Donald Trump

Comey Tells Senate He Believes Trump Wanted to Stop Flynn/Russia Investigation

But is it obstruction? That's a tougher question.

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Comey
Shawn Thew/EPA/Newscom

Fired FBI Director James Comey would not tell the Senate Intelligence Committee today that President Donald Trump obstructed justice when he said he "hoped" the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would end. But Comey clearly believed the president was trying to influence his decisions.

The three-hour open session did not provide the smoking gun Trump foes were looking for, but neither should it be easy for Trump supporters to wave away Comey's descriptions of Trump's behavior.

Much of today's hearing delved into the nooks and crannies of Comey's written testimony, which was made public yesterday. We learned more about Comey's motivations for coming forward: He said he was confused by the shifting explanations for why Trump fired him, and he said "the administration chose to defame [him] and more importantly the FBI" by claiming that the agency was in disarray and that Comey was a bad leader. In fact, Comey testified, Trump never suggested to him that his performance was anything but great. Comey said he believes he was fired for the way he handled the investigation into Russian influence.

We also learned that Comey himself, through an intermediary, was responsible for leaking the unclassified contents of his conversations with Trump to the media. In this way, he hoped to make it more likely that a special counsel would be appointed. (It worked!) Comey didn't go directly to the press, he said, to avoid a feeding frenzy.

But he also didn't go to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explain what happened, believing that Sessions was going to end up recusing himself from the investigation, which did indeed happen. Comey also didn't directly tell Trump himself that his request was inappropriate, and he couldn't adequately explain why when asked by Sen. Marco Rubio. He said more than once he was "stunned" by Trump's request.

Comey affirmed that Trump is not under investigation and that there's no evidence at this time of any collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia to influence the election results. Comey took a moment to slap down as inaccurate a February New York Times story claiming Trump campaign staff were in conversations with Russian intelligence officials in the run-up to the election. To the extent that Trump was trying to influence him, Comey was left with the impression it was only to stop the Flynn investigation, not the overall investigation into Russian meddling.

Comey expressed absolute certainty that Russian officials attempted to meddle with the 2016 presidential election, and that the hack of the Democratic National Committee was a part of this effort. He was also sure that Russian hackers failed to change any votes after they were cast.

Comey has previously made two very famous, very controversial public statements about the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server that ended up coming back in this hearing. The first statement was that what Clinton did was reckless and irresponsible but not criminal. The second was that the case needed further review after it had already been closed when new evidence came to light right before the election. Comey has said he felt like he had to be public about what was happening with the investigation in part because of then–Attorney General Loretta Lynch's brief encounter with former President Bill Clinton: It was important, he explained, that this not be seen as influencing the FBI.

One seemingly minor—but new—detail from that investigation is worth noting. Comey testified today that he was told to describe the email mess with Clinton as a "matter" rather than an "investigation," even though it was in fact an investigation. In other words, he was asked to alter his messaging to match the language that Clinton's campaign was using. It's easy to see this detail being used to attack the idea that there was something particularly sinister or malign about Trump's own comments to Comey. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) asked Comey if such language—someone saying he "hoped" a case would be "let go"—had ever previously been used as evidence of obstruction of justice. Comey wasn't sure whether it had.

But then again, none of these other people using such language was Comey's boss, and then fired Comey, and blamed the firing on Comey's handling of the Clinton case, and then said a few days later that it actually had to do with Russia.

Comey declined to answer many questions about possible interactions between Trump's team and Russian officials, reserving those discussions for a classified hearing with the same Senate committee taking place this afternoon.

Ultimately, Comey offered a lot of reasons today to doubt the president's competence and his sense of responsibility. But whether Trump crossed the line into obstruction of justice is still up for debate.

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  1. I thought one of the biggest thing was Comey admitting the FBI nor any part of government actually looked at the DNC server.. just took Russia hacking as gospel from Crowdstrike.

    1. *actually never looked

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    2. This was common knowledge already.

      1. And then allowed everything to be destroyed with hammers.

    3. But hey, the FBI is apolitical according to Comey.

      Either the FBI is incompetent or they are political.

      1. If Lynch telling Comey an investigation into Hillary is not an investigation, is not considered obstruction then how can Trumps question be considered obstruction, either both are or neither are and since Comey already stated before Congress earlier that Trump didn’t obstruct then how can he now say he did. If anyone else changed their answer to the FBI like that they’ed be jail already

        1. Well, it sounds like Comey is specifically saying that he doesn’t think it was obstruction but you are correct: If one is obstruction both should be considered obstruction.

