With the ‘Russian collusion’ case against the Trump administration all but dead, the mainstream media has shifted their full attention to now building an obstruction of justice case against the White House. As such, CNN hosted Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed in the 90’s to look into various Clinton scandals, including the Vince Foster death and Monica Lewinsky episode, this morning to get his thoughts on the topic.
CNN: “Do you think there is a case there?”
Starr: “It’s too soon to tell. From what I’ve seen — and of course we don’t know a whole lot — the answer is no. But it is going to be investigated and so we will soon know.”
“Obstruction of justice is really a very hard crime to make out. It’s not just you want the investigation to go away, you suggest that the investigation goes away. You’ve got to take really affirmative action and Director Comey said in his testimony that even though the expression was hope, he took it as a directive.”
“But what we know is, he didn’t do anything about it, right? That is that he did not dismiss the investigation or curtail the investigation. There’s an expression of hope, so it becomes an interpretation.”
Of course, the incredulous CNN anchor was simply unwilling to accept that Trump may be innocent of high crimes and pressed further by asking whether Comey would have had to “obey” Trump’s suggestion to drop the Flynn investigation in order to be guilty of obstruction.
Starr: “We’re going to the intent of what is it that the President had in mind? He was expressing, his literal language was ‘hope.’ And, I think that redounds to the benefit of the President. That to me, just the language, is far removed from a directive.”
“My point is, the Director of the FBI then didn’t act on that. He rather just continued as before and reported and memorialized it. But he did not then say, ‘ok, ladies and gentlemen of the FBI, we’re getting rid of this investigation at the direction of the President.”
And, while CNN aired the most ‘convenient’ 10 seconds of Comey’s testimony, they failed to mention the following interaction from earlier in which Comey confirmed under oath that he’d never been asked to end an investigation for political purposes.
He also said that any efforts to do so would be a “big deal.” Therefore, to Ken Starr’s point, if Comey interpreted Trump’s comment on Flynn as a ‘directive’ then shouldn’t that have qualified as “a big deal” that he should have elevated immediately?