Former FBI chief James Comey's description of President Donald Trump's alleged attempts to kill an FBI probe into Russia veer toward an obstruction of justice, says an ex-Justice Department official, who served as counsel to Watergate's special prosecutors.
"Any experienced prosecutor would see these facts as establishing a prima facie case of obstruction of justice," Philip Allen Lacovara wrote in an opinion piece in Thursday's The Washington Post.
Lacovara said Comey has laid out "a case against the president that consists of a tidy pattern, beginning with the demand for loyalty" and "the threat to terminate Comey's job."
Comey outlined "repeated requests to turn off the investigation into [National Security Adviser Mike] Flynn and the final infliction of career punishment for failing to succumb to the president's requests, all followed by the president's own concession about his motive," Lacovara said.
He added: "This kind of presidential intervention in a pending criminal investigation has not been seen, to my knowledge, since the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate."
In seven pages of written testimony made public Wednesday, Comey outlined how Trump sought his loyalty and an end to the investigation into Flynn.
Comey is testifying Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating possible ties between Trump campaign officials and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
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