Legal Expert – Comey Suggests Trump Can’t Be Charged With Obstruction – EVER

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Legal Expert – Comey Suggests Trump Can’t Be Charged With Obstruction – EVER
By Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In a little noticed answer, former FBI Director James Comey suggested that president Donald Trump could not be guilty of the crime of obstruction of justice – even if he had ordered rather than simply suggested an end to the investigation – because he has the authority under the Constitution to terminate it in at least two ways, argues public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

In response to questions from Senator James Lankford R-OK), Comey conceded the Trump, as president, “has the legal authority” to terminate any investigation by issuing a “direct order” “through the attorney general or issue it directly to me.” So it’s hard to see how doing something, indirectly by hints or suggestions, rather than directly through a clear order, could be a crime for the President.

Numerous experts have tried to compare Trump’s efforts to end the FBI’s investigation with the words of the federal criminal obstruction statute to see if what is already known – and what came to light in today’s hearing – might fall within its statutory definition.

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