On January 12th, Trump sycophant, and not any kind of legitimate journalist (she once spoke gushing of him at one of his own rallies), Jeanine Pirro had an incredible softball phone interview with Trump. He won’t take one-on-one interviews with any reporters nowadays other than Fox News toadies. Here’s a transcript.
Trumpers think he knocked it out of the park. Instead, he managed to provide rambling diversionary responses that refused to answer a direct question of whether he worked for Russia. But that pales in comparison to engaging in witness intimidation, which he did.
It started when Pirro asked Trump about Michael Cohen’s decision to testify to Congress. Trump responded with clear efforts to threaten the Congressional witness.
PIRRO: All right. And now, of course, Little Adam Schiff, as you call him, is going to be dragging in, and Jerry Nadler are going to be bringing in Michael Cohen, an already-proven liar, to Congress, convicted of it. You know, are you — are you worried that —
TRUMP: No, look, I was a client of his. You know, and you’re supposed to have lawyer/client privilege, but it doesn’t matter because I’m a very honest person, frankly. But he’s on trouble on some loans and fraud and taxi cabs and stuff that I know nothing about.
PIRRO: And taxi medallions.
TRUMP: And in order to get his sentence reduced, he says, I have an idea, I’ll tell — I’ll give you some information on the president.
It should be noted that Cohen might get his sentenced reduced, but only for providing truthful information. That’s the requirement. Cohen lies and Mueller tells the court exactly that and his sentence goes up, not down. Mueller says Cohen has told the truth as corroborated by other sources. Mueller also says Cohen has provided “useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation.”
Let’s move on to the witness intimidation as Trump continues speaking.
Trump: Well, there is no information. But he should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at. Because where does that money — that’s the money in the family. And I guess he didn’t want to talk about his father — he’s trying to get his sentence reduced.
So, it’s pretty sad. You know, it’s weak and it’s very sad to watch a thing like that. I couldn’t care less.
PIRRO: What is his father-in-law’s name?
TRUMP: I don’t know, but you’ll find out, and you’ll look into it because nobody knows what’s going on over there.
Again, I was a client. I was a client. He has a law firm. They broke into his law firm sometime early in the morning, I guess, and they took — this couldn’t happen to anybody except you’re dealing with McCabe, you’re dealing with the remnants of Comey.
And wait until you see how it all ends up, you watch. McCabe, Lisa Page, Strzok, wait until you see how that all ends up, including some others that I could name . . . We’ll make — we’ll make front page news if I do.
Trump, as President of the United States, subject to a criminal investigation, just sicced an extremely friendly news station to investigate the family of a witness against him. Further, Trump threatened to release information himself damaging to this witness and his family. He did this in the context of discussing the planned testimony of that witness to Congress.
The relevant statute is 18 U.S.C. 1512. There are two provisions of this section of the criminal code that might apply, first:
(b)Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to —
(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding.
(2) cause or induce any person to —
(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;
(d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from —
(1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding . . .
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.
This is serious stuff. The threats don’t just come from anybody. They come from the President of the United States, with all the majesty and power that office holds, to include over the Department of Justice. Notably, this is a pattern. Trump also tweeted a hint about Cohen’s father-in-law, lamenting him getting off “Scott Free” (another idiot Trump Twitter misspelling as this should have been “scot-free”).
Trump previously attempted to influence the Congressional testimony of James Comey with his notorious he “better hope that there are no tapes” tweet that led to the appointment of Mueller. He has praised Paul Manafort for not cooperating with a criminal investigation and held out pardoning him as a possibility.
It’s not about an incident. It’s about a pattern.