Former U.S. Attorney and Trump fire-ee, Preet Bharara told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning that Donald Trump is not immunized from criminal responsibility because of his ability to fire somebody from his or her government office:
BHARARA: I think there’s absolutely evidence to begin a case. 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. It’s also true I think from based on what I see as a third party and out of government that there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.
And this point on whether or not the president has legal authority to fire or to direct an investigation, I don’t really get it. It’s a little silly to me. The fact that you have authority to remove someone from office doesn’t automatically immunize that act from criminal responsibility.
And I’ll give you an example of something from a different context. If it were to be true, and this is all made up for the sake of argument, if it were to be true that Michael Flynn offered a million dollars to Donald Trump and said I’m going to give you this million dollars and I’m giving it to you because I want you to fire Jim Comey and then Donald Trump fired Jim Comey, which everyone agrees he has the absolute authorization and authority to do, that would be an open and shut federal criminal case. It’s a quid pro quo and he be could charged (inaudible) president of the United States.
And just Friday California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote a scathing letter to Senator Chuck Grassley laying out a long game obstruction of justice investigation plan. The full text is at this link.
Here’s what PoliticusUSA said about the Feinstein bombshell:
Quoting Trump’s “loyalty” line and referencing the conversation between former NSA director Michael Flynn and Comey, Feinstein sets up a fantastic argument for a large-scale look at the obstruction of justice that Trump has committed and continues to commit on a daily basis. Trump is not under oath but continues to disagree with what trustworthy private citizen James Comey said under oath in his hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Feinstein laid out an order of operations to aid in the investigation. She requested that each issue being investigated must be “developed by our legal staff, presented to us, and be subject to full committee hearings.” Feinstein then silenced anyone who opposed her by describing why it is the Judiciary Committee’s issue. She writes in her letter that the “termination of the FBI Director and any efforts to interfere with the independence of ongoing investigations — fall squarely in the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee” and therefore deserve an investigation by the Committee.
Donald Trump is about to get one hell of a schooling in how adult professional men and women in government do their jobs. It should be quite entertaining.