Trump was feeling remorse over Flynn. What he told Comey, in substance, was that Flynn had been through enough. A combat veteran who had served the country with distinction for over 30 years, and who had not done anything wrong by speaking with the Russian ambassador as part of the Trump transition, Flynn had just been cashiered in humiliating fashion. The one who had done the cashiering was Trump, and he was still upset about it.Read more here.
That, obviously, is why he lobbied Comey on Flynn’s behalf. And as I have pointed out before, it was an exercise in weighing the merits of further investigation and prosecution that FBI agents and federal prosecutors do hundreds of times a day, throughout the country. That matters because, as their superior and as the constitutional official whose power these subordinates exercise, Trump has as much authority to do this weighing as did Comey — who worked for Trump, not the other way around.
The thing to notice, though, was that Trump never did it again. After Comey’s description of this February 14 encounter, the word “Flynn” never appears again in Comey’s written testimony. This appears to be the one and only time that Trump advocated on Flynn’s behalf. If Trump was obstructing an investigation, he was awfully passive about it.
...So, given that no one who was aware of the facts believed that Trump had committed obstruction at the time the conduct occurred, why is Trump now reportedly under investigation for obstruction?
...What the president appears to have objected to, and to have sought help refuting, was what he saw as the fraudulent claim — subtly advanced by Comey and perhaps others in the intelligence community — that he personally had colluded with Russia in connection with the election, and that he was a criminal suspect. That is not obstruction of an investigation. It is objection to a narrative — a narrative that the intelligence agencies knew was false yet refused to correct, no matter how much it was, and is, damaging Trump’s capacity to govern.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
"Damaging Trump’s capacity to govern."
Excerpts of Andrew McCarthy writing at National Review,