Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has suggested that Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was, in part, an attempt to obstruct justice by removing a witness who may be able to contradict claims that the president sought or received damaging information about him from Russian government officials.
But even Blumenthal did not say exactly what he thinks may be at stake here: “It’s important for the public and Congress and special counsel Mueller to understand the mechanism of obstruction of justice when it comes to this investigation,” he told CNN recently. But what is his evidence? Why are we so sure it will come out next week? Is there any reason why Sessions should have recused himself in May 2016 when he met with Kislyak after receiving misleading information from then–Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), now President Trump’s attorney general? The answer lies in two very specific dates on which key witnesses were interviewed by Robert Mueller before being grilled under oath in front of Congressional committees last year: March 30, 2017, when former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee; Sept. 6, 2017—just three days after she was fired—when former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn also appeared before lawmakers; Nov., 17 2016—the day after Trump announced his candidacy—when George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty for lying during questioning about his contacts with Russian government operatives while serving as one of Trump’s foreign policy advisors; Dec., 14