Blumenthal: ‘Credible case of obstruction of justice’ against Trump

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) argued Friday that there’s a “credible case of obstruction of justice” against President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE after reports that Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE last year.

“There’s a credible case of obstruction of justice against the president of the United States,” Blumenthal said on CNN’s “OutFront.”

“What we’re seeing, in fact, extraordinarily, is obstruction of justice in a sense unfolding right before us in real time with the actions and statements that [Trump] is making,” said Blumenthal, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.


“You referred earlier to his saying he is fighting back and that he has a right to fight back. He is entitled to make a defense, he has a right to present arguments and facts that exonerate him," he continued. "He has no right to misuse the powers of his office to intimidate witnesses, to fire prosecutors, to withhold documents or destroy them, and that is a very clear line that evidently he doesn’t respect.”

Blumenthal’s comments come after The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump attempted to fire Mueller last June, but backed off after White House counsel Don McGahn refused Trump’s order and threatened to quit.

Trump also reportedly considered removing Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Lisa Page bombshell: FBI couldn’t prove Trump-Russia collusion before Mueller appointment Ken Starr: 'Hell to pay' if Trump tries to fire Mueller MORE, the Justice Department's second-highest official, and appointing Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand to oversee Mueller's team of prosecutors, but that option also never materialized.

Trump reportedly said Mueller had conflicts of interest in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including a dispute over fees at Trump’s National Golf Club in Virginia and Mueller’s previous employment at a law firm that represents Trump’s son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers Five takeaways from Manafort’s plea deal MORE, according to the Times.

Congressional Democrats quickly seized on the report to accuse Trump of what they say is obstruction of justice, and Blumenthal responded to the report by calling for the Senate to take up bills aimed at protecting Mueller from being fired by Trump.

Trump on Friday dismissed the report that he attempted to fire Mueller last summer, calling it "fake news."

Fake newsFake news. Typical New York Times. Fake stories," Trump told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.