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READ: George Conway Tweets ‘File Under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512’

Oh hello.
donald trump, george conway, robert mueller, obstruction of justice, witness tampering

President Donald Trump on Monday went into a rage on Twitter over Special Counsel Robert Mueller and was quickly checked by legal experts, who cautioned that Trump’s actions could further legally imperil him.

Trump’s first tweet demanded that his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to Congress over a 2016 Trump Tower Moscow deal, should “serve a full sentence.” Since his plea, Cohen has requested a sentence of “time served.”

A few minutes later, Trump suggested that witnesses involved in Mueller’s probe should refuse to cooperate.

George Conway, a lawyer married to one of Trump’s top advisors, Kellyanne Conway, responded with “18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512,” criminal codes specific to obstruction of justice.

Statute 1503 states:

“Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, endeavors to influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty, or injures any such grand or petit juror in his person or property on account of any verdict or indictment assented to by him, or on account of his being or having been such juror, or injures any such officer, magistrate judge, or other committing magistrate in his person or property on account of the performance of his official duties, or corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished as provided in subsection.”

And 1512 says:

“Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to…influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

Intimidating witnesses and encouraging them to refuse cooperation with investigators is a type of obstruction of justice, a federal crime.

Mueller is pursuing the president for obstruction over the May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump canned over “this Russia thing.”

Conway’s tweet puts Trump’s strategy in context, and it does not bode well for the president.

Trump’s tactic of berating Mueller and inserting himself between Mueller and witnesses is probably not the best idea.

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