The leaking of a Comey memo memorializing a request by Trump to give Retired General Michael Flynn a pass on investigation has created quite a firestorm. Some legal pundits and most GOP politicians have given misleading explanations of why Trump’s intervention with the lead investigator was not “obstruction of justice,” and does not rise to an impeachable offense. The explanations range from the usual algorithm of unfolding facts as “fake news … he really didn’t say that … he meant to say something else and he was only joking.” Other misleading explanations include that the FBI investigation is a counter-intelligence investigation (not true as Comey told the nation there was a “criminal investigation of possible collusion”) and the misinterpretation of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” clause in the Constitution.
The fact is that Flynn committed a felony when he gave numerous false statements to an FBI agent, failed to report he was acting as an agent for foreign governments, and probably violated the Logan Act. Trump may have been motivated to avoid the embarrassment of knowingly appointing a man who was a paid agent of Russia and Turkey (a Muslim nation) as his National Security Adviser over the warnings of informed people. (Imagine what Republicans would have done if Obama had hired a man secretly working on behalf of a Muslim nation and gave him access to the most sensitive intelligence!). Or he may have been motivated to cover-up collusion with the Russians. Republicans have been pleading that there is no evidence of Trump Campaign collusion, but that is also obstructing the truth. Brennan testified that he had no knowledge of any evidence of collusion, but as CIA director he had no access to the FBI investigation, and Comey refused to answer the question of evidence. Of course there is lots of evidence – circumstantial evidence, which is often enough to convict in a court of law.
By firing the lead investigator for investigating him, Trump clearly crossed the line from unethical to criminal, and when the Comey memo is produced the evidence of obstruction of justice will be corroborated. This is a scary time for our country. The past week has revealed not only corruption but incompetence in the White House. Still, a persistent 36 percent of Americans still support Trump, and only a handful of Republicans Senators and Congressmen are putting country ahead of their party.
The 36 percent might be understandable, as Trump once bragged those people would still support him even if he murdered someone in broad daylight. But for elected representatives of the people, sworn to defend the Constitution, there really is no excuse for their dereliction of duty. The same crowd that conducted nearly a dozen Benghazi investigations at a cost of hundreds of millions are obstructing their own investigations and moving at a glacial pace, and now are looking the other way as the FBI is being attacked by the President.