President Trump’s habit of firing off incendiary tweets without consulting with White House attorneys may have landed him in hot water.
As special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigates whether Trump obstructed justice in connection with his 2016 presidential campaign, he “edged closer to an open display of obstruction of justice and witness tampering,” The Washington Post reports .
In a series tweet Monday, Trump urged former aides aim to refuse to cooperate with the federal investigators and even appeared to imply threats against those who do.
It began with an attack on his former attorney Michael Cohen, suggesting he should receive no deals for cooperating with investigators.
“‘Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.’ You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? … He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence,” Trump tweeted.
Subjects of criminal investigations are prohibited from retaliating against people who testify against them.
Trump followed up the tweet with a quote from Stone: “I will never testify against Trump.”
Trump added, “This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump.’ Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’ ”
The Washington Post wrote:
So where he threatened a stick against Cohen, Trump offered a carrot to Stone, signaling where their allegiances should lie. This proof of potential witness tampering and obstruction of justice is made even stronger by the fact that the messaging is from the person who holds the most powerful get-out-of-jail-free card: a presidential pardon.”
Taken together, Trump’s statements Monday are a message not only to Cohen and Stone, but also to anyone else who may be considering testifying or cooperating against the president or any of his associates. And the message is quite clear: Those who cooperate with law enforcement and agree to be witnesses against Trump will be punished, while those who keep his secrets will be protected.
The tweets Monday are not, alas, isolated incidents. The president has tweeted before  that he is being persecuted by the special counsel’s office, purportedly threatened  those in a position to preserve the Mueller investigation, asked for loyalty  of those who might prosecute his confederates and engaged in a host of additional conduct evincing an intent to block Mueller’s work, as well as committing overt acts seemingly directed at obstructing the investigation.