I wanted to capture some details for future reference.
- Comey affirms that NYT has been publishing false stories of Trumprussia collusion.
- Comey admits to maliciously leaking his own memos.
Hmm – does this put Comey in legal jeopardy? (UPDATE: Seems more and more like it should. Comey’s formal memos of what happened on his job are government property. Could they be privileged information? Even classified? Then who was Comey to take them out of the office when he was fired; much less, to leak them?)
- Senator Jim Risch dismantles any ‘obstruction’ case against Trump:
Risch: ‘I hope’, this is [Comey’s version of] the President speaking, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go…I hope you can let this go.’
Risch: “Thank you for that. He did not direct you to let it go.”
Comey: “Not in his words, no.”
Risch: “He did not order you to let it go.”
Comey: “Again, those words are not an order.”
Risch: “He said ‘I hope’. Now, like me you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases charging people with criminal offenses…Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice, for that matter of any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?”
Comey: “I don’t as I sit here.”
- In other comments, Comey said that he interpreted Trump’s words as a direction, but that is, of course, B.S. Because
- Comey affirms above that he knew it wasn’t a direction, AND
- If Trump had given Comey a direction that Comey felt to be unethical or illegal, then Comey is in legal jeopardy for not having reported it sooner.
- Furthermore, per HotAir, Tom Cotton got Comey to acknowledge that he never threatened to resign over Trump’s behavior, as Comey did in a famous 2004 confrontation in John Ashcroft’s hospital room. Instead, and by his own admission, Comey told Trump “that I would see what we could do.”
This exchange is stunning…ly bad for Comey:
Rubio: Did you object to or inform the WH counsel about Trump’s “I hope” statement?
Rubio: “Why not?”
Comey: “I don’t know.”
- We also have Comey and Trump both calling each other liars on certain points, which makes it he-said-he-said.
Ever read Trump’s book? He has been dealing with lawyers day-in, day-out for DECADES. Figuring out how to influence people, without actually committing legal or ethical violations. His sister was a big-time Federal judge. The notion that President Trump would make inappropriate remarks to the likes of Comey, was always shaky.
- Comey reveals that the Obama administration pressured him to downplay Hillary’s scandal. Call it a “matter”, not an “investigation”:
LANKFORD: …the previous attorney general [Loretta Lynch] asking you about the investigation on the Clinton e-mails saying you were asked to not call it an investigation anymore. But call it a matter. You said that confused you. You can give us additional details on that?
COMEY: Well, it concerned me because…the campaigns were talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work. The Clinton campaign at the time was using all kinds of euphemisms, security matters, things like that for what was going on.
We were getting to a place where the attorney general and I were both going to testify and talk publicly about it I wanted to know was she going to authorize us to confirm we have an investigation. She said yes, don’t call it that, call it a matter. I said why would I do that? She said, just call it a matter…that concerned me because that language tracked the way the [Clinton] campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning…the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way [the Clinton campaign] was describing that. It was inaccurate. We had an investigation open for the federal bureau of investigation, we had an investigation open at the time. That gave me a queasy feeling.
Where’s the outcry on that? Or, might it be coming? 🙂
- Alan Dershowitz – hardly a conservative – makes the interesting point that, if Trump ever had ordered Comey to stop an investigation, his actions would be totally constitutional. Worth viewing.
Here’s what I got from it. A President can’t interfere with a judicial process. For example, he can’t tamper with juries or witnesses, end a prosecution (short of doing a presidential pardon), defy a subpoena or destroy evidence. But an FBI investigation is NOT a judicial process. Constitutionally, the FBI Director takes orders from the President. Past presidents have ended investigations they didn’t like. If Congress smells a rat, Congress can impeach the President; but that, too, is a non-judicial process (separate and political).
- These exchanges settle a lot. Flaming skull time!
Senator Burr: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?
Comey: I’m confident. By the time I left, I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.
Senator Burr: Did the President, at any time, ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 elections?
Comey: Not to my understanding, no.
Senator Burr: Did you ever have access to the actual [DNC e-mail] hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?
Comey: In the case of the DNC…we did not have access to the devices themselves. [ed: which means, and as I’ve stated before, the FBI relied on a report by CrowdStrike, a discredited DNC-paid company]
Senator Risch: While you were director, the POTUS was not under investigation [at any time], is that a fair statement?
Comey: That’s correct.
Senator Collins: I’m trying to understand whether there was any kind of investigation of the President under way.
Senator Rubio: …the president agreed with your statement that it would be great if we could have an investigation…
Comey: Yes, sir. He actually went farther than that. He — he said, “And if some of my satellites did something wrong, it’d be good to find that out.”
Lefties: You are not living in reality, if you think Trump is in trouble on this set of issues.