- President Donald Trump on Monday was accused of violating a law against witness tampering after a controversial tweet about his former campaign chairman Roger Stone.
- Stone over the weekend said he would “never” testify against the president as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion.
- Trump applauded Stone for his statements in a tweet and said it’s “nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!'”
- George Conway, a conservative attorney and husband to one of Trump’s top advisers, suggested Trump’s tweet violated a statute against witness tampering.
President Donald Trump on Monday was accused of violating a law against witness tampering after a controversial tweet about his former campaign chairman Roger Stone.
Stone over the weekend said he would “never” testify against the president as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion.
Speaking with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Stone said, “Generally speaking in politics you avoid hypothetical questions. That said, there’s no circumstance under which I would testify against the president because I’d have to bear false witness against him. I’d have to make things up, and I’m not going to do that.”
Trump in a Monday tweet applauded Stone for not willing to be “forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor” to “make up lies and stories” about the president. He added that it was “nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!'”
The president was seemingly suggesting people who cooperate with the Mueller investigation, which is spearheaded by the Department of Justice, lack fortitude and loyalty.
George Conway, a conservative attorney who also happens to be the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, retweeted Trump and said “File under ’18 U.S.C. §§ 1503, 1512.'”
Conway was referencing a law against any corrupt or forceful attempts to “influence, intimidate, or impede any grand or petit juror, or officer in or of any court of the United States, or officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate, in the discharge of his duty.” Simply put, this is a statute against obstruction of justice.
He also referenced a statute against witness tampering, which makes it illegal to attempt to intimidate or persuade witnesses, informants, or victims in order to prevent or influence their testimony in an official proceeding.
Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general of the US under the Obama administration, appeared to agree with Conway’s assessment.
“George is right. This is genuinely looking like witness tampering,” Katyal tweeted on Monday.
Katyal said that the Department of Justice “prosecutes cases like these all the time.”
“The fact it’s done out in the open is no defence,” Katyal added. “Trump is genuinely melting down, and no good lawyer can represent him under these [circumstances].”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.