Fired FBI director James Comey’s hearing was on Thursday; it has been all the rage on the news and among political junkies everywhere. There will be all kinds of scrutinized psychoanalysis of every word uttered by Comey for the rest of the day, but here were the five biggest moments from the Comey hearing.
1. Comey said that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch attempted to influence Hillary Clinton’s email investigation. The Daily Wire‘s James Barrett highlighted the relevant quote:
“At one point, the Attorney General [Lynch] told me not to call it an investigation but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused and concerned me,” the former FBI director told the committee Thursday. “But that was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the [Justice] Department if we’re to close this case credibly.”
Barrett also quoted a passage from Erick Erickson’s piece that reads, “This comes on the heels of Comey saying he largely scrapped the Clinton investigation because of Lynch’s private meeting with Bill Clinton. That sounds way more like obstruction of justice than Trump just asking Comey if he might wind down the Flynn investigation when Comey did not do so afterwards.”
2. Comey basically admitted that not only is Trump not under investigation, he didn’t obstruct justice. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) did a fantastic job in questioning Comey, especially when, after it was established that Trump had asked Comey to announce publicly that he wasn’t under investigation, Rubio asked Comey, “So he was asking you to do what you have done here today?” Comey admitted that this was true but he was reluctant to make the announcement as FBI director in case he had to make a subsequent statement Trump was under investigation.
Comey also admitted during the hearing that Trump never asked him to drop the Russia investigation.
3. Rubio also exposed the fact that leaks during the Russia investigation were designed to hurt Trump. “This investigation is full of leaks left and right. We’ve learned more from the newspapers sometimes than we do from our open hearings for sure,” Rubio said. “You ever wonder why, of all the things in this investigation, the only thing that’s never been leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans in the leadership of Congress knew that and have known that for weeks?”
Comey responded, “I don’t know. I find matters that are briefed to the Gang of Eight are pretty tightly held, in my experience.”
As The Right Scoop noted, Rubio’s question basically showed that all of the leaks from the Russia investigation have been negative toward Trump yet the most crucial piece of information about Trump not being personally investigated was not leaked.
Comey’s answer that congressional leadership keeps such information under wraps doesn’t make sense given that there have been an abundance of leaks about the investigation, so clearly they’re not doing a good job of keeping such information from the public, unless it’s something positive about Trump.
Speaking of leaks …
4. Comey admitted that he leaked the information in his memo in order to push for a special counsel. Per The Weekly Standard: (emphasis bolded)
“The president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there’s not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgment was: I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter – didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons. I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
Here’s what’s odd about that:
It’s also worth noting that Comey said he decided to leak the content of the memo after Trump tweeted about there being tapes, but that can’t be true because The New York Times article detailing the memo was published a day before the Trump tweet Comey referenced.
Leftist attorney Jonathan Turley suggested in a post that Comey’s leaking could have violated the law.
First, Sen. James Risch asked Comey about the February report, asking if it was a fair statement to say the story was not true.
“In the main, it was not true,” Comey replied. “The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing on classified information is: 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.”
He added, “And we don’t call the press to say, ‘Hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic.’ We just have to leave it there.”
Sen. Tom Cotton later returned to the Times’ story, asking Comey if the report was “almost entirely wrong.”
The former FBI director answered in the affirmative.
This is another blow to the leftist narrative about Trump-Russia collusion. Who would have thought that a report based on anonymous sources would have been inaccurate?