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James Comey says it 'sure looks like' Trump obstructed justice during Mueller probe, and says there IS evidence to charge him when he leaves office - but will it be the former FBI boss who faces jail?

Former FBI Director James Comey has said he believes Donald Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice when he leaves the White House based on the findings of the Mueller report.  
Comey sat down with Anderson Cooper at a CNN town hall in Washington, DC, on Thursday night, exactly two years to the day after he was fired by the president. 
The former FBI head made it clear that there is no love lost between him and President Trump, whom he described as a 'chronic liar' who on more than one occasion displayed a 'corrupt intent to interfere' with the Russia investigation, which he helped launch. 
His comments come after Attorney General Bill Barr testified in front of a Senate committee saying he believed 'spying' was carried out by the FBI on the Trump campaign.
Barr also said he would examine why the bureau launched investigations into two 2016 presidential campaigns and if any laws were broken by conducting these probes.
During Comey's CNN interview he said it 'sure looked like' there was enough evidence in Robert Mueller's report to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.  
Former FBI Director James Comey shared his personal conclusions from the Mueller report at a CNN town hall on Thursday
Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump two years ago to the day, made it clear there is no love lost between him and his old boss
Former FBI Director James Comey shared his personal conclusions from the Mueller report at a CNN town hall on Thursday. Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump two years ago to the day, made it clear there is no love lost between him and his old boss
Donald Trump launched a Twitter attack on James Comey after the former FBI director indicated that he thinks the president obstructed justice in the Russia investigation
Donald Trump launched a Twitter attack on James Comey after the former FBI director indicated that he thinks the president obstructed justice in the Russia investigation
The president responded by branding Comey a 'disgrace' and calling him the 'worst director in history', in a tweet posted just an hour after the broadcast. 
Trump wrote: 'James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history. 
'He brought the FBI down, almost all Republicans & Democrats thought he should be FIRED, but the FBI will regain greatness because of the great men & women who work there!' 
Comey has faced questions over the FBI's investigations into both the Clinton and Trump presidential campaigns.

BURNING QUESTIONS FOR JAMES COMEY: 

Did the FBI 'spy' on the 2016 Trump campaign? - AG Bill Barr told the Senate Appropriations Committee, 'I think spying did occur'. 
Were any laws broken during investigations into Clinton or Trump? - Calls have been made for the Justice Department to look into the actions of the FBI and Comey as director over the probes into the Trump and Clinton campaigns and if there was use of unauthorized surveillance.
Was all material gathered during the investigations into Hillary Clinton's emails and Trump's 2016 campaign handed over to Congress? - Democrats and Republicans have raised concerns about the FBI's unwillingness to share information gathered during the investigations with Congress.
Was it appropriate to investigate the Trump and Clinton campaigns – or were FBI guidelines broken? - The attorney general wants to examine if the intelligence community and the FBI acted in a nonpartisan manner. Barr wants to examine whether there was sufficient justification under existing guidelines for the FBI to have started an investigation into both campaigns in the first place.  

In particular, he faced claims his announcement of the probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server was politically motivated and done at a crucial moment when Trump was lagging behind his rival in the polls.
When he was fired in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Comey's comments during his press conference about the Clinton investigation were inappropriate, 'derogatory and unfair'.
He added it was 'a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do'. 
The former FBI director also faced questions over whether there was enough justification to launch the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 Trump campaign and if guidelines were broken. 
Use of unauthorized surveillance during the investigation has also been questioned by Comey's critics.
Comey said during his interview with Cooper that he wasn't surprised by any of the information laid out in Robert Mueller's report as he praised the special counsel for his handling of the entire process. 
Cooper went on to mention comments Trump had made about Comey hours earlier.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, the president said that Mueller is, 'in love with James Comey. He likes James Comey. They were very good friends, supposedly best friends. Maybe not, but supposedly best friends. You look at the picture file and you see hundreds of pictures of him and Comey'.
The CNN host asked: 'Is Mueller in love with you?' 
'I respect him,' Comey said before laughing as he added: 'I don't think we have that kind of relationship. He's certainly not obsessed with me in the way some others seem to be.'  
Cooper kicked the discussion off by asking Comey about what it was like to learn that he'd been removed from his post from a CNN report rather than from his former boss. 
The FBI head said that when he first saw the words 'Comey resigns' flash across the TV screen while he was in a meeting, he thought it was 'probably a prank'. 
That banner was quickly amended to say: 'Comey fired.'   
President Trump calls Comey and other agents 'dirty cops'
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The town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper came two years to the day after Comey was fired as FBI director by President Donald Trump
The town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper came two years to the day after Comey was fired as FBI director by President Donald Trump
 'I was numb because I didn't expect to be fired,' Comey said at the town hall. 'It never entered my mind. I knew by that point the president didn't like me, but I thought that's okay because that will keep a separation.
'It still feels a little bit numbing, frankly, like it happened yesterday and a lifetime ago.'
Comey said he finished up the meeting before calling his wife and then his assistant, who confirmed that a termination letter from Trump had been delivered to the FBI in Pennsylvania.   
Later on in the interview Comey addressed White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders' remarks about his firing. 
The day after Comey was axed, Sanders told the press that 'countless' members of the FBI had expressed a loss of confidence in their leader. 
The Mueller report revealed that Sanders later acknowledged that the comment was a 'slip of the tongue' and 'in the heat of the moment'. 
Comey said Thursday: 'I wasn't shocked, I knew it was a lie when it was first said at the time. And it was I guess gratifying to see the special counsel have her admit that it was.'  
The conversation then shifted to the findings of the Mueller report, which Comey said did not surprise him. 
'There were a lot of facts in the Mueller report that I didn't know, but I knew it would be high quality work if we got a chance as a country to read it,' Comey said.
'And what he describes about Russia's intervention in our election didn't surprise me at all. It confirmed what I knew from when I was at the bureau. And what he laid out about the president's efforts to obstruct justice was broader in scope than I personally knew, but given what I had seen, it didn't surprise me, honestly.'

