Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, to much fanfare. This was covered live by multiple news agencies and promoted widely as a major event.
What did we learn that was new? Not a lot.
– Comey thinks Trump lied (and of course Trump thinks Comey lied). If you know anything about how testimony works you will realize they can both be telling the truth and both mistaken – perception is reality. Comey has been saying this all along so did not really do any serious damage to the President here. Did Trump “defame” the FBI? Articles we have written seemed to indicate the FBI did have a measuer of disarray.
– Comey himself leaked the memos that he wrote to the press, through a friend of his. This was perhaps the only real revelation of the day. It shows the character flaw that led to his dismissal, his desire to play in politics and in the press rather than to play it straight as FBI director. A mysterious “leak” is much more sensational than a straight submission to the press. Trump’s lawyer later took the angle that this was “priviledged communication with the President” and perhaps should be investigated. He may have a point, but it will not likely be pursued at this point.
– The February 14 NY Times story about “numerous contacts between Russian intelligence and President Trump’s campaign people” was false according to Comey. Those of us who have truly followed this story already knew this, but it was nice to have Comey confirm it is his testimony. Perhaps this is where the real investigation should really be.
– Comey was very uncomfortable when Lynch said to refer to the Hillary investigation as a ‘matter.’ This of course is a huge degree of corruption on all sides, and should be revisitied.
Is Comey telling the truth? Certainly from his perspective.
Is there evidence of obstruction? No. Comey may have taken the President’s comment regarding Flynn as a order, but it was just a comment. And besides that Comey admitted that he wasn’t going to obey it. And of course at that point there was no investigation of Flynn, so really nothing to obstruct.
This may have been Comey’s last moment in the sun, I’m sure it was a cathartic experience for him. He said he piece and from his perspective the truth has been told.
I believe it is worth mentioning the fanfare of this event in the media, still hopelessly biased against Trump, hoping against hope there would be some kind of bombshell testimony. Sorry guys, no such luck.