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Now, That's What I Call a Hearing

In Politics Plus

By Michael Gomez
June 8, 2017 at 3:36 p.m.


I already knew the contents of former FBI director James Comey memos, so I wanted to see how the Republican Senators would try to poke holes in his testimony. The questions and the questioners were civil and informative, except for McCain. I don’t know what Senator McCain was rambling about; he reminded me of the time 91-year old Representative Ralph Hall, who famously went to wrong meetings. John McCain wanted to know why Hillary was not being investigated for helping the Russians derail her campaign. Who knows?

There were a couple of things I was uncomfortable with in James Comey’s seven-page memo. I wanted to know why the director initiated the first meeting with the president, to inform him of the contents of an embarrassing British dozier. I also wanted to know the meaning of “honest loyalty.” Evidently, a committee at DOJ thought it best for President Trump to hear from them first, instead of the press. James Comey thought that settling on “honest loyalty” instead of Trump’s version of “loyalty” was a clever way to end the troublesome conversation that shouldn’t have taken place.

I was surprised to hear Comey challenge Trump to produce the tapes ,after earlier saying that he took notes and informed his associates about his encounters with President Trump, because of Trump’s reputation for lying. James Comey did not pull any punches.

I don’t know if President Trump committed obstruction of justice, because I’ve heard some good arguments for and against. Alan Dershowitz said that the president could pre-pardon Flynn and could have ordered the FBI to stop the investigation as President George H.W. Bush did in Iran-Contra, when he pardoned Casper Weinberger. Then the other side said that interfering in a criminal investigation is obstruction and the firing of James Comey is the smoking gun. Especially after the told the Russians of how he got rid of the “nut job” so easing the investigation could begin.

You would have to be a literalist to think President Trump came away the winner. Those literalists think that the president was vindicated when Comey said that he told Trump that he was not the subject of a criminal investigation. Never mind, that the investigation was in initial stages and again Comey wanted to end the uncomfortable conversation. They will also say that the president did not actually tell Comey to stop the Russian probe. To them, I say this: President Trump cleared the room like a Mafia crime boss from Queens, New York, reminded Comey of “that thing” we had, and stated that he hoped that that the investigation of Michael Flynn would go away. You would have to be extreme loyalist, naïve, or just plain dumb to believe that President Trump didn’t know the ways of Washington protocol, and just wanted to help an old friend. Come on, he cleared the room and he fired Comey. Presidents have White House counsel to make him aware of what he can and can’t do.

The White House lost the day, because Comey won the credibility battle in the “he said …he said.” The White House is investigating the possibility that James Comey illegally gave his notes (government property) to outside sources.  That’s weak because Comey is an attorney and I’m pretty sure he checked before allowing his memos to be printed in the Washington Post.

Today, is just the beginning of the possible end of the presidency of Donald J. Trump but that’s up to the GOP. Trump’s approval in today’s Quinnipiac poll is an all-time low of 34%, so a few more dumb tweets or another embarrassment adds fuel to an uncontrollable fire. Hey, they wanted an outsider; they got one. But, then it’s Mike Pence and that doesn’t give me any comfort.

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