Payne: Prez Trump May Have Obstructed Justice; the Comey Testimony Down Draft
New Jersey this afternoon reacted to the Washington testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, with U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) drawing a bead on Comey’s charge that President Donald J. Trump lied in his conversation with the lawman.
“The former FBI director testified, under oath, that President Trump lied, requested a pledge of loyalty, and pressured him to drop the bureau’s investigation of the president’s former National Security advisor,” said Payne. “We are potentially looking at obstruction of justice by President Trump—a felony for which Comey believes the president is being investigated. Many questions remain, including whether Comey was fired in an attempt to undermine the Russia investigation. An independent, bipartisan commission must be formed to get to the full truth.”
In response to Comey,’s testimony former federal prosecutor and candidate for New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District Mikie Sherrill issued a statement swatting at U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11).
“Today’s testimony by former FBI Director Comey is a devastating account,” Sherrill said. “As a former federal prosecutor, I am deeply concerned by the actions of President Trump.This is clearly an attempt to obstruct justice. Now, more than ever we need an independent commission to follow this investigation wherever it leads. No one is above the law including our President. Our society only works when we place truth above power. Congressman Frelinghuysen and the Congressional Republicans continue to refuse to hold the President accountable and refuse to seek out the truth on the most fundamental tenets of our democracy by ensuring we have free and fair elections.”
Joe Hayden, a veteran defense attorney, described Comey as an “incredible witness.”
“I was surprised no one seemed to dispute his account of the conversation,” Hayden said. “Even the Republicans showed him a deference. They tried to interpret the conversation [with Trump] but did not suggest that it didn’t occur.”
Still, while Comey delivered severe body blows to Trump, the attorney said it was by no means a knockout.
“This is just the preliminary bout,” Hayden told InsiderNJ. “The main event will be decision making by [Special Prosecutor] Robert Muller as to whether or not criminal charges should be brought against any members of the administration or the president. And let’s not forget that it is an open legal question whether criminal charges can be brought against a sitting president.”
Dr. Brigid Harrison of Montclair University watched the testimony and afterwards spoke to InsiderNJ.
“Comey really did not look like the nut job he’s been portrayed as,” she said.
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