Elie Honig, former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York — a legal venue that Trump and his cohorts are becoming increasingly familiar with — sat down on Monday on CNN to discuss the tweet that had many legal experts talking about whether Donald Trump had openly committed witness tampering or even obstruction of justice when he spoke almost directly to Roger Stone, the former campaign aide who stands accused of communicating with WikiLeaks and possibly Russian agents in an effort to disrupt the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.
Trump’s tweet publicly praised Stone for having the “guts” to remain silent in the face of investigative efforts by Robert Mueller’s special counsel, and it seemed almost mafia-like to many legal analysts — and even to us here at DC Tribune:
“I will never testify against Trump.” This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about “President Trump.” Nice to know that some people still have “guts!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
While it would be hard to actually prosecute Trump for obstruction based on that tweet alone, Honig indicated two things when he brought it up. Number one, if that statement had been “gathered” another way — via wiretap, for example — as a prosecutor he would celebrate for his own case against Trump:
When you look at the president’s tweets from this morning, if I was a prosecutor and we had a wiretap up on someone’s phone and they said those exact things that the president tweeted, I would say, ‘wow, we just got him on obstruction.'”
THAT is a powerful statement, and really draws into clear focus just how Twitter gives a glance inside people’s minds, even if what they say on social media can’t be used individually in court against them with the direct admission of a crime.
But number two, the fact is that Trump’s tweets are not to be taken individually, and in fact as singular events devoid of context his tweets are meaningless… But put together as part of a pattern of behavior, they look completely different — as will likely be reflected in Mueller’s final report.
Watch the discussion here:
Featured image via screen capture