The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from

Donald Trump may have just admitted to obstruction of justice — in a tweet.

Early Saturday afternoon, Trump took to Twitter and promptly blurted out that he knew former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI, had lied to investigators while he was working in the White House.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies,” Trump tweeted. “It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”

As some savvy Twitter users, including a former Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Department of Justice, Matthew Miller, quickly pointed out, Trump appears to have just implicated himself in an obstruction of justice case.


Indeed, if Trump knew that Flynn had lied to federal investigators when he asked former FBI Director James Comey to lay off the investigation of Flynn, and subsequently fired Comey, then he knowingly interfered in an investigation of a federal crime.

Attorney Susan Hennessey, executive editor of Lawfare, said Trump’s tweet is “a pretty substantial confession to essential knowledge elements of an obstruction of justice charge.”

“He is acknowledging awareness of the commission of a federal offense at the time he sought to intervene to prevent its investigation,” she added.

And on MSNBC, Dahlia Lithwick, legal correspondent at Slate, noted that Trump “pretty much made himself an obstruction of justice t-shirt right there.”

Flynn left the administration on Feb. 13, over two weeks after he lied to the FBI about his communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The next day, Feb. 14, Trump asked Comey to “let go” of the investigation into Flynn. Soon after, Trump fired Comey.

Based on his tweet today, Trump is saying that he was aware that Flynn had committed a federal crime when he pressured Comey to stop investigating him.

“Are you ADMITTING you knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when you asked Comey to back off Flynn?” Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, asked on Twitter.

After news of Flynn’s flip broke, Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, issued a statement absurdly trying to link Flynn’s actions to President Barack Obama. He also tried to downplay the significance of the plea deal.

“The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year,” Cobb said, according to Politico. “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn. The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.”

You might have want to have a word with your client, Mr. Cobb, before he implicates himself any further.

On second thought — let him keep talking, and digging his own hole even deeper.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Youtube Screenshot

On July 21, Verizon followed in DirecTV’s footsteps and announced it would not be renewing its contract with the far-right conspiracy theory network One America News. Having learned nothing from its catastrophic response to DirecTV, OAN denounced Verizon and encouraged viewers to harass and boycott the “radical Marxist corporation.” And since then, OAN has only further proved its worthlessness.

Without a major carrier, OAN remains focused on national issues like a fear of roving transgender gangs harassing conservatives, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s support for gay men who flash “their genitals to little boys and girls” (she appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race -- a show with no children -- two years ago), and Verizon’s “censorship” of OAN.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Postcards from the great American labor shortage: A couple arrives at the Seattle airport after a five-hour flight and stands in line at the car rental desk. People are angry. At the desk sits a harassed employee explaining that he simply has no cars of any kind to rent. Nothing. Why? There aren't enough employees on hand to vacuum, wash, fuel and process the cars.

Another snapshot. A couple has been driving for several hours and requires a bathroom stop. They pull into a Burger King. The doors are locked. The only service is at the drive-thru. Why? Lack of employees.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}