          1. It’s going to be funny when Trump is let off easy using the Hillary “I repeatedly lied about the illegal things I did, but I didn’t know they were illegal” precedent.

            1. It may amuse you but if he does give such an explanation he would be surely correct to assume he’d be “let off easy”. Sauces for geese you see.

        2. Asking Comey to call an investigation “a matter” does not impair Comey’s ability to complete the investigation, which he did. Trump tried to stop Comey from even doing an investigation of Flynn, and when Comey continued the investigation, Trump fired him. The two aren’t even close.

          1. And what is being investigated precisely, pray tell? And what do you think it could possibly uncover in regards to Trump, or Trump’s transition team?

          2. Trump tried to stop Comey from even doing an investigation of Flynn

            Link?

            1. It’s in the written testimony which is already linked in the article linked to in this article. Page 4 is where the relevant portion begins.

              My opinion is that it was an attempt to interfere with the FBI but there is not enough evidence to say for sure.

  2. Comey is channeling Mark Felt.

  3. On the one hand it would be lulzy if Trump were brought down by his own childish, paranoid demands for loyalty. On the other, I have misgivings about running a president out of office for something as stupid as obstructing justice, which is the federal equivalent of resisting arrest.

    1. Particularly when it doesn’t look like he’s done that.
      If being stupid were grounds for impeachment, we’d have had nobody serving a complete term.

  4. So they’re saving the good stuff for the sequel or is this a trilogy?

    1. That was all the left were pinning their hopes to.

      Lefty mentality:
      2016 Comey= asshole incompetent
      2017 Comey= ethical saint

      1. Wasn’t it more like:

        April 2017 Comey= asshole incompetent
        May 2017 Comey= ethical saint

        1. Yes, yes it was.

        2. Yeah. You were more accurate with the time line.

  5. Rubio wanted to know why Comey didn’t directly tell Trump his request was inappropriate? Does anyone actually think that Trump is just a humble, ethical person who would just say, “Oh, gee, that’s a good point”? Both him and Hillary are unethical scum. People question why he gave his notes to a friend? Comey was smart to give his notes to a friend because it wouldn’t be shocking if he somehow had an “accident”. The same thing happened to Seth Rich. Both sides will have you taken out or put in jail for trying to let any of Washington’s skeletons out of the closet.

    1. ^a man after my own heart

      His name was Seth Rich! His name was Seth Rich!

      1. Seth had bitch tits.

        1. “They were huge, the way we think of God’s as big.”

          You know, maybe i’ve matured, but that movie has not aged well.

          1. I probably haven’t matured because I still like it.

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  7. For some, tell the FBI director you hope he will end it has more weight towards obstruction than actually deleting emails that are a target of an subpoena.

    1. Oh! You and your memory can stuff a sock in it! We only move forward in this empire.

      1. You joke, but I think you’re forgetting why people cared about her e-mails to start with: she was on the path to be president. If she hadn’t been, then her e-mails and Benghazi would have been a footnote and quickly forgotten.

        So seeing as she lost, yeah, her e-mails are pretty irrelevant now. Trump, however, is President Trump, and will probably remain president through January of 2021 or 2025.

        1. He made no argument concerning the current relevance of the Clinton emails. His statement clearly was referring to partisans who only accept things as evidence that support their chosen narrative.

          Why can’t anyone ever address what the other person said, instead of defaulting back to their prepared soundbite for what they hoped would be said? I blame internets.

  8. “Comey affirmed that Trump is not under investigation and that there’s no evidence at this time of any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to influence the election results. Comey took a moment to slap down as inaccurate a February New York Times story claiming Trump campaign staff were in conversations with Russian intelligence officials in the run-up to the election. To the extent that Trump was trying to influence him, Comey was left with the impression it was only to stop the Flynn investigation, not the overall investigation into Russian meddling.”

