After the infamous Steele dossier detailed salacious claims of President Trump’s time in Moscow in 2013, he gave former FBI Director James Comey an alibi — he had already flown home by the time the alleged encounters with Russian prostitutes occurred.
But news outlets have uncovered discrepancies between President Trump’s flight records and his personal statements. The records suggest Trump did spend the night, and those claims have been corroborated by witnesses and social media posts.
The new information about the president’s time in Russia has raised questions about possible obstruction of justice, and national security expert Juliette Kayyem told Boston Public Radio Wednesday that Trump’s activity online and his administration's conduct during press conferences won’t help his case.
“That will be part of Mueller’s obstruction of justice investigation — what public overtures were made,” said Kayyem.
She said that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ defenses of Trumps actions during his presidency could also be used as evidence of obstruction of justice. Sanders has been criticized for comments made about Comey and also about the former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe.
“The second she opens the door, there’s going to be the follow-up questions,” said Kayyem.
Kayyem also said the public expects obstruction of justice to happen behind closed doors in the form of under-the-table payouts and shady deals. But, she claims this presidency is flipping the script.
“Obstruction of justice is actually happening in clear sight,” Kayyem said. “This is happening on Twitter and on TV, but it’s no less objectionable or illegal.”
National security expert Juliette Kayyem is a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, CEO of ZEMCAR and a CNN contributor.