VIDEO - Sen. Coons on Pres. Trump: “We are seeing more and more evidence that would lead to an obstruction charge. We would no longer have rule of law in this country if the President were utterly unrestrained to interfere in any way he chose in an investigation.”
Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, yesterday joined CNN’s Jake Tapper to discuss former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., and President Trump. Coons:
“This is just another example of a whole series of inappropriate conversations and actions by former National Security Advisor, General Mike Flynn, and helps explain why he might be cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. I assume that Mueller was able to reveal a whole series of inappropriate actions and statements by General Flynn and that would have put him in significant legal risk and, as a result, he is cooperating.
“But, it’s a reminder that other individuals with whom Flynn was communicating in the transition team, on Inauguration Day in the new Trump administration, were already taking really striking steps given that the reason for the sanctions against Russia were because of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and, in part, Russia’s interference in our elections in 2016.”
More on Flynn: “Sadly, what seemed to be a pattern with General Flynn was that he was both advancing a partisan political interest in his role on the Trump campaign and continuing to advance his own personal enrichment as someone who was representing Turkey or representing groups from Ukraine, groups aligned with Russia’s interests. So, the idea that he could have been advancing both an enrichment goal and a narrow or partisan goal, it seems to me they’re not in conflict.”
Trump Jr.: “Well, Donald Trump Jr., was a participant in a very important meeting in Trump Tower, it’s important to get clarity on what was the foundation for that meeting, why was it taken, what were the questions asked and what information was reported back up to President Trump if any. So, those are just a few of the questions I would expect might have been asked today in front of the House Intelligence Committee.”
Obstruction of justice: “That’s a legal conclusion I don’t think we have yet fully reached, but the evidence supporting an obstruction of justice claim just keeps building up. I’ll remind you, it was recently that there was public reporting that, in the past couple of months, President Trump personally reached out to Senator McConnell, to Senator Burr, to Senator Blunt, urging them to wrap up the Russia investigation early.
“This just follows a pattern that goes back to his early days of meeting with FBI Director Jim Comey, seeking some commitment of personal loyalty and asking him to go easy on Mike Flynn .... So, I do think we are seeing more and more evidence that would lead to an obstruction charge.
“I also think there was a striking development this week in that President Trump’s own lawyers are now making the argument that the President can’t commit obstruction of justice because he is in charge of all law enforcement. That is not a tenable argument. We would no longer have rule of law in this country if the President were utterly unrestrained to interfere in any way he chose in an investigation.”