House Dems To Trump: Don’t F*ck With Us On Comey Testimony | THE POLITICUS

House Dems To Trump: Don’t F*ck With Us On Comey Testimony

On June 8th, former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Given the talk of obstruction of justice after Comey said publicly that Donald Trump asked him to “back off” the FBI’s investigation of General Michael Flynn, the testimony is likely to be the most explosive yet in the saga of Trump’s nascent presidency.

On Friday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer was cornered by a question from a reporter during his press briefing: Would the president attempt to invoke executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying? Spicer was noncommittal:

I think, obviously, it’s gotta be reviewed…I have not spoken to counsel yet. I don’t know how they’re going to respond.”

Okay, but that’s not a definitive “no,” and seven Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee were having none of it.

Friday afternoon, ranking Democrat John Conyers along with his colleagues sent a letter to chief White House Counsel Don McGahn. They warned the Trump administration that invoking privilege in this instance would not only likely not hold up in court, but would make them look even more guilty — as if that were possible.

Conyers laid out the circumstances in which it is possible for a president to claim privilege: The “deliberative process privilege,” which protects sensitive information prior to a judicial decision, and the “presidential communications privilege,” a broader interpretation of the power of the office regarding high-level conversations. The letter details how neither instance applies here, not least because Trump has already publicly discussed his conversations with Comey. This likely waives his right to invoke privilege altogether.

That doesn’t mean Trump won’t try, however. In case he does, Conyers and his allies on the Judiciary made it clear:

In short, use of executive privilege to block Mr. Comey’s testimony would be a mistake. We caution you that it would fail on the merits. We also warn you that the public would likely — and perhaps rightly — view the decision as additional evidence of obstruction of justice.”

John Conyers is the longest serving current member of Congress. Trump would do well to listen.


Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images

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