On Friday, it was announced that former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee sometime after May 29, Memorial Day. And a source close to Comey says the former director will say he believed Donald Trump was indeed trying to meddle in the FBI’s ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The same source also admitted that while such an effort by Trump may have been unusual, it might not rise to the level of obstruction of justice:
“You have to have intent in order to obstruct justice in the criminal sense. Intent is hard to prove.”
Asked on Thursday if he had indeed attempted to shut down the FBI investigation during meetings with Comey, Trump tersely replied:
“No. No. Next question.”
Such statements from the White House seem to contradict what Trump said in an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt. In that interview, the so-called head of state admitted “the Russia thing” had been on his mind when he made the decision to let the FBI Director go.
Contemporaneous memos made by Comey following at least three meetings he had with Trump also indicate that Trump urged the FBI director to “let this go” when he referred to the FBI’s probe of disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, whom Trump allegedly referred to as “a good guy.”
One source with knowledge of Comey’s relationship with Trump said it was strained from the beginning, as Comey tried to let Trump know he was overstepping the bounds of established protocol and should go through the proper channels if he had any questions about the Russia investigation.
Friday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) issued a statement regarding Comey’s upcoming testimony before his committee:
“The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media.”
By the time Comey concludes what he has to say, Donald Trump could be another step closer to impeachment.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org