TRUMP CLAIMS MUELLER WAS 'IN LOVE' WITH COMEY 

President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed Robert Mueller was 'in love' with former FBI Director James Comey but noted he'd leave it up to Attorney General Bill Barr whether the special counsel should testify before Congress as Democrats are threatening a subpoena. 
'Bob Mueller's no friend of mine,' the president told reporters at the White House on Thursday. 
'We had somebody that is in love with James Comey,' he charged of Mueller.
'They were very good friends, supposedly best friends, maybe not, supposedly best friends,' he added. 'You look at the picture file and you see hundreds of pictures of him and Comey.'
Mueller and Comey had overlapping careers at the Justice Department. Comey was deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush administration when Mueller served as FBI director. 
Comey responded to Trump's remarks about his relationship with Mueller during Thursday's town hall, jokingly saying: 'I don't think we have that kind of relationship.'
He added: 'He's certainly not obsessed with me in the way some others seem to be.'  

He said that he felt the parts he was featured in were accurate before Cooper probed whether he felt that the report vindicated him 'because some of the things that President Trump said you were lying about, Mueller backed you up and said that they weren't lies'.  
Comey replied: 'I knew I was telling the truth the whole time. I basically told that same story under oath in front of the senate at a time when the president was hinting that there were tapes of our conversations together. So I knew I was telling the truth. I think the country knew I was telling the truth, and Mueller simply confirmed that.'  
Cooper then asked if Comey accepted the president's repeated claims that the Mueller report found no collusion, to which he responded: 'Well, that's actually not what the report says.
'Mueller says first of all, as you know, Anderson, collusion is not a term that lawyers use or should use. He found there was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy between Americans and the Russian effort. That strikes me as a reasonable conclusion, and I accept it.'  
Shifting to the origins of the investigation, which is currently being probed by the inspector general and attorney general, Cooper asked Comey: 'Are you confident you did everything by the book, and that the FBI, the people around you did everything by the book?'
Comey replied: 'Yes. No doubt in my mind. But that doesn't mean I'm against review of it. That's totally fine.'
He added that if anything inappropriate is found, the FBI 'should be transparent about it'. 
'I'm a big believer in the truth. If the truth was there was something concerning, then let's hear it. I don't know of anything like that,' Comey said.     
An audience member took the microphone to bring the conversation back to Trump, asking Comey to define the line between exerting executive power and obstructing justice. 
'Well, hard to say in the abstract except maybe this: that the president is not above the law, and I don't accept the notion that because the president is the head of the executive branch, he can't ever obstruct justice in connection with the executive branch activities,' Comey said. 'That's just are crazy and a recipe for lawlessness.'
He continued: 'The question is: Did the president act in a way that manifested a corrupt intent, not the discharge of his constitutional duties, but a corrupt intent to interfere with an ongoing proceeding or to intimidate or tamper with a witness. That's a factual question. 
'There is a whole lot of facts laid out in Bob Mueller's report that raise serious questions about whether there is a chargeable case for obstruction and witness tampering against this president.'
Pressed to answer his own question about whether Trump displayed corrupt intent to interfere, Comey said: 'It sure looks like he did in connection with a couple of episodes, the direction to Don McGahn to get the special counsel fired is to my mind a flaming example.'
He went on to express complete agreement with a group of roughly 800 former federal prosecutors who have signed a statement asserting that Mueller's findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump if he weren't president. 
Asked directly about whether Trump should be charged when he is out of office based on the Muller report findings, Comey waffled and stated: I think the justice department will have to take a serious look at that. Whether it's a wise thing to do to a former president, I don't know. That's a harder question, a much bigger question than the facts of the case.'
Cooper pressed: 'But you think the evidence is there to prosecute?'
'Sure looks like it's there with respect to at least a couple of those episodes of obstruction,' Comey replied. 

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