Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, says it is becoming increasingly clear that President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey represents an obstruction of justice — a case she believes special counsel Robert Mueller is now keenly focused on.
“I think what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice,” Feinstein said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I think we see this in the indictments — the four indictments and pleas that have just taken place.”
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On Friday, Trump’s former national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials. In October, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business partner were indicted on a dozen charges, including conspiracy against the United States. The same day, the Justice Department also announced that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents about his contacts with Russians during the campaign. As part of their plea agreements, both Flynn and Papadopoulos said they would cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.
Feinstein also said she sees the obstruction case building by “the hyper-frenetic attitude of the White House — the comments every day, the continual tweets.”
“And I see it, most importantly, in what happened with the firing of Director Comey, and it is my belief that that is directly because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the Russia investigation,” Feinstein said. “That’s obstruction of justice.”
In June, Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee that before his firing, Trump had told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”
Comey did not and Trump fired him, which led to the appointment of Mueller to oversee the Russia investigation.