For those Trump haters who are chomping at the bit to see President Trump impeached for “obstruction of Justice,” here is something you might want consider a little more closely.
According to all sources I've seen, including the New York Times and Washington Post, what Comey alleges the President said to him was "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
I don't have a law degree. I don't even have a college degree. But I worked in law enforcement long enough to know that language, wording and comprehension matter.
Expressing a hope that something happens does not add up to telling someone to stop an investigation. “I hope you can let this go” is not the same as “I hope you can let this go or your job is on the line,” or “I need you to let this go,” or “I want you to let this go,” or even “Let this Flynn investigation go.” It's that simple. Saying “I hope” is a wish, not an order.
If someone says “I hope you die,” that's not a threat. It might be crude, or perhaps evil, but it's not a threat. Not legally.
If Trump did express his hope that the Flynn investigation could be dropped it's just that – a hope... unless, of course, Comey can prove that he was threatened or felt threatened by the words “I hope.” Feelings are subjective. But if the Director of the FBI felt threatened by the words “I hope” then he really didn't need to remain in his position. And since Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe has said no investigations have been stopped or even interrupted by events that have occurred (Comey's firing) there is no case for obstruction of justice.
As I said – I'm no lawyer or judge and I may one day be proven wrong. But in this day where every word people say is under scrutiny, the word hope is just that – hope, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen.”
I hope Hillary Clinton never runs for public office again. That's a desire that I cannot control. And it's not illegal. And neither was Trump's alleged statement. Of course, only Trump and Comey know what was really said that evening... unless Trump has a recording...