Why Republicans would forgive Trump for obstruction of justice

Republicans will say that he should not have instructed Cohen to lie — it was a terrible blunder, something he regrets and has apologized for, a sad day for our country, bla bla bla — but they will stop short of voting to remove him from office

President Trump.
(Image credit: Illustration)

If there's any truth in the recent report alleging that President Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, then Trump is almost certainly guilty of obstruction of justice.

Whether this is the case remains very much an open question. The Buzzfeed report claiming that Trump instructed his former attorney to give Congress a misleading account of his business activities in Russia relies upon the testimony of anonymous sources who are supposed have access to documents related to the special counsel investigation. Since its publication there have been conflicting accounts of whether the authors of the story have actually seen the documents from which their claims are said to originate. Then there is the question of Cohen's trustworthiness. The fact that a document somewhere may quote him making this claim does not make it true. This is the line being taken by Trump's own legal counsel. “If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge,” Rudy Giuliani said in a statement on Friday.

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Matthew Walther

Matthew Walther is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has also appeared in First Things, The Spectator of London, The Catholic Herald, National Review, and other publications. He is currently writing a biography of the Rev. Montague Summers. He is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.