Dianne Feinstein: We're Building a Case for Obstruction of Justice

07 Décembre, 2017, 01:35 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • US President Donald Trump applauds during a rally for Sen. Luther Strange at the Von Braun Civic Center

Dowd says he drafted this weekend's Trump tweet that many thought strengthened the case for obstruction: The tweet suggested Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when he was sacked, raising new questions about the later firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Feinstein had told Meet the Press on Sunday that the Senate's investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in last year's presidential election has revealed possible obstruction on the part of President Donald Trump.

Dershowitz said a president can not be charged with obstruction for merely exercising his constitutional authority.

Dershowitz appeared on "Fox and Friends" to say Trump had every right to tell then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"The Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well and it involves obstruction of justice and I think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice", she said. In other words, if Flynn is a liar, who is to say he would not be lying if he took a deal from the special counsel in exchange for testifying against others, such as Trump or his son-in-law?

However, if Trump did it for a corrupt goal - such as trying to protect himself or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, from what Flynn might say - then it is obstruction and there is no presidential immunity, Napolitano said. "That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion".

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Dershowitz cited past administrations to clarify what does and what does not constitute obstruction of justice. Trump did ask Comey at one point if Flynn could get let off the hook because "he's a good guy", according to testimony from Comey himself. That's obstruction of justice. If Comey had considered it an attempt to obstruct justice, he would have been required to inform Attorney General Jeff Sessions or ADA Rod Rosenstein, an action he never took.

Of course, impeachment and removal are political processes, so Congress has to decide what crosses the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors" for itself.

Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she didn't know whether collusion had taken place between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, "but what we do know is there were conversations during the transition period".

Dershowitz actually saw the fact that Trump had not pardoned Flynn as a strong argument against Trump having committed obstruction of justice.

He argued that the president has full constitutional authority to fire the FBI director, as well as to direct investigations at the Justice Department.

He concluded by saying that an "obstruction" case against President Trump would be both unprecedented and unsafe for the country. The proper venue for accountability in this case is with the voters.

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