Evidence of Donald Trump’s clear obstruction of justice regarding the Russia inquiry continued to pile up on Thursday as a new report from The New York Times revealed that the president “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.”
The Times called Trump’s efforts to end the investigation over the summer “highly unusual intervention from a president into a legislative inquiry involving his family and close aides.”
More from the report:
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.
Once again, Trump is proving that he has no regard for the separation of powers or the rule of law. His efforts to thwart an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia only raise more questions about what he has to hide.
As Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said this week, according to the same New York Times report, “It is pressure that should never be brought to bear by an official when the legislative branch is in the process of an investigation.”
Of course, the White House tried their best to spin the new report, saying that Trump “at no point has attempted to apply undue influence on committee members.”
But time after time, whether it was through his firing of former FBI Director James Comey or his public attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Trump has shown that he has no problem trying to put pressure on those looking into his ties to Russia.
At the end of the day, it may not even matter whether there was coordination between Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government during last year’s election, though the evidence clearly suggests there was.
Instead, Trump is doing his best to hand Robert Mueller and congressional investigators an open-and-shut obstruction of justice case against him.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.