POLITICS

Top Democrat Says Trump May Have Obstructed Justice, Based On His Own Tweets

The president said on Twitter that he knew Flynn lied to the FBI.

12/03/2017 15:10 EST | Updated 12/03/2017 15:10 EST

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Sunday that she believed there might be an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump based in part on the president's own tweets related to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

"The Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well, and it involves obstruction of justice, and I think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice," Sen. Dianne Feinsteinsaid on "Meet the Press."

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian government. Trump tweeted Saturday that he "had to fire" Flynn because of those false statements. But if Trump knew Flynn had lied, then, legal experts have said, his reported attempt to shut down the FBI's investigation of Flynn could constitute obstruction of justice.

The president's tweet was problematic enough for him that his personal attorney publicly took credit for writing it, calling the tweet "sloppy."

Feinstein said she saw the potential for an obstruction case against Trump in part from his own Twitter account.

"I see it in the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House, the comments every day, the continual tweets. And I see it most importantly in what happened with the firing of [FBI Director James] Comey, and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to 'lift the cloud' of the Russia investigation. That's obstruction of justice."

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) asked on Sunday why Trump didn't act sooner if he knew Flynn had lied to the FBI.

Well, if he knew that then, why didn't he act on it earlier? It raises a whole series of additional questions," Warner said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"This president has been obsessed with this investigation," Warner said, "always saying there's nothing there, but each week another shoe drops, where we see more evidence of continuing outreach from Russians and some response from the Trump campaign and Trump individuals."