Okay, it was not quite a nothing burger, but it was close. If you believed Trump was guilty of something going in then you probably found enough in Comey’s testimony to support your position. If you believed he was NOT guilty of anything, then you could probably find something in there to support your side too.
Bottom line, there were no totally unexpected revelations as Comey testified before the Senate hearing. But, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some damage done. Namely there was some damage done to the Trump Administration, Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch and to Hillary Clinton as a candidate. None of these actors came away unscathed, but there were no bombshells that could result in an indictment.
DONALD TRUMP – President Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz issued a statement on James Comey’s opening statement, saying “the President feels completely and totally vindicated.” Further, Kasowitz said President Trump was pleased that Comey’s testimony only reaffirms other testimony that he (Trump) was not ever under investigation over the allegations that he or his election team somehow colluded with Putin to through the election his way.
Comey said he was asked by Trump to make public that he was not under investigation, because this allegation was creating a cloud over his administration and it was making it difficult for him to move forward with his agenda. (This was also reported in the news months ago)
Regarding Trump’s alleged statement to Comey, that Comey wrote down in his personal notes, “Flynn is a good guy and has been through a lot. I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go.”
There’s a lot of people who think that would be an inappropriate statement, however, there’s a big difference between inappropriate and criminal. Many think Trump was acting more like a real estate guy unfamiliar with the ways of Washington. He made an innocent, but possibly ham-handed, comment without fully grasping how it could be perceived later.
LORETTA LYNCH – Comey said Lynch had previously given him instructions on the investigation into the use of a private server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — which “concerned” him. “At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me,” Comey said. “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.”
INDICTMENT – Legal experts point to two opinions written by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in 1973 and 2000, both concluding that indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. Here’s the conclusion from the 2000 memo written by then-assistant Attorney General Randolph D. Moss: “Our view remains that a sitting President is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.” That revelation will surely disappoint a lot of people!
- Former FBI director James Comey charged President Donald Trump had peddled “lies” when he said the FBI was in disarray under Comey’s leadership.Comey said that there was “no doubt” that Russia hacked and leaked Democratic National Committee information, that it interfered with the 2016 presidential election and that the Russian government was aware of this.
Comey said that he took as a directive Trump’s comments that he “hoped” the investigation into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn would go away.
But Republicans have seized on the fact Trump didn’t explicitly demand an end to the probe on Flynn. But again, Comey did say he felt under pressure to do so.
Comey took a lot of heat from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for not telling Trump directly that the president’s asks and interactions were improper.
Comey admitted that he leaked contents of his own memos to a friend at Columbia Law School, who then sent that information to a reporter at the New York Times with the aim to prompt a special counsel at the Department of Justice. (Later, Comey said he was unsure if that source still has the memos.)
Columbia U professor Dan Richman confirms to the Washington Post he was the friend Comey asked to share info about his mtg w/ Trump.
My sources –