Tags: Comey Testimony | Donald Trump | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | fbi | director

WSJ: Lawyers Argue for Trump's Authority to Fire Comey

Image: WSJ: Lawyers Argue for Trump's Authority to Fire Comey
Former FBI Director James Comey (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 31 August 2017 05:52 PM

Lawyers for President Donald Trump have met several times with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller and submitted two memos in June arguing Trump did not obstruct justice in firing James Comey and challenging the former FBI director's fitness as a potential witness, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal reported a June memo argued President Trump had the authority under the Constitution to fire Comey — and, as such, did not obstruct justice in doing so.

In addition, a second communication that month contended Comey, whom Trump dismissed May 9, was "prone to exaggeration, unreliable in congressional testimony, and the source of leaks to the news media," the Journal reported.

Mueller was appointed May 17 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The Russia investigation began in July 2016, with the FBI initially probing whether Moscow was interfering in the presidential election.

It has since expanded to probe whether any Trump campaign associates colluded with the Kremlin and whether the president obstructed justice in dismissing Comey.

President Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has slammed the probe as a "witch hunt."

The White House referred the Journal to Ty Cobb, the president's special counsel.

"We have great respect for the special counsel," Cobb said. "Out of respect for his process we will not be discussing incremental responses."

In addition, John Dowd, who now leads President Trump's outside legal team, said: "I just don't think it's appropriate to discuss my communications with special counsel Mueller.

"Why should I rupture a relationship with the special counsel?"

A Mueller spokesman declined to comment, as did Comey, the Journal reported.

By providing the memos to the special counsel, "the president's lawyers hoped to get a swift conclusion to the obstruction of justice piece of the investigation and, potentially, an exoneration of the president," the sources told the Journal.

Mueller did not respond to either memo, the newspaper reported.

Mueller also gave no indication "he accepted the lawyers' reasoning or has dropped the part of his inquiry that is looking at any obstruction of justice" by Trump.

Mueller has only "communicated . . . a willingness to receive legal submissions from the lawyers," the Journal reported.

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Lawyers for President Donald Trump have met several times with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller and submitted two memos in June arguing Trump did not obstruct justice in firing James Comey, The Wall Street Journal reported.
fbi, director, james comey, robert mueller
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2017-52-31
Thursday, 31 August 2017 05:52 PM
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