Top Dems: Trump tweet telling Sessions to end Mueller probe was obstruction of justice

Top Democrats are accusing President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE of obstructing justice for his tweet calling on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLisa Page sues DOJ, FBI over alleged privacy violations Sessions leads GOP Senate primary field in Alabama, internal poll shows Trump rebukes FBI chief Wray over inspector general's Russia inquiry MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s investigation.

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing Senate Democrats ask Pompeo to recuse himself from Ukraine matters Bureau of Land Management staff face relocation or resignation as agency moves west MORE (D-N.M.), a former prosecutor, labeled the tweet obstruction.

“As a former prosecutor, I call this obstruction of justice,” Udall tweeted Wednesday. “No one is above the law — not even the president. People in New Mexico and across the country are tired of ultra-rich and powerful people like Donald Trump trying to abuse their power to protect themselves.”


Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Trump’s Wednesday Twitter tirade could be considered evidence in an obstruction of justice case. 

"If it isn’t obstruction of justice itself, it is evidence of intent to obstruct justice," Blumenthal told NBC News. "These kinds of threats are no accident, they reflect a state of mind to obstruct justice. The threats and bullying from the president of the United States against a law enforcement officer constitute evidence of obstruction of justice."

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Trump rails against FBI, impeachment during Pennsylvania rally Democrats reach cusp of impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a vocal Trump critic, said Trump’s tweet was obstruction “hiding in plain sight.”

And Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Trump: Fox News 'panders' to Democrats by having on liberal guests Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week MORE (D-Calif.) issued a straightforward warning to Trump — shut down the Mueller probe and face impeachment. 

“Fire Mueller and we fire you,” Swalwell tweeted.

Mueller, who is investigating possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia, is reportedly looking into Trump’s tweets as part of an investigation into whether the president obstructed justice.

Trump’s morning social media storm called the investigation a “terrible situation” that must be stopped “before it continues to stain our country any further.”

The White House and Trump’s legal team quickly tried to tamp down the obstruction claims on Wednesday, saying that Trump is frustrated by the probe and was using Twitter to vent.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told reporters in New Hampshire that Trump’s tweet was not an order for Sessions.

“It's an opinion. And he used a medium that he uses for opinions: Twitter,” Giuliani said. “He used the word ‘should.’ He didn't use the word ‘must.’ And there was no presidential directive that followed.” 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed that claim during Wednesday’s White House press briefing.

“It’s not an order, it’s the president’s opinion,” Sanders said. “The president has watched this process play out, but also wants to see this come to an end.”

Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation last year and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE has been overseeing the probe.