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

Top Democrats are accusing President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE of obstructing justice for his tweet calling on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says he was interviewed by Mueller CNN hires former DOJ spokesperson under Sessions as editor on 2020 campaign MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation.

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallHillicon Valley: House panel takes on election security | DOJ watchdog eyes employee texts | Senate Dems urge regulators to block T-Mobile, Sprint deal | 'Romance scams' cost victims 3M in 2018 Dems urge regulators to reject T-Mobile, Sprint merger Dems wary of killing off filibuster 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 SchiffWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration Schiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' Schiff: 'Hard to imagine a poorer case' than Trump's on emergency declaration 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 SwalwellDemocratic donors stuck in shopping phase of primary Five takeaways from acting AG's fiery House hearing Top Judiciary Republican to Swalwell: 'Stop running for president' 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 Jay RosensteinTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE has been overseeing the probe.