The Fallout From Comey Releasing His Prepared Remarks

See previous statements by Left leaning legal scholars ALAN DERSHOWITZ and JONATHAN TURLEY.

Comey’s written testimony clearly shows the former, not the latter.

I find it difficult to understand how legal experts can read former FBI director James Comey’s submitted testimony and conclude that it makes out a case of felony obstruction of an FBI investigation. That contention was ill-conceived before we saw Comey’s testimony (see, e.g., here, here, and here), and it is even weaker now.

Finally, it bears emphasizing that it is not the decision Trump made. He told Comey what he hoped would happen, and why. But he did not order Comey to halt the investigation. Plus, Comey did not halt the investigation; it is continuing to this day. Moreover, Comey acknowledges that Trump was speaking narrowly about Flynn. The president did not ask him to shut down the broader “Russia investigation” — meaning the president was not pretextually lobbying for Flynn in an attempt to make his own potential problems disappear.

You can disagree with Trump’s reasoning. You can conclude that browbeating Comey in this fashion was inappropriate. But this clearly was not obstruction — which is no doubt why then-director Comey did not resign or otherwise treat the matter as if he’d just witnessed a crime.