One overlooked incident in the Mueller report could open up a brand new line of inquiry over Trump’s obstruction
According to a line-by-line deep dive into special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the campaign and administration of Donald Trump, an editor for Lawfare revealed an overlooked conversation Trump had with a close adviser that could open up another line of inquiry into presidential obstruction of justice.
Writing for the New York Times, under the headline, “4 Disturbing Details You May Have Missed in the Mueller Report,” Lawfare managing editor Quinta Jurecic notes an interaction the president had with non-White House employee Corey Lewandowski.
As Jurecic writes, “A month after Mr. Mueller’s appointment, President Trump’s ordered his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — who was not a government employee — to convey a message to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, telling him to constrain the scope of the Mueller investigation.”
While pointing out that Lewandowski never delivered the message, Jurecic points out that Trump quite possibly committed a crime of a different order than had previously been discussed.
“Simply firing Mr. Mueller would have been within the president’s power. Asking a private citizen to deliver that message, however, moves this outside the realm of the president’s management of the executive branch and toward clearer-cut obstruction of justice,” she explained.
“Attorney General Bill Barr’s view that the president did not obstruct justice is informed by his argument that presidential conduct authorized by the Constitution cannot constitute obstruction,” she added. “But this does not address conduct, like the order to Mr. Lewandowski, that took place outside the scope of the Constitution.”
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