Tags: Comey Testimony | Donald Trump | Russia Probe | preet bharara | evidence | obstruction | justice

Bharara on Obstruction: 'Absolutely' Is Evidence to Open Case

Sunday, 11 Jun 2017 11:07 AM

There is "absolutely evidence" to begin an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump following fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Sunday, but nobody knows yet if the case can be proven.

"I think it's 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," Bharara, who also was fired by Trump, told ABC's "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos. "It's also true...that there's no basis to say there's no obstruction."

Bharara also said during the interview that there is sworn testimony that "on at least one occasion, the president of the United States, cleared the room of his vice president and his attorney general and told his director of the FBI that he should essentially drop the case against his former national security advisor, and whether or not that is impeachable or that's indictable, that's a very serious thing."

Many people do not know the standards upon which something is a crime or not, the former prosecutor continued, "but whether or not it can be charged as a crime or Congress will impeach, it's a very serious thing, and there's a lot to be frightened about and a lot to be outraged about."

It's serious, he continued, as Trump has continued to deny Comey's accusations, but he has not denied them under oath.

"He seems to suggest that even if he had done it, there's nothing wrong with that," said Bharara.

"Others seem to be excusing it. It's an incredibly serious thing if people think the president of the United States can tell heads of law enforcement agencies based on his own whim or his own personal preferences or friendships that they should or should not pursue particular criminal cases against individuals."

Further, Bharara said he does not believe the Trump/Comey conversations fall under executive privilege laws, or that Comey broke the law when he leaked information about them through a friend to The New York Times.

Bharara also said he thinks Comey told the truth under oath while testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.

"He has a reputation for probity and telling the truth," said Bharara. "[He is] someone who has contemptuous notes of what happened in these meetings and conversations. On the other hand, I think a lot of people will tell you that the president himself sometimes makes accusations that turn out not to be true."

When it comes down to who tells the truth and who does, not, Bharara said, "most people would side reasonably with james Comey."

Trump tweeted Sunday that he believes there will be more Comey leaks, and Bharara compared that to other accusations the president has made "in an unsubstantiated way," including accusations that former President Barack Obama "wiretapped" his Trump Tower offices.

"He suggested on at least one occasion that maybe he had recorded conversations and refuses to answer questions about whether or not that is true," said Bharara. "I think the point is, that accusations made in the heat of the moment in 140 characters on Twitter based on the track record and history are not to be taken seriously."

As for his own issues with Trump, Bharara said he does not, to this day, know why the president fired him.

"You know, it doesn't bother me," he told Stephanopoulos. "I'm living a great good life very happily but I have no idea."

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There is "absolutely evidence" to begin an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump following fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Sunday, but nobody knows yet if the case can be proven."I think it's very...
preet bharara, evidence, obstruction, justice, trump
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2017-07-11
Sunday, 11 Jun 2017 11:07 AM
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