Comey Day Bombshellapallooza! Here’s what you need to know
It’s “Comey Day”!
Here are the bombshell bullet points from former FBI director James Comey’s public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee:
• Comey called out Trump for lying and defamation:
“Although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray. That it was poorly led. That the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them and I’m so sorry the American people were told them.”
• Comey does hope that Trump was telling the truth about one of his claims: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!”
• Comey leaked memos in the hope it would lead to appointment of a special prosecutor:
“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of a memo with the reporter, I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
According to NBC News, the friend is Columbia Law Professor Dan Richman.
• Comey revealed that he became aware that a Russia-connected entity had engaged in hacking and cyberintrusion, “a massive effort to target governmental and non-governemtal entities,” during the summer of 2016.
• Comey was at first “baffled” about the reasons Trump gave for his firing as director of the FBI, and lied about it.
• Comey found Trump’s request to stop investigating Michael FLynn “disturbing.”
• Comey has “no doubt” the Special Counsel is investigating allegations that Donald J. Trump obstructed justice.
• Comey told Sen. Mark Warner that he memorialized the meetings with Donald Trump because he believed there was a likelihood that Trump might lie about what transpired and documented the meetings:
I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility and that relate to the President-elect personally. And then the nature of the person. I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document. That combination of things I had never experienced before, but it led me to believe I got to write it down, and I got to write it down in a very detailed way.
He added that he wrote the memos in a manner that avoided divulging classified information.
• Comey stated that he never initiated any telephone calls to Trump.
• Comey stated that AG Jeff Sessions’s role in the probe of Russian hacking and ties to members of Trump’s campaign team is “problematic.”
• Comey has concluded the Russia will unequivocally attempt to continue to tamper wih American elections:
“They will be back… we will remain that shining city on the hill and they don’t like that!”
• Comey twice repudiated a February New York Times report that ther had been contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian intelligence.
• Comey suggested that the “dossier” assembled by former British agent Christopher Steele containing explosive allegations that Russian operatives may have personal and financial information about President Donald Trump that could be used against him may be accurate in at least some part – and possibly more.
• Heads up, Mike Pence – surprise incoming! Sen. Ron Wyden asked Director Comey whether or not Vice President Mike Pence – who was at the time the leader of Trump’s transition team – had been aware of concerns Flynn had had improper contact with Russian officials during the transition following the election. Comey said that it was his understanding that Pence was aware of those concerns.
• Here’s a second big and unexpected bombshell – landing on Jefferson Beauregard Sessions:
“Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself [from the Russia investigation] for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.“
California Senator Kamala Harris’s line of questioning – which Comey refused to answer in a public setting – made it clear that Sessions is in over his head. Harris’s linear, rigorously sequenced questions hint that the California senator knows something about potential wrongdoing on Sessions’s part – and that the committee has some serious evidence that suggest the same.