Today, ex-FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee for the first time since his firing by President Donald Trump, and it doesn’t seem like he’s got too much to hide.
I have to say, I loved his tone throughout this testimony. While it was entirely respectful, professional and level-headed, there was this certain unforgiving aire about him. And we all know when he said “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” it was just the old white man way to say “try me b, try me.”
He didn’t appear to be caught off-guard by anything and he had an answer (and the occasional joke) for everything that was asked of him. While the whole hearing, as with any boring government trial, was drawn out with a lot of meaningless questions – many of which which couldn’t be answered in a public setting – and convoluted language, some very imporant points have emerged.
1. Comey does believe that Trump attempted to “influence” the Russia investigation.
But he also said that he believes the investigation will go on without a hindrance now that there is a special council headed up by Robert Mueller, an old friend of Comey’s.
Comey said that during a private dinner with the President, Trump requested Comey’s loyalty, specifically saying: “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Comey says that he responded to this request saying that the President “will always get honesty from me.” Trump conceded saything that was what he wanted, “honest loyalty,” whatever that means.
Comey also said that they spoke on February 14, and concerning former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Trump said: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
So, there was no forceful, outright attempt on the part of the president to have the investigation either be dropped, or go in a particular partisan direction, but Comey said that he took the words “I hope” as a directive. There’s now a debate on what Trump really meant by that particular statement.
2. Comey does believe that the president is a liar.
“Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey said in reference to the statements Trump made concerning the atmosphere of the FBI at the time of Comey’s firing, namely that the organization was “in disarray, that it was poorly led and that the workforce had lost confidence it it’s leader.” Comey also said that he was utterly “confused” by the many different stories he heard following his dismissal about why he was asked to leave.
Comey made it clear that he believes the president has been spreading numerous tales about why he was asked to leave, but in the end, believes that he “was fired because of the Russia investigation … to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal.”
3. Comey did tell President Trump, thrice, that he was not the subject of the investigation.
So Trump was telling the truth on that one. Comey did make it clear to the president that the FBI was not investigating him personally, but that didn’t mean the “Trump-Russia” thing was a moot point. Comey stated that he didn’t want to announce this publicly basically to avoid having to backtrack in case that changed.
The whole point of this investigation was to see if there is or was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. It started with Michael Flynn, not Trump himself, so from the start you could say that the investigation wasn’t looking into the president himself, but there’s no denying he’s heavily involved now.
4. Clinton’s emails are still a thing…
I know. *eyes roll to the back of head, never return*
You would think that we would be over this topic by now, especially considering the fact that Clinton no longer has a role in any part of the governement and is no longer a candidate, but boy, this email B.S. is hard to escape.
A few of the senators asked questions surrounding the Clinton investigation. I understand the nature of some of these questions as Comey was heading that investigation as well, so there could be some relevance as to how that was handled versus how the Trump investigation has been handled.
But on the other hand…LET IT GO. Seriously, these are two separate investigations that should be handled in two different ways. The circumstances are completely different, so there is a limit to the insights to be gleaned from one in relation to the other. At some point, we gotta let Hillary live her life.
5. John McCain is uhm…well I’m not sure.
McCain is one of few Republicans that I have really respected and admired over the years, but honestly today’s interaction with Comey was just confusing. It seemed like he didn’t have a grasp on the fact that one investigation into a presidential candidate could be closed while another was open.
I’ve always believed that he’s a sharp guy, but his line of questioning sounded like it was leading the the conclusion that Clinton was also working with the Russians to bring down her own campaign…so maybe old John is losing his touch?
So, what are your thoughts on how the Comey trial went today? Was it a success for Comey? For Trump? Let me know!