The New York Times reports:
When Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) asked President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William P. Barr, earlier this week whether it would be a crime if “the president tried to coach somebody not to testify, or testify falsely,” Barr was unequivocal: “Yes,” the nominee told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Under an obstruction statute, yes.”
Now that an explosive story published Thursday by BuzzFeed News alleges that Trump did just that, by ordering Michael Cohen, his former attorney, to lie to Congress, Barr’s answer presents the White House with a new quandary — the president’s own choice for the nation’s top law enforcement official has described such conduct as “classic” obstruction of justice.
Barr said the same when pressed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), as well as in his own written statements. He has affirmed his view at least three times, both in a once-private memo and in sworn testimony.
Klobuchar: “A president persuading a person to commit perjury would be obstruction. Is that right?”
Klobuchar: “You also said that a president — or any person — convincing a witness to change testimony would be obstruction. Is that right?”
Barr: “Yes.” pic.twitter.com/cn8WDKLUjI
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 18, 2019