    I linked in the AM links regarding Clinton’s “IT’S NOT MY FAULT!” tour, but it’s worth a repeat:
    “The sad spectacle of Hillary Clinton’s slow-motion breakdown”
    […]
    “She actually lost because of a quarter-century of political baggage and scandals. But she doesn’t say that because it’s the truth. She lost because even after all this ambition-fueled plotting, no one on her staff would hand her a rationale for why she should be president. But she doesn’t say that because, shouldn’t the candidate herself have an inkling about that?
    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opi…..rylink=cpy

    Mr. Malcolm does not like Ms. Clinton, and I’m sure it’s mutual. Problem is, he’s right.


  9. We also learned that Comey himself, through an intermediary, was responsible for leaking the unclassified contents of his conversations with Trump to the media. In this way, he hoped to make it more likely that a special counsel would be appointed.


    Comey declined to answer many questions about possible interactions between Trump’s team and Russian officials, reserving those discussions for a classified hearing with the same Senate committee taking place this afternoon.

    And he wanted a special counsel for a criminal investigation because of…something, I guess? Something important?


    Comey affirmed that Trump is not under investigation and that there’s no evidence at this time of any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to influence the election results.

    Or…not something?


    To the extent that Trump was trying to influence him, Comey was left with the impression it was only to stop the Flynn investigation, not the overall investigation into Russian meddling.

    So in other words, exactly as everyone thought. Not a huge deal, and not obstruction or collusion. A nothingburger.


    Comey testified today that he was told to describe the email mess with Clinton as a “matter” rather than an “investigation,” even though it was in fact an investigation. In other words, he was asked to alter his messaging to match the language that Clinton’s campaign was using.

    Uhh…wut? Asked by whom?

    1. By Loretta Lynch.


      1. Comey has said he felt like he had to be public about what was happening with the investigation in part because of then?Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s brief encounter with former President Bill Clinton: It was important, he explained, that this not be seen as influencing the FBI.

        I’m not sure if that’s the case or not, the article doesn’t say specifically, but I suspect you’re probably right. It would seem Comey was not above changing his language to keep up appearances with Clinton under a real microscope, and that he’s not above changing his language to keep up appearances with Trump being under a non-existent microscope.

        I suppose this is what Comey refers to as ‘impartiality’.

  10. Forget Trump, can we talk about John McCain?

    Holy shit guys, John McCain legitimately talked like he was having a hard time understanding anything that was happening. I have fairly low levels of respect for the man’s intelligence under normal conditions, but this was something else. Comey pleasantly explained to him about five times that Hillary Clinton was not under investigation for collaborating with the Russians because why the fuck would she hack her own party and publicize her own failings (as if that should have needed to be explained) and he JUST. KEPT. COMING. with the idea that there was some sort of injustice in the fact that only one of the two campaigns was under investigation for Russian connections.

    I was relatively pleasantly surprised by all the other committee members on both sides, compared to the Benghazi hearings they kept it factual and asked things that were actually useful to know.

    I am quite sure the media watched a different hearing because I learned essentially nothing except that Trump is still a jerkass and Loretta Lynch is who we thought she was, but the headlines are all “TRUMP DIDDDDD OBSTRUCT JUSTICE!!”

    1. “The Maverick” is why people should vote these people out by 70 years old and impeach judges around that age too.

      No Congressmen wants to be the asshole impeaching a crazy old man but these really old coots are shy marbles and the really old coots are running this country.

      1. I think more important is some form of term limits. If you start at age 40, that’s 30 years of “public service”. Can you imagine how much more evil your average politician becomes after 30 years in DC?

      2. If I want to vote a geezer to run out the clock occupying a senate seat representing my state, that’s my God given right as an American.

      3. Frankly I agree. There are minimum age limits for many higher offices: there should also be maximum’s now that people are living past their mind’s ability to function. This goes double for the Supreme Court. Some of them are frighteningly ancient, and frankly there should be no office where ‘death’ is the most likely way you’ll be ousted.

      4. True story. I’m sitting in the sterile area of a tiny WV airport with a few scattered folks waiting to board a plane. A puddle jumper rolls up and in toddles Sen. Byrd on 2 canes and a handler on each arm. The he walked right by this registered voter without a glance. Further down the hall sit 2 leggy young ladies who could pass for 18. When the Honorable Senator was even with the jailbait he stopped, rotated 90 deg. and extended a withered claw to each of the no doubt confused girls. Old dog still on the hunt.

