President Donald Trump's own words were used against him when the courts ruled against his travel bans. Could it be his own words that do him in on obstruction of justice charges?
Even before Trump took office, there were questions about whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians on influencing the outcome of the election. Did collusion happen? Who all was involved? Did the president know? Those were, and are, the questions the American people have been asking.
But as much as it might be a dream come true for some Trump haters should it turn out the president be involved with Russia, that is a charge that is far from proven.
The way the president explained it when he fired FBI Director James Comey, Comey had assured Trump on three separate occasions that he wasn't the subject of an investigation.
And the president's words seem to be backed up by none other than James Comey himself. During testimony in front of the Senate, Comey testified that he had indeed told the president that he personally wasn't under investigation at the time, although he did note that could change.
"I discussed with the FBI's leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true," said Comey in prepared remarks ahead of his testimony. "Without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance."
But like America learned during the Watergate scandal, it isn't always the crime, but the cover up, that can do you in.
Richard Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment during that scandal, not because he was accused of breaking into the Watergate Hotel, or even because it was thought he knew about it in advance. It was because he tried to cover it up.
Now we learn that Trump is under investigation for potential obstruction of justice charges in the current Russia scandal. Why?
According to Comey's testimony, President Trump wanted this investigation to go away, and expressed this desire to him.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He's a good guy. I hope you can let this go," Comey says the president told him.
But that statement isn't enough to say with certainty that Trump was trying to thwart the investigation. That type of statement could simply be construed that Mr. Trump was simply expressing that he would like the investigation to be ended, not that he was ordering or demanding that it go away.
No, the real trouble for Mr. Trump happens when you look at his intent as a whole, and this is where the president's own words get him in trouble once again.
"When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said: ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,’” Trump admitted in an interview with NBC News.
Trump got in trouble with the courts because of his own words with the travel ban. He couldn't argue it wasn't about banning Muslims when he, himself, had said during the campaign he wanted to ban Muslims. Now, he is facing an obstruction of justice investigation because he, himself, said that part of the reason he fired James Comey was because of an investigation he wanted to go away.
It's not always the crime, but the cover up, and it looks like the president is in for a long summer.
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