In an article published in The New Republic Wednesday a national security expert says that President Donald Trump committed crimes publicly, as he convinced his allies to lie to law enforcement for him.
According to investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler, a national security expert, Trump repeatedly suborned perjury “in plain sight” and has never been charged or convicted.
It was one week ago today that the controversial BuzzFeed News report was published accusing Trump of ordering his attorney/fixer Michael Cohen to commit perjury by lying to Congress while under oath. And, Wheeler wrote, that was “the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.”
However, she said, there were many other times prior to the Cohen testimony before Congress when the president also convinced people to lie for him, which is a felony, subject to fines and imprisonment up to 20 years.
In her article Wheeler noted that in September of 2017 The New York Times reported that Trump had White House aide Stephen Miller draft a memo about why he fired former FBI director James Comey in May of that year. The letter was written while Miller was with the president at his Bedminster golf club in New Jersey.
According to Wheeler:
“The letter cited comments Comey had made about the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. White House counsel Don McGahn later massaged those references in Comey’s actual termination letter, to suggest that Comey was being fired for a different reason (though Trump would admit that the Russia investigation was the actual cause days later on television).”
“Given that McGahn’s letter was sent to the FBI director, it amounted to a lie to the bureau.”
Wheeler also cited the 2018 Times report that the president dictated a false press statement about the notorious Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016 which claimed that the meeting was about Russian adoption, although it was actually about the Trump campaign receiving damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
As Wheeler pointed out, the president had his son Donald Trump Jr. lie multiple times about the Trump Tower meeting. First, he lied about the purpose of the meeting. Then later, in his sworn Congressional testimony, he testified that there was “no follow-up” to the meeting. Later, of course, the truth came out, and it was proven that Don Jr. had lied under oath, at the insistence of his father.
The truth about the meeting was disclosed by Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who set up the meeting.
About this, Wheeler wrote:
“Trump Organization lawyers urged Rob Goldstone, who set up the meeting, to endorse the claim. They did this even though they had to have known it wasn’t true. Indeed, less than a week after Trump’s lawyers tried to get Goldstone to back him up, Trump’s assistant forwarded Goldstone an email he sent her the prior year, showing it to be false.”
Wheeler concluded her article by writing:
“The record indicates that Trump decides what lie is going to be told and the people around him, indirectly or otherwise, do what they need to sustain it, even if it includes lying to Congress, the FBI, and Mueller’s team.”
There is still a certain mystery about the BuzzFeed News report that was published last Thursday. Mueller’s office disputed some of the details in the article, but did not specify which ones. They also did not clearly dispute the main point of the article, which was that Trump had ordered Cohen to lie under oath.
We can’t know all the facts that Bob Mueller knows, but we can assume that in the (hopefully) near future we will see more lengthy indictments issued by the special counsel’s office which will clear up the mysteries. This will also make sure that justice is served against a criminal president and his lying subordinates who do whatever he tells them to do, including committing multiple crimes of perjury.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.