President Trump may have just dug himself into an even deeper hole in the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.
According to NBC News, Trump not only talked to former FBI Director James Comey about dropping the inquiry into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but he also asked both Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny that there was any collusion between himself and Russian government officials.
.@HardballChris just reported that NBC News has confirmed that Trump asked DNI Coats, NSA Dir. Rogers to push back on FBI collusion probe.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 22, 2017
This prompted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, to tweet that if true, the claims would be further evidence that President Trump attempted to deliberately obstruct an ongoing investigation concerning his campaign, which is a felony.
If latest reports are true, the specter of possible obstruction has grown larger and more troubling. Congress will need to find out. https://t.co/7krSFROnyM
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 22, 2017
18 U.S. Code § 1505 stipulates that “obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees” is a federal crime, and the statute itself leaves a lot of leeway for prosecutors to levy the charge, as the code doesn’t limit the charge to means of communication or any specific agency or committee (emphasis ours):
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 and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years…
Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, after consulting with former FBI Director and newly appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.
Tom Cahill is a senior editor for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.