Former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman raised alarms over the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian electoral interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Whitman, a Republican who has long opposed President Donald Trump, said the President’s attempts to stop Mueller’s inquiry could have amounted to a constitutional crisis had members of his staff not ignored them.
“That is the stuff of #Dictators and potentates. To ignore the intent because the act was never completed is to send a message that we aren’t troubled by this kind of undermining of our #Constitution,” the former Governor said on Twitter. “One may think that it doesn’t matter but remember, it’s hard to turn back the clock once a line has been crossed. Our government is a “great experiment” but, as our forefathers warned, if it is lost it will be from within. It’s up to us to uphold the constitution and protect it from all threats foreign or domestic.”
A partially-redacted copy of Mueller’s report was publicly released last Thursday.
The special counsel recounted a number of charges that could constitute obstruction of justice on the president’s part, including orders investigators say he gave to former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller over conflicts of interest McGahn said were “silly” and “not real.”
McGahn told Mueller’s team he ignored the orders and eventually sought to resign over the same.
Whitman’s stance is in direct conflict with those of the State Republican Party, which called Mueller’s report a “total and complete exoneration” of the president.
The report did not find evidence directly linking Trump to Russian electoral interference but made no determination on whether he committed obstruction of justice, citing legal challenges to charging a sitting president with a crime.
“Our investigation found multiple acts by the president that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations,” Mueller’s report said. “The incidents were often carried out through one-on-one meetings in which the President sought to use his official power outside of usual channels. These actions ranged from efforts to remove the Special Counsel and to reverse the effect of the Attorney General’s recusal; to the attempted use of official power to limit the scope of the investigation; to direct and indirect contacts with witnesses with the potential to influence their testimony.”