Donald Trump accused of asking FBI to stop Flynn probe
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 19, 2017,
May 19, 2017, 23:53
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is weighing in on the widening scandal over fired FBI director James Comey's memo, which alleged that President Trump asked him to end the bureau's investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Former President Bill Clinton was impeached on grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice while he was in the White House, but the Senate acquitted him in 1999, which is what happened to then-President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Lindsey O. Graham, R-S.C., who told the press: "I've asked Comey to come before the Judiciary Committee to tell his side of the story".
The explosive new development on Tuesday followed a week of tumult at the White House after Trump fired Comey and then discussed sensitive national security information about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Comey wrote the memo after he met in the Oval Office with Trump, the day after the Republican president fired Flynn on February 14 for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his conversations past year with Russia's ambassador, Sergei Kislyak. The Flynn investigation was part of a broader probe into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.
The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have been conducting their own investigations, which have included public and private hearings, dozens of interviews, and many requests for documents. In fact, Trump voters are much more likely to say he has exceeded their expectations than say he has disappointed them - by a lot.
The group has pursued lawsuits against Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by continuing to take foreign payments as president. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Trump intended an implied offer of continued employment in exchange for Mr. Comey's dismissal of the Flynn investigation, it would be implausible for Mr. Comey to construe it as such.
The associate who described the memo said Comey is willing to testify but wants to do it in public to ensure a full airing of events.
Of course, being familiar with the president's broad powers and discretion when it comes to hiring, firing, and directing federal workers hasn't stopped other liberal hacks from throwing around the "I" word.
But even if one adopted an unprecedentedly broad conception of bribery, Mr. Trump's purported statement still would not violate Section 1510.
"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go". Angry over the steady stream of leaks from within his administration, he suggested that Comey jail journalists for publishing classified information and expressed his hope that the FBI director would drop the ongoing investigation into Flynn. The west MI libertarian never endorsed Trump and was a driving force in rejecting an early version of a health care reform bill, a move that led to discussions of his being potentially targeted for defeat next year by the White House.
Responding to a reporter's question, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash agreed Wednesday that President Donald Trump could face impeachment proceedings if allegations that he urged the former FBI director to drop an investigation prove true.
The White House vigorously denied it all.
No, James Comey's memo doesn't prove anything in and of itself.
"The memo is powerful evidence of obstruction of justice and certainly merits immediate and prompt investigation by an independent special prosecutor", he said.