The cumulative evidence for a charge of obstruction of justice keeps piling up

The cumulative evidence for a charge of obstruction of justice keeps piling up against our Dear Leader, Donald Trump. And this is only what we know from what has been revealed in the media, and by Trump himself in his public statements and his insane Tweets. Investigators have acccess to documents, communications and witness statements that have not yet been made public.

The Washington Post reports, Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence:

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Trump’s conversation with Rogers was documented contemporaneously in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, according to the officials. It is unclear if a similar memo was prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to document Trump’s conversation with Coats. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russia investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI’s work.

* * *

Current and former senior intelligence officials viewed Trump’s requests as an attempt by the president to tarnish the credibility of the agency leading the Russia investigation.

A senior intelligence official said Trump’s goal was to “muddy the waters” about the scope of the FBI probe at a time when Democrats were ramping up their calls for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel, a step announced last week.

Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of U.S. spy agencies, which are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues.

The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to Coats.

It should be noted that Adm. Michael S. Rogers is active military, so Trump is also undermining the American norm and tradition that the U.S. military serves only the nation, it does not serve a president and his partisan political agenda. Trump is undermining all of America’s institutions and norms.

In addition to the requests to Coats and Rogers, senior White House officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. The officials said the White House appeared uncertain about its power to influence the FBI.

“Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?” one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said the report is “yet another disturbing allegation that the President was interfering in the FBI probe.” Schiff said in a statement that Congress “will need to bring the relevant officials back to testify on these matters, and obtain any memoranda that reflect such conversations.”

The new revelations add to a growing body of evidence that Trump sought to co-opt and then undermine Comey before he fired him May 9. According to notes kept by Comey, Trump first asked for his loyalty at a dinner in January and then, at a meeting the next month, asked him to drop the probe into Flynn. Trump disputes those accounts.

Current and former officials said that Trump either lacks an understanding of the FBI’s role as an independent law enforcement agency or does not care about maintaining such boundaries.

Trump’s effort to use the director of national intelligence and the NSA director to dispute Comey’s statement and to say there was no evidence of collusion echoes President Richard Nixon’s “unsuccessful efforts to use the CIA to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break-in on national security grounds,” said Jeffrey H. Smith, a former general counsel at the CIA. Smith called Trump’s actions “an appalling abuse of power.”

Trump made his appeal to Coats days after Comey’s testimony, according to officials.

That same week, Trump telephoned Rogers to make a similar appeal.

In his call with Rogers, Trump urged the NSA director to speak out publicly if there was no evidence of collusion, according to officials briefed on the exchange.

Rogers was taken aback but tried to respectfully explain why he could not do so, the officials said. For one thing, he could not comment on an ongoing investigation. Rogers added that he would not talk about classified matters in public.

In February, the Trump White House also sought to enlist senior members of the intelligence community and Congress to push back against suggestions that Trump associates were in frequent contact with Russian officials. But in that case, the White House effort was designed to refute news accounts, not the testimony of a sitting FBI director who was leading an open investigation:

CNN reported that the FBI had refused administration requests to publicly “knock down” media reports about ties between Trump associates and Russian intelligence. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus pressured FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to “knock down” media reports about Trump campaign contacts with Russia.

The effort also involved senior lawmakers with access to classified intelligence about Russia, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees.

Nunes agreed to coordinate with White House officials to concoct a distraction to support Trump’s unsubstantiated Tweet that the Obama White House “wiretapped” Trump Tower, for which he was eventually forced to recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee investigation.

Trump and his allies in Congress have similarly sought to deflect scrutiny over Russia by attempting to pit U.S. intelligence agencies against one another.

In December, Trump’s congressional allies falsely claimed that the FBI did not concur with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the White House. Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan later said that the bureau and the agency were in full agreement on Moscow’s intentions.

It’s not looking good for our Dear Leader. If he didn’t do anything wrong, why is he working so hard to obstruct justice?  I’ts not the crime, it’s the cover up that leads to impeachment charges for obstruction of justice.

On the Russian collusion investigation, you may have missed this report in the New York Times over the weekend. House Inquiry Turns Attention to Trump Campaign Worker With Russia Ties:

Michael Caputo, who served as a communications adviser to the Trump campaign, has been asked by the House committee investigating Russian election meddling to submit to a voluntary interview and to provide any documents he may have that are related to the inquiry.

The House Intelligence Committee, which is examining possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, made its request in a letter on May 9. Mr. Caputo, who lives near Buffalo and spent six months on the Trump team, worked in Russia during the 1990s and came to know Kremlin officials. He also did work in the early 2000s for Gazprom Media, a Russian conglomerate that supported President Vladimir V. Putin.

