Was It Obstruction?

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DDFrom the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearings, several questions emerge about the obstruction of justice by the US President.

The key question: was it the responsibility of the FBI director to warn the President that his “hope” (whether an order, suggestion or wish) was dangerously close to obstruction of justice?

The more important question: by his statements before and after Comey’s firing, some of which rely on Comey’s memory and notes which the White House only disputes not their accuracy but their interpretation, did the President attempt to obstruct justice?

Yes! The key point is not found in Comey’s witness, but in the President’s conversations in the Oval Office the day after the firing, in his meeting with Russia’s ambassador and foreign minister. He describes Comey as a “nut job” (What head of state disparages his officials to officials of other nations, esp. adversaries? But his penchant for hyperbole and his perseverating libel is not obstruction.), Then Trump’s words reveal his intent and tell his purpose: shifting from blame and libel, he says, as read from the transcript of the meeting: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

His conclusion was wrong—as so many of his conclusions are wrong, counter-productive, ill-advised—but his intent and purpose is clear and plainly stated to the Russians: the “pressure” “is off.” Thinking he had disrupted the investigation—obstructed justice!—by the firing comports with Trump’s history of shady ethics, disdain for the law, his embrace and need for fights and power. His insecurity forces him to tell on himself. When he is roundly condemned, he acts out the role of the hero-as-the-victim. He may be Vlad’s hero, but he is the enemy of the American people. He is destroying America’s standing and common interests out of the fears of his own devils.

So far, the Republican locker room refuses to impeach.