Trump is trying out a new, absurd spin to justify what increasingly looks like obstruction of justice.
As the investigation into Donald Trump increasingly appears focused on his efforts to obstruct justice, Trump is trying out a new defense in case he does ultimately testify under oath before special counsel Robert Mueller something nearly 80 percent of Americans support.
He claimed he is being investigated because he was “fighting back,” and seemed to belittle the notion that firing FBI Director James Comey for refusing to pledge his loyalty and shut down the Russia investigation could qualify as obstruction of justice.
“Oh well, did he fight back? You fight back, oh, it’s obstruction,” he complained to reporters Wednesday.
The administration’s initial and widely ridiculed justification for firing Comey was because of his mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton, something Trump almost immediately undermined and his inner circle has struggled to justify ever since.
“Fighting back,” however, is a new one.
In addition to firing Comey, it was recently revealed that Trump grilled then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe about how he voted in the 2016 election, as part of an effort to determine if he also posed a political threat to Trump.
Trump has also been fuming that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, instead of presumably interfering on Trump’s behalf.
Dozens of Trump campaign and White House officials have testified to Comey, and his former campaign chairman Steve Bannon is in the pipeline. Two Trump campaign officials have pleaded guilty to crimes, while two others are under indictment.
As the investigation inches ever closer to Trump, he continues to throw out a flurry of justifications for his actions that do not meet a smell test or a legal bar.
“Fighting back” against his perceived political enemies is not much of a defense to allegations of obstruction of justice. It just makes him look guiltier.
No wonder his legal team is nervous about letting him testify.