President Trump could face impeachment after he “likely obstructed justice” by firing FBI Director James Comey, a left-leaning think tank claims.
The Brookings Institution released its 108-page report Tuesday on whether Trump obstructed justice by firing the veteran lawman.
Trump was within his power to fire Comey on May 9, the analysis found, but might’ve broken some rules if his plan was to get in the way of the investigation into his campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
“Attempts to stop an investigation represent a common form of obstruction,” authors Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen wrote.
“Demanding the loyalty of an individual involved in an investigation, requesting that individual’s help to end the investigation, and then ultimately firing that person to accomplish that goal are the type of acts that have frequently resulted in obstruction convictions.”
After Comey was fired, special counsel Robert Mueller took over the probe on whether members of the Trump campaign worked with Russia to influence the election.
The report doesn’t endorse impeaching Trump, but presents it as an option if Mueller determines the President obstructed justice by firing Comey.
It does, however, allege Trump tried to block the Comey-led probe by firing him.
“There is already evidence that his acts may have been done with an improper intent to prevent the investigation from uncovering damaging information about Trump, his campaign, his family, or his top aides,” the report claims.
Among the evidence cited was an interview Trump gave to NBC News two days after he abruptly fired Comey.
“And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,” Trump said during the May 11 interview.
If Mueller comes to the same conclusion as the report, he can either recommend Congress impeach Trump or push to indict the commander-in-chief.
It cites the impeachments of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton to “show that obstruction, conspiracy, and conviction of a federal crime have previously been considered by Congress to be valid reasons to remove a duly elected president from office.”