‘Donald Trump Intended to Interfere With the Russia Investigation.’- James Comey’s Planned Testimony
Here’s a serious question: how is intending to interfere with the Russia investigation not obstruction of justice and if it is how is this not grounds for impeachment?
For this is what Comey is going to tell the Senate in his upcoming public testimony.
“James Comey will testify that Donald Trump intended to interfere with the Russia investigation. His testimony will blow up the main defense that Republicans have been using that the President wasn’t trying to interfere with the investigation when he met with former FBI Director.”
“CNN reported, “Former FBI Director James Comey now believes that President Donald Trump was trying to influence his judgment about the Russia probe, a person familiar with his thinking says, but whether that influence amounts to obstruction of justice remains an open question.”
“The political problem is worse for Trump and the Republicans than any potential legal questions. If Trump intended to interfere with the investigation, but his interference doesn’t meet the legal standard for obstruction of justice, it would add fuel to the perception that the President is guilty of abusing his power. If Democrats regain control of all or part of Congress, this behavior alone could trigger a major independent investigation. An investigation could find impeachable offenses.”
As I argued in an earlier post this morning, the odds of Trump being impeached are roughly those of the Dems taking the House in 2018.
It’s tough to see how Trump’s interference doesn’t reach an impeachable offense but Bill Clinton lying about sex did.
“Republicans have defended Trump’s behavior towards others in the past as the President just talking or blowing off steam. One defense attorney laid out the argument that Trump could make against an obstruction of justice charge to Politico, “Did Trump talk like this because he was actually trying to pressure Comey or was he just blowing off steam? ….If you look at the obstruction cases that are brought, they involve coercion, threats and bribes. I don’t think we’re there yet.”
“Going back to the Access Hollywood tape, Republicans have always defended Trump as empty talk, but James Comey will testify that there were intentions behind the President’s conversations, and those intentions may have been criminal.”
“Republicans should brace themselves because James Comey looks ready to blow up one of their last remaining defenses of Trump.”
In other words, Comey doesn’t think Trump was ‘Just blowing up steam using words.’
In other news, Comey warned us about Rod Rosenstein.
“He said one other thing that day that, in retrospect, stands out in my memory: he expressed wariness about the then-still-unconfirmed deputy attorney general nominee, Rod Rosenstein. This surprised me because I had always thought well of Rosenstein and had mentioned his impending confirmation as a good thing. But Comey did not seem enthusiastic. The DOJ does need Senate-confirmed leadership, he agreed, noting that Dana Boente had done a fine job as acting deputy but that having confirmed people to make important decisions was critical. And he agreed with me that Rosenstein had a good reputation as a solid career guy.”
That said, his reservations were palpable. “Rod is a survivor,” he said. And you don’t get to survive that long across administrations without making compromises. “So I have concerns.”
Comey’s concerns are looking more and more legitimate every day.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 19, 2017
Mr. Rosenstein continues to make himself useful to his new bosses. https://t.co/hluuRGFZ9n
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 19, 2017
Making yourself useful to your new bosses is a good way to survive. Meanwhile it’s clear that Rosenstein wasn’t the innocent dupe of Trump on the Comey firing he’s tried to sell himself as.
“Sessions and Rosenstein discussed firing Comey last winter.”
“Rosenstein told lawmakers that he engaged in talks to replace the FBI director far earlier than previously known.”
“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) first discussed removing James Comey as FBI director last winter, even before Sessions was confirmed as attorney general, Rosenstein told lawmakers Friday.”
“Rosenstein made his comments while briefing all House members on his role in last week’s firing of Comey, a day after meeting with senators on the same topic.”
“In one of my first meetings with then-Senator Jeff Sessions last winter, we discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI,” Rosenstein said in his prepared opening statement. “Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the FBI, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks.”
“The discussion raises questions not just about President Donald Trump’s decision to oust Comey, but Sessions’ public statements about Comey’s performance.”
“During the presidential campaign, Sessions criticized the then-FBI director — but for the opposite reasons cited by Rosenstein in a controversial three-page memo laying out the rationale for firing Comey. Sessions said Comey was going too easy on Hillary Clinton, whereas Rosenstein wrote last week that Comey had treated her unfairly in his handling of the FBI’s investigation into her emails.”
“In October, Sessions praised Comey’s decision to alert Congress he was reopening the Clinton email investigation 11 days before the election. “He had an absolute duty, in my opinion, 11 days or not, to come forward with the new information that he has and let the American people know that, too,” Sessions, who was a top Trump campaign surrogate, told Fox Business at the time.”
“That appears to conflict with Rosenstein’s statement to House members on Friday that the two discussed the need to “respect the established authority of the Department of Justice” and “limit public statements.”
Comey has good reasons to not trust Rosenstein and we have good reason to listen to Comey.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.