Putin offers to give Congress notes of Trump's meeting

Pierre Vaugeois
Mai 18, 2017

But obstruction of justice is a tricky issue both criminally and politically. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a former USA attorney. The Illinois senator said he wants to see Comey's memos and hear his testimony in public. But we have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party is in the White House.

There are multiple obstruction of justice statutes on the books.

"I hope you can let this go", he said, according to the memo.

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who oversaw the investigation into Hillary Clinton's conduct during the Benghazi attack when she was secretary of state, sent a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to release Comey's notes on the conversation when Trump made the request about Flynn.

The list of crises rocking the White House is growing by the day.

"For the president to tell the FBI to end a potential criminal investigation, that's obstruction of justice", said Erwin Chereminsky, a constitutional law professor and dean of University of California, Irvine School of Law.

Longtime Washington defense lawyer Robert Luskin agreed. "But I think we're in impeachment territory now for the first time". The act has to be done corruptly. "You've got to kill him, metaphorically".

Criminally speaking, obstructing justice applies to a variety of scenarios - like threatening a juror, retaliating against a witness, or impeding a grand jury proceeding - and Trump's alleged request would not fit neatly into any of them, legal experts said.

"My view is that there are a lot of pieces coming together", said Peter Zeidenberg, a former public corruption prosecutor. "Any one of these facts in isolation may be problematic but may not be sufficient".

Stock markets that have thus far remained relatively calm sold off Wednesday, as the picture of a tumultuous White House continued to build. Really, if a freshman can refuse to spin for the White House, why can't lawmakers with years of seniority in no danger of losing their seats? A more appropriate solution, Douthat argued, was to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, which allows the president's cabinet to deem him "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office".

Monday night, even before news of the Comey memo broke, a Trump staffer told Daily Beast reporters, "Every time I feel like we're getting a handle on the last Russian Federation fiasco, a new one pops". On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Trump shared classified intelligence with Russian officials visiting Washington, D.C., last week.

"We need to get those notes, if they exist, that director Comey took of this conversation", Schiff added. "He was concerned", said the associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. This was a bombshell in the context of the larger Russian Federation controversy, but also of the law: Some legal scholars are opening up to the idea this constitutes obstruction of justice, while Democrats and some pundits are starting to make noise about impeachment. It is part of a paper trail Comey created documenting what he believed to be improper efforts to influence the investigation.

Fast-forward to today. What does Watergate have to do with the investigation into the Trump administration's potential ties to Russian Federation?

"It's falling out of the trees, the evidence", he said.

Defenders of Trump have been signaling they may attempt to turn the spotlight back on Comey, asking why the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director didn't blow the whistle or quit after the February conversation with Trump. Trump also stirred controversy with a visit from Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the USA on Wednesday, and reversed his White House's story regarding his decision to fire Comey while in an interview with Lester Holt for "NBC Nightly News" Thursday. They might consider that it was the GOP leaders who went to tell Richard Nixon in 1974 that the jig was up, not the dead-enders, who went down in history as patriots. Trump's imminent threat of a staff reshuffle might have prevented West Wing employees from clambering over White House walls, but some have apparently cloistered themselves within their offices, searching for temporary respite.

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