There's a fair amount of publicly available evidence that suggests Donald Trump, among other things, obstructed justice while trying to undermine investigations into his many scandals. It's of particular interest, however, who's reached this conclusion about the president and his activities.
Consider this exchange from ABC News' "This Week" yesterday between House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and host George Stephanopoulos:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think the president obstructed justice?NADLER: Yes, I do.... It's very clear that the president obstructed justice. It's very clear: 1,100 times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt, he tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI. He fired Comey in order to stop the Russian thing, as he told NBC News. He dangled pardons. He's intimidated witnesses -- in public.
That's no small allegation under the circumstances. When Richard Nixon was driven from office, he faced five articles of impeachment, and the first was obstruction of justice. More recently, Bill Clinton was impeached on two counts, including obstruction of justice.
What's more, Nadler isn't just another observer: the presidential impeachment process begins in the House Judiciary Committee, which is the panel the New York Democrat leads.
It's against this backdrop that the chairman isn't just willing to tell a national television audience that Trump obstructed justice, he's and his panel are also prepared to request documents from more than 60 people connected to the president and his administration "to begin investigations to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power."
In fact, there's one thread of particular interest on which lawmakers are prepared to pull.
The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are examining whether any effort was made to influence Michael Cohen through discussions about a pardon after his home and office were searched by the FBI in April, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.The inquiry about pardon discussions was first reported by The Washington Post. [...]During closed testimony last week before both committees, Cohen testified about possible pardon discussions, the sources said, but they declined to discuss the details.
Keep in mind, during last week's congressional hearing, Cohen swore under oath that he's aware of other crimes committed by the president that he couldn't discuss because they're being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York. Cohen said this following a question about conversations he had last fall with Trump.
I can't say with any certainty what he was referring to, but it's hardly outlandish to wonder if this refers to possible Trump conversations with Cohen about a pardon.