While casually announcing war with Syria on Twitter this morning, president Trump also accidentally let slip that he obstructed justice in the Russia investigation. This was the Commander in Chief's unintentionally explicit admission of an impeachable crime:
As Jonathan Chait notes, Trump's caveat that there was no obstruction 'other than I fight back' is, well, obstruction:
The key phrase here is “No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back).” When you say “other than,” you are conceding it fits into the larger category, while identifying it as an exception: I didn’t eat the cookies you left out, other than the one that already had a bite out of it. In this case, however, “fight back” is an exception large enough to encompass all Trump’s efforts to impede the investigation into Russian interference on behalf of his campaign. Everything from demanding James Comey let Michael Flynn go free to firing Comey to dangling pardons for Paul Manafort is fighting back against the investigation. He is rebranding obstruction of justice as Trump fighting back. Of course, Trump already admitted a year ago, on camera, he fired Comey to stop the Russia investigation, so it’s hardly a Tom Cruise–Jack Nicholson moment.
Here are some other events from Trump's past he could rebrand:
I didn't sleep with Stormy Daniels (other than that time at the golf course).
I didn't lie about the size of my inauguration crowd (other than that one time at a press conference).
Hillary Clinton didn't win the popular vote (other than winning more overall votes than me).
I didn't sexually assault multiple women (other than my ex wife and a couple of other chicks).
Trump appears to believe that by virtue of him saying or believing something, it makes it so. In his mind, firing James Comey to prevent him investigating him over his connections to Russia wasn't obstruction of justice, but merely 'fighting back'. The distinction may have no legal basis, but then Trump isn't bothered about inconvenient technicalities. Unfortunately for him, the law isn't applied subjectively -- just because you don't think you did something wrong, doesn't mean you didn't. And as the Mueller investigation gets ever closer to Trump and his inner circle, he will find this out the hard way.