By Dru Barcelo
Just a month ago, Former FBI Director James Comey was fired from his post by President Donald Trump. Though the President did not need a reason to fire the director, questions arose from the contradicting – and later non-sensible – explanations that were given for his firing.
James Comey appeared in front of the Senate intelligence committee ready to give clarity to the events leading up to his firing, as well as any questions thrown at him. The three hour testimony clarified his side of the story, all being said under oath, while also raising questions on both sides of the political spectrum.
On the topic of Russia, the biggest question on Trump and his campaign team on their supposed corroboration. Comey was clear that the President was never an explicit subject of their Russia probe. However, he also claimed that Trump’s private comments urging him to drop the Flynn probe led him to tell his Justice Department colleagues they needed to be careful.
It is arguably Trumps tweet that threatened Comey, claiming that he better hope that there are “no tapes” of their conversations, that we have to thank for this Council. Comey said himself that had it none been for that tweet he would not have shared the content of the memos to a friend, who disseminated it to the media.
“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 be a tape,” Comey claimed. He claimed his goal was to win the appointment of a special counsel, and it worked.
The dubious question on the topic of Attorney General Jeff Sessions was brushed over, he now being scheduled for a hearing this upcoming tuesday before the Senate intel committee. Comey remained brilliantly neutral on the topic, claiming that he could not comment due to implications of the Russian investigation. However, Comey knew that Sessions would save himself “for a variety of reasons,” again maintaining a bi-partisan opinion that FBI directors must uphold.
One of the brilliant components of Comey’s testimony was the honesty that he upheld. He admitted when he “could’ve been stronger” on certain issues such as his private meeting with Trump, furthering the legitimacy behind his testimony. He is not ducking for cover or saving his own behind, he is admitting his faults and telling the facts.
Unlike Comey, President Trump was accused of being a liar by Comey on multiple, explicit occasions.
“The administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader,” Comey claimed. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”
What Americans have been afraid of, what Senators, Government leaders, World leaders have been afraid of has just been confirmed under oath. An untruthful President. Comey would go on to say that he began taking intimate notes on the conversations he had with the President simply because he was afraid that he might lie about the nature of their conversation.
Democrats and Republicans left empty handed in the terms of Trumps possible obstruction of Justice. Comey remained unbiased and politically bipartisan throughout, admitting where it “was not my place to comment.” When Democrats pushed him against the wall to take blows at Trump, he maintained composer, leaving no bread crumbs for impeachment. Comey went as far as to explicitly claim to Senator Burr that he would not comment on the topic of possible obstruction of justice.
However, the GOP was not solely under fire. Republicans are quick to pull Comey’s criticism of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and Comey’s claim about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, testifying that Lynch pressed Comey not to call the FBI’s Clinton email an “investigation,” but instead call it a “matter.” The change in wording takes away from the truth of the situation, making the situation seem less severe than it actually was.
With more Senate investigations and testimonies to follow, the search for truth and justice will carry on. For now, America awaits for the upheaval of Comey’s tapes.