Nadler lays out case for Trump obstruction in blistering opening statement: ‘Each incident constitutes a crime’
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Tuesday delivered a blistering opening statement during a hearing on potential instances of obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
Reacting to White House efforts to prevent former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before his committee, Nadler argued that the president has demonstrated a clear pattern of obstructing investigations into his alleged misconduct.
He then read aloud potential instances of obstruction of justice described in the special counsel’s report, including his efforts to fire the special counsel, his attempts to get former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller’s probe, and his request that McGahn lie about the president’s past orders to fire the special counsel.
“I believe that each of these incidents documented in detail in the Mueller report constitutes a crime,” Nadler said. “But for the Department of Justice’s policy of refusing to indict any sitting president, I believe the president would have been indicted and charged with these crimes.”
He then cited a letter signed by hundreds of former Department of Justice employees who argued that Mueller’s report demonstrates a clear case of criminal obstruction.
“I am not alone in this belief,” he said. “Over 900 former federal prosecutors from across the political spectrum whose job was to determine when the elements of the crime have been satisfied have stated, have agreed that the president committed crimes that would have been charged if he were not the sitting president.”
Watch the video below.