When a leader says “I hope you can do this”

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This level of dishonesty puts a strain on the liberal checks and balances of USA politics:

James Comey’s testimony before the Senate on June 8 hinged on one key phrase: “I hope you can let this go.” According to the former FBI director, US president Donald Trump used these words to request that he back off a federal investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
Comey interpreted this as a directive, while Trump’s defenders argue that the president was simply expressing a heartfelt wish. “You don’t know of anyone ever being charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?” Republican senator James Risch asked Comey. (In fact, it appears there is at least one case in which the words “I hope” have been used to bring charges of obstruction of justice, according to Dan Epps, an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.)

Someone on Jezebel remarked that her boss once took her to lunch, put his hand on her thigh, squeezed her thigh, and said “I hope we can have a good working relationship.”