Comey Takes Center Stage
Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee this morning. I'll get to that in a moment. But in a rather unusual move, his opening statement was released to the public yesterday afternoon.
After reviewing the statement, Marc Kasowitz, the president's attorney, promptly and correctly said, "The president feels completely and totally vindicated." Here's why:
- Comey documented the three separate occasions when he told President Trump that he was not under investigation.
- While Comey was troubled by President Trump's comment that he hoped the director could let Gen. Flynn go, Comey concluded that the president was not attempting to influence the Russia investigation and that, ultimately, the president's comments did not rise to the level of a criminal offense.
There was something else notable in Comey's prepared testimony -- his description of a White House dinner during which the president said to him, "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty."
Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, a solid Christian conservative, gave this explanation for Trump's remarks, which the media are twisting into something nefarious:
"America did not select a . . . politician. They hired a New York business guy. . . He's sitting down with all the people he's hiring. . . and saying, 'I need you to be loyal.' . . . He sits down with Comey a week into his presidency and says basically, 'You're the same as everyone else.' Comey is sitting there apparently thinking, 'I'm not like everyone else. I'm an independent investigator, I'm leading the FBI.'"
Sen. Lankford nailed it.
And, as I noted yesterday, Trump knew, after the past eight years, that the Department of Justice was full of left-wing political hacks. Comey was, after all, an Obama appointee.
Don't forget that just days into the Trump Administration there were reports of left-wing bureaucrats using encryption technology to communicate with Obama loyalists to sabotage Trump's agenda. So, under these circumstances, it's not surprising Trump wanted to know that Comey wasn't going to join the left-wing Obama loyalists in leaking material damaging to his administration. (More on that below.)
But at the very beginning of this morning's "James Comey Show" -- broadcast nationally by big media -- we saw why President Trump accused Comey of being "a showboat" and "a grandstander."
Comey refused to read his opening statement, which "totally vindicated" the president.
The American people did not get to hear the former FBI director say that the president was not under investigation. Instead, Comey used his opening remarks to generate sympathy for himself and to present himself as a victim. He sounded like a fired, disgruntled ex-employee whining about his former boss.
- Chairman Richard Burr asked Comey if anyone instructed him to drop the Russia investigation. Comey answered, "No." Watch it here. So much for obstruction of justice.
- Burr asked if there was any evidence that Russia altered vote totals in the election. Comey responded, "No." That was an important question to ask because 58% of Democrats believe the Russians did manipulate the vote count.
- Comey admitted that he asked a friend to leak his memo regarding the conversation with President Trump about "letting Gen. Flynn go." Comey said that he hoped the leak would lead to the appointment of a special counsel, which it did.
In other words, Comey interfered with the investigation himself! That has some constitutional law experts asking whether Comey violated the law, given that the memo was a government record.
- Comey conceded that many of the major media reports regarding Russian collusion are, as President Trump has said, "fake news." He said, "There have been many, many stories . . . about Russia that are dead wrong."
"The people talking about it often don't really know what's going on, and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it," Comey added. "We don't call the press and say, 'Hey, you got that thing wrong.'"
Again, this adds more meaning to President Trump's request for loyalty, as well as his request of Comey to help "lift the Russia cloud" over his administration.
President Trump is being bombarded day after day with negative, fake news stories, fed by bitter left-wing bureaucrats -- like Reality Winner -- who refuse to accept the results of the election. It is easy to understand why the president grew frustrated and fired Comey.
About That Clinton Investigation. . .
Former Director Comey was also grilled about his handling of the Clinton email investigation. And while the left has failed to find any evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, there is evidence of collusion between Hillary Clinton and the Obama Justice Department.
Sen. Richard Burr asked Comey whether the tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch played any role in his decision to make a public statement about Hillary's "extremely careless" handling of national security secrets.
Comey anwered: "Yes, in a ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me; that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation."
Comey seems to be saying that the Obama Justice Department had compromised the Clinton investigation in some way. He also said that then-Attorney General Lynch "directed" him not to call the Clinton probe an "investigation," but simply a "matter."
Comey said that disturbed him because it was language the Clinton campaign was using, suggesting collusion between the Clinton campaign and the Obama Justice Department.
At one point in today's hearing, Comey said that he felt President Trump's comments about Mike Flynn could have had a "chilling effect on the investigation." Well, Barack Obama repeatedly said that Hillary Clinton was not guilty of violating our national security laws. Certainly Obama's public statements must have had a "chilling effect" on the Clinton investigation.
Tune in tomorrow night at 11:00 p.m. to EWTN's new show, "Pro-Life Weekly." Host Catherine Szeltner and a team of pro-life experts shine the light of truth on abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and the culture of death.
I will be on "Pro-Life Weekly" tomorrow discussing how the breakdown of the American family is connected to abortion. Click here to watch a preview.
Other highlights of tomorrow's show include:
- A discussion with former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, Susan B. Anthony List's Vice President of Government Affairs, and Montse Alvarado, executive director of The Becket Fund, about the newly proposed rule rolling back Obamacare's contraception mandate.
- An interview with pro-life champion Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey.
"Pro-Life Weekly" airs on Friday at 11:00 p.m. ET and Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. ET. Be certain to check your local cable listings. You can also find the full episode after the scheduled airings on EWTN's YouTube Channel.