Toobin: 'Three words: Obstruction of justice'

Story highlights

  • Toobin said if Comey's memo was accurate, it meant obstruction of justice
  • Flynn was a national security director until his ouster less than month into Trump's term

Washington (CNN)CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Tuesday if President Donald Trump told the FBI to end a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, then it would amount to obstruction of justice.

The New York Times first reported Tuesday that former FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo about Trump telling him that Flynn "is a good guy" and the FBI should drop an investigation into Flynn, citing sources who had read the memo. Sources also confirmed the contents of the memo to CNN's Pamela Brown and Jake Tapper.
"Telling the FBI director to close down an investigation of your senior campaign adviser for his activities during your campaign for president, if that's true, that is obstruction of justice," Toobin said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
Toobin said that if Comey's memo was accurate: "I don't know how anyone can see this comment as anything but obstruction of justice."
He also likened the move to the scandal that brought down former President Richard Nixon.
" 'Close it down' is an instruction to stop investigating President Trump's campaign," Toobin said. "Richard Nixon was impeached in 1974 for telling the FBI to stop an investigation of his campaign. That's what Watergate was."
Nixon resigned before Congress could impeach him, and his successor, President Gerald Ford, pardoned him for any crimes he may have committed.
Flynn is a retired general who became a prominent Trump supporter and surrogate during the campaign. He was Trump's national security adviser until his ouster less than a month into Trump's term.
When he was still FBI director, Comey confirmed the existence of an FBI investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 election.
CNN reported the same day Trump fired Comey that federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to former associates of Flynn.