As a previous prosecutor at the Department of Justice, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez contended Monday that he would have used one of President Trump’s tweets about terminated FBI Director James Comey as evidence in an obstruction case.
“Last week’s tweet is an example of a piece of evidence I would’ve used in an obstruction of justice case,” Perez told Bloomberg.
“I prosecuted cases at the Department of Justice. I spent over a decade of my life there… I know what obstruction of justice cases are because I did them,” Perez said.
Trump tweeted on Friday that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations,” just a few days after dismissing him.
James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
According to Perez, who served as a prosecutor at the Department of Justice in the ’90s, Trump’s reasoning for terminating Comey does not “pass the lab test.”
The Trump administration initially cited Comey’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation as the reason for his firing. Trump later said his decision was influenced by the “made up” investigation into possible collusion between members of his campaign and Russia.
“He was fired because he’s the investigator in the investigation that could implicate the president of the United States,” Perez said Monday. “That’s an affront to our democracy. That is an affront to our independence.”
Perez insisted on the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election, contending that even a new FBI director with bipartisan backing would have to report to the Department of Justice, which is in Trump’s “back pocket.”
Legislators from both parties have called for an independent counsel to continue the investigation into whether Trump campaign aides plotted with Russian officials to influence the election in favor of Trump.
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