  11. On a rare occasion when I can read the alt text, bravo!

    1. If you browse on an iPhone, you can hold your finger on the picture like you’re trying to open it in a new tab and you’ll see the alt-text. Don’t know if it works on other phones

      1. Thx, but I run with the droids.

  12. Didn’t you guys hear that based on Comey’s testimony Trump is pending impeachment!?!

    As expected, Comey is a partisan hack trying to prop up the tarnished reputation of the FBI. Comey said that he could not trust what Trump says but fully trusted what Bush and Obama said as Presidents.

    Comey made notes including quotes of what Trump said. This assumes that you can believe what Comey says happened at those meetings.

    Even funnier is that Comey was actually surprised that Trump told him on 3 occasions about doing a good job, then Trump fired him. I guess Comey does not understand why people typically get fired on Friday.

    Comey should have been fired a long time ago. Comey is not good at his job and refuses to follow the constitution and the law. Good riddance!

  13. So, it’s over, right? I mean, Trump has been proven a traitor; he, Pence, and his entire cabinet are being frog-marched down to the Tidal Basin for summary execution? And Hillary’s coronation as Queen For Life is being prepped?

    No? Surprising, given the way the progs were going on about this event. Gathered in bars, mouths gaping open, hanging desperately on every word…

  14. “Comey affirmed that Trump is not under investigation”

    That was the money shot that, for obvious reasons, the media is not leading with. That kind of refutes the whole madness that lead us to this.

    Live by anonymous sources- die by anonymous sources

    1. How many times did Comey say that the media’s classified sources were completely full of shit?

      But hey media, keep leading stories with those source’s false information.

    2. You have an interesting taste in porn, if that’s what you’re calling the money shot.

  15. “The first statement was that what Clinton did was reckless and irresponsible but not criminal.”

    That’s a mischaracterization of Comey’s statement.

    There’s a substantial difference between “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case” and “not criminal” – one is what a lawyer will say when he thinks that a crime was probably committed but he’s not sure that there’s enough evidence to convict, whereas the other is what he will say when he thinks that there’s absolutely no evidence that a crime was committed and there’s a substantial body of exculpatory evidence.

    1. WoodChipperBob,

      On July 05, 2016 FBI director Comey stated on TV in his news conference that Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” and “grossly negligent” with her sloppy and reckless behavior while committing e-mail activities that harmed the USA. That was the time and place for FBI Director Comey to arrest Hillary Clinton.

      The FBI director James Comey had previously publicly documented almost 100 criminal violations of federal security laws on TV that Hillary Clinton committed where Hillary’s actions did indeed violate 18 U.S. Code ? 798 – Disclosure of classified information ? PL 114-38.

      Why did Comey let Hillary walk?

      Is anybody else mad over this preferential treatment of selective enforcement bestowed by Comey onto Hillary?

      Maybe some of our US military servicemen and servicewomen in combat, US foreign service diplomats, foreign citizen spies for the US, drug informers secretly working for the USA, and/or US government diplomatic employees DIED HORRIBLE DEATHS because of her slack security protocol with her personal computer that she installed and misused for her personal convenience at her residence.

      That might be why Hillary ordered the busting up of Hillary’s subpoenaed cell phones with hammers before they could be produced to the government?

      1. Additionally, the Weiner laptop emails are proof that HRCs team obstructed by deleting, but did a poor job deleting both sides of the emails.

  16. If Trump somehow escapes this with minimum scratch (that’s one big IF at this point since Trump shot up his credibility to hell) James Comey can take some credit.

    First of all, this deal about him leaking his memo to the press through his intermediary – what the HELL? I’m sure Trump’s defense team will have a field day with that.

    And what could have possibly stopped him saying “while there’s no obstruction, I feel that the president is trying to influence me” when he was still FBI director? When Fenistein pressed on him that, he said “If I was stronger, maybe I should have” LOL what?

    Comey shared his memos with the FBI and they nothing about it. The NSA director says he never felt any pressure. The entire basis of Comey feeling “influence” is him being “stunned” at Trump saying outlandish things. Meanwhile he confirmed that Trump wasn’t under investigation and there was no evidence of Russian collusion. But he waited to do this at the hearing, not the weeks after he was fired.

    This is the sequel to email gate. Remarkably, Comey managed to do things in a way that kept both sides wanting and frustrated. Comey probably added additional fuel to the impeachment movement, but his inaction and lack of real evidence on obstruction gives the GOP in the house just enough ammunition to shoot it down. Trump base is probably satisfied that no collusion occurred and Trump wasn’t being investigated. That’s all they wanted to hear.

