President Donald Trump’s lawyers are trying to make the case that their client did not obstruct justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May and in his other actions toward officials involved in the Michael Flynn and Russia investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The attorneys’ argument includes the assertion that Trump “has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit,” the article says. These memos sent to special counsel Robert Mueller also contend that Comey is an unreliable witness.
To help assess and put these legal arguments into proper context, here is a collection of Just Security‘s coverage of the obstruction of justice issue, and also Comey’s actions.
Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events by Artin Afkhami
Trump’s Attacks on the Russian Investigation: Not Just Talking, But Slow Walking—and Maybe Worse by Bob Bauer
A Prosecutor’s View: The Evidence of Trump’s Obstruction is Now Compelling by Alex Whiting
20 Questions That Should Be Answered by the Russia Investigations by Faiza Patel
The Other Person in the Room with Comey and Sessions by Renato Mariotti
Mueller’s Investigation of Obstruction of Justice: The Next Steps by Alex Whiting
The Biggest Bombshell Line from Comey on Obstruction of Justice by Ryan Goodman
Five Major Highlights in Comey Testimony by Ryan Goodman
Could Trump Have Obstructed Justice if a Grand Jury Hadn’t Convened Yet? by Alex Whiting
Reports Suggest Comey’s Firing Could Be an Obstruction of Justice in Russia Investigation by Ryan Goodman
The Comey Memorandum and the Take Care Clause by Andy Wright
Parsing the White House Response to Comey’s Testimony by Julian Sanchez
The Silly “Comey-the-Criminal” Meme–a.k.a. Why Claims that Comey’s a “Leaker” Ring Hollow by Steve Vladeck
The Drip, Drip of Obstruction News by Alex Whiting
Three Ways Trump’s NYT Interview Worsens Team Trump’s Legal Troubles by Ryan Goodman and Andy Wright
The Loretta Lynch “Matter” Matter Matters, But it Shouldn’t by Jay Shooster
Explainer: The Special Counsel Investigation by Hannah Ryan
Just Security editors have also written on this topic in other outlets. These include Ryan Goodman’s “Did Trump Obstruct Justice?” in Politico and Steve Vladeck’s “Trump’s lawyer says Comey violated executive privilege. He’s wrong” in the Washington Post.