Mr. Caputo has strongly denied that there was any collusion between him or anyone else on the campaign and Russian officials. He has also accused the committee of smearing him.

A Democratic member of the panel, Representative Jackie Speier of California, raised Mr. Caputo’s name during the March 20 hearing where James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, testified on Russia’s interference in the election. She noted Mr. Caputo’s work for Gazprom, and the fact that he met his second wife, who is Ukrainian, while working in 2007 on a parliamentary election in Kiev.

Mr. Caputo is the latest in a string of Trump campaign officials who have been approached by the committee. He is a protégé of Roger J. Stone Jr., one of President Trump’s longest-serving advisers and one of the people who has been a focus of investigators’ interest. Mr. Stone has also denied having any contact with Russian officials.

The panel’s letter asked Mr. Caputo to “produce documents and other materials to the committee and participate in a voluntary transcribed interview at the committee’s offices,” according to a copy obtained by The New York Times.

It asked for “any documents, records, electronically stored information including email, communication, recordings, data and tangible things” that could “reasonably lead to the discovery of any facts within the investigation’s publicly announced parameters.”

The committee said it wanted to discuss with Mr. Caputo a number of topics, “including Russian cyberactivities directed against the 2016 U.S. election, potential links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns, the U.S. government’s response to these Russian active measures, and related leaks of classified information.”

In a written response to the committee, Mr. Caputo said he plans to comply with the committee request.

21 responses to “The cumulative evidence for a charge of obstruction of justice keeps piling up

  1. For Sure Not Tom

    It’s being reported that there will be no discussion of Russia at this year’s NATO summit at the request of Comrade Trump.

    A NATO meeting, without mentioning Russia? And Trump still hasn’t expressed his support for Article 5?

    Vladimir Putin, if you’re listening, please release the pee pee tape, you will be well rewarded by the press I can say with great surety.

    • “It’s being reported that there will be no discussion of Russia at this year’s NATO summit at the request of Comrade Trump.”

      Ah-h-h, another of your definite possible maybes. “It is being reported”…reported by whom? What is the source of this ridiculous sounding bit of tripe? One of the problems you have is you will ignore common sense and accept ANYTHING negative about Trump as fact as long as it is negative in nature.

      “A NATO meeting, without mentioning Russia?”

      Exactly. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Yet you willingly accept it as done deal because it makes Trump look bad. However, I could see scenarios where Russia would not be discussed at a NATO meeting. After all, when 9/11 happened to us, NATO came together to support us under Article 5 and Russia was of no concern. Also, Turkey became a central point of concern in 2012 because of the war in Syria and, again, Russia was of no concern. Russia, once the Soviet Union, may have been the genesis of NATO, but it has a much wider agenda today.

      “And Trump still hasn’t expressed his support for Article 5?”

      Why is it necessary for Trump to specifically express his support for Aticle 5? Has he said he doesn’t support it? So why does it matter. You are creating a straw man here for no purpose other than to make up a reason to bash Trump.

  2. Dear Trump supporters,
    Journalist Doug Blackmon had a really good post on Facebook a couple of days ago that breaks Trump/Russia down like a fraction. It’s a good read, but this is his conclusion:

    “”Before Yates congressional testimony on May 8 and the president’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey on the following day, “Russia-gate,” as it’s being called by some, was a slowly accreting body of injury to the president’s political viability. It was very serious, no doubt. It undermined confidence in his leadership among Republican House members as they eye falling approval ratings before the 2018 midterm elections, and reflected the president’s staggeringly poor judgment in the selection of top aides, his astonishingly bad political instincts other than in the rawest theater of the campaign trail, and his establishment of a White House staff that can only be described as fully dysfunctional.

    However, it remained a political blunder—a terrible one, but one that a series of wiser decisions by President Trump could conceivably have overcome: a new chief of staff, mass firings at the White House, a new willingness to listen to the judgments of others and to cut loose bad choices from his team.

    –Just as important, (Democrats and committed Trump haters won’t like to read this), as recently as two weeks ago, there was no serious basis in publicly available information to believe that the Trump-Russia scandal extended beyond a series of ugly but limited contacts between parties friendly to, or under the control of, the Kremlin.
    –The conclusion by all major U.S. counter-intelligence agencies that Russian espionage operators, under the specific direction of top Kremlin leadership, actively meddled in the 2016 election in an attempt to help Mr. Trump was aggravating to the president, but nothing pointed to his having any direct involvement. Mr. Trump’s public invitation during the campaign that the Russians do more hacking to locate material damaging to his Democratic opponent could be written off as unwitting bluster.
    –The past coziness between Russian interests and former campaign manager Paul Manafort was ugly, but was likely legal and had no direct connection to Mr. Trump. The future president’s seizure of an inconsequential Moscow dilettante named Carter Page as a “senior advisor” was a sophomoric aggrandizement to make himself appear to have substantive advice on Russia, but it carried no suggestion of criminality. The false statements of Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing that he had had no contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, was a bumbling omission. But it came from an Alabama senator already assumed to be bumbling by everyone in Washington—except President Trump. In any case, it was in no way illegal, and touched the president in no direct fashion.””
    to be continued…

    • Continued…
      “No more. This scandal has metastasized more quickly and destructively than I could possibly have forecast.

