Thursday, June 8, 2017

ABC: Comey Clears Trump

ABC News analyzes James Comey's released-in-advance opening statement to the Congressional committee before which he will testafy later today. Their conclusions are plain:
Comey says the Trump encounters -- nine one-on-ones over four months -- were uncomfortable, but not impactful. The investigations continued unimpeded. The conversations may have been highly unusual, if not grossly inappropriate, but not necessarily illegal.

Comey even reveals for the first time that Trump encouraged him in private to continue the FBI investigation into his associates: "The president went on to say that if there were some 'satellite' associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out."

Some members of Congress see in Mueller's blessing of Comey's testimony an all-clear for Trump. "In the mind of special counselor Mueller, there is no case to be made," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) –- a frequent Trump critic -- on Fox News tonight. "If he felt like he had a case, he wouldn't let his chief and only witness go out in public and get beat up."

"This is the best evidence yet that in the mind of the special counsel there is no obstruction of justice case to be made against President Trump," he added.
We'll know more following Comey's testimony later today. Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for the link.

Later ... law school professor Jonathan Turley looks at the evidence and the Comey statement for USA Today and reaches the same conclusion, in a more lawyerly way.