Obstruction has been a key element of Donald Trump’s indictment, both original and superseding, in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, as special counsel Jack Smith has laid out a picture of the former president allegedly working with multiple staffers to conceal documents from federal investigators, and even to try to erase the security footage showing them doing so.
All of this goes well beyond even former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlining possible obstruction of justice by the former president, argued Andrew Weissman — a key prosecutor in that case — on MSNBC Friday evening.
“I have to ask you, because I think this is relevant to your experience, The New York Times is up with a new piece, a long piece, comparing what we are learning in terms of obstruction in the Mar-a-Lago case with the obstruction that was detailed in the Mueller report,” said anchor Alex Wagner. “I’ll read you some excerpts from it. John Bolton, in the piece, calls Trump’s approach ‘obstruction as a way of life,’ and the lead investigator in the Mueller investigation, Andrew Goldstein, says the superseding indictment in Mar-a-Lago, the one we got yesterday, is a clearer example of criminality than what we found in the Mueller case. It makes it easier to show criminal intent. Do you agree with that assessment?”
“Yeah,” concurred Weissman. “It’s a little hard because of all the details with respect to the Mueller investigation, and we only have the indictment, so we have to wait a lot more, put meat on the bones.”
However, he continued, “There is nothing more classic than somebody saying, let’s just destroy evidence when there is a pending subpoena. In terms of John Bolton’s comment about this being a way of life, this is the through line. You have obstruction, take the former president’s comments to Don McGahn, saying I need you to create a fake document making something that’s not true, and he’s basically, I’m out, I’m not doing that. Zelenskyy, what the former president was doing there was saying, I need you to gin up a fraud investigation because I’m going to use that to defraud the American people and say this in an impending investigation with Joe Biden.”
“There’s also an indictment now with two schemes to obstruct justice, and we’re about to see a charge by Jack Smith for obstruction on a much larger scale,” added Weissman. “It is not going to be just getting rid of documents or lying to the government. It’s going to be a question of Congress or overthrowing the will of the people. So … look at this as all of these forms of obstruction that the former president has engaged in.”
Andrew Weissman compares Mar-a-Lago case to Mueller investigation