House Intelligence Committee Co-Chairman Adam Schiff said Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey's statement "in combination with other actions" could "amount to obstruction" by President Donald Trump over the agency's probe into Michael Flynn's alleged Russia ties.
"It's certainly an effort to interfere in the investigation," the California Democrat told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "The context is very important."
Schiff noted that Comey's Jan. 27 dinner meeting, where he said Trump asked for a loyalty pledge, came the day after former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House about Flynn's Moscow activities — and that the Feb. 14 session came the day after the president fired Flynn as national security adviser.
"Those are not coincidences in my view," Schiff told Blitzer. "The fact that the president effectively cleared the room of other people when he had these conversations I think goes to the president's intent."
Comey's prepared remarks, to be delivered Thursday in open session before the Senate Intelligence Committee, discusses two in-person meetings with Trump and two private telephone calls.
The House Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, also of California, is conducting its own Moscow investigation.
Schiff also noted that the standards are high for proving whether Trump committed obstruction of justice — and likewise for any question of impeachment.
"The more compelling question here when the conduct involves the president of the United States, not an average person that could be brought up on [criminal] charges, is does that conduct warrant the extraordinary remedy of removal from the highest office in the land?"
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