Trump won't say if conversations with Comey were taped

President Trump's private attorney incorrectly described the timeline of reporting while criticizing former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony Thursday.

"I found him to be credible, candid and thorough", Collins said of Comey on MSNBC's "Morning Joe".

"Depending on which camp you're in, you could say that Comey totally condemned President Trump today, or you could say the president was exonerated by Comey", commentator Dana Perino said on Fox News Channel. But he nearly certainly would avail himself as a witness to Mueller in any obstruction of justice investigation centered on his firing, or to further discuss requests he received from Trump that he interpreted as directives. He makes a point of elaborately explaining his actions as by-the-book law enforcement.

Trump fired him. Because Trump didn't invoke executive privilege, there was nothing legally preventing Comey from discussing them in his prepared testimony. It does not matter whether the person succeeds in impeding an investigation. Many lawyers contend the president is therefore immune from prosecution. Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be impeached.

While a sitting President is unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.

However, impeachment is a political process that is now viewed as highly unlikely given Trump's fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress. Neither was convicted by the Senate. In a phone interview on Thursday, she said what people across the country are picking up on is a troubling, inherent facet of Trump's masculinity. Their effort has gained little traction in Congress and even many Democratic members say the effort is premature.

By forgoing the opportunity to read his damning prepared testimony into the record, Comey unleashed a series of punches.

He also offered a blunt assessment Friday of Comey's testimony before the Senate intelligence panel.

"Asking others to leave the room could suggest the president was aware that there was something wrong with what he was doing", said Andrew Wright, a professor of constitutional law at Savannah Law School.

Tapes could resolve the dispute, but Trump against refused to say whether they exist, telling reporters he would do so "maybe sometime in the very near future".

As for the timing of his recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did. "He wanted to scuttle the investigation - it is hard to see it any other way", she said.

President Trump greets James Comey, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, during a reception at the White House in January.

At a private White House dinner on January 27, just days after the billionaire took office, Comey said Trump appeared to want to "create some sort of patronage relationship" with him.

Why might Trump's conduct fall short of obstruction?

What does Comey's testimony mean for the Russian Federation probe? That was the case when Comey talked about Trump's discussion with him about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

US President Donald Trump is accusing Qatar of funding terrorism at a "very high level".

"This hearing may have hurt the president's feelings but it doesn't hurt his legal case", he said.

  • Larry Hoffman