On 9 May, President Trump fired the Director of the FBI, James Comey. On 8 June, Comey will appear before the Senate intelligence committee. This hearing will look into whether Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice. This is very important, as it’s an impeachable offence. A leaked memo from Comey has already suggested that Trump attempted to impede investigations. And now, Comey has released several more documents which further suggest Trump’s guilt.
This could all be very embarrassing for Theresa May. As May has supported or tolerated Trump in a fashion unlike any other Western leader. Even in instances in which Trump has openly criticised our country.
The Comey documents
Comey has released seven pages of information relating to his encounters with President Trump. One section describes a conversation about the former National Security Adviser. Comey reports that Trump said:
I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.
Comey also writes:
A few moments later, the President said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence.
Obstruction of justice
Attorney and professor Seth Abramson has explained how obstruction of justice applies to this case:
Obstruction of Justice IS a legal term and federal criminal statute. It has a strict legal definition. It is NOT open to interpretation. Obstruction of Justice is NOT a political term. Politicians may NOT define it in whatever way pleases them or may advantage their party. But the history of impeachments—impeachment being a political process—establishes that Obstruction of Justice IS an impeachable offense. If public testimony establishes… a sufficient case on its face—Trump SHOULD be impeached…
Obstruction of Justice IS about *actions* of the defendant… It requires only the defendant’s knowledge of HOW he’s acting. As the subsection of the Obstruction of Justice statute relevant here involves words, a defendant’s knowledge of his words is PRESUMED… If the words Comey CONTEMPORANEOUSLY RECORDED as having been said by Trump were indeed said, Trump IS guilty of Obstruction of Justice.
The ‘special relationship’
People have criticised Theresa May for her dealings with Trump. She defended him when he reportedly leaked top-secret intelligence to the Russians. She would not sign a letter criticisng him for pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. And just recently, she did her best to avoid answering questions about Trump publicly criticising Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. She did eventually say that Trump was “wrong in the things he has said about Sadiq Khan”, but her previous avoidance led to responses like this from Labour MP Yvette Cooper:
Oh for heavens sake…… What will it take to get her to stand up to Trump? https://t.co/FaGw8tA1ZR
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) June 5, 2017
May’s dealings with Trump have tactically played badly with elements of the right too. As Scotland Editor of The Spectator and Scottish Daily Mail contributor Alex Massie writes:
We know that Trump can only cope with unctuous flattery and that, satisfying as it may be to criticise him, doing so isn’t likely to advance the UK’s interests vis a vis its relationship with the United States.
So Mrs May says nothing, even though saying nothing makes her look terrible. This is no time for a showboating Prime Minister, she might say, and she might have half a point. But it still looks weak and miserable and craven and all kinds of rotten.
Trump has been hostile in his dealings with the EU. May has also been hostile towards the EU, while simultaneously being compliant with Trump. As EU negotiations loom and Trump’s position becomes tenuous, May’s decision to cosy up to the President looks increasingly like a mistake. And as May has made many other mistakes in her tenure as PM, it’s hard to see her commanding a position of strength in Brexit negotiations. Which is just one more reason to vote her out on 8 June.
– Go out and vote on 8 June. Strongly encourage others to do the same.
– Check out more articles from The Canary’s Global section.
Featured image via Twitter
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?