Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Sunday that nothing former FBI Director James Comey laid out in his testimony on Thursday showed President Trump committing obstruction of justice.
Mukasey, who served as attorney general under George W. Bush from 2007 until 2009, said the president’s actions were “improper” but weren’t illegal and didn’t constitute obstruction of justice.
“There are a lot of things you don’t do not because it’s against the law but because you simply don’t do them and that’s one of them,” Mukasey said.
“What about this question of obstruction of justice, do you see any of that in the facts that Comey laid out?” asked host Paul Gigot.
“No,” Mukasey replied.
“The obstruction of justice statute insofar as it is relevant requires that the president have acted corruptly unless he acted by force, which obviously he didn’t — that be acted corruptly that means doing something lawful by unlawful means or doing something unlawful. He didn’t do either one of those,” the former attorney general explained.
“It wasn’t that he took a bribe in order to shut down the investigation. It wasn’t that he offered a bribe in order to shut down the investigation. He acted apparently out of concern for Flynn, perhaps even out of concern for himself. that’s not corruptly.”
Mukasey also wasn’t buying that Trump could have shut down the Russia probe by firing Comey.
“If you want to shut down the probe, you don’t shut it down by firing somebody to whom the people conducting the probe report,” he said.
“I think that’s been proven by the fact of all the uproar,” Gigot agreed.
“Correct. It’s just not — that’s not just the way you shut down a probe,” Mukasey said.