Ever since the announcement on July 26 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team was reviewing the Twitter feed of President Donald Trump, people speculated as to why. Obstruction of justice made the top of most lists.
Obstruction of Justice includes:
the crime or act of willfully interfering with the process of justice and law especially by influencing, threatening, harming, or impeding a witness, potential witness, juror, or judicial or legal officer or by furnishing false information in or otherwise impeding an investigation or legal process"
On Wednesday, sources revealed that Mueller's office notified the President's team of the Special Counsel's plan to limit the scope of questioning of the President. Trump's interview would be done both orally and in written form.
And included within that limited scope would be questions about potential obstruction of justice.
Trump came under fire from critics again Wednesday morning for a tweet seeming to order Attorney General Jeff Sessions —who recused himself from the investigation due to conflict of interest from his work on the 2016 Trump campaign— to end the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to Trump.
Word that Mueller intends to focus on obstruction is being blamed for the string of tweets Trump posted this morning advising Sessions to end the Russia probe and attacking the FBI, the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, and Robert Mueller himself.
Discussions about a potential interview of the President by Robert Mueller or members of his team go back to at least the beginning of the year. In March, Trump's legal team proposed negotiating terms —including a set in stone end date for the investigation— in exchange for a commitment from the President to agree to an interview.
And last week, Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani publicly stated Trump would agree to an interview, but only if no questions about obstruction of justice are included.
"We have a list of questions that are fairly narrowed but we are waiting on the special counsel's response," Giuliani said last week. Today he stated, "They took about 10 days and yesterday we got a letter back for them. Now we're in the process of responding to their proposal."
But for each informal proposal made by Trump or his legal team in the court of public opinion, Mueller remained mum. The President's Twitter account tweeted Mueller's name 25 times since March of this year.
In fact Mueller makes no appeals to the press or the public. Robert Swan Mueller III —a Vietnam Marine Corps veteran and attorney who served as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 2001 to 2013— gained the respect of his fellow Republicans and Democrats for his unbiased, no nonsense approach. That respect is why Mueller was chosen as Special Counsel.
And while many would rise to the constant baiting from the Trump administration on social media platforms and in TV interviews, Mueller lets his results speak for him.
So far his roughly 14 month old investigation bore more fruit than the years spent investigating President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as the following numbers show.
Russia investigation results as of July 31, 2018 are:
- 32 individuals indicted
- 3 businesses indicted
- 5 guilty pleas
- 1 trial begun
- 2 cases passed to other federal prosecutors based on evidence found during investigation
At one time, the President could rely on a bevy of support each time he tweeted attacks against the "Mueller witch hunt," but a review of the comments on his more recent tweets compared to last year or six months prior shows fewer Twitter users expressing concurrence.
And when someone does, they are finding fewer allies and more opposition.
Closing in, indeed.