order on Trump,” Akerman stated, adding: “It would be unprecedented, but he is interfering with the government’s right to a fair trial.”
Meanwhile, Mueller and his team continue their investigation. As The Guardian reported on Sunday (November 5, 2017):
Mueller, evidently, is carrying his investigation out in stages, as if taking on an organised crime family. He may delve into Trump’s personal finances too. John Sipher, a national security analyst and former member of the CIA’s national clandestine service, said: “The fact the Mueller investigation would be willing to bring charges on everything from money laundering to tax evasion against Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman, is a big deal and suggests to me there’s a lot more there.”
Is the Russia investigation, probably the most important ever conducted by the justice department, closer to bringing down the Trump presidency than it was a week ago? Sipher noted that his demise has been widely predicted before yet somehow he manages to survive – until the day he doesn’t.
“It’s like hitting a boulder with a hammer 1,000 times and it doesn’t break,” he said. “Then you hit it the 1,001st time and it smashes to pieces. It’s hard to predict.”