by KYW’s Justin Udo and Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many people throughout the Philadelphia area, experts and otherwise, shared their thoughts on former FBI Chief James Comey’s Senate hearing.
KYW’s Justin Udo spoke with local political law experts who weighed in on Comey’s testimony, and whether or not they think President Trump’s committed obstruction of justice.
Claire Finkelstein is the Director of Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania.
She says that Comey’s testimony bolsters a strong case that President Trump committed obstruction of justice when it comes to the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.
“What does that, is the fact that President Trump apparently made very clear to director Comey that his job was on the line,” said Finkelstein.
John Culhane is a constitutional law professor at Widner law school.
He believes that by the President saying to Mr. Comey “I hope you can let this go,” in reference to the Michael Flynn investigation, he obstructed justice.
“Comey understood it, as I think a lot of people would have, as a directive to drop the investigation, which he didn’t do and he was fired,” Culhane said.
Both experts say they think Comey’s testimony was truthful and will be interesting to see how the investigation plays out.
Meanwhile, several establishments in the region played the entire Comey hearing on TV. KYW’s Mike Dougherty dropped by a bar in Center City to get reaction from people who watched.
The lunch crowd shuffled in and out of McGillians Ale House, some watched the testimony with intent, some kept one ear open, and many didn’t seem to care very much.
The people we spoke with who followed closely all sided with Mr. Comey in this “he said, he said” spectacle.
“There wasn’t anything surprising or new, I thought, as far as information is concerned. It was pretty satisfying to hear somebody call Trump a liar, like blatantly,” said one viewer.
“I think what’s going on now is a bunch of crap. I think Comey would have been a good FBI top man,” said another.
And there seemed to be a consensus that investigators need to figure out what happened and get to the bottom of Russia’s involvement in the election.