While Comey memo could be key, any Trump prosecution tricky

But criminal charges of interfering with an investigation are hard in ordinary circumstances, several former federal prosecutors cautioned Wednesday, a day after word of the existence of the memo broke.

While the White House immediately denied Trump had said anything like what he is accused of saying, comparisons were quickly drawn between what Comey's memo said Trump had done and President Richard Nixon's near impeachment for obstruction of justice (among other articles). Obstruction of justice can involve any effort to impede a federal criminal investigation, though actual intent behind any such action must be considered.

FILE- In this May 3, 2017, file photo, FBI Director James Comey listens on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who has spent 18 years in Congress and chairs an appropriations subcommittee, told reporters in the Capitol that he wanted an independent commission to probe the links between Trump and Russian Federation and that Comey ought to testify before Congress in short order.

The FBI's investigation of Russian interference into our election continues.

The political process "will grind to a halt" if Congress does not act soon to have fired FBI Director James Comey testify about U.S. President Donald Trump's alleged interference in the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, said Sen. "This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey".

"I don't mean to be cute about this, but if the president comes up and says, 'You know that investigation you're doing into Flynn?" "It's not a two-foot putt, but is it a viable prosecution?"

Whether a sitting president can be indicted for a crime is a question that is not answered by either the Constitution or by Supreme Court cases, but many legal scholars believe impeachment is the only way to hold a president accountable for misconduct.

According to the Times, Comey wrote in the February memo that Trump told him Flynn had done nothing wrong. "It's a disputed constitutional issue". In fact, when Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was testifying last week he said there has been no interfering or obstruction of the investigation whatsoever.

Even if possible, a criminal prosecution would have its hurdles. "But when you add them all up, you have a very plausible obstruction of justice case, I think".

Asked why officials who were present informed the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency about what the President said, Mr McMaster said that such a notice would have been done out of an "over-abundance of caution".

Proving Trump's mental state would be a tall task, but prosecutors could have some clues.

Flynn left his post in February after media reports that he misled the vice president about his contacts with Russian Federation. And in firing Comey, Trump claimed the FBI director told him three times he was not under investigation, which could be a sign that they were repeatedly having such conversations, said Daniel Petalas, a defense attorney who formerly worked in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section.

I also didn't hear back from former attorney general and retired federal judge Michael Mukasey, who has publicly defended the president on many occasions.

The meetings come more than a week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. "Mr. Comey also needs to testify in open session ASAP". ("I hope you can let this go, " Trump said.) That shook loose Sen. Yates was sacked soon after because, the White House said, she refused to defend the president's travel ban in court.

"If in fact what was in the memo is true, it's very concerning, and we need to get to the bottom of that", Republican Adam Kinzinger, a member of the House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee, said on CNN. The House can vote to impeach a president, and then the Senate would conduct a "trial" to determine if the president is guilty and therefore removed from office.

Days before he left office, Clinton reached a deal with independent counsel Robert Ray that spared Clinton possible indictment after leaving office.

A Reuters reporter asked White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Wednesday if the president planned to hire his own lawyer.

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