Fordham University Law professor Jed Shugerman spoke with MSNBC and explained that the biggest name associated with the firing letter of former FBI Director James Comey is, in fact, Mike Pence.
Now, Shugerman says that the memo reveals Pence could be charged with obstruction of justice.
“Let me explain why this timeline puts him in legal jeopardy,” Shugerman began. “So, we know that this letter was drafted on one day, and then after Steven Miller came back with that draft, it was read in a room of people, including Vice President Pence. And when that letter was read, it had, quote, The New York Times talks about a screed, and it identified all of these other connections to the Russian probe for why Trump had decided to fire James Comey. Then after this letter is edited, Mike Pence then tells the media that the Comey firing was not connected to the Russian probe, and he said it was due to Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation. Those statements are untrue.”
Shugerman went on to explain that since Pence read the first letter and the second letter and then lied about it, it “implicates Mike Pence now in a combination of conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting obstruction of justice, and also a relatively less known felony called misprision of a felony.”
“Let’s keep in mind that the [President Richard] Nixon articles of impeachment included a provision blaming Nixon for misleading or false statements to the public,” Shugerman continued. “Now, that’s not a felony, but it was grounds for impeaching President Nixon.”
Shugerman also explained that just because Trump is president it doesn’t mean he has complete power.
“That basic argument is so wrong that it shows why there’s so little that the Trump lawyers have to argue,” Shugerman said. “A president has the power to order a military strike, but if the president is ordering that military strike with the intent of, let’s say, killing someone who slept with his wife, that’s still murder. A president can pardon someone, but if the president pardons someone because he received a million dollar bribe, that’s still a felony of bribery. Just because the president has the power to do something, it doesn’t mean that it excuses any exercise of that power because intent matters.”