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Fmr White House Lawyer: Trump May Be Witness Tampering With Nomination of Federal Judge


President Donald Trump has been accused of witness tampering by a former White House ethics attorney.

Norman L. Eisen currently serves as the board chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”), a non-profit and non-partisan watchdog dedicated to uprooting corruption in Washington, D.C. Eisen previously served as chief ethics lawyer for the Barack Obama administration.

Today he outlined the possibility of a witness tampering charge against Trump via a series of tweets. Eisen’s late morning tweet-storm was in response to revelations that the president’s judicial pick is the spouse of a White House attorney–who also happens to be a witness in the Mueller investigation.

To refresh: Trump and his administration are being pilloried by old guard legal organizations like the American Bar Association (“ABA”) for picking Brett Talley to serve out a lifetime appointment as the U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama. According to the ABA, Talley is unanimously “Not Qualified” for the position.

What’s more–and not disclosed until this morning–is Talley’s ongoing marriage to Ann Donaldson, chief of staff for White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II. Donaldson is said to be a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into whether Trump personally obstructed justice.

According to a report in the New York Times, Donaldson was recently interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as to her “detailed notes” regarding certain conversations with McGahn about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey–as well as other related issues.

In response to those revelations regarding: (1) Donaldson’s discussions with McGahn; (2) the investigation into Donaldson’s notes on those discussions–which make Donaldson a potential Mueller witness; and (3) the administration’s apparent attempts to keep Donaldson’s marriage to Talley under wraps, Eisen tweeted the following just a few hours ago [caps in the original]:

this [sic] is not just nepotism, but also potential CONFLICT OF INTEREST &/or WITNESS TAMPERING: a Trump reward to the unqualified family member of a witness in the Mueller investigation. No wonder they tried to hide the relationship. This should be reviewed by the Special Counsel.

Witness tampering is a federal crime. It is codified at 18 USC §1512.

[image via screengrab/Twitter]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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