One of President Trump’s lawyers, the renowned religious freedom and constitutional rights lawyer Jay Sekulow, made a couple of appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday and he reassured everyone who would listen that President Trump was NOT under investigation.
Here’s the problem, the lawyers don’t know this for sure.
All Sekulow could assure Chuck Todd and Chris Wallace of on Sunday was that the President and his team had no reason to believe that there was a new investigation under way. They haven’t been informed of any such proceedings by anyone, and so while the Washington Post might report that the President is under investigation (using 5 anonymous sources), the President’s legal team doesn’t think so.
The day after the WaPo released this new, anonymously sourced, story, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was issuing his own, cryptic statement about such reports.
“Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”
On Friday the President tweeted this in response to the WaPo story, and it seemed to be taking a shot at Rosenstein:
I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
Rosenstein was the man who advised President Trump to fire James Comey, but he was also the man who hired Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia’s influence on the 2016 election. Trump seemed to be taking the WaPo story at it’s word, which may be what Rosenstein was warning against…
That tweet had Chuck Todd at NBC’s Meet the Press pretty riled up on Sunday:
New on #MTP: Trump lawyer says President is not under investigation, despite tweets.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 18, 2017
Over at Fox News SUNDAY Chris Wallace had similar questions and Sekulow had similar answers:
While Todd and Wallace seem obsessed with Trump’s tweets, Sekulow explains that their neither her nor there. The President’s tweets shouldn’t matter as a course of law, maybe they’re bad politics, but there is certainly nothing illegal or even inappropriate about them.
Sekulow further explains that the Trump tweet was specifically in regards to the WaPo story and was not meant to indicate that the President was actually under investigation. Once again, no one on the Trump legal team or in the administration has any reason to believe that the President is under investigation.
In fact, the only people saying he’s under investigation are the anonymous sources leaking the idea to The Washington Post.
By the way, Sekulow didn’t just appear on NBC and Fox… he also conducted combative interviews with CNN’s Jake Tapper and CBS’ John Dickerson on Sunday. Let’s just say that Sekulow worked very, very hard on Sunday.
CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper:
CBS’ Face the Nation with John Dickerson: