obstruction of justice

  • October 12, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Barry H. Berke, co-chair, Litigation Department, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Noah Bookbinder, executive director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; and Norman Eisen, Senior Fellow - Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution

    *This piece was originally published by The Brookings Institution.

    There are significant questions as to whether President Trump obstructed justice since taking office. We do not yet know all the relevant facts, and any final determination must await further investigation, including by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But as we demonstrate in a new paper, “Presidential obstruction of justice: The case of Donald J. Trump,” the public record contains substantial evidence that President Trump attempted to obstruct the investigations into Michael Flynn and Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election through various actions, including the termination of James Comey.

  • June 7, 2017

    by Dan Froomkin

    At your dinner with President Trump on Jan. 27, did he ask you to pledge your loyalty to him? How did he phrase it? How did you interpret that request? Did he clarify? Did he ask you anything about the ongoing investigation into Russian interference with the election? Did he ask you if he or any of his campaign aides were under investigation? Did you feel like this was a job interview, with your job at stake?

    Your Feb. 14 meeting with Trump took place just a day after Michael Flynn was forced out his job as national security adviser for having lied about his contacts with Russian officials. According to media reports, you recall Trump telling you: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Did you interpret that as a request to end your investigation? Why? Did you feel like your job was at stake?

    Trump fired you on May 9. One day earlier, Sally Yates, who he had earlier fired as acting attorney general, made the first public indication that the FBI's counterintelligence investigation had in fact uncovered evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. (Asked to rule it out at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, she said instead: "My answer to that question would require me to reveal classified information.") Did you interpret your firing as an attempt to end the investigation, or punish you for not having stopped it? Why?

    These are just some of the essential questions members of the Senate Intelligence Committee need to ask former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday – unless, having already seen the memos he used to memorialize the conversations he had with Trump, they have even better ones.

    But these questions go directly to whether Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice.