What is Obstruction of Justice? According to 18 U.S.C. § 1503, “whoever . . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense).”
In light of James Comey’s prepared remarks (which can be found here: https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-jcomey-060817.pdf) we need to evaluate whether President Trump has committed the aforementioned offense.
1. “Whoever corruptly or by threats or force” — this indicates that force or threat of force is not necessary for one to be guilty of Obstruction of Justice. It is enough to be acting corruptly.
2. “by any threatening letter or communication” — This indicates the offense does not need to be in writing but can be verbally or by direct action.
3. “influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be (guilty of an offense).” — Indicates that it is not necessary for the crime to be successful, but rather, the attempt to obstruct justice is sufficient for conviction.
Information we have received from the Comey statement:
Second Meeting (page 3):
Second Meeting (page 4):
Through this we see a specific aim voiced – to “let Flynn go”. In every aspect of the definition of Obstruction of Justice, this fits. This statement alone is a clear instance of the aforementioned crime.
Final Meeting (page 7):
This is a clear request for the Director to have acted to benefit Trump in the middle of the investigation. This was his final conversation with the President before being terminated on May 9, 2017.
Based on the prepared testimony and before we have the opportunity to hear what other issues will be brought to light tomorrow, it is clear that President Trump at least committed Obstruction of Justice in relation to the Michael Flynn case. He also appears to have attempted to influence justice on his own behalf on at least two separate occasions listed by Director Comey. For this reason, we must begin impeachment proceedings.
“It is almost always the cover up rather than the event that causes trouble.” – Howard Baker
Micah Crittenden is a writer for American Research and is also on twitter at @thatgingerish