Tags: special counsel Robert Mueller | President Donald Trump | Russia probe

NYT Editors: 'Why Does President Trump Fear the Truth?'

NYT Editors: 'Why Does President Trump Fear the Truth?'
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 27 January 2018 02:09 PM

The New York Times editorial board laid out an argument for why President Donald Trump's innocence about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe could be called into account in an opinion piece that asked the question, "Why Does President Trump Fear the Truth?" The Hill reported Saturday.

The editorial published Friday begins with a timeline of events since Trump took office, stringing together his firing of former FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from investigations about the 2016 presidential campaign and the recent allegations the president wanted to fire the special counsel last June.

It laid out a timeline and suggested the events were a concerted effort to shut down Mueller's investigation. The timeline in part relies on allegations as fact in its effort to outline a determined attempt to shut down the Russia probe, culminating in June 2017 when Trump reportedly threatened to fire Mueller.

That behavior, the editors maintained, would mean "the federal criminal code would almost surely call it obstructing justice – an offense that has led to the resignation of one president and the impeachment of another."

Trump this week dismissed the report he threatened to fire Mueller last June into the pile of reporting he's often labeled as "fake news." The editors explained Trump's definition of "fake news" meant "real news that makes him look bad."

The article maintained their report Thursday about Trump's alleged threat to fire Mueller "snuffed" out his argument for why he fired Comey. It also listed "at least three important questions" that remained, speculating about the reasons for his reported desire to fire Mueller.

"First, why is this incident coming to light only now?" the editors queried, then suggested possible reasons.

"Perhaps people close to the president are trying to ensure that when he testifies before Mr. Mueller, as he has said he would "love to" do, he doesn’t insist on his alternative facts and put himself at risk of a perjury charge.

"Or perhaps, as the investigation closes in on the White House, there is a growing fear that the president is liable to act rashly, especially as he is being goaded daily by congressional Republicans and the right-wing media machine," the editors speculated.

"Second, why the repeated lies by Mr. Trump and his associates about the contacts with Russian officials?" the editors asked, then suggested it could be due to embarrassment.

"Maybe they truly believed they did nothing illegal during the campaign and transition, but thought it would be embarrassing for the contacts to become public."

And, finally, the editorial lead to the "third and most pressing question of all: If Mr. Trump and his associates are truly innocent of any wrongdoing, what are they so afraid of?" to which the editors offered no answers.

Trump in recent months has taken a more cooperative approach regarding Mueller's investigation, The Hill reported, even suggesting he would speak to investigators under oath, depending on advice from his lawyers.

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The New York Times editorial board laid out an argument for why President Donald Trump's innocence about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe could be called into account in an opinion piece that asked the question, "Why Does President Trump Fear the Truth?" The...
special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump, Russia probe
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2018-09-27
Saturday, 27 January 2018 02:09 PM
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