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

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Top Democrats are accusing President Trump of obstructing justice for his tweet calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Sen. Tom Udall (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.”

{mosads} 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 Schiff (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 Swalwell (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 Rosenstein has been overseeing the probe. 

Tags Adam Schiff Department of Justice Donald Trump Eric Swalwell Jeff Sessions Obstruction of justice Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Russia Investigation Tom Udall

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