The FBI controversy remains a national security investigation, not a criminal investigation at this point. The president's critics say the disclosure could compromise the source of the intelligence provided by a US ally and make other nations wary about sharing sensitive information with the United States.
So you think there is a case for obstruction of justice? When that ended, Trump asked everyone to leave except Comey, and he eventually turned the conversation to Flynn.
What do Mr. Comey's memos on his meetings with Mr. Trump say? "It's not a two-foot putt, but is it a viable prosecution?"
Moreover, said Wright and other lawyers, the president can't be sure advice he receives from White House lawyers will remain confidential.
The president of the United States, while he is in office, can be sued in a civil proceeding, but he can't be indicted criminally. If a majority of its members agree, the committee drafts a formal article of impeachment, which lays out a charge being brought against an official.
Jack Balkin is professor of constitutional law and the first amendment at Yale University. "It's a disputed constitutional issue. We know specifically that the framers argued about this", Freedman said.
Trump's plea on Flynn's behalf - perhaps it was prompted by the belief that his aide was a "good guy", perhaps by fear about what goods that good guy might have on him - is the mirror image of his debate pronouncement that "if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation".
A U.S. official who confirmed the disclosure said the revelation potentially put the source at risk.
At issue is a note Comey wrote to himself describing a conversation with Trump on February 14, the day after Flynn was dismissed for having misled Vice President Mike Pence about a telephone conversation with Russia's ambassador.
The contrarian congressman said that he would support the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's word over President Trump's.
"If he's pressuring repeatedly and won't take no for an answer, that becomes evidence of intent", Petalas said.
Comey's response could also be an indication. First, as NPR reported, Comey's memo needs to be published in its entirety, so there can be no doubt as to its contents. National Security Adviser H R McMaster said the president's comments were "wholly appropriate". Carlos Curbelo spoke out even before he did, pointing out on Tuesday night that "obstruction of justice - in the case of Nixon, in the case of Clinton in the late 90s - has been considered an impeachable offense". Shortly after noon on August 9, 1974, he addressed his staff, stepped into his Marine helicopter and levitated from the South Lawn of the White House and to exile in California.
Fresh off of House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz calling for the FBI to turn over memos reportedly written by former Director James Comey, the Senate Intelligence Committee is doing the same as part of its larger investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans control both houses, as well as the presidency. Curbelo represents the Democratic-leaning 26th district and has cast himself as a moderate; his vote for the American Health Care Act, however, helped narrowly pass a priority bill for Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Typically, the vice president oversees Senate trials, but in a presidential impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides.
Days before he left office, Clinton reached a deal with independent counsel Robert Ray that spared Clinton possible indictment after leaving office.