According to Comey’s testimony, did any of the president’s actions rise to the level of obstruction of justice?
McConnell: Trump’s comments about the Flynn investigation are more troubling. A president with more regard for professional decorum would know not to discuss a pending investigation of a political associate behind closed doors with the FBI director.
But if Comey thought the president was committing an obstruction of justice, he was under a legal obligation to inform proper authorities and an ethical obligation to resign. He did not do that, which suggests that the conversations did not cross that line. Instead, Comey asked a “friend” to leak his notes of the confidential conversation to the press. That is worse than anything there is evidence the president has done.
Weisberg: It’s still very hard to say, but the case is stronger than it was yesterday. While Trump said “hope,” in context – and we’d know more if we could see a video! – it could be construed as a threat or an order.
Epstein: No, because a request is not an order, and was not understood as such when made by the president. It seems as though Comey put the worst interpretation on this interaction for the moment. The case here is far weaker than any brought against Hillary Clinton for destruction of documents and lying in an FBI investigation, which look like classical cases of obstruction.