Question about evidence re: Comey memo
Just wondering if a prosecution for obstruction can be based solely on Comey's memo. what if Trump disputes what was said? Then it's a matter of he-said/he-said. I would like to think that the memo makes the case a slam dunk, but don't know how much weight this would actually carry.
they would be part of a chain of evidence, but it would be a tenuous case if that was the only evidence.
Besides, there is plenty of "evidence" of what Trump did and why in the public domain. Just read his Twitter rants and play back his interviews and speeches.
It's hearsay, but it comes in as under an exception to the hearsay rule as a business record or present sense impression (or it may be used to refresh Comey's recollection). Before being accepted into evidence, the memo needs to be authenticated, which would require Comey to testify and lay the foundation as to how and why he prepared it.
Is it enough? It certainly presents a question of fact and it would be up to a jury to determine whether or not to believe SCROTUS or Comey and whether it evidenced obstruction. I'd want more proof if I were prosecuting.
If I have a dispute with a neighbor, who later says, "I went straight into my house and wrote down, word for word, what she said to me. She threatened to gut me like a fish!!!" If that is entered into evidence, how can I refute that. "Did not," seems kind of lame.
Isn't this the same sort of thing?
It's up to a jury to decide what weight or credibility to give it.
Just because something is admissible as evidence, doesn't make it true.
What is this trial about. Did she end up in the trunk of your car gutted like a fish?
Are any of them missing?
But the point is that any piece of "evidence" that is admitted, goes into the larger factual landscape. A piece of evidence tends to support one proposition or another, by making it more, or less likely. But a piece of evidence doesn't prove what happened - it needs to go into the wagon load of other evidence to be sorted out by a jury.
I just finished reading Cardiac Arrest by Howard Root, CEO of Vascular Solutions, Inc. about his, and his company's, trial. Granted, it was just his side of things, but it was a great behind-the-scenes look at what happens in a trial. The prosecution had a very flimsy case, and tt sounds like the expectation was that the company would roll over and take whatever settlement the prosecution was willing to offer. Instead, Root and VSI took it to trial and won, at a cost of $25,000,000.
In the Comey/Trump matter, I sure hope there is a lot of evidence.
Combined with Comey's reputation, it's significant evidence. Enough to convict on it's own? Doubt it. But when it's a part of the string of events (firing Yates, firing US attorneys - some who were investigating Trump, etc), it helps push it towards beyond reasonable doubt.
It's certainly another fact that looks bad. But their best chance has to include the whole set of facts for it to have a good chance. The criminal bar of beyond reasonable doubt is much higher than the civil bar as OJ Simpson can tell you.
Now if Mensch's story of Trump people accessing Comey's computer while they fired him and giving the USB stick of Comey's data to the Russian diplomats (since recovered by the FBI) is true, I don't think the memo is going to be required. They can just haggle the prison sentence.