Starting a week which could see new accusations of wrongdoing officially leveled against his former campaign manager, President Donald Trump once more blasted his former personal lawyer for pleading guilty last week to a charge of lying to Congress, accusing Michael Cohen of lying to save his own skin, as the President again denounced Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s direction of the Russia probe, while critics accused the President of obstructing the investigation.
“Bob Mueller (who is a much different man than people think) and his out of control band of Angry Democrats, don’t want the truth, they only want lies,” the President wrote in a series of Monday morning posts on Twitter, which began with multiple jabs at his ex-personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
“You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term?” the President wrote.
Cohen last week plead guilty to one charge of lying to Congress; documents showed that Cohen misled both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees by saying that the Trump Organization had not been in any talks with Russians about building a Trump Tower in Moscow after January of 2016.
Instead, Cohen had been working on that into mid-June of 2016, and had kept the President and other officials up to date about his efforts. President Trump accused Cohen of lying to get a reduced jail sentence.
The President’s comments come as the pace of the Mueller investigation has quickened in recent days – the Special Counsel is expected this week to detail new allegations against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, who is accused of breaking his agreement to cooperate with the Russia investigation by lying to investigators.
In recent months, there have been times when a sudden flurry of tweets by the President later seemed to indicate that action was about to take place in the Muller investigation.
It was not immediately clear if there were new developments on the horizon.
“File under “18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512,” wrote George Conway, a frequent Trump critic, and the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
That section of federal law referred to by Conway is related to witness tampering.
“George is right,” said lawyer and Trump critic Neal Katyal. “This is genuinely looking like witness tampering. DOJ (at least with a nonfake AG) prosecutes cases like these all the time. The fact it’s done out in the open is no defense.”
Democrats in Congress said the tweets were further evidence that the President is trying to undermine the Mueller probe.
“This is serious,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) of the President’s Monday tweets. “The President of the United States should not be using his platform to influence potential witnesses in a federal investigation involving his campaign.”
“America is not a banana republic or dictatorship,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). “In America, NOBODY is above the law. Not even the President.”
“Oh, and on Jan 3, Democrats in the House control subpoena power,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), echoing Democrats who charged the President is engaging in obstruction of justice with his tweets.