QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I respect your legal reasoning. A friend of mine is a lawyer and he said you are pretty sharp. So I pose this question. People are claiming that James Comey’s testimony on May 3, 2017 is the smoking gun that proves Trump did not ask him to stop the investigation into Russia. What is your take on this?
ANSWER: Those unfamiliar with the way law works can make up that conclusion. However, Comey did not say that at all. He was asked did the Department of Justice (DOJ) ask him to kill the investigation, to which he replied no! The question was not about Trump personally. This is like someone asking your wife if you robbed a store and she said no way. You did not answer. Your wife did. So this is “opinion” only unless she says that “you said you did not.” That makes it hearsay.
Now pay attention. Comey expressly states that from time to time they DOJ offers its “opinion” but it has never “ordered” it to stop an investigation “for political purposes.”
Now, this testimony does not prove anything with respect to Trump personally. However, Comey’s “memo” has been only released verbally to the New York Times. Nobody has even seen this memo including Congress. Therefore, this “memo” is “alleged” and Comey when asked who has this memo him or the DOJ, he declined to answer.
Now, focus on what he testified that the DOJ has expressed its “opinion”, but never “ordered” the FBI to stop an investigation for “political” purposes. If we take the memo at face value as-is, then assuming Trump said anything, it was only his “opinion” and did not obstruct justice by ordering the FBI to stop its investigation. This would NOT be an impeachable offense.
Now it will turn on did Trump fire Comey to stop the investigation? The next question is, did firing Comey prevent a further investigation? If the answer is NO, then once again there is no impeachable offense.
However, I am preparing a special report on the history of impeachment and why Trump can be impeached, which may start a civil war, but it would by no means be legal.