      I say that with no joy. In the months since Donald Trump was elected last November, I repeatedly cautioned on television and in print against a rush to judge Trump prematurely, or to exaggerate the danger of his bluster, or to see certain disaster in his general lack of knowledge or preparation. I said no one can become president without some strain of genius—no matter what else about him or her one may despise. And no genuine patriot can hope merely out of political disagreements for any presidency to end in disaster. My public promise was to give Donald Trump as much benefit of the doubt as possible. Internally I hoped his disdain for both parties and his “deal making” instincts might actually lead to compromises around key issues. I wasn’t confident that would come to pass, but I felt obligated to hope for it.

      There is no longer a rational basis to imagine any such scenario.

      There also is no certainty yet that President Trump will be either impeached or choose to resign. But those possibilities, which 14 days ago were almost unimaginable to any informed and fair-minded observer, are now very real. Even if President Trump is able to remain in office through the end of next year, he will have been long abandoned by most serious conservatives in Congress, as the jeopardy of continued association with him becomes clear. Within a few months—and possibly in just weeks—most GOP elected officials will have acknowledged, at least privately, that Donald Trump is a suicide vest strapped around the body of the Republican Party.”

      https://www.facebook.com/douglas.a.blackmon/posts/10155079495445269

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Blackmon’s part of the problem.

        He’s saying he gave Trump the benefit of doubt until just recently, and that’s how the Orange Idiot got elected, even though he has a long history of criminal behavior, bad business management, misogyny, and racism going back decades.

        The media gave Trump a pass on his past sins because he got ratings. Ratings are money. Les Moonves admitted this.

        Everyone in New York knew he was dirty. Everyone who’s ever read the business section knew he can’t run a company.

        Howard Stern fans and fans of TMZ know he treats women like dirt.

        Trump University? Over 3500 lawsuits? The guy’s been putting out books for decades bragging about his skills as a con man.

        Anyone giving Trump the benefit of the doubt at any time since 1990 is an idiot. A complete idiot.

        Sorry Liza. Not aimed at you, just at people like Blackmon and the media. People are going to lose healthcare and die, climate change is being ignored and people are going to die.

        Bannon wants wars and if he’s allowed to stick around much longer he’ll find a way, and yeah, people gonna’ die.

        These people giving Trump the benefit of doubt are killing people. F’ em.

        • I absolutely agree, Tom. I posted Blackmon’s post for the benefit of the “let’s give Trump a chance” and “y’all got no ev-i-dence of collusion” people. I thought they could relate to him as someone who essentially agreed with them until Sally Yates testified about Flynn and Trump fired Comey.

          I think that Blackmon has probably come around sooner than most like minded people, apparently needing something as clear and indisputable as Comey’s firing to see the light about Trump. But now that he has, I think he explains the enormity of what is happening quite well for those who are choosing to look the other way.

          • “…apparently needing something as clear and indisputable as Comey’s firing to see the light about Trump.”

            I should clarify that I’m only referring to Trump’s Russia problem.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Absolutely, the sooner people realize the entire Trump cabinet and family are corrupt the better, and better late than never.

            This is not going to end well even if he never gets charged. Trump’s klansman daddy had Alzheimer’s and Trump is exhibiting symptoms.

            The guy can’t get a coherent sentence together, and physiatrists are breaking the Goldwater Rule and speaking publicly about their concerns about his mental state.

            So we have an insane, insecure man who’s losing his wits while his presidency deteriorates all on camera on a world stage.

            Holy crap, what have we done?

          • “The guy can’t get a coherent sentence together, and physiatrists are breaking the Goldwater Rule and speaking publicly about their concerns about his mental state.”

            Good grief, Tom! Is there no end to the crap you will concoct in your efforts to denigrate Trump? One of the things he does very well is speak. How many people do you know that can give an extemporaneous speech of more than 60 minutes? Trump can..and it all is coherent and understood.

            “So we have an insane, insecure man who’s losing his wits while his presidency deteriorates all on camera on a world stage.”

            No. it’s not. Even the press, which hates him and misses no opportunity to bash him, has had to comment how successful his first trip outside the Country dealing with foreign heads of state has been. If you could dredge up even a moment of impartiality, you would see that.

