The political world was rocked by allegations that President Trump allegedly asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop the investigation of Michael Flynn. If true, it remains to be seen if this is truly obstruction of justice. After all, telling someone he ‘hopes he will let it go’ is far from impeding an investigation.
And Comey should hope that Trump is cleared. Because if he doesn’t, Comey may and should be prosecuted. As Fox News’ Greg Jarrett points out:
“Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States. Failure to do so would result in criminal charges against Comey. (18 USC 4 and 28 USC 1361) He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law.
“So, if Comey believed Trump attempted to obstruct justice, did he comply with the law by reporting it to the DOJ? If not, it calls into question whether the events occurred as the Times reported it.”
But Comey could be out of the woods if Trump did nothing wrong and Comey believed there was no harmful intent on the part of the president:
“Obstruction requires what’s called “specific intent” to interfere with a criminal case. If Comey concluded, however, that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he has no duty under the law to report it because it does not rise to the level of specific intent. Thus, no crime.
“There is no evidence Comey ever alerted officials at the Justice Department, as he is duty-bound to do. Surely if he had, that incriminating information would have made its way to the public either by an indictment or, more likely, an investigation that could hardly be kept confidential in the intervening months.”
And this is a lose-lose situation for Comey:
“Comey will soon testify before Congress about this and other matters. His memo will likely be produced pursuant to a subpoena. The words and the context will matter.
“But by writing a memo, Comey has put himself in a box. If he now accuses the President of obstruction, he places himself in legal jeopardy for failing to promptly and properly report it. If he says it was merely an uncomfortable conversation, he clears the president of wrongdoing and sullies his own image as a guy who attempted to smear the man who fired him.
“Either way, James Comey comes out a loser. No matter. The media will hail him a hero.
“After all, he gave them a good story that was better than the truth.”
But the real losers in this story? The American people. While the media is wasting time peddling false stories and attacking the credibility of the Administration, nothing is getting done. Obamacare is still in place, there is no tax reform, illegal immigration has not been adequately addressed, and other major reforms are at a standstill. The midterm elections will be here before we know it and Democrats are assured to gain seats, because historically that happens almost every time. And the GOP will have wasted the biggest opportunity they’ve had in decades. An opportunity they probably won’t get again for a long time, if ever.