WashPost: Comey ‘Laid Out the Case’ for Obstruction; Except He Didn’t Say That

The Washington Post and journalists at ABC hear what they want to hear. The Post in a headline on Thursday declared that James Comey “laid out the case that President Trump obstructed justice.” Except he didn't say that. After the hearings, ABC suggested that Comey intended “to lay out the facts and hope there is a prosecution for obstruction of justice.” 

Asked about obstruction of justice by Senator Richard Burr in the hearing, Comey replied, “I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the President was an effort to obstruct.” In a piece posted on WashingtonPost.com, writer Matt Zapotosky spun that statement: “Former FBI director James B. Comey on Thursday essentially laid out an obstruction of justice case against President Trump and suggested senior leaders in the bureau might have contemplated the matter before Trump removed him as director.” 

Even liberal Chuck Todd didn’t draw this conclusion. Appearing on NBC, he noted that Comey  “did not paint a easy picture, probably, on the obstruction of justice charge....Comey was very careful not to allege that.” Todd found “no smoking gun,” despite calling Thursday a “horrendous day” for Trump. 

However, on ABC, Brian Ross talked about the “hope” of obstruction of justice: 

It's clear he said that the comments, as you said, Dan, were of investigative interest and he turned over the memos to Bob Mueller who is very closely aligned with him. And a close ally of Comey told me he intended to lay out the facts and hope there is a prosecution for obstruction of justice. 

Jonathan Turley, no conservative, does not think Trump’s actions, as explained by Comey, equaled obstruction of justice. On Wednesday, NBC's Matt Lauer suggested that Trump may be guilty of "emotional" obstruction of justice, whatever that is. 

A transcript of the exchange on ABC is below: 

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ABC live coverage
6/8/17
12:44

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the points that the president’s was holding on to was Comey was saying he wasn't being personally investigated. Any doubt now that the President is under investigation? 

BRIAN ROSS: It's clear he said that the comments, as you said, Dan, were of investigative interest and he turned over the memos to Bob Mueller who is very closely aligned with him. And a close ally of Comey told me he intended to lay out the facts and hope there is a prosecution for obstruction of justice.     

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