Trump May Have Implicated Himself In Tweet About Flynn

By on December 3, 2017

President Donald Trump’s penchant for oversharing his thoughts on Twitter may land him in even hotter water than he’s already in.

In a tweet made on Saturday, the president suggested that he had fired his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn precisely because Flynn had lied to Vice President Mike Pence, as well as investigators with the FBI.

Flynn pleaded guilty this week to one count of lying to the FBI, and reports from CNN indicate that he intends to cooperate with the current investigation underway by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The tweet by Trump above, however, may do more harm than good for the president. Likely intending it to make himself look good (firing a known liar from his administration), it instead puts Trump in another position of having to defend himself against claims he obstructed justice.

Aaron Blake at the Washington Post explains:

The day after Trump fired Flynn, on Feb. 14, Trump urged then-FBI Director James B. Comey to be lenient with Flynn, according to Comey’s notes at the time, saying, “I hope you can let this go.” If Trump knew at that time that Flynn had lied to the FBI and was under investigation, the argument goes, it may constitute an attempt to obstruct that investigation.

In other words, if Trump knew his National Security Adviser had broken the law, and if he was pressuring his FBI director to drop the investigation, it could be seen as obstruction. Trump isn’t supposed to pour influence on the FBI, who are supposed to be independent of the chief executives wants and desires while conducting their investigations.

The Trump administration’s response to many commentators questioning if the president had just implicated himself was to say that his lawyer, John Dowd, had drafted the tweet instead of the president. Yet even if that were true, the Trump administration has already stated, on several occasions, that Trump’s tweets are official proclamations made by the president.

As Simon Maloy from Media Matters of America comically explains it, whether his lawyer wrote it or not doesn’t matter.

Regardless of what consequences come about from Trump’s first tweet about Flynn following the latter’s guilty plea, we can be sure of one thing: the investigation is getting to him. We’re witnessing the president lose his already limited mental composure as more of those who were part of his campaign or administration start to make deals with Mueller. We should expect more mistakes and miscues from Trump as the investigation progresses.