In the New York Times, author and professor of constitutional law at Florida International University College of Law Elizabeth Price Foley states that President Trump’s alleged statements to Comey do not constitute an obstruction of justice. “Indeed, if they did, virtually every communication between criminal defense lawyers and investigators would be a crime,” she writes:
Section 1510 of Title 18 of the United States Code addresses obstruction of criminal investigations. It is a narrow statute, criminalizing only willful acts “by means of bribery” that have the effect of obstructing the communication of information about crimes to federal investigators. Even assuming Mr. Comey’s memo is accurate, there is no indication that President Trump willfully attempted to bribe the F.B.I. director. As the Supreme Court stated in United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of California, “for bribery there must be a quid pro quo — a specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.”
There is no evidence of a quid pro quo. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Trump intended an implied offer of continued employment in exchange for Mr. Comey’s dismissal of the Flynn investigation, it would be implausible for Mr. Comey to construe it as such. Mr. Comey was aware that he was an at-will employee who could be fired by the president at any time, for any reason. Indeed, when President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in June 2016 — during the height of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s private email server — it would have been similarly implausible for Mr. Comey to construe Mr. Obama’s pro-Clinton remarks as an implicit offer of continued employment, in exchange for dropping the Clinton investigation. Even though Mr. Comey dropped the investigation one month later, he presumably knew that although it would please both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, it would not insulate him from being fired.
THOMAS is an Editor at Conservatives4Palin, and Chairman of the Board for American Grizzlies United. Mr. Schmitz is a Southern California native based in Hollywood. Thomas’ controversial pop culture approach to modern politics delights supporters and offends critics. Mr. Schmitz has been described as, “culturally rebellious”, and a “rebel with a cause”.