Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | fbi | special counsel | robert mueller | tweets

Politico: Trump's Tweets Make It Tougher to Fire Mueller

Politico: Trump's Tweets Make It Tougher to Fire Mueller
President Donald Trump (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Monday, 19 February 2018 09:40 PM

President Donald Trump's massive tweetstorm after the indictment of Russian nationals and companies for trying to influence the U.S. election might have made it harder to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Politico reported.

The president's outrage was more of a surprise than the indictment itself, the outlet reported.

It was reported last September, the Mueller team had obtained a search warrant to investigate whether "foreign individuals committed a crime by making a 'contribution' in connection with an election and that evidence of that crime existed on Facebook."

The indictment itself was more conservative than expected, Politico reported — failing to charge the foreign interference as a crime, but instead focusing on the fraud the Russians engaged in by trying to hide their activities from the U.S. government.

In addition, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made it clear "there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity" and "there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."

According to Politico, that approach itself undercuts attacks by Trump and his allies that the probe is a waste of time, a hoax, or a "witch hunt," as they have repeatedly charged.

"[B]eneath the surface, it makes it harder for the president to undermine the Mueller investigation, which is his best strategy," Politico's Renato Mariotti wrote.

"Based on what we know publicly, Trump's greatest legal liability appears to be for obstruction of justice — not for aiding the Russians," Mariotti added.

Trump's weekend tweet the FBI is "spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign" could itself be used by Mueller to show Trump had "corrupt" intent, which would be needed to prove obstruction of justice, Politico reported.

"[T]he lasting legacy of Friday's indictment may be its impact on Trump and on opinion within the Republican Party, either by buying time and space for Mueller to continue investigating obstruction or by generating more evidence (like this weekend's tweets) that aid Mueller's investigation," Mariotti wrote.

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President Donald Trump's massive tweetstorm this weekend might have made it harder to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, according to Politico.
fbi, special counsel, robert mueller, tweets, twitter, obstruction
Monday, 19 February 2018 09:40 PM
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