The cable news networks have been talking a lot about "obstruction of justice" ever since the New York Times released a memo from former FBI director James Comey detailing President Donald Trump's seeming request to let the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn go.
Today on "Pure Opelka," Mike Opelka invited constitutional attorney and columnist Emily Zanotti to explain what obstruction of justice really is and to help determine if Trump was actually engaged in it when he made those remarks to Comey.
"Obstruction of justice is a very difficult concept," Zanotti said. Since Mike Flynn wasn't convicted of anything, and instead resigned and went back to private life, it's not clear that the president would have been obstructing criminal justice.
She also said that we're not entirely sure what Trump was asking Comey to do. Was the President actually demanding that he end the investigation? She would need to hear more from the former director. Before then, she said, it is "way, way, way too early to be calling this a felonious obstruction of justice."
Another claim from the New York Times story was that Trump called for the imprisonment of journalists that reported leaked information. Mike said he got chills reading it.
Zanotti reminded him "Barack Obama had the same kind of relationship with journalists," citing the wiretapping of James Rosen, Rosen's parents, and the Associated Press. Obama is not reported to have wished to jail journalists, but he actually did take actions against them. It remains to be seen if Trump was just talking or not.
She confirmed that Comey's memos will be admissible in the ongoing investigation as "contemporaneous writing," which is a legal term for keeping a journal or diary.