1. Itís Not Obstruction For Trump To Meet With His Own Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is not an independent branch. It works for the president. That means that the president has every right to meet with members of his DOJ to discuss ongoing matters. Obstruction only becomes an issue if Trump were to inform the DOJ to come to a particular conclusion in a case. It arguably would not even be obstruction for Trump to order the DOJ to shut down a particular investigation, though obstruction of justice charges were part of the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

2. Itís Not Obstruction For Trump To Order The DOJ To Investigate The FBIís 2016 Conduct. This is a separate investigation from the Mueller investigation; itís a separate investigation from the SDNY investigation into Michael Cohen. These investigations have nothing to do with Trumpís call for an investigation into the use of the FBI by the Obama administration to supposedly target the Trump campaign in 2016. At best, information gathered by any such investigation could be utilized as a public relations piece in a potential attempt to end the Mueller investigation.

3. Trump Is Making Some Pretty Hefty Charges.

4. Trump Could Declassify All Of This At Any Time.

5. This Didnít Come Out During The Campaign.

6. There Have Been Ridiculous Leaks Since Trumpís Election.

7. Itís Unclear That Team Clapper Unloaded The Steele Dossier To The Media. There are a series of emails that have now been released between top Obama administration DOJ and FBI officials regarding the CNN story on the Steele dossier. Republicans have taken those emails to mean that these people coordinated on the release of the dossier, and then set Trump up by giving CNN a newshook Ė they talked to Trump about the story. Thereís a plausible counter-explanation: CNN reached out to these officials about the dossier, they felt a duty to inform Trump, they believed the story would run in any case, and it did. That doesnít mean that Team Obama didnít leak the dossier. But thatís just not clear-cut at this point.

So, hereís the bottom line, as always: we just donít know enough at this point. We donít know if the FBI targeted Trump illegitimately; we donít know that the Steele dossier came out thanks to Team Obama manipulation. We do know, however, that Trump has every right to look into these issues.



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