KEN STARR BURSTS CNN’S BUBBLE; “NO OBSTRUCTION CASE AGAINST TRUMP FROM WHAT I’VE SEEN”
‘Obstruction of justice is really a very hard crime to make out’
June 15, 2017 by Zero Hedge
With the ‘Russian collusion’ case against the Trump administration all but dead, the mainstream media has shifted their full attention to now building an obstruction of justice case against the White House. As such, CNN hosted Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed in the 90’s to look into various Clinton scandals, including the Vince Foster death and Monica Lewinsky episode, this morning to get his thoughts on the topic.
CNN: “Do you think there is a case there?”
Starr: “It’s too soon to tell. From what I’ve seen — and of course we don’t know a whole lot — the answer is no. But it is going to be investigated and so we will soon know.”
“Obstruction of justice is really a very hard crime to make out. It’s not just you want the investigation to go away, you suggest that the investigation goes away. You’ve got to take really affirmative action and Director Comey said in his testimony that even though the expression was hope, he took it as a directive.”
“But what we know is, he didn’t do anything about it, right? That is that he did not dismiss the investigation or curtail the investigation. There’s an expression of hope, so it becomes an interpretation.”
Of course, the incredulous CNN anchor was simply unwilling to accept that Trump may be innocent of high crimes and pressed further by asking whether Comey would have had to “obey” Trump’s suggestion to drop the Flynn investigation in order to be guilty of obstruction.
Starr: “We’re going to the intent of what is it that the President had in mind? He was expressing, his literal language was ‘hope.’ And, I think that redounds to the benefit of the President. That to me, just the language, is far removed from a directive.”
“My point is, the Director of the FBI then didn’t act on that. He rather just continued as before and reported and memorialized it. But he did not then say, ‘ok, ladies and gentlemen of the FBI, we’re getting rid of this investigation at the direction of the President.”
And, while CNN aired the most ‘convenient’ 10 seconds of Comey’s testimony, they failed to mention the following interaction from earlier in which Comey confirmed under oath that he’d never been asked to end an investigation for political purposes.
He also said that any efforts to do so would be a “big deal.” Therefore, to Ken Starr’s point, if Comey interpreted Trump’s comment on Flynn as a ‘directive’ then shouldn’t that have qualified as “a big deal” that he should have elevated immediately?
PUTIN: RUSSIA READY TO GRANT ASYLUM TO FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY
Russians don’t view America as an enemy, he says
June 15, 2017 by RT
President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to grant James Comey asylum, and that the former FBI director “should be aware of that.” He went on to question the difference between Comey and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“[Comey] suddenly said he recorded a conversation with Trump, and then handed the tape over to the media, which is strange,” Putin said during his annual Q&A session on Thursday, noting that the leak put Comey in a vulnerable position.
“What’s the difference between him and Mr [Edward] Snowden then? He’s a human rights activist then, not an intelligence chief,” Putin said.
“At any rate, if this entails some kind of prosecutions against him [Comey], we are ready to grant him asylum in Russia. He should be aware of that,” he added.
‘No proof Russia meddled in US election’
Putin commented on the congressional testimony made by former FBI Director James Comey, who accused Russia of interfering in the US election.
“The first thing that attracted my attention was that the ex-FBI director said that he believes that there was Russian meddling in the electoral process [in the US], but at the same time provided no proof of that,” he said.
The president noted that, according to Comey, there was no interference by Russia in the vote count during last year’s election, saying: “Well, thank God, at least that, it’s good enough.”
The president said Russia’s influence on American’s minds was no greater than that of America, which sponsors NGOs worldwide with a goal to influence countries they work in.
“Take a globe, spin it and point your finger at any spot, there’s surely American interests and interference there,” he told the audience. “I know it from my conversations with almost every national leader. They just don’t want to spoil relations with the Americans.”
‘Russians don’t view America as an enemy’
Putin went on to state that Russia does not see the US as an enemy, as the two countries were allies in World War II.
He also reiterated his view that the anti-Russian sentiment in the US comes from internal political strife in America.
“The Russophobia currently evolving in the United States – we can see it and we believe that this is the outcome of a spiraling domestic struggle for power.”
The president said Russia has “many friends” in the US, although “media hysteria” has taken its toll on bilateral relations. Overall, Moscow believes US-Russia relations will return to normal.
Putin also said Moscow is determined to re-engage with Washington on several pressing international issues, including nuclear non-proliferation, arms control, combatting poverty and climate change. He stressed political bickering between the world powers will not help in this regard.
He mentioned the 2015 landmark Iran nuclear deal as “a positive example of our cooperation” with Washington.
“This means we can negotiate and work together. The Syrian issue, the Middle East issue – it’s obvious to everyone that nothing will be achieved without our constructive dialogue,” Putin said.