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Comey Testimony Suggests Makings of a Trump Defense

I know you are seeing all sorts of headlines about the transcript of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was released this afternoon and will be given Thursday — you know, that it’s a “bombshell,” and so forth. What I see is a clear path for a defense by President Trump against charges that he obstructed justice.

There is nothing in there that we don’t already know, but there is additional context which may be exculpatory toward Trump.

First of all, Trump’s request to Comey about the Flynn investigation was made the day after Flynn was fired. Trump appears to feel bad about the decision, and the pleading on Flynn’s behalf seems more an act of human compassion than corruption.

From Comey’s notes on the conversation with Trump:

The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.”

Note also that the president leaves the ball in Comey’s court. He does not order him to stand down. He says he hopes Comey can let the matter go. This could, conceivably, be interpreted as him saying that he hopes the evidence doesn’t exist against Flynn and that he hopes Comey can wrap things up. It’s inappropriate, for sure, but it doesn’t seem to be obstruction of justices to me. At the very worst, it’s pressure. But not obstruction.

Also, the testimony makes clear that, as Trump claimed, Comey assured Trump more than once that he was not under investigation. That Comey wouldn’t say this publicly appears to be something that was seriously bugging Trump, because he felt it impeded his ability to do his job.

Comey writes:

He finished by stressing “the cloud” that was interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated.

This is important because it suggests one reason that Trump fired Comey. Much has been made of reports that Trump suggested to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting that he fired Comey to end the Russia investigation.

The Times reported:

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

In Trump’s statement upon firing Comey, he was clear to note that Comey had assured him he wasn’t under investigation. In the context of his concern about being under investigation, the statement to the Russians suggests the “pressure” that was “taken off” was not the entire Russia probe, but his feeling that with Comey gone, he could make clear that he himself was not under investigation.

Unless there is proof that Trump sought to end the Russia probe at FBI once Comey was removed, I’m not sure there is proof that he fired Comey to do so.

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13 Responses to Comey Testimony Suggests Makings of a Trump Defense

  1. And I think it’s interesting that Comey’s Diary didn’t appear until he was fired. IIRC,

    Also did he keep a similar Diary under Obama. If he did I am sure it was something like

    Dearest Diary, It was so exciting. He actually looked at me. Not just glanced from under those “sexy” hooded eyes, but looked at me (as if I was a dog ready to be plated, but still ….)

    Comey has no credibility in this house.

  2. Hypocrites, all. What politician hasn’t asked, pressured, or spoke on behalf of one of their staffers or supporters who found themselves in a jam, or facing a DUI charge, or some other event?
    This is what they do, this is a normal political event. It’s not illegal, maybe not moral, but all the same, it’s done every day in every precinct.

    • And:
      Comey told the President he wasn’t under investigation. That alone removes the whole Dem attack that he was fired to stop the investigation.
      So, he asked for loyalty, not an unreasonable request.
      I’m not seeing bombshell, I see a dud.

  3. The media is trying to make much of the President asking Comey for loyalty. I would take this as meaning not leaking out info as the admin has been plagued by leakers, that type of thing anyway. The opposite of loyalty is disloyalty. Maybe the media think he should have said “I want disloyalty”. Ridiculous. he was not being investigated by the FBI, but COmey would never tell the public this, so he was keeping the pressure up on the President for no good reason other than to keep this Russia crap going.

    • The Left doesn’t need evidence. Didn’t I see Al Green was drafting articles of impeachment already this afternoon?

      The more I hear of Comey, the easier it is to defend the use of the term “nut job.”

  4. Very interesting. But we already know that even if the transcripts proved that the Flynn matter had never come up in the meeting, let’s say, the insane corporate media would have TV evening news with headlines like: “Anonymous Source Claims Trump Used Hypnosis To Try To Force Comey To Drop Flynn Investigation; Democrats Demand Impeachment Hearings Begin Immediately.”

    What a pathetic, insulting, amateur soap opera the media and the politicians have turned this silliness into. Do they not understand we are all watching them make fools of themselves? Will this foolishness help raise Congress’s 17.8 percent approval rating? Of course not.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html

    • Today’s biased,air-headed “media” and stuck-up, scumbag “politicians” have no clue about the real world WE all live in…and they do not care what WE lowly unwashed ‘citizens’ think or say…

      • True. The corporate media and the moonbat politicians live in their own little bizarro world, all trying to impress one another, showboating for attaboys from their fellow idiots. That’s all that matters to them. And we know it.

        I would like to know how many of these politicians have secret offshore bank accounts with regularly deposited Soros money flowing into them. I’m serious. They’re all bought and paid for, it’s just a matter of which crook is funding them.

  5. Guess the bombshell really is a dud now.
    The MSM volcano-heads that exploded this morning are now wondering if there is anything there, there.
    lol.
    How disappointed they must be, awww.