The new debate about obstruction exploded after Trump's account tweeted during the weekend that he had to fire Flynn because Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI about his conversations with Russian officials.
"I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn".
He tweeted: "So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday 'interrogation' with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times.and nothing happens to her?"
But several lawyers said, regardless of whether Yates explicitly said Flynn lied to the FBI, the White House counsel should have seen that possibility and communicated it to the president.
Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless", the sources said. "If I had thought there was a man detailing a sexual assault strategy to me, I would have called the FBI, not just reported it to my executive producer", he said.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of President Donald Trump's former advisor Michael Flynn has ratcheted up tensions in Washington, with the White House girding for possible obstruction charges against Trump himself.
On the same day, separately, a Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Kremlin contacts. "That, in fact, he was acting with the knowledge and at the direction of people who were senior members of the transition team".
Trump then allegedly urged Comey to be lenient with his dismissed national security adviser, Flynn.
"With Flynn's plea deal, Mueller has nowhere to go but up the chain", Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent now lecturing at Yale University, told Politico. People who lie to the FBI generally do so because, if they told the truth, they would be admitting to a crime.
Ex-FBI Director James Comey is upping his social media presence, months after being fired by President Trump from his prominent perch atop America's top law enforcement agency. It was done out of Obama's personal pique against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than on principle.
The motivation for Dowd's introducing his point at this moment - long before Mueller has concluded his probe - is just as interesting as the legal point he makes itself.
Flynn's decision to co-operate with Mueller's team marked a major escalation in a probe that has dogged the U.S. president since he took office in January.
Reaction to the news seemed split along party lines.
Trump took his Twitter and posted series of tweets in which he denied all such allegations. She added, "That's obstruction of justice".
Wray has not publicly commented on Strzok or the President's tweets. The law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit wrote in 1992, "was drafted with an eye to the variety of corrupt methods by which the proper administration of justice may be impeded or thwarted, a variety limited only by the imagination of the criminally inclined". "But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness", Trump tweeted. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., warned the president to tread cautiously.
President Trump's private assertions that it wasn't actually him bragging about groping women in 2005 on the Access Hollywood bus have been met with public reminders from both Access Hollywood and Billy Bush that yes, it was Trump on the bus. "You tweet and comment regarding ongoing criminal investigations at your own peril".
"We find ourselves under the microscope each and every day - and rightfully so".
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of "Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy".