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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 11 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
BREAKING: Trump, through Sessions, is trying to exact punishment against a 21-year FBI veteran he knows will be a witness against him in a criminal case by trying to have him fired days before his pension vests—a decision that may cost McCabe untold hundreds of thousands or more.
2/ More than that, this is Obstruction or Witness Tampering—as if McCabe is fired at Trump's direction (via Sessions) he's substantially weakened as a corroborating witness for Comey and against Trump at any future impeachment trial for Obstruction of Justice. And Trump knows it.
3/ More than *that*, Sessions has no authority to make this decision, as he's recused from any decision relating to investigations of the 2016 election. Firing McCabe—a witness against Trump in a probe arising from the election—is just the sort of decision Sessions *cannot* make.
4/ If Attorney General Sessions fires McCabe, expect Mueller to open up *another* front in his investigation, this time of Trump *and* Sessions for Obstruction. I've said it before and will say it again: Sessions is already a Mueller target, so he's doing himself no favors here.
5/ The IG report triggered a disciplinary process that recommended firing, but given there's no AG or Acting AG with the authority to execute the firing—Sessions *and* Rosenstein are conflicted as to this—and the recommendation isn't time-sensitive, a firing would be Obstruction.
6/ Some of you may ask how I see Trump's prints on this, given the IG report triggered this situation.

Easy: (a) Trump is discussing the Russia case with Sessions directly, indirectly, and via social media, and has made clear his views on McCabe and what he wants from Sessions;
7/ (b) Trump has made clear what his opinion of Sessions' recusal is, pushing him at all points to undo that recusal or to simply selectively ignore it. Were Sessions not under this pressure, his inability to fire McCabe—given his recusal—would be absolutely clear and inarguable.
8/ Trump has—by word and action—created a situation in which his AG feels pressure to ignore a required recusal and do so specifically to punish McCabe and other FBI officials. Had this not happened, the lack of anyone able to fire McCabe pre-retirement would *settle* this issue.
9/ The whole time Trump was pressuring Sessions directly, indirectly and by social media, I noted Trump knew Sessions was a Mueller witness and that therefore those actions were illegal. Mueller agrees, and is investigating them. We now see what that illegal pressure has wrought.
10/ So while I'm certain Trump *did* talk to Sessions about firing McCabe *in response to this recommendation*—having also discussed it pre-recommendation—even had that conversation not occurred, a firing of McCabe pre-retirement would legally be a consequence of Trump's actions.
NOTE/ The reason Obstruction statutes talk not just about threats but "influence" is that lawmakers know that this is how obstruction efforts work—Trump "influences" Sessions to take certain actions that will materially affect the quality of the criminal prosecution Trump faces.
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