Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks explained a clear case of obstruction of justice shown in President Donald Trump’s own words following a new bombshell report that special counsel Robert Mueller is examining the commander-in-chief’s tweets for evidence of obstruction of justice.
“What more can you tell us?” MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin asked New York TimesWashington correspondent Michael Schmidt, who wrote the story with Maggie Haberman.
“Most times that people are accused of obstructing justice, it’s things that happen in private — it’s pressuring witnesses, it’s making threats against folks to try and stop them from speaking,” Schmidt explained. “What’s unusual here, what’s different, is that the president has made so many public statements about the investigation, about the former FBI Director James Comey, about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, things that could be construed as trying to influence them.”
“Now if you line up his public statements with what he’s accused of doing privately, you can see where the president may have been trying to move these guys in different directions as it relates to the investigation, trying to get them to do things that he wanted,” he continued. “Remember, the president is accused of asking the FBI director to end the investigation into his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, the president is accused of trying to get Comey to put out the word that he’s not under investigation.”
“Jill, how could using President Trump’s tweets — and there are a lot of them — how could using those tweets and statements help establish an obstruction case?” the host asked the former prosecutor, who also served as the first female General Counsel of the U.S. Army and first female executive director of the American Bar Association.
“First of all, it establishes a pattern of behavior and it shows what his intent really is, so it will be very helpful to see that as part of the evidence against the president,” Wine-Banks noted.
“I have been saying for more than a year that the case for obstruction is in plain sight and part of it is that he talks to the public and he talks through Twitter and that is the same as if he approached someone in private,” she explained. “He’s sending a message to all these people, ‘do what I want you to do or else.’ He could say that in a one-on-one meeting or he could say it through his Twitter account, both of which amount to obstruction of justice and he should be held liable.”
“He is an official of the U.S. government and he can’t use his Twitter account to punish Americans, so I think there’s a lot here that is going to help Mueller in prosecuting this case,” Wine-Banks added.
The former organized crime prosecutor even predicted the timeline moving forward.
“I think the case for obstruction has been clear for over a year, it’s very, very clear now and I think that’s where he may be focusing for anything he will do before the election, before he has to sort of remain silent so as not to interfere with the midterm elections,” she suggested.
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Rudy Giuliani Contradicts White House on Iran, Regime Change
Rudy Giuliani once again cast doubts on the honesty of the Trump administration, revealing a goal of overturning the Government of Iran.
“I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them,” said Giuliani at the Iran Uprising Summit held by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities. The organization opposes the current Iranian government. “It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen.
“The people of Iran obviously have now had enough. The sanctions are working. The currency is going to nothing… these are the kinds of conditions that lead to successful revolution,” added Giuliani, according to Reuters.
Giuliani contradicted the White House, which has claimed that overthrowing the Iranian government is not in the plans.
John Bolton, the hawkish National Security Advisor under Trump, said just last month that the government wasn’t interested in “regime change” in Iran, but did hint that the Trump administration did hope to see changes in their Government’s approach.
In May of this year, the administration did an about-face on Obama-era policies towards Iran, reinstating sanctions against the country and pulling the country out of the treaty forged in 2015 that halted the nuclear ambitions of Iran.
The comments from Giuliani line up with his past comments, including a statement at the National Council of Resistance of Iran last June, where he claimed the sanctions would “suffocate” the country’s government.
Iran, meanwhile, claims to still be adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal between the United States and other partner countries, with the United Nations backing the country’s insistence on compliance.
Nevertheless, statements like those made my Giuliani are unlikely to quell concerns of US meddling in Iran, and could lead to deepening tensions.
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