Disgraced former FBI Director James Comey suggested Thursday that President Donald Trump should be charged with obstruction of justice after he departs from office in either 2021 or 2025.
He made the suggestion while speaking at a CNN town hall about special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to neither charge the president with obstruction of justice nor exonerate him of it.
“He was trying, I think, to do something principled and fair. … He said, I can’t indict the president because of Department of Justice policy, and given that it’d be unfair to accuse him of a crime in a document when he can’t vindicate himself through a trial,” Comey initially said.
That was false. Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the start of the month, Attorney General Bill Barr revealed that the special counsel had repeatedly reiterated to him that his decision to not charge Trump wasn’t based on the policy that a sitting president can’t be indicted.
“So what I’ll do is look at it and say, could I say there’s nothing there, [with] which I could clear him?” Comey continued. “But if I can’t say that, I ought to just lay out the facts for a future prosecutor — it’s often overlooked that he says that in the report — so that a judgment can be made after he’s president over whether to charge him, so that the Congress can discharge its duties.”
“The problem is that’s very nuanced and principled in an effort to be fair, that the attorney general distorted with the way he described it, and that confused a lot of people.”
That too was false (Comey appears to have his own habit of misleading people).
For Trump-Russia conspiracy theorists who think this Mueller letter helps them: WP article says Mueller acknowledged Barr was not “inaccurate or misleading,” and that Mueller’s “main worry” was media coverage/public perception of *obstruction*, not the core issue of collusion. pic.twitter.com/vyyqszK303
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 1, 2019
When then asked by CNN host Anderson Cooper whether the president should be charged after he leaves office, Comey replied, “I think the Justice Department will have to take a serious look at that. Whether it’s a wise thing to do to a former president, I don’t know. That’s a harder question, a much bigger question than the facts of the case.”
Asked whether there’s even enough evidence to pursue obstruction of justice charges, Comey said, “Sure looks like it’s there with respect to at least a couple of those episodes of obstruction.”
Plenty of experts disagree with the disgraced former FBI director’s bizarre perspective on Mueller’s Russian collusion and obstruction of justice investigation.
For instance, whereas Comey appears to view Mueller as a “principled” and “fair” prosecutor, others have framed him as more of a cowardly weasel.
“If special counsel Mueller believed there was an obstruction offense, he should have had the courage of his convictions and recommended charging the president,” legal scholar Andrew C. McCarthy opined after the release of the special counsel’s report last month. “Since he wasn’t convinced there was enough evidence to charge, he should have said he wasn’t recommending charges.”
Instead, Mueller punted the matter. But while Comey seems to believe Mueller punted the case so that future DOJ officials can try their hand at convicting the president, others have argued it was all a plot to “[lay] out the grounds for impeachment, not prosecution.”
The true blame is not with AG Barr but Robert Mueller! Andrew McCarthy offers ‘devastating critique’ of Mueller slyly shifting burden of proof on obstruction https://t.co/mK5aiwdKKM
— JG (@hocsoc1946) April 19, 2019
Why? Because there’s not enough evidence to even successfully prosecute the president.
As noted by McCarthy, the information in Mueller’s report makes it clear that “the president could have shut down the investigation but did not; that he could have asserted executive privilege to withhold information from the investigation, but instead made numerous witnesses and well over a million documents available to the special counsel; and that – reportedly according to Mueller – the president sincerely felt frustrated that the investigation was unfairly undermining his presidency.”
“The point is that these facts so cut against the idea of corruptly impeding an investigation that it is inconceivable the prosecutor could prove an obstruction case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Dem’s love to pee into the wind:
“The point is that these facts so cut against the idea of corruptly impeding an investigation that it is inconceivable the prosecutor could prove an obstruction case beyond a reasonable doubt.”@realDonaldTrump #KAG2020https://t.co/tO3AvpplQE
— BobdadQ+ (@Captbobdad) April 18, 2019
Ultimately, there’s simply no there there …
Regarding allegations that Comey and his peers in the administration of former President Barack Obama behaved improperly, on the other hand … there’s seemingly plenty of there there.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is currently on the verge of completing an investigation into the possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama DOJ. Some suspect this investigation will eventually lead to Comey’s own indictment.
“There will be criminal referrals in it,” retired U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova predicted last month. “The FISA court abuse is the center of this entire abuse of governmental power. The chief judge of that court has already ruled that the FBI broke the law and that the people at the head of the Justice Department, Sally Yates, John Carlin, the assistant attorney general all knew about it and lied to the FISA court about it.”
Comey’s critics were quick to posit the same prediction on Twitter following his town hall Thursday.
IG Report. Incoming
— Mark M. (@mmontuori) May 10, 2019
I think Comey is well-aware that cameras will be filming his “perp walk” in the not too distant future..
— IndependentNYC (@Indepen95394726) May 10, 2019
James Comey will be getting charged pretty soon.
— MAGA TEAM 2020 ? (@michael_favreau) May 10, 2019
The department of justice is looking at you, palooka.
— Doris Daylight (@DorisDaylight1) May 10, 2019
Has Comey lawyered up yet?
— erniestacy (@erniestacy) May 10, 2019
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