WASHINGTON – President Trump has called the Russian investigation a hoax, witch hunt and false information. But since his tenure, Trump has tried to stop his investigation into the possible coordination of his campaign with Russia in the 2016 presidential election, questioning whether these efforts constituted an attempt to obstruct justice.
A New York Times study found that Trump had made sustained efforts to undermine the many investigations that had affected his presidency. This includes seeking to derail federal law enforcement through targeted political appointments and a public campaign aimed at discrediting the investigation conducted by Russia, led by the government. special advocate Robert S. Mueller III.
Here are some findings from The Times newspaper about the pressure from the Trump administration to protect the president from these investigations.
Mr. Trump wanted to entrust a so-called loyalist with the responsibility for a federal inquiry in New York concerning secret payments made by his former personal solicitor.
After submitting his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to a prolonged humiliation over Mr. Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation of Russia, then to the dismissal, Mr. Trump asked his acting Attorney General, Matthew G. Whitaker, if any of the President's alleged allies could take control of the federal inquiry in New York on him.
Mr. Whitaker, a loyalist who told people that his job was to protect the president, said no. The person Trump wanted, Geoffrey S. Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, had already recused himself because of another conflict of interest.
Mr. Whitaker told his associates that his job was partly to "jump on a grenade" for the president, a comment that had not been reported yet. But there is no evidence that Mr. Whitaker has taken additional steps to remove the vast investigation from career prosecutors at the Department of Justice. Mr. Whitaker told some associates that New York prosecutors needed "adult supervision".
Mr Trump's public attacks on the Russian investigation have shifted from a public relations strategy to a legal strategy.
President the attacks on investigators on Twitter and during public interviews have surpassed the usual criticism against it to result in a mosaic of efforts to undermine all facets of the investigation. This includes attacking investigators, asking questions about the legitimacy of law enforcement investigative tools, and discrediting witnesses – most of whom were close allies, he said once.
The president praised the efforts of congressional Republican loyalists who opened an investigation and asked for details of the Justice Department's confidential inquiry procedures. A loyalist representative, Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican named for the second term, led this campaign in July 2017, while he was killing an hour at an airport between two flights.
Trump's lawyers appreciated the legislators' campaign to erode American confidence in the federal government's largest law enforcement agency, the F.B.I. And they especially appreciated the fact that Mr. Trump was involved in it persistently and publicly because, say the lawyers, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump could be part of a secret conspiracy.
White House lawyers drafted a confidential memorandum citing misleading public statements following the dismissal of Michael T. Flynn, Trump's first national security advisor.
White House lawyers were concerned about the variety of public accounts of the reasons for Mr. Flynn's sudden departure. Mr. Flynn resigned on February 13, 2017 after being informed that he was in contact with the Russian Ambassador to the United States at the end of 2016 and that he had discussed recently imposed sanctions. by the Obama administration. Mr. Flynn stated that he had resigned because he had "inadvertently" misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior White House officials about his discussions. with the Russian Ambassador.
The next day, the President and his advisers met at the Oval Office to discuss how to explain Mr. Flynn's departure. One of the councilors mentioned in passing that the then Speaker of the House, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, told reporters that the president had asked Mr. Flynn to resign. Mr. Trump preferred this version to the explanations provided by Mr. Flynn in his letter of resignation and instructed his press officer at the time, Sean Spicer, to "say that" when he informed the media .
Mr Trump thought he had ended the investigation into Russia when he had dismissed Mr Flynn.
At a luncheon with one of his long-time allies, Chris Christie, former Republican governor of New Jersey, Mr. Trump said the dismissal of Mr. Flynn would end the investigation. on Russia.
"This Russia affair is over now because I have fired Flynn," said Trump, according to a new book by Christie.
Mr. Christie did not agree with this assessment. "This Russia affair is far from over," Mr Christie told Mr Trump, who replied: "What do you mean? Flynn met the Russians. That was the problem I fired Flynn. It's over. "
Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior advisor, was also at lunch with Mr. Christie and saw the dismissal as his father-in-law. "It's true, Flynn's shooting puts an end to the situation in Russia," Kushner said, according to Christie's book.