Donald Trump’s tweets about the investigation into Russian interference in last year’s US presidential election could be used against him in a possible obstruction of justice case, legal experts say.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating if Russia tried to influence the outcome of the race to the White House, in which Mr Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
Last month, George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to Mr Trump’s campaign, said he is co-operating with with Mr Mueller’s investigation.
Mr Trump later tweeted that Mr Papadopoulos is ‘a liar’.
Mr Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts during the election campaign with a professor he believed had ‘connections to Russian government officials’ who offered him thousands of emails containing ‘dirt’ on Mrs Clinton.
Mr Trump also tweeted that the indictment of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort over Russian collusion had nothing to do with his campaign. He said Mr Mueller should be investigating Democrats instead.
MOST POPULAR STORIES ON YAHOO UK TODAY
Loch Ness Monster is ‘spotted’ for NINTH time this year as ‘sightings’ soar
Samsung will release first ever phone with a folding screen ‘early next year’
Spot the dog! Can you find the hidden pooch in this Facebook ferns photo?
Police are called after angry customer ‘kicks off because staff put gravy on chips’
Irishman wins payout from pub after being refused service for being a ‘traveller’
Donald Trump is going to declare North Korea a ‘state sponsor of terror’
But legal experts say Mr Trump’s tweets about the affair could land him in trouble.
Barry Berke, a partner at New York law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis and Frankel, told USA Today that the president’s tweets about Russia ‘could be used to further support a case against him for obstruction of justice’.
He added: ‘To the extent the president’s tweets… are knowingly false and intended to mislead investigators, influence the testimony of others or cover up what actually occurred, that could support an obstruction of justice case.’
Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told USA Today: ‘You’re not likely to get a charge because he called somebody a liar in one instance.
‘But the tweets form a pattern of conduct with the other actions he’s engaged in where it starts to look like he is trying to undermine this investigation in many different ways and potentially trying to pressure those who are running the investigation or cooperating with the investigation.’
It has been reported that Mr Mueller is investigating Mr Trump for possible obstruction of justice.
‘To say the least, it is very unusual for the president of the United States to attack a witness who is cooperating with the United States in an ongoing federal investigation,’ said Norman Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer for former president Barack Obama.
‘Think about it: When you are a witness in a case that threatens the most powerful man in the world, and he attacks you publicly, that is scary.’