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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who shares with James Comey the honor of being fired by Donald Trump under highly questionable circumstances, sat a few rows behind the former FBI director when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. On Sunday, Bharara discussed that hearing with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, where his measured responses did not quite conceal his disdain for the president.

As a law enforcement veteran who has worked with both Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller, the former New York prosecutor laid out the critical facts revealed by Comey and placed them in context:

“You have uncontroverted evidence, from someone who is under oath, that on at least one occasion the President of the United States cleared the room of his vice president and his attorney general, and told his director of the FBI that he should essentially drop a case against his former national security adviser.

“And whether or not that is impeachable or indictable, that’s a very serious thing.”

Pressed by Stephanopoulos to say whether Trump indeed had obstructed justice, Bharara replied judiciously: “There’s absolutely evidence to begin a case” for obstruction. But, he added, “I think it’s important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction… It’s also true that there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.”

But without additional evidence — such as tapes of their conversations — how would a jury determine whom to believe in a “he-said-he-said” such as this case?

Bharara permitted himself a tiny smile. “You look at the surrounding circumstances and the indicia of truthfulness,” he said. “And those things include contemporaneous statements to other people; they include the track record of the witness; they include whether one of the ‘he’s’ in the ‘he-said-he-said’ has a track record for lying or not, both on the air and in legal proceedings such as depositions — and I believe there is such a track record with respect to one of the parties.”

Now what could he mean by that?

h/t Raw Story

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