Comey's Revenge Is a Gun Without Powder
James Comey was lying in wait.
His gun was cocked, he took aim and fired. But his weapon was empty.
Three months ago, the then-FBI Director met with President Trump. Following their private conversation, Comey did what he always does –he wrote a memorandum to himself memorializing the conversation. Good lawyers do that routinely.
Now, only after Comey was fired, the memo magically surfaces in an inflammatory New York Times report which alleges that Mr. Trump asked Comey to end the Michael Flynn investigation.
Those who don’t know the first thing about the law immediately began hurling words like “obstruction of justice”, “high crimes and misdemeanors” and “impeachment“. Typically, these people don’t know what they don’t know.
Here is what we do know.
Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States. Failure to do so would result in criminal charges against Comey. (18 USC 4 and 28 USC 1361) He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law.
So, if Comey believed Trump attempted to obstruct justice, did he comply with the law by reporting it to the DOJ? If not, it calls into question whether the events occurred as the Times reported it.
Obstruction requires what’s called “specific intent” to interfere with a criminal case. If Comey concluded, however, that Trump’s language was vague, ambiguous or elliptical, then he has no duty under the law to report it because it does not rise to the level of specific intent. Thus, no crime.