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.
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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.