Did former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony earlier today put the Russia issue to rest?
Former FBI Director James Comey testified on Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaking for nearly three hours. Comey answered questions about the FBI’s Russia investigation, his private interactions with President Trump, and his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
President Trump will now have some breathing room, as Comey confirmed that the President was not personally under investigation – as Trump has been claiming for weeks now, and Democrats have said he was lying. Comey also said the President never tried to obstruct the Russia investigation, a statement that will likely silence much of the current media outrage.
Something that has become a lesser scandal in the midst of the Trump-Russia collusion hysteria is that Trump openly asked Comey to kill the investigation of Michael Flynn, which is seen by many as an abuse of power. Comey confirmed that Trump did ask him to kill the investigation, and also revealed for the first time that Flynn was under criminal investigation. However, since Trump’s request was not an obstruction of justice, it will likely be largely overshadowed by questions about collusion.
Another scandal that resurfaced was the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. He testified on Thursday that Attorney General Loretta Lynch pressed Comey not to call the FBI’s Clinton email an “investigation,” but instead call it a “matter.” Comey did as asked at first, but over time grew fearful that the Obama Justice Department might have compromised its integrity.
James Comey told a somewhat sensational story about how he woke up one night to read Trump’s tweet:
Comey thought he needed to do something, so he decided to try to win the appointment of a special counsel. It worked, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller special counsel.
Comey accused the Trump administration of lying several times. Comey did say several things President Trump did not seem to like, which can be seen in the Trump administration’s response.
Overall, there was nothing in Comey’s testimony that will be very damaging to President Trump. Democrats likely overplayed their hand by pushing the Trump-Russia collusion scandal, which so far brought little evidence to light. Comey’s testimony put many of the most severe accusations against the President to rest; however, the former FBI Director’s remarks shed light on an administration with less than perfect integrity.