It's beginning to look an awful lot like obstruction of justice.
It appears that during his Oval Office meeting with top Russian officials, Donald Trump gave away more than highly classified intelligence. He also gave away the game.
According to the New York Times, during Trump’s meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak, he explained why he had fired FBI Director James Comey the day before. It was because of “the great pressure” he was receiving on Russia. Trump described Comey as “crazy, a real nut job.”
That’s a far different tune from the one Trump sang during his campaign, when he praised Comey for his “guts” and said he “did the right thing” by continuing to investigate Hilary Clinton’s emails.
If Trump fired Comey specifically to shut down the FBI’s investigation of Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia, and possible collusion during the election, that would clearly be obstruction of justice, according to CNN legal analyst Paul Callan:
I think this is a quantum leap in the strength of the obstruction of justice charges being talked about with respect to the president. Remember, those charges are all about collusion with the Russians. The first opportunity he has to meet with the Russians in the Oval Office, what does he talk about … he says “the pressure is off on the Russia investigation.” He says good news, the guy who is doing the investigation is a nut, and I just fired him.
Michael Zeldin, who served under former FBI Direct Robert Mueller — the person recently appointed as special counsel to take over the investigation into Trump and Russia — added on CNN that Trump’s comments during his meeting show “what is in his mind — what’s in the president’s mind when he made the communication to Comey that he was to stand down on Flynn.”
In other words, this could prove criminal intent.
This bombshell comes at the exact moment that the Washington Post is reporting even more bad news for Trump:
The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.
It is increasingly clear that Trump fired Comey in the hopes that it would end the FBI’s investigation into Trump, his closest aides, his campaign, and his White House. But that is not happening. The fact that Trump thinks he can make the ever-growing pile of evidence against his team, and quite possibly against him, simply disappear shows he does not understand just how serious this situation is.
And it is only going to get worse for him. Much, much worse.