Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, told Fox News Thursday night that former FBI Director James Comey had not made the case that President Trump obstructed justice when he told Comey in February that he hoped the bureau would drop its probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"I am a prosecutor. I prosecuted lots and lots of cases," Risch told host Martha MacCallum. "You can’t prosecute somebody for hoping something. It doesn’t work. I’ve never heard of a case like that."
Risch claimed that Comey should have asked Trump to clarify his request if the FBI chief was worried that the president was trying to halt the investigation.
"This can’t be mushy. If he thought the president meant something different than what he actually said, he should have said, ‘Well, Mr. President, exactly what do you mean?’ or ‘Mr. President, are you telling me I should do this?'" said Risch, a member of the Senate intelligence committee.
"Jim Comey had to do more than what he did, if indeed he believed that the president was giving him some direction that was different then what his words were."
Risch also criticized Comey for passing his memos about his meetings with Trump to a friend, who subsequently leaked them to The New York Times.
"If Mr. Comey wanted to put those out, he should have just put out a press release and put them out," Risch said. "Kudos to him for admitting that he did it, but it should have been done a different way."