James Comey, former Director of the FBI until he was fired by President Trump earlier this year, testified before the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
1. Donald Trump somehow managed to not tweet during James Comey’s testimony. I don’t know if someone hid his phone, if someone applied reverse-psychology and said he wouldn’t be able to help himself, or something else.
2. Comey says in the days after he was fired, he was confused by the changing narrative from the White House as to why he was let go. Now he knows he was fired due to the Russia investigation. He said the White House chose to defame him and the FBI by saying the FBI was in disarray, was poorly led, etc. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”
3. We didn’t learn much new about Trump so much as we were reminded of events and his personality quirks. It was re-emphasized that Mike Flynn is radioactive, to the point it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s eventually charged with something.
4. Comey’s description of Russia makes it clear Russia isn’t just an opponent; it is an enemy.
5. Loretta Lynch’s conversation on the tarmac with Bill Clinton is the real event that sunk Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Lynch asked Comey to not call the investigation into Clinton’s private email server an “investigation” but a “matter,” which eventually led to Comey to make his announcement investigating about the email server. In fact, if I were to designate a “biggest loser” from today’s hearing, it would be former Attorney General Loretta Lynch due to her acting like a partisan hack.
6. Current AG, Jeff Sessions, is the runner-up for “biggest loser.” Comey knew some things to where he didn’t believe he could trust Sessions. He revealed in closed-door testimony that there was yet another meeting with a Russian official that Sessions didn’t initially disclose.
7. Sen. Risch (R-ID) suggested that since Trump said “I hope” you let Flynn go, it was not an order or intimidation. Sure. Right. And a boss can say to his secretary “I hope you have sex with me” and that’s not harassment.
8. Comey: “Look, I’ve seen the tweet about the tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” Right now the White House is acting like there are tapes but they don’t want anyone to know about them and Trump wishes he hadn’t tweeted that. When asked 27 days after Trump’s “tapes” tweet, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she has no idea if there’s a taping system in the White House. If the communications team still doesn’t know a month later, it’s because they don’t want to know. In fact, James Comey testified the reason that he had his memo leaked to the press was due to Trump’s “tapes” tweet. Most, if not all, of Trump’s troubles are self-inflicted.
9. Far less peacocking and grandstanding from the senators today compared to yesterday’s hearings.
10. Trump was vindicated in his statement that Comey told him three times that Trump wasn’t personally under investigation, but now we know he is under investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
11. John McCain came across as a rambling, confused old man.
12. The argument that Trump colluded with Russia is now weaker but the argument that Trump is obstructing is now stronger. But we really won’t know if it actually gets to obstruction until Mueller says so, and that won’t be for several more months and maybe years.