— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 11, 2017
A fired U.S. Attorney says there is enough evidence to investigate obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.
Said Preet Bharara on Sunday’s episode of This Week:
I think there is absolutely evidence to begin a case. I think it is very important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. It’s also true, I think from based on what I see as a third-party and out of government, that there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction. And this point on whether or not the president has legal authority to fire or to direct an investigation, I don’t really get it. It is a little silly to me.
Bharara said that mere authority to do something doesn’t immunize the President if that action was taken for an illegal reason.
He also said he didn’t know why he was pushed out as U.S. Attorney in March.
This comes after fired FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence on Thursday that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Comey was fired by the president in May, ostensibly for doing a bad job leading the FBI, but this decision sparked criticism and skepticism since the feds were investigating Trump’s campaign for alleged collusion with the Russian government in winning the 2016 election.
Bharara has a fraught history with the POTUS, himself. Appointed by President Barack Obama as head federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, he said Trump asked him to stay on board in the new administration, but then he was suddenly fired after being asked to resign. Now with the New York University School of Law, he has come out as a consistent critic of the President. A brief look at his Twitter page will quickly prove that.
Legal arguments over Trump and obstruction of justice tend to be pretty fraught, and rest over how broadly the relevant statute is interpreted. To learn more, check out this recent legal analysis piece by LawNewz.com Editor-in-Chief Rachel Stockman and Senior Editor Ronn Blitzer, and this interview with George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley.
[Screengrab via ABC]