In an interview Wednesday, Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch joined the handful of Democrats on Capitol Hill publicly discussing the possibility of impeaching President Donald Trump for firing FBI Director James Comey.
“There may be grounds,” Lynch told WBUR’s Radio Boston. “Absolutely.”
Comey, who was leading the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, including reported ties to the Trump campaign, was fired by Trump last week. Subsequent reports by the New York Times revealed that Trump had pressured Comey for loyalty and asked him to curtail the FBI’s investigation.
Asked whether Trump’s actions could be an impeachable offense, Lynch referred to the federal statue against improperly obstructing an investigation.
“It describes a criminal offense for someone to interfere with an ongoing proceeding with a corrupt purpose,” said the South Boston Democrat. “Depending on the facts — we should do a thorough investigation — if those elements are met, and it certainly looks like it’s very close to the line, yeah, this would be an impeachable offense.”
Lynch, a member of the House Oversight Committee, noted that Comey had been invited to testify at a hearing next week, so that members of Congress could question the former FBI director about the Russia investigation and the circumstances surrounding his own firing.
“We’ve got a lot to ask him about,” Lynch said. He added that the Trump administration’s account of Comey’s firing had “a lot of inconsistencies.”
Lynch said normally it would be difficult to prove the intent required for an obstruction of justice conviction, but in this case Trump had “unwisely” made public statements about his motivations for firing Comey.