    1. They were careful to note that Comey’s memo contained only unclassified info. How long for leaks of the secret testimony?

  17. seems to me they keep rephrasing what Trump said to make it something that it isn’t and many of the questions put to Comey were hypothetical what ifs, if Trump had, but since the what ifs didn’t happen then Trump didn’t.

  18. There is more evidence to come in this case yet it already exceeds the qualifications to pursue obstruction as his intent. Comey made the point that our country was hacked by the Russians and it is in all our best interests to not let a foreign adversary shape and impact or view of the facts that affect an election and public confidence. So far, Trump has shown zero concern, just as he shows little concern about diplomacy, the truth, being accountable, caring to see how he really is doing and addressing concerns versus all his self praise. The list goes on but this articles assumptive comment that a direct, behind closed doors, request to make something disappear and the threat of being fired and more…is not obstruction, is living in a dream world.

    1. “Comey expressed absolute certainty that Russian officials attempted to meddle with the 2016 presidential election, and that the hack of the Democratic National Committee was a part of this effort. He was also sure that Russian hackers failed to change any votes after they were cast.”

      I guess you heard something that no-one else heard right? Or do not understand that hackers failed to change any votes. Maybe you should look up the word attempted.

      News flash, I’m sure the US tries to meddle in other countries election too.

      “So far, Trump has shown zero concern, just as he shows little concern about diplomacy, the truth, being accountable, caring to see how he really is doing and addressing concerns versus all his self praise”

      So he’s Obama except the media isn’t covering for him right? The one who comes out the worst here is Lynch but that’s ok because she’s on your team.

      Now go sit in the feeble position until Trump is out of office.

    2. Comey made the point that our country was hacked by the Russians

      Yes, in the same way that our country was hacked by Germany, France, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Norway, and numerous other foreign “powers” when they supported people like Obama and Hillary. It’s called “free speech”.

      and it is in all our best interests to not let a foreign adversary shape and impact or view of the facts that affect an election and public confidence

      Comey wants a Minitruth. F*cking totalitarian.

  19. “Comey affirmed that Trump is not under investigation and that there’s no evidence at this time of any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to influence the election results.” — Um, haven’t they had long enough to dig into the accusation already.

    Perhaps that is exactly what Trump ment by “hoped” it would be ended. Are we gonna spend the next 8-years dumping resources into trying to find some evidence on the rumor?

    BTW. Jim Risch is Republican, not Democratic ( R-Idaho ) – not that it matters but I’m pretty sure that’s a mistake.

  20. WOW!

    I would like for Mr. Robert Mueller and the FBI to also investigate how all US Federal legislation such as creating more tax loopholes, more Free Trade Agreements that relocate US jobs to foreign nations, Offshore Banking Laws for Tax avoidance, repeal of the Glass Stegall Act, Solyndra government money “PAY TO PLAY” type loan guarantee giveaways, CGI Federal NO-BID government “PAY TO PLAY” type contracts for many times the amount that other companies would create that software, US Uranium mine titles to Russian Businessmen, granting the Hughes Aircraft Company’s top secret military rocket software export license to Communist China when Communist Chinese rockets would not fly on course, environmental damage limitation laws, and other Federal Government actions that only benefit the various “FOUNDATION DONORS”, the “DONOR CLASS” clients of the Washington lobbyists, and the PACs (foreign and domestic).

    Comey would be a good presidential candidate for POTUS in 2020. Maybe he could “Drain the swamp!’

  21. The guy was fired right after he popped back into the news and started grandstanding about Hillary again, case closed as far as I’m concerned.

  22. Fired FBI Director James Comey would not tell the Senate Intelligence Committee today that President Donald Trump obstructed justice when he said he “hoped” the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would end. But Comey clearly believed the president was trying to influence his decisions.

    So basically, this played out exactly as I expected it to. You’d think libs would start turning on the media with how often they’re getting blue-balled by these hacks.

    Look, if you can’t get a shit-canned Comey to flat-out state, “I believe what President Trump did amounted to obstruction,” while subsequently admitting that Trump isn’t under investigation, then time’s up on this little parade. Ultimately, all Comey’s really demonstrated is that he’s been a big-shot bureaucrat for so long, everything he says can’t help sounding like a passive-aggressive hedge and that he’s unable to take a definitive legal stand on anything. That’s fine for someone who wants to spend their entire career flying under the radar, but not in such a partisanly-charged political environment like this one.

    Trump could have really shot himself in the dick with Comey’s firing, but since there’s nothing specifically damning here, the normies are going to be tired of hearing about it from here on out. If the Dems don’t start focusing on actual policy questions from now on instead of this Russia bullshit, they could be in for a rude shock in 2018.

    1. Trump is/was Comey’s ultimate superior in the executive branch. He could have told Comey to drop anything at any time and been within his Constitutional purview.

      The only possible way Comey could claim that that was a form of obstruction was if Comey had direct knowledge/evidence that what he was being directed to drop was indeed a criminal matter.

      Comey never had that, admitting that he did not see it as obstruction means there was nothing there to begin with.

      It was always a fishing expedition. It will remain one under Mueller as well.

  23. As sis happens, I had lunch in a sports bar yesterday. One of the TVs was tuned to CNN.
    They had a fucking COUNTDOWN (by the second) to Comey’s appearance before Congress! I’m betting they were hoping to begin a countdown to the crowning of the hag right after that.

    1. Pointless Hilary reference-check. Keep ’em coming, Sevo. Tell us how much worse the Gulf Coast magic orb photo-op would have looked if the Shillbot was in it, perhaps?

  24. I can’t quite decide what to make of Mr. Comey. Sometimes he seems too smooth, sometimes I think he’s OK. Ultimately, though, he needs to be viewed through a law enforcement lens, rather than a strictly political one. He has some of that extremely literal personality I tend to associate with LEO. I can barely imagine how uncomfortable all the conversations between Comey and Trump were… Mr. Literal, meet Mr. Deal. With Mr. Deal, you have a guy who clearly doesn’t know how this Washington stuff works, and isn’t used to transparency, while Mr. Literal hasn’t been exposed enough to the Business World, with all it’s bluffing and bullshitting and posturing. Remember that many people voted for Mr. Deal because they wanted to see some business get done in the White House. Finally, I’ve never understood everyone’s confusion over the reason(s) Comey was fired. Since when does there have to be one reason for something. There are often multiple reasons for such things. The reasons given by various people aren’t mutually exclusive or contradictory. They are just different ones.

  25. The President is the CEO of the Federal Government.
    That makes him the “ultimate prosecutor”, and he may utilize “prosecutorial discretion” as such.
    Now, if the Congress has heart-burn over that, they can always take advantage of Art-II/Sec-4 of the Constitution, if they can prove their case.

  26. Are we supposed to find solace that the minority president is merely ignorant and incompetent instead of distinctly venal? Exactly how does this work- sure the president tried to halt an FBI investigation but he didn’t know any better and no one on his staff did either? This man has the power to launch nuclear weapons on his say so. He can take us to war by a single misstep but he is too ignorant to know the FBI is independent? Is anyone else disturbed by this defense?

    1. he is too ignorant to know the FBI is independent

      The FBI is not independent: it is within the jurisdiction of the DOJ, and Trump is its boss.

      The idea that the top federal law enforcement agency could be independent isn’t just wrong, it is totalitarian.

      This man has the power to launch nuclear weapons on his say so. He can take us to war by a single misstep

      Yes, and thank goodness it’s not Hillary and her war boner.

  27. The question is not whether or nohe minority presiden’t action constituted obstruction of justice but of why he wanted the investigation halted in the first place?

    1. but of why he wanted the investigation halted in the first place?

      He didn’t want “the investigation halted”, he wanted Comey to publicly state that there was no investigation because there was no investigation. He also didn’t like Flynn, his friend, being harassed endlessly over something Trump didn’t consider a big deal.

  28. Seminar commenters out in force on this one. All for naught though.

    The President is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. Alan Dershowitz has made that case clear.

    Trump didn’t need to ask Comey to drop anything, he could have simply directed it. That he didn’t do so means he showed at least some deference to Comey’s judgement on the matter.

  29. So wanting something to happen is a crime? Wow, freedom must be really, really dead in the minds of some.

  30. It’s not a tough question at all, because it doesn’t matter: the president can “obstruct” investigations for political reasons if he chooses to. If he wanted to have the issue off the table, he could simply have pardoned Flynn. The check on presidential abuse of power is Congress and impeachment.

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