According to the news over the weekend, it looks as if Donald Trump and his legal team sent a twenty page confidential memo to Special Counsel Robert Mueller back in January.
At first glance, the memo reads as if it were intended to highlight Trump’s legal rights and the moves he was willing to take in order to protect himself. However, the deeper you dive into it, the more it reads as if he is actually acknowledging and admitting guilt.
No, seriously. Do you remember back in July of last year when Trump and his lawyers denied that he had dictated the misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s controversial 2016 meeting with the Russian government in Trump Tower?
Well, per the New York Times, which published a copy of the newly discovered letter, it is revealed within the first half that he did if fact dictate that statement:
“You have received all of the notes, communications and testimony indicating that the President dictated a short but accurate response to the New York Times article on behalf of his son, Donald Trump, Jr.,” the letter said. “His son then followed up by making a full public disclosure regarding the meeting, including his public testimony that there was nothing to the meeting and certainly no evidence of collusion.”
But, of course, this admission is craftily tucked away in the letter which is largely masked by legal defenses for Trump. Nevertheless, the admission is there, which means Trump has more or less confessed that he committed obstruction of justice, putting his lawyers in an awkward position in which they must somehow argue that it’s legal for him to do so.
Why, then, are his lawyers even going to such great lengths in this twenty page memo to defend him? From a legal perspective, this seems a little asinine to me, especially with an admission like that in it. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, take Congressman Ted Lieu’s. He actually has a law degree and a background as a prosecutor, so let’s check in on what he had to say on the matter:
Furthermore, in a five-part tweet, Former prosecutor Renato Mariotti called the legal views expressed in the letter “extreme” and added “It is hard for me to believe that courts will conclude that presidents are above the law.”
In other words, Donald Trump and his legal team ill advisedly used the confidential memo in hopes of slowing down the investigation and perhaps avoiding a high-stakes interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Instead, they managed to confess to felony obstruction, and put more of the onus on Trump.