by Graham Pierrepoint
Another day, another twist in the tale at the White House. As revelations regarding former senior advisor Michael Flynn and his admission of guilt (regarding lying to the FBI) ▶ reverberated over the weekend, political commentators and the press mulled over whether or not his admission would spell trouble for President Trump’s team in terms of the wrapping up of the Russian collusion investigation. It’s thought that Flynn could have his own story to tell if called upon – and some are wondering whether or not this may mean Trump faces some form of justice after months of scandal rarely seen in DC – for some decades, in any case.
Trump, however, may have done all the damage he needs to do all on his very own. As always, the US President took to twitter to air his own views on unfolding events – and, in his own idiosyncratic way, may have ‘tweeted himself’ into a corner – or at least conviction - to paraphrase Bush counsel Richard Painter. Trump tweeted on Saturday that he ‘had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI’. ‘He has pled guilty to those lies,’ the statesman continued, further advising that ‘there was nothing to hide’, and that ‘his actions during the transition were lawful’. Trump’s attorney John Dowd has taken the fall for the tweet, stating that he ‘did not mean to break news’ – however, legal experts seem to think enough damage could already have been done.
▶ Trump: 'I Feel Badly for General Flynn'
What’s at stake here is that Trump could have known that Flynn lied to the FBI – which he may have followed up with requesting former FBI chief James Comey to cease all investigations – as his tweets could be read to suggest. This, as some experts point out, could result in Trump effectively having obstructed justice within law. Dowd had reportedly drafted Trump’s tweet and that the point being made was ‘entirely correct’. Whether or not others will see things this way – certainly in light of other movements being made in the Russia investigation – is another matter entirely.
▶ Potential Obstruction Case Develops Against Trump (Bloomberg Global Business)
Never before has Twitter taken so much of the center stage – nor has it been used to help propel so much political drama. Trump’s reign as President will go down as a dramatic one – though quite where it will all end remains up for debate – as investigations into Russian collusion ahead of 2016’s General Election continue.