Trump Attorneys Lay Out Arguments Against Obstruction-of-Justice Probe to Mueller

In meetings and memos, lawyers argue president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI Chief Comey

Another memo submitted the same month outlined why Mr. Comey would make an unsuitable witness, calling him prone to exaggeration, unreliable in congressional testimony and the source of leaks to the news media, these people said.

.. Mr. Trump has given conflicting reasons as to why he dismissed Mr. Comey. At first, he said it was in response to advice from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had concluded in a memo for the president that Mr. Comey was an ineffective leader.

Two days after the firing, Mr. Trump told NBC News that the decision to fire Mr. Comey was his alone and that when he did it, “I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.”

.. Legal experts agree the president can fire the FBI director at will. That doesn’t mean Mr. Trump could act with impunity if his intention was to interfere with the FBI’s Russia investigation, some said. “Many people do lawful acts for corrupt motives and are charged with the crime of acting corruptly,” said Paul Rosenzweig, who was a deputy to special counsel Kenneth Starr during his investigation of Mr. Clinton. Bribery is a classic example, Mr. Rosenzweig said: A Pentagon official, for instance, may have the authority to award a contract to a particular company but he can’t do so legally in exchange for a bribe.

.. The Mueller probe is also examining whether Mr. Flynn, a former adviser to the Trump campaign, played any role in obtaining Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers.