Obstruction of justice can occur in plain sight.
THIS IS WHAT HE SAID: "This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!" - tweeted by President Trump, Aug. 1.
Trump's lawyers rushed to say, "It's not a call to action," or a presidential order to a cabinet member - Sessions, who recused himself from the case because of his own conflicts - to shut down the investigation.
Really? The language is hardly unclear. Subordinates told they should do something by their boss - let alone when that boss is the president of the United States - normally would consider that an order, be it in the public or private sector.
THERE'S NO DOUBT why Trump's lawyers quickly began splitting hairs over the definition of "should." The crime of obstruction of justice is defined by mindset and intent. The intent behind Trump's words is not easily misconstrued.
We've said it before, we'll say it again. America's system of justice must not be subject to the arbitrary whim of the executive at any time - let alone when that very executive may be the subject of the investigation.
President Trump, his entire life, ran a privately-owned business where his word was law, right or wrong. There are plenty of examples suggesting he is not pleased now to head an organization - the executive branch - where law enforcement independence is critical to the structure. But America is not a monarchy and, yes, even presidents must be accountable under the law.
A FINAL WORD: On Thursday, at the White House, the entire U.S. national security leadership gathered to declare not only were the Russians responsible for meddling in the 2016 election, they are doing it again in 2018. Hours later, at a Pennsylvania rally, President Trump told cheering supporters, "... We're being hindered by the Russian hoax. It's a hoax, OK?" Clearly, someone is out of touch, and it's not the national security team.