House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said the one thing that should terrify Trump after Comey’s testimony. Schiff said that Comey’s testimony provided evidence that Trump intended to interfere with or obstruct the Russia investigation.
In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Schiff said:
Today, former FBI Director James Comey testified that the President of the United States demanded his loyalty, and directed him to drop a criminal investigation into his former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. Director Comey further testified that he believes President Trump ultimately fired him in order to alter the course of the FBI’s Russia investigation. It is difficult to overstate the significance of this testimony.
These discussions and others took place in one-on-one telephone conversions and meetings initiated by the President, or after the President cleared the room of other people. Director Comey wrote memoranda about his conversations with President Trump because he was worried that the President and his Administration would misrepresent them.
In my view, this testimony constitutes evidence of an intention to interfere or potentially obstruct at least a portion of the Russia investigation, if not more. It will be important for Congress to obtain evidence to corroborate this testimony — the memoranda, certainly, as well as any tapes, if they exist. We should also interview those around Director Comey at the time of these contacts, to get their contemporaneous impressions of his conversations with the President and to supplement his testimony. Finally, we cannot accept the refusal of Directors Rogers and Coats to answer questions about whether they were asked to intervene with Comey on the Flynn case or any related matter. Similarly, we will need to ask Director Pompeo the same questions. These additional steps are vital to determining the ultimate significance of the President’s actions.
When a former prosecutor who is also the ranking member on one of the Congressional committees says that Comey provided evidence of an intention to interfere with or obstruct the Russia investigation, that should scare Trump. The fact that the conversation has shifted from did Trump commit a crime to did Trump obstruct justice demonstrates exactly how bad today was for the White House.
No matter how Republicans want to spin it, the investigation took a big step forward, and if Adam Schiff is throwing around words like evidence and obstruction, Donald Trump has a world of problems.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association