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(58,345 posts)
Mon Dec 3, 2018, 05:40 PM Dec 2018

Trump wants the process to be hopelessly tainted [View all]

The Plum Line • Opinion

Trump wants the process to be hopelessly tainted

By Greg Sargent
Opinion writer
December 3 at 3:25 PM

President Trump has spent a lifetime pondering the complexities of moral desert, and so he is outraged that the man who operated as his personal fixer for so long may escape justice:

{snip a bunch of tweets}

Trump thinks the person who is incriminating him (former lawyer Michael Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress to conceal Trump’s business dealings with a hostile foreign power that was trying to sabotage our election on his behalf) is a weasel who should go to prison for as long as possible. By contrast, the person who is staunchly refusing to incriminate him (longtime adviser Roger Stone, who adamantly denies that there has been “collusion”) is a profile in courage.

Obviously the actual substantive content of Cohen’s conduct and subsequent admission of wrongdoing is of zero interest to Trump. The president doesn’t think Cohen should go to prison because of what he did, but rather because Cohen is trying to evade prison time by spilling the beans about him. If Cohen were refusing to do this, and had never reached any kind of plea deal with the special counsel, Trump would be hailing Cohen for having “guts,” the way he now is doing on behalf of Stone.

As numerous lawyers have now pointed out — including George Conway, who happens to be the husband of someone named Kellyanne Conway — Trump’s tweet about Stone may constitute witness tampering, because he appears to be trying to induce Stone to withhold testimony against him.

This is witness tampering under 18 USC 1512(b), which makes it illegal to “cause or induce any person to withhold testimony.” We explain: https://www.brookings.edu/research/presidential-obstruction-of-justice-the-case-of-donald-j-trump-2nd-edition/

File under “18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512”


Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog. He joined The Post in 2010, after stints at Talking Points Memo, New York Magazine and the New York Observer. Follow https://twitter.com/theplumlinegs
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