            “Holy crap, what have we done?”

            “We” haven’t done anything…you share no blame in the Trump Administration.

          • Like this could be a problem?

            WORLD NEWS | Wed May 24, 2017 | 2:50pm EDT
            Trump tells Duterte of two U.S. nuclear subs in Korean waters: NY

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-submarines-idUSKBN18K15Y

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I saw that.

            Giving away the location of submarines kinda’ defeats the purpose of a boat that can hide underwater.

            He’s not going to get any smarter. Or saner. Maybe instead of impeachment we should look into putting him into a “home”.

            Oh, and if Obama had told Russians about laptop bombs discovered by Israel without asking Israel first, then leaked details about the Ariana Grande bombing to the press and angering the UK IC, just to look like we have the best intel, and also given away the location of nuclear subs?

            America would be covered in the goo that would leak out of so many right wingers heads after exploding.

          • “Giving away the location of submarines kinda’ defeats the purpose of a boat that can hide underwater.”

            That’s silly. First of all, he didn’t give away the location of the submarines by merely stating which sea/ocean they were in. It’s a lot of water and they are tiny ships designed to hide in plain sight. Secondly, there is no reason to believe the submarines are actually there. They don’t need to be right next to North Korea to impact it. Making North Korea think they are there is as good as actually having them there.

            “Oh, and if Obama had told Russians about laptop bombs discovered by Israel without asking Israel first…”

            Another of the tempests in a teapot causing the left to sputter with indignation. The problem is the subject was discussed in the press a couple of weeks earlier, so it really wasn’t “secret” intelligence.

            “Maybe instead of impeachment we should look into putting him into a “home”.”

            No, the left wants blood. Impeachment and removal from office is all that is acceptable (laughable as that may be). Especially when there is no reason to put him in a “home”.

          • Yeah, I think that the likelihood of a “medical discharge” is increasing every day. And Trump actually seems to be looking worse than ever. Obesity aside, he just doesn’t look good.

          • I agree with you, Liza, he is not looking good. However, any time someone takes on the Presidency, they begin to decline. It have always been noted how hard the job is on whomever is filling the position, and Trump has been set upon not only by the normal problems of the Presidency, but by the never ending, always ridiculous assault from the left. It is no wonder he looks a bit peaked. Although doubtful, I could see a small possibility wherein he could decide he really doesn’t need to put up with it anymore and resigns, leaving it to Mike Pence.

  3. alan dershewitz and other lawyers have looked at what trump did and says it falls short of obstruction of justice as it did not obstruct investigation. I know azbm and msdnc don’t care ;but a court of law will care.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Hmmm, today John Brennan testified to congress that he is aware that there is reason to investigate possible collusion between the Russians and Trump campaign.

      But if you say there’s not there there, that’s good enough for me!

      Dude, turn off Hannity.

      • Well, if John Brennan said that, then Trump is as good as guilty…at least that is what you imply.

        Given the penchant lefties have for grabbing at any whisper of scandal and/or criminal action on the part of Trump, regardless of the source, I suspect this sudden obsession with obstruction of justice is going to be just about as substantive as the Russian collusion fantasy has been. The left wants to get Trump so bad that there will never be an end to the litany of Trump “sins and crimes” trotted out for all to be shocked by, even if they have to make them up out of whole cloth. After all, hurting Trump justifies any kind of behavior or action; right, Tom?

  4. Finally! You, too, are beginning to hedge your bets that Trump and the Russians worked in collusion during the 2016 election. I know, you are doing no such thing, right? Well, the message has just the tiniest appearance of that.

    I say that because you are now discussing obstruction of justice charges rather than crimes of collusion and cooperation with Russia. I haven’t looked into the obstruction charge much, and you may be correct…but given your track record of accusing Trump of crimes, please excuse my skepticism that the obstruction charge is probably one more conspiracy theory. Now that there is a special prosecutor looking into the Russian crapola, the smart money is that there is nothing to be discovered there, so something new has to be drummed up to keep attacking Trump. Obstruction is probably the next big thing. It is, by it’s nature, somewhat nebulous and subject to personal interpretation, so it could be the ideal false charge to use against Trump.

    It reminds me of that famous phrase from the movie “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”…to paraphrase: “Evidence?!?!? Evidence?!?!? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence!!” That pretty much sums up the whole Trump legal assault from the left. They KNOW he is guilty, evidence be damned. In fact, real, hard evidence just gets in the way of the “logical assumptions” that define the left’s version of evidence.

  5. For Sure Not Tom

    But what about Obama?!!!!!

    Benghazi!!!!!!

    Seth Rich made me do it!!!!!!!! Chemtrails!!!!!!

    The GOPee, standing strong with Putin!