President Donald Trump is interviewed by Lester Holt.
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Trump’s admission bolsters allegations of obstruction of justice

The Rachel Maddow Show, 5/11/17, 9:00 PM ET

Exclusive: DoJ won't say if Sessions is recused on Manafort

Rachel Maddow reports that contrary to popular belief, former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has not registered as a foreign agent, and the DoJ won’t say if A.G. Jeff Sessions is recused on Manafort matters.
As the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey intensifies, one of the key questions is whether the president obstructed justice by firing the person overseeing the investigation into the Russia scandal. Trump’s allies have gone to great lengths this week to argue that the firing and the investigation have nothing to do with one another.

The president, however, has now admitted that those defenses are wrong. In an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt yesterday, Trump admitted he was motivated by concerns about the Russia scandal when he decided to oust Comey from his FBI post.
“[W]hen I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.”
About the same time as the interview, Trump’s spokesperson also told reporters that by firing Comey, the White House has “taken steps” to end the investigation into the Russia scandal.

Democrats don’t need to make the case that Trump obstructed justice; Trump and his team are doing it for them.

Perhaps you’ve seen a crime drama in which the smart detective sits down with a suspect and tries to cleverly get the accused to confess to the crime. In this case, however, the task is made far easier by the fact that the president has dropped the pretense of innocence. Trump is effectively admitting he’s guilty.

And as Rachel noted on the show last night, the only appropriate remedy for a president who’s obstructed justice is impeachment.

Trump certainly has his share of effective opponents, but yesterday was the latest reminder that he remains his own worst enemy. When courts considered the president’s Muslim ban, jurists simply pointed to Trump’s own remarks when striking down the policy. When a judge ruled against his executive order on so-called “sanctuary cities,” the same thing happened: a court relied on Trump’s rhetoric when ruling against the directive.

Perhaps someone needs to remind Trump that he has the right to remain silent, and anything he says may be used against him in a court of law (or in a legislative chamber weighing impeachment charges).

Donald Trump, FBI, James Comey, Russia and Scandals

Trump's admission bolsters allegations of obstruction of justice