James Comey, in calm, coherent voice, exposed all of Trump's lying and chicanery despite Repub efforts to distort his testimony.
First, let's start with the asshole-in-chief's imbecilic tweet this a.m., proving once more - as Karl Rove noted in a WSJ column yesterday - Trump's tweets are now totally devoid of facts which is why his sorry administration is on the shoals of collapse. Mr. Ginger-face Orang thus tweeted:
But this imbecile has no clue that there is no "complete vindication", period, It is a red herring, as former DOJ specialist Matt Miller has emphasized. I will get to the details of that below. As for Comey being a "leaker" as all the FOX-head idiots (as on 'Fox n' Freinds' this a.m.) are screeching, uh no, you cannot be a "leaker" if: 1) You are no longer employed by the gov't (e.g. fired by the Dumpster), and 2) the material consists of your own unclassified memos. Comey was intelligent enough to know that he could disseminate his own memos through a friend (a Columbia Univ. law prof), and that their classification would only follow after the fact, i.e. after giving them to special counsel Robert Mueller.
But do the Trumpite assholes and dingbats know any of that? Of course not, from their two bit cheesy weasel lawyer Kasowitz, to Trump - as Liar in chief - to the FOX n Friends bubble heads - they know nothing, Kasowitz himself showed he's in over his head when he claimed Comey "has admitted he is one of these leakers" and had "leaked privileged information" by giving his memos to his friend to disseminate. But one's own memos can't be "privileged" information, because they are one's own unclassified property, created for one's own purposes. In James Comey's case, he had the prescience to know that in dealing with an unstable liar he had better record every encounter for possible reference and use later. Indeed, precisely for a potential Senate Intel hearing which one didn't have to be a mind reader to foresee.
Hence, the memos' creation has a reasonable basis for future utility and so they couldn't be "leaked". If Trump is relying on this two bit 'ambulance chaser' weasel Mark Kasowitz to rescue him from the maw of Bob Mueller, well, he's really in trouble, not to mention desperate. This isn't another fake casino bankruptcy case to weasel out of paying money owed, it's a full on federal investigation into possible conspiracy with a hostile foreign power, not to mention obstruction of justice. Even former Watergate reporter Bob Woodward stated this morning ('CBS Early Show') that what Comey did with his memos was "totally open and honest" even surpassing how "Deep Throat" (Mark Feldt) helped Carl Bernstein and himself expose Watergate.
Truth be told, in a battle for credibility James Comey wins hands down, having the courage to face the Senate Intelligence Committee under oath. And in a battle with Trump he prevails, given we already know the hundreds of whoppers unleashed by Trump, from his inauguration crowds being the "biggest ever", to "the largest electoral vote win since Reagan", to naming Ted Cruz' dad as part of the JFK assassination, to asserting millions of illegals gave Hillary the popular vote victory, to denying that he asked Comey to a dinner. And the capper, in Comey's own words:
"The administration chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies plain and simple."
It was after this Trump defamation of Comey and the FBI that he decided to share his memo content with a friend to give to the press. Comey chose not to do so himself because he didn't want to create a media circus on his front lawn, especially as he and his wife planned a getaway from the political ruckus in the wake of the firing. In his words, when asked by Roy Blunt why he didn't do it himself:
"Because I was worried that the media was camping at the end of my driveway. And I worried it would be like feeding seagulls at the beach if it was I who gave it to the media. So I asked my friend, 'make sure this gets out'"
Comey also called out the Trump lie that he was fired on account of interference in the Clinton campaign - as Trump first claimed- before he changed his line (in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt) that he just wanted Comey gone. For Comey, the real reason for his firing - as most sentient citizens surmised - was his continued pursuit of the Russia investigation. In all, Comey directly (using the word "lied") or by inference, called out at least five occasions for Trump lies.
Make no mistake, either, it is the guy who testifies under oath and already displays a pattern of integrity -unlike the sorry ass Donald- who wins the Truth battle. When Dumpster Trump volunteers to willingly be questioned under oath, like James Comey, we can make a marginal allowance that maybe at least for a half hour he'd rather speak the truth than commit perjury. But until then no benefit of any doubt can be permitted.
Fearless, poised and articulate in the Senate Intel Hearing hot seat, former FBI Director Comey spoke truth to power as he meticulously delivered measured responses that exposed Donald Trump as the disreputable lying worm he truly is. And he did this in the face of several attempts (such as from Roy Blunt (MO), James Lankford (OK) and Tom Cotton (AR) to try to redirect the theme to Trump's having been told he "was not under investigation". None of these R- dopes processing at all that it doesn't mean he is "innocent" or "vindicated". Oh no.
With prescience, Comey had submitted a template for his appearance in written testimony prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday. What it showed clearly is that Trump’s entreaties continued for months, in unexpected phone calls and awkward meetings - at least three of which Comey interpreted as "directives" to set him free of any scrutiny. The Senate Republicans honed in on this aspect with their questions, i.e. "Did President Trump give you an order or merely say he hoped you'd do it?" Failing to note that when a mugger holds a .44 to your head and whispers "I hope you will cooperate and hand over that wallet." there is no dispute that he isn't giving you an option. Yet, the 'pukes, congenital dissemblers that they are, beat the explicit wording to the point some lazy viewers might have been led to ask 'What's all the fuss about?' Despite the fact that it was Mr. Comey who was actually there and had to take into account the atmosphere, Trump's bearing and the "nature" of the man confronting him. (Which we now know is warped and mentally unstable.) Anyone who's ever confronted a psychopath would grasp what I mean, those who haven't would not.
