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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Obstructing Justice, Investigating Opponents

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law.   The update  -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

Michael S. Schmidt at NYT:
White House officials asked at least twice in the past month for the key witness against President Trump in the Mueller report, Donald F. McGahn II, to say publicly that he never believed the president obstructed justice, according to two people briefed on the requests.
Mr. Trump asked White House officials to make the request to Mr. McGahn, who was the president’s first White House counsel, one of the people said. Mr. McGahn declined. His reluctance angered the president, who believed that Mr. McGahn showed disloyalty by telling investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about Mr. Trump’s attempts to maintain control over the Russia investigation.
The White House made one of the requests to Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck, before the Mueller report was released publicly but after the Justice Department gave a copy to Mr. Trump’s lawyers in the preceding days. Reading the report, the president’s lawyers saw that Mr. Mueller left out that Mr. McGahn had told investigators that he believed the president never obstructed justice. Mr. Burck had told them months earlier about his client’s belief on the matter and that he had shared it with investigators.
In a Politico interview, Trump said it's okay to sic  the Justice  Department on his political opponents. 
POLITICO: And one more. Have you asked [Attorney General] Bill Barr, or would you ask Bill Barr, to investigate Biden about his son’s -- Biden’s son’s work in Ukraine? That's become a big issue.
TRUMP: Well, I haven't spoken to him about it. But certainly it is a very big issue and we'll see what happens. I have not spoken to him about it. Would I speak to him about it? I haven't thought of that. I mean, you're asking me a question I just haven't thought of. Certainly, it would be an appropriate thing to speak about. But I have not done that as of yet. It could be a very big -- it could be a very big situation. Of course, because he's because he’s a Democrat, it's about one 1/100 the size of the fact that if he were Republican, it would be a lot bigger. But anyway, go ahead.