"If a US President wanted to stop an investigation, is firing the FBI chief the way to get it done?"
"Why were you fired?"
"You’re a big and strong man, why didn’t you say no?"
"Tell us how you ended up going to Trump’s house for dinner? Did he call you?"
The big bang Comey testimony that consumed America Thursday June 8 was more about Comey the upright professional and less about obstruction of justice, more about the coarseness of Trump's methods and less about legality. Most legal scholars come around to the view that you can’t indict a sitting President. For now, that's where it's at.
Trump hit back via his personal lawyer for all things Russia- Marc Kasowitz: "Contrary to numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the President privately: The President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. He also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.Mr Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey “it would be good to find out” in that investigation if there were “some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong.” And he did not exclude anyone from that statement,"the statement said.
Upside for those who are rooting for Comey and still thinking this is impeachment territory - All the memos Comey wrote about conversations with Trump are with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Generously seasoned with deeply personal commentary, wry humor, a steady gaze and charming colloquialisms, Comey’s answers to all these questions in the 160 minute public testimony on Russia’s interference in the US 2016 elections was the strongest case he could possibly make that Trump’s actions amounted to obstruction of justice, without actually saying it out loud. Since the US President is above law, these revelations are still in wide arc of politics at a time when Republicans control the Congress and the mid term elections are coming up next Fall. Impeachmint is a real cocktail at a bar on #ComeyDay, impeachment will need a 2/3rd majority in Congress and Democrats are anxious to see Trump gone but don’t have the numbers yet.
Also read: Revenge of the persistent notetaker
Comey knocked Trump right from the start calling him a liar for his accusation that Comey was not running the FBI efficiently. Late in the testimony, Comey said directly that Trump fired him because of the Russia probe and the Republicans asked questions more to keep their voters warm for the midterms.
Unless Republicans abandon Trump, the US President is going to stick around and if the right wingery is successful and quick, we’ll be seeing “Comey the leaker” stories very soon - Comey said he leaked material after he was fired in the hope that it would prod lawmakers to appoint a special prosecutor.
Comey’s testimony has a knuckle rap for news stories based on anonymous sourcing - just as the story Comey leaked ( which we now know) through a Professor at Columbia Law School about his conversations with Trump which had specificity and another story by NYT on the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia did not have them and Comey dismissed it as bogus.
“The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on and those of us who actually know what’s going on are not talking about it,” Comey during questioning from Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho). “And we don’t call the press and say, ‘Hey, you got that thing wrong.’”
By lunchtime, Comey also served up a rich mix of metaphors and localese - "feeding seagulls at the beach" in reference to why he leaked a story through a friend, “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” while on the subject of Trump's appeals to Comey's loyalty, no fuzz (ambiguity) on Russia. Merriam-Webster reported that searches for a number of words Comey used had spiked.
The ex-FBI chief called Trump a liar at least 5 times in his public testimony and revealed that the so-called NYT scoop that led to lawmakers calling for Comey's testimony was scripted by Comey from end to end - the notetaker is an awesome journalist.
Updated Date: Jun 09, 2017 02:11 AM