Kendall Coffey on James Comey’s Testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee
Currently acting as partner at Coffey Burlington in Miami, FL, and one of the country’s top litigators, Kendall Coffey shared his law expertise regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the investigation into Russia’s involvement with the 2016 US presidential election. Find out more about Kendall Coffey here: http://kendallcoffey.com/
From Morning Coffey: How does former FBI Director James Comey’s current standing affect his strength as an accusing witness in last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee testimony?
“One year ago, essentially everyone across the political spectrum had great confidence in James Comey. But the last year has seen a cross-fire of criticisms.”
“Many expected the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing to be a bad day for President Donald Trump,” Coffey said. “But it may not be a great day for anyone.”
From ABC News: How did Comey’s hearing fair in regards to potential obstruction charges against President Trump?
“This seemed to be an uncomfortable and improper conversation that would not, based on usual obstruction cases, sufficiently establish the crime of obstruction,” said Kendall Coffey.
Coffey said not only was Comey’s testimony not a “smoking gun,” it actually “gave both sides ammunition.”
“It was clear that Comey did not believe those concerns should prompt him to consider resignation as he had considered before in his career,” Coffey said. “And he had no answer for his decision not to promptly report the February conversation.”
But Coffey pointed out that if Trump is interviewed by Mueller and contradicts Comey, crimes of obstruction and false statements could be alleged if Mueller believes Comey.
“Comey’s testimony was a bit like Al Capone’s vault,” said John Lauro, a former federal prosecutor and attorney at the Lauro Law Firm. “There is nothing inside — no corrupt intent to derail a federal investigation.”
From ABC News: Do FBI agents have a legal duty to report a potential crime? In other words, did Comey have a duty to inform Congress or the Attorney General of his concerns about Trump, if he thought it amounted to obstruction of justice?
No, said multiple experts. However, “there is the oath of office that obligates agents to uphold and enforce the law, which is a more general obligation,” said former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey, who agreed that there is no specific statute requiring a federal agent to report a potential crime.