Last month, when several news outlets revealed Donald Trump Jr.’s now-infamous June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney, some people inside the Trump camp wanted to come clean: to issue a statement saying that Trump Jr.’s meeting was about getting Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. President Trump, however, suggested a different approach: Lie about it.
During a flight on Air Force One in July, Trump personally dictated a statement to White House spokesperson Hope Hicks saying that the meeting “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.”
That statement, released on July 8 and attributed to Donald Trump Jr., was quickly shown to be verifiably false. And several reports released in the past week indicate that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating just how it was drafted.
Last week, The Washington Post reported that Hicks and five other Trump aides will certainly be questioned and that Don, Jr. Russia statement would likely be a focus of the conversations.
Lying to the press is not a crime. But there’s a reason Mueller seems to be focusing so much on this statement anyway: The circumstances around its drafting may be a uniquely good source of evidence of obstruction of justice, committed either by Trump or by his close associates. It’s the kind of evidence that could be used to support impeachment charges against the president and criminal charges against some of his associates.
President Trump knows this and he is furious. So furious that he went behind closed doors to rant about Comey and Muller, Political Dig reports.
Trying to defend her boss’s moods, White House Press Secretary Sarah H. Sanders attacked Comey from the podium yesterday, suggesting that Comey himself should be investigated:
“His actions were improper and likely could have been illegal,” Sanders said.
According to Dig, Trump tells aides and visitors that the Russia probe conducted by special counsel Bob Mueller is “a witch hunt” and that Comey was a “leaker.”