There’s no escaping this one, folks. And, there’s an avalanche of proof now against President Trump.
According to a breaking news report from the New York Times, Trump pressed top Republicans to end the Russian inquiry into him. Expect Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be all over this one.
And, not only did he pressure an end to the investigation but he “repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to a half-dozen lawmakers and aides.” That’s an exact quote – and that’s a lot of witnesses.
Per the Times:
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the intelligence committee chairman, said in an interview this week that Mr. Trump told him that he was eager to see an investigation that has overshadowed much of the first year of his presidency come to an end.
“It was something along the lines of, ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible,’” Mr. Burr said. He said he replied to Mr. Trump that “when we have exhausted everybody we need to talk to, we will finish.”
In addition, according to lawmakers and aides, Mr. Trump told Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and a member of the intelligence committee, to end the investigation swiftly.
Let’s not confuse the matter here as a simple one. When the President of the United States asks people in charge of an investigation into him to “end it swiftly,” that obstruction of justice. Plain and simple. And, it’s an impeachable offense.
In the report, President Trump “complained frequently” that McConnell was not doing enough to stop the investigation.
Republicans are trying to excuse Trump’s behavior, preferring to compare his actions to a newbie who just didn’t know he couldn’t ask Senators what he did. But, the persistence of the president didn’t stop at a few conversations – he reached out to a number of Republicans insisting they stop their inquiry into him.
Senator Roy Blunt, who was on Air Force One with President Trump, said the president told him to “wrap up this investigation,” according to a Republican official who was on the flight.
Because of this, Senators Burr and Blunt sought to limit their interactions with Trump, seeing it as unprofessional and outside the scope of presidential behavior.
When Trump wasn’t convinced Burr was cooperating he pressured other lawmakers according to the New York Times, expecting them to lobby Burr to finish the investigation. This shows the president took things a step further when his direct appeals didn’t work.
Let the record show that Senator Burr is in charge of directly supervising the Senate’s investigation into President Trump.