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

Top Democrats are accusing President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE of obstructing justice for his tweet calling on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s investigation.

Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Defense: Milley reportedly warned Trump against Iran strikes | Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan | 70 percent of active-duty military at least partially vaccinated Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Senate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin 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 SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe 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 SwalwellOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails How lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation 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 RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE has been overseeing the probe.