Hence, Comey's interpretation of Trump's words as a "directive" was spot on, and based on decades of experience, as well as knowing how Mob bosses operate with their demands for patronage. Again, if a Mafia Don has you in his favorite pizza parlor and says - while lighting his cigar: "I do hope you will cooperate and pay the weekly protection money" you are not going to debate him.
As for the other dead horse the Pukes beat, i.e. that Trump "wasn't under investigation", that was easily dispelled by former Justice Dept. prosecutor Matt Miller. He observed that the notion Trump "wasn't under investigation" is a red herring. The FBI had been investigating Trump's campaign, his organizations, for which Donald Trump operates as head honcho, decision maker. Whenever the FBI investigates any organization - whether drug cartel, a major bank or a campaign, they look at wrongdoing wherever it is. Their M.O. is always to find people who are targets, assemble evidence against them, and then move up the chain with what they have. For example, they would question Mike Flynn and extract as much as they can before asking: 'What do you have to tell us about Donald Trump?' In other words, it's a progressive process. That's how it works. So any major player in an organization under investigation can't possibly be publicly exonerated or vindicated before the investigation is completed. He CAN be informed privately that he isn't under any investigation at that time - as Comey did with Trump.
In Trump's case it only means they (FBI) didn't have evidence right now that he committed wrongdoing. It doesn't mean they will never have any forevermore. The onerous 'pukes (as well as weasel lawyer Kasowitz) don't seem to get the difference, or maybe don't wish to. Also, prematurely "vindicating" a suspect in his presumed innocence is always unwise because it could trigger a duty to correct down the line. This is something the FBI always seeks to avoid given it calls into question their methods and hence public confidence in the Bureau. Say Comey or another FBI chief actually did that, then it turned out Trump was tagged much later as central to collusion. - it would quickly become a fiasco. At the very least, the agency now has thrust upon it the "duty to correct" i.e. whatever it led Trump to believe earlier and with the potential for leaks as well. This is a situation the FBI never wants to get into. Or (further) to have to later tell a media source, "No comment" in response to questions asked, say about Trump being told he's now guilty when he was declared "clear" before.
So again, this was a point the Republican Senators - including Blunt, Lankford and Cotton never got, nor did Mark Kasowtiz. . They never grasped that Comey telling Trump he wasn't under investigation was only for that time, not in perpetuity. Even Bob Woodward this morning didn't seem to grasp the implications, insisting "Comey should have gone public, assuring people Trump was not under investigation". No, that would have been the worst thing to do, especially given when all the threads are exhausted (Woodward admitted we only have about "ten percent of all the answers") Trump will likely be found guilty on several counts and possibly indicted by Mueller's special investigation. (Mueller can seek an indictment before the grand jury and prosecute the case in federal court.)
The most outstanding criminally implicit behavior of Trump, as noted by Rep. Ted Lieu (CA) - as part of "consciousness of guilt" - i.e. having AG Sessions, VP Mike Pence and Jared Kushner leave the room on Feb. 14th . This was the meeting when Trump confronted Comey about the Flynn issue. ("I hope you can see your way to letting this go". ) Guilt is imputed given that no innocent person asks others to leave a room before engaging a law enforcement official on an investigation, in this case the head of the FBI. As Comey put it, in response to a question by Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM):
"A really significant fact to me is the meeting on February 14. So why would you kick everybody out of the Oval office? Why would you kick out the attorney general, the vice-President, the chief of staff to talk to me if it was about something else?"
In other words, as Ted Lieu has observed, Trump had to be conscious of his own guilt to do this, it was emphatically not innocuous or "normal" to be asked to be left alone with the FBI director.
When Trump appeared at an evangelical confab yesterday he blabbed:
"We're under siege, you understand that."
Never telling those "faithful" assembled the real truth that THEY are the ones under siege via his policies, including now a 2018 budget proposal to cut disabled veterans' benefits, as well as health care. (Which he is now gutting from the inside by removing federal support subsidies.)
What did Comey likely get wrong in his testimony? When he dismissed a NY Times story from Feb. 14th, headlined 'Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence', as "almost entirely wrong". But as one of the journalists (Michael S. Schmidt) stated last night (MSNBC interview) the Times is standing by this story. Schmidt noted Comey "did not explain why he thinks the story is inaccurate" and Schmidt and co-writers point out in the story that since it ran many further contacts have emerged, i.e. between Carter Page, Jared Kushner and Russians and different items collected by intelligence community. (Even DNI James Clapper said at the time that the Trump-Russian contacts had occurred, but were "sensitive".)
Most likely basis for Comey's rejection of the Times' story? Semantics! Disputing that the Russians who were in contact with Mr. Trump’s advisers were actual "intelligence officers" because that did not meet the F.B.I.’s black-and-white standard of who can be considered an “intelligence officer.” Other American agencies have a broader definition, especially when it comes to Russia. This somewhat reminds me of the arguments with pro-Warren Commission trolls over who is a CIA, and who is not a CIA agent. (The Warrenites tended to exclude all contract agents, like Clay Shaw.)
In other words, a tweedle-dee vs. tweedle-dum distinction as the basis for rejection.