Former FBI director James Comey’s scathing testimony has boosted the case for obstruction of justice charges against President Donald Trump, legal experts say.
But more evidence is needed to prove that the president attempted to stymie the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which has several Trump campaign aides in its crosshairs.
With stronger evidence, Trump could face the same sort of criminal allegations that forced president Richard Nixon to resign in 1973, and saw Bill Clinton impeached by the House of Representatives but survive a Senate trial in 1998-99.
Legal analysts assume that former FBI director Robert Mueller, the independent special counsel in charge of the Russia probe, has now branched out to see whether Trump has interfered in any illegal way.
Comey’s testimony Thursday to the Senate Intelligence Committee was “a pretty powerful statement” in support of an obstruction investigation, said Harvard University law professor Mark Tushnet, a legal history expert.
What Comey said about his private February meeting with Trump, and Trump’s firing of him on May 9, “gives good reason for the special prosecutor to be pretty aggressive.”
On Friday an angry Trump said Comey “lied” and that he was “100 percent” prepared to be interviewed by Mueller in any probe.