On the heels of last night’s revelations that Donald Trump tried to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller last June, additional evidence of the President’s attempts to obstruct justice have just come to light.
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Moments ago, Foreign Policy Magazine released a new report detailing how Trump actively pressed his top aides to devise a character assassination campaign against three senior FBI officials, in order to try to discredit them as witnesses in Mueller’s investigation.
Two sources close to the situation disclosed how Trump criminal defense attorney John Dowd implied his high-profile client could mask obstruction efforts as an effort to “fight back,” a phrase the President has used in recent days to counter allegations.
Dowd’s leaked advice explains the unprecedented assault against our democratic institutions launched in recent days by Trump, some of his White House aides, many members of the House of Representatives, and even some senators.
In the case of Trump’s inner circle and Russia, it increasingly appears that our foreign and domestic enemies’ interests align, causing them conspire to sow mistrust in our institutions, and weaken our law enforcement, our national security, and our electoral system.
The three FBI officials Trump said he wanted to target are the very ones he and his congressional minions have since attacked, aided and abetted by state tv, ahem, FOX News: deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, Comey advisor Jim Rybicki; and former FBI general counsel, James Baker.
Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Wow, “FBI lawyer James Baker reassigned,” according to @FoxNews.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
Trump and his henchmen in congress and the conservative media have characterized the three members of FBI leadership — all longstanding stalwarts protecting America from organized crime and terrorism — of partisan propaganda against him, designed to fuel a “secret society” government coup.
However, the lifelong law enforcement heroes, including Special Prosecutor Mueller, happen to belong to the Republican Party. So much for that argument.
Comey, meanwhile, released a memo that effectively threw the 2016 presidential election from Hillary Clinton to Trump, disproving the flagrantly false accusation of anti-Trump partisanship in the FBI.
Not only does this new evidence of Trump’s coordinated attacks on the FBI corroborate accusations of obstruction of justice, it also provides a textbook example of witness intimidation.
Using Twitter on Christmas Eve to intimidate a witness (McCabe) in a criminal investigation is not a very Christian way to celebrate the holiday. But it does make Mr. Mueller’s job easier and that’s a nice thing to do. Merry Christmas!
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) December 24, 2017
Both Rybicki and Baker have been unceremoniously relieved of their positions since Trump’s criticism of them, and McCabe announced an imminent retirement.
Last week, however, details leaked revealing that Trump tried to pressure his own replacement for Comey, FBI director Christopher Wray, to fire his deputy, McCabe, causing Wray to threaten resignation.
Last night, an account came to light from Mueller’s witnesses that White House general counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign when Trump asked him to fire Mueller.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump’s legal team, resigned when he said he “witnessed obstruction of justice” during an Air Force One conversation during which Trump dictated Don Jr.’s response to revelations about his Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin agents.
The obstruction of justice case grows increasingly undeniable by the day, especially as lofty government officials either threaten to resign over it or spill the beans to Mueller.
The stronger the case grows, the more Trump “fights back” with authoritarian tactics.
Our nation faces a moment of truth. We must stand up, one and all, for the sanctity of the republic we hold dear, or risk losing it forever.