Last week, after former FBI Director James Comey testified about his meetings with new President Donald Trump, suggesting that Trump asked for his loyalty and to make the Michael Flynn/Russia investigation go away, most people, with the exception of Trump’s most ardent supporters, saw a pretty clear cut case of obstruction of justice by the President.
Trump, of course, took to twitter to strangely proclaim total vindication and accuse Comey of leaking sensitive information, but he couldn’t be more wrong – the case against Trump got stronger, not weaker, from the Comey testimony.
In an ironic twist, after that twitter rant, the President’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, filed a complaint against Comey with the inspector general of the Justice Dept. for leaking the information in his memos.
As the Washington Post reports, that was a very bad idea:
“Initiating an investigation because you don’t like somebody’s testimony could be considered obstruction. And in the whistleblower context, it’s both evidence of retaliation and, under some laws, could be an adverse retaliatory act itself.”
In other words, Comey, here, is an employee who is blowing the whistle, to use the idiom, on his former boss. That boss wants to punish him for doing so. That’s problematic—especially if there’s no evidence that Comey actually violated any law that would trigger punishment.
And here’s a good summary of the entire situation from a report by a GQ reporter:
So, if you’re keeping score at home, Trump tried to get Comey to drop an investigation and pledge loyalty to him. When Comey refused, he was fired. That’s obstruction of justice.
Comey testified to that effect before the Senate and said that he had leaked non-confidential information to the press through a friend, because he felt like it was necessary for there to be a special counsel. Trump saw this testimony and had his lawyer threaten to file a complaint which would start an investigation into Comey, which… drumroll… ITSELF COULD BE CONSIDERED OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.
The number of people that Trump is going to bring down with him seems to be growing by the day.