Friday June 09, 2017

'Strong case for obstruction of justice' against Trump: historian Allan Lichtman

Former FBI director James Comey told the Senate intelligence committee he documented his encounters with the U.S. president in case Trump lied.

Former FBI director James Comey told the Senate intelligence committee he documented his encounters with the U.S. president in case Trump lied. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

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On Thursday, former FBI director James Comey gave a much-anticipated testimony before the Senate intelligence committee about Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

During more than two hours of testimony, Comey told the committee he felt compelled to take notes immediately after his first private meeting with then president-elect Donald Trump because he was concerned Trump would "lie about the nature" of their conversation.

According to Comey, Trump requested his loyalty and asked him to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey's testimony have political watchers around the world weighing in on the impact of his words. History professor Allan Lichtman is among them.

The author of The Case for Impeachment thinks there is a "strong case for obstruction of justice" against Trump, especially with Comey's detailed testimony. He believes there should be an impeachment inquiry for the U.S. president, which would look into abuses of presidential power and obstruction of justice.

'This is a matter of the integrity of our democracy and the security of our country.' - Allan Lichtman, history professor

Unlike Bill Clinton's impeachment for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, Lichtman says the allegations against Trump are more serious.

"This is not a presidential dalliance," he tells The Current's guest host Jan Wong.

"This is a matter of the integrity of our democracy and the security of our country and probably the only person smiling right now is Vladimir Putin," he says.

Lichtman says if the House Judiciary Committee does hold an impeachment inquiry which ultimately leads to impeachment, then the Trump-Russia scandal will be "considered one of the great turning points in history."

"Just as during the Watergate scandal — the revelation that 'Wow, Richard Nixon has taped all the White House conversations' was the critical turning point in that investigation."

Listen to their conversation at the top of the web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese.