As I watched James Comey testify, I kept feeding questions to the Senators. Of course they did not hear me, since my office is over 300 miles away. That only added to my frustration.
In all fairness, the testimony had a lot of positives. Comey buried any shred of doubt about Trump-Russian collusion. At worst, the president asked for "loyalty," and "hoped" his friend would not be charged, neither of which is grounds for impeachment. (Sorry, Maxine Waters.)
Yet Comey’s story has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese used for target practice. Other than some token "gotcha" questions which Comey knew he’d be asked, the Intelligence Committee failed to challenge him on his bizarre actions.
For example, Comey felt the president was pressuring him to stop investigating Mike Flynn. Yet last month when asked by the Senate Judiciary Committee if the FBI is ever pressured to stop an investigation for political reasons, Comey replied "...that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience."
Some argue he was only referring to pressure from the DOJ. Perhaps. But couldn’t Senators force him to reconcile the apparent contradiction? Especially considering how emphatic he was about it being a "big deal," and it turns out that’s exactly what happened to him. It would have behooved Comey to at least reach out to Senator Hirono (who posed the question) privately, and inform her of the president’s actions.
Comey was not even asked why the president would "direct" him to end the Flynn investigation. With serious allegations like these, isn’t motive important?
Nor did anyone press Comey to explain why he did not inform Jeff Sessions about what Trump said. In his written opening statement, he said he expected Sessions to recuse himself. Since when does a hypothetical future recusal warrant withholding vital information from a superior? What possible harm could it do? Sessions was not part of the "conspiracy" to protect Mike Flynn. The president asked him to leave the room. If Comey discovered the president was conspiring with Putin to harm Americans, would he not have informed a single DOJ official, because in a few weeks Sessions may recuse himself from Russia matters? Comey should have been forced to answer these questions.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation was that Comey gave sensitive information to The New York Times, to bring about the appointment of a special counsel. Is it appropriate for him to surreptitiously influence an investigation? Who died and made him a DOJ official? And why, other than sheer revenge, would he want a special counsel, when he concedes there is no reason to suspect criminal wrongdoing by President Trump?
And as I discussed on my podcast last week regarding the now infamous memo — is there any proof it was written immediately after Comey met with the president? How do we know he didn't write it after he was fired? In fact, how do we know it even exists? And why the heck can't we see it? Why would Comey not make a copy before forking it over to the FBI? He has no problem leaking it to The New York Times, but the Senate practically begged him for it, and he has no way to get it to them. Where is the outrage?
Comey may be a control freak who loves the limelight, a "showboat," as Trump himself described to Lester Holt. That would explain why he has kept his cards tightly secured, ensuring his name remains on the front page longer than any FBI Director since Hoover. To paraphrase Drudge, the "As The Comey Turns" saga is the gift that keeps on giving.
The more nefarious option is that Comey wants revenge. Perhaps he modified the wording in the memo ever so slightly, as the president has suggested. Trump may have innocently said "I hope Flynn goes free," and Comey conveniently "forgot" the wording.
I’m only speculating, but this would answer a lot of questions. Hypothetically, it would mean that President Trump never pressured him, which is why he did not tell Sessions, the DOJ, or the Judiciary Committee. It would also explain why Comey would not want the memo made public, and preferred leaking an excerpt to the media, then safely giving it to his friends at the FBI.
A few weeks ago, Senator Chuck Schumer said, "You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." It would be ironic, almost Shakespearean, if this is one of those ways, and Mueller ends up prosecuting James Comey, the person who brought about his appointment in the first place.
Josh Margulies is the host of "Politics: Clear and Simple," a daily podcast offering analysis with an intellectual, conservative perspective. He has worked as an intern for the "Imus in the Morning" program, and has hosted several online political talk shows. Josh is currently a digital marketing consultant. He has assisted companies like Lockheed Martin, Netflix, and Bloomberg. Josh is also an ordained Rabbi who has studied Talmudic law. To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.
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