As Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation of possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, three legal experts now say that President Trump’s actions in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey prove Trump has already obstructed justice, an impeachable offense.
Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder, and Norm Eisen have just written a paper which has been published by the Brookings Institution, and in it, the three assert that Trump fired Comey to stave off the FBI probe of Russian interference in the presidential election. They write:
“President Trump’s behavior is certainly suggestive of corrupt intent with respect to the Russia and (Michael) Flynn investigations. For example, President Trump has articulated multiple, shifting rationales for Comey’s firing. The first explanation for terminating Comey, as articulated by the president in a May 10 tweet and in the Rosenstein memo, was that Comey had mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email, and had lost the confidence of his subordinates. Soon thereafter, President Trump reversed course and said… that the Russia investigation was on his mind when he made the decision to fire Comey.”
Citing Trump’s demands that Comey pledge his loyalty to him, along with the president’s request that the FBI drop its investigation of disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the three authors suggest Trump had strong motivations behind his attempt to obstruct justice:
“Attempts to stop an investigation represent a common form of obstruction. Demanding the loyalty of an individual involved in an investigation, requesting that individual’s help to end the investigation, and then ultimately firing that person to accomplish that goal are the type of acts that have frequently resulted in obstruction convictions. In addition, to the extent conduct could be characterized as threatening,intimidating, or corruptly persuading witnesses, that too may provide additional grounds for obstruction charges.”
As for what will happen when Mueller completes his investigation, the writers suggest an ending which is anything but favorable for Trump:
“Special Counsel Mueller will have several options when his investigation is complete. He could refer the case to Congress, most likely by asking the grand jury and the court supervising it to transmit a report to the House Judiciary Committee.”
With each passing day, it appears increasingly unlikely that Donald Trump will serve out his term in office.
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