Trump’s Latest Twitter Tantrum Creates Potentially Devastating Consequences For Him And Whitaker

Trump created a huge legal problem for both Whitaker and himself when he blurted out insider information during a Thursday morning Twitter tantrum.

Controversy continues to swirl over Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General after he fired Jeff Sessions the day after the midterm elections.

Esquire posted the following background on the situation where it currently stood as of yesterday:

Trump passed over multiple Senate-confirmed officials in the actual line of succession to pick Whitaker, who’d become Sessions’s chief of staff close to a year earlier after repeatedly going on CNN to defend Trump against the Russia probe with the expressed intent of getting the president’s attention and a job. Even some conservative legal commentators have suggested his appointment was unconstitutional, and the state of Maryland is suing to that effect.

This was about as blatant a move to obstruct the investigation as the president could have made. Whitaker is an obvious Trump loyalist and longtime Republican operative who time after time attacked the special counsel’s investigation, including by promoting a story suggesting Robert Mueller’s team was a “lynch mob.” Whitaker has close ties to Sam Clovis, a grand-jury witness in the probe who advised him to start going on CNN to catch Trump’s eye.

Despite this raging controversy and bi-partisan efforts to force a vote on a bill to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Trump took to his Twitter account this morning, complicating matters for both Whitaker and himself.

“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want,” he began, adding “They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t care how many lives the ruin. These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”

Former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney, Seth Abramson [1], weighed in on tweets taking particular notice of Trump’s claim to knowledge of “the inner workings” of the Special Counsel’s investigation.

“Trump just tweeted that—days after hiring one of his longtime lackeys to run the Mueller investigation—he now knows the “inner workings” of Mueller’s investigation and can describe some of them in detail. How is that tweet not a *huge* legal problem for both Whitaker *and* Trump?” Abramson tweeted.

Continuing, Abramson reflected: “Trump plucked Whitaker from obscurity after hearing his views on Mueller’s probe, installed Whitaker at the DOJ, began having private meetings and phone calls with him which included talk about the Russia probe, installed him as acting AG, lied about knowing him, and now this?”

Brian Beutler [2] weighed in, giving Trump more the benefit than Abramson, tweeting: “Pretty sure this is the first time Trump has claimed knowledge of the ‘inner workings’ of the Mueller investigation, one week after he put a lackey in charge of it. Perhaps it’s a coincidence and he’s just repeating b.s. he heard from witnesses. Still, very alarming.”

Vox reported on Trump’s Twitter tantrum, noting that: “Trump’s angry rant about Mueller comes eight days after he forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions. who, much to Trump’s public displeasure, had recused himself from overseeing the FBI’s Russia investigation in March 2017.”

Noting that with Whitaker’s appointment to take over for Sessions means that the Mueller investigation is “now overseen by someone hostile to it,” Vox added that: “Trump’s tweets about the ‘inner workings’ of the special counsel’s work suggest Whitaker may already be sharing information with him.”

Thursday morning’s tweets are far from the first time Trump has publicly raged against Mueller. But it is the first time he’s done so since Whitaker took over as the top DOJ official overseeing his investigation, and the tweets come amid indications that Mueller’s work is closing in on Trump’s inner circle.

Footnote 1: For those unfamiliar with his work, Abramson has been publishing extensive Twitter threads and mega-threads regarding the ongoing investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. As his online bio notes:

Seth is regularly interviewed about politics and higher education by domestic and International media. Recent interviews include the BBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, ABC Radio, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Magazine, and The New England Review of Books. Seth’s essays have also been widely cited, including discussions on CNBC, PBS, FNC, BET, and NPR, as well as in Politico, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy, Slate, and Pitchfork.

Footnote 2: Beutler is the editor-in-chief of Crooked Media, served as a senior congressional reporter for Talking Points Memo for five years under the Obama administration, and was a columnist for Salon, The New Republic, and Real Time Politics. 

 

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