Dem senator: Obstruction of justice charges 'likely' in Russia probe

Dem senator: Obstruction of justice charges 'likely' in Russia probe
© Greg Nash

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrat asks Barr to preserve any records tied to environmental hacking probe Democrats warn Biden against releasing SCOTUS list Key Democrat accuses Labor head of 'misleading' testimony on jobless benefits MORE (D-R.I.) said Monday that obstruction of justice charges will "likely figure prominently" in the special counsel's investigation into Russian election interference.

"This indictment may be beginning of the end for some ultimate targets, but for sure this is the end of the beginning phase of investigation," Whitehouse said in a series of tweets.

"False statement charges (present in this indictment) and obstruction of justice charges will likely figure prominently."

President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being charged with 12 counts — including conspiracy against the United States — in the first indictment to come from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

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The indictment includes Manafort’s former business partner and protégé Rick Gates, who was ousted from the pro-Trump group America First Policies in April.

Whitehouse on Monday shared the full indictment on Manafort, tweeting: "Something to be said for cold, factual language of an indictment, asserting specific facts known & specific laws broken."

"An investigation like this has phases: 1st map out potential witnesses & targets; then subpoena records & understand $ flows within subjects," he tweeted.

The next step, he said, is to identify who can be "'flipped' to cooperate or who can be charged & then may cooperate."

"Bring live witnesses & targets into grand jury; which itself rattles cages and can provoke further cooperation. Evidence from all of this will then determine prosecution strategy," Whitehouse tweeted.

"For the final phase, to determine which main targets of the investigation can and should be charged, and with which offenses."

Whitehouse also went after Fox News for its coverage. He shared an article from the network titled "Mueller facing new Republican pressure to resign in Russia probe."

"Meanwhile, the smoke machine starts working overtime...." he tweeted.

In June, The Washington Post reported Mueller was investigating Trump for obstruction of justice. 

Trump has repeatedly slammed the Russia probe as a "witch hunt" and he and his aides have denied collusion.