AS COMEY TESTIMONY KICKS OFF, KEEP THESE POINTS IN MIND
June 8, 2017
1.) Contrary to GOP talking points, former FBI Director James Comey did consult the FBI’s senior staff and DOJ officials regarding President Donald Trump’s behavior and attempts to influence the investigation into Michael Flynn and Russia.
· “As was my practice for conversations with President Trump, I wrote a detailed memo about the dinner immediately afterwards and shared it with the senior leadership team of the FBI.”
· “I immediately prepared an unclassified memo of the conversation about Flynn and discussed the matter with FBI senior leadership. I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.”
· “I spoke with Attorney General Sessions in person to pass along the President’s concerns about leaks. I took the opportunity to implore the Attorney General to prevent any future direct communication between the President and me. I told the AG that what had just happened – him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind – was inappropriate and should never happen. He did not reply.”
2.) Trump fired Comey because of the Russia investigation. He even admitted it himself. To argue Comey was fired for any other reason is a weak attempt to distract from Trump’s own words.
· “May 11: In interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump said he planned on firing Comey regardless of what Rosenstein recommended. And he suggested the Russia investigation was a reason behind the dismissal. ‘When I decided to [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.’”
3.) Trump repeatedly forced situations to speak with Comey one-on-one, which is not common practice for the President.
· “It was unclear from the conversation who else would be at the dinner, although I assumed there would be others. It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room.”
· “The President signaled the end of the briefing by thanking the group and telling them all that he wanted to speak to me alone. I stayed in my chair. As the participants started to leave the Oval Office, the Attorney General lingered by my chair, but the President thanked him and said he wanted to speak only with me. The last person to leave was Jared Kushner, who also stood by my chair and exchanged pleasantries with me. The President then excused him, saying he wanted to speak with me.”
4.) If Trump did nothing wrong, why did he lie so many times about his interactions with Comey? And why did he threaten him with “tapes“?
Trump lied when he denied asking Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.
QUESTION: “Thank you, Mr. President. In the light of a very busy news week, a lot of people would like to get to the bottom of a couple of things, give you a chance to go on record here. Did you at any time urge former FBI Director James Comey in any way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn? And also as you look back—”
TRUMP: “No. No. Next question.”
Trump lied when he denied that Trump had asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to Trump.
PIRRO: “Did you ask that question?”
TRUMP: “No. No, I didn‘t, but I don‘t think it would be a bad question to ask. I think loyalty to the country, loyalty to the United States is important. I don‘t know how that got there because I didn‘t ask that question.”
Trump lied when he claimed that Comey had asked to have dinner with him because he wanted to keep his job.
TRUMP: “I had a dinner with him. He wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. We had a very nice dinner at the White House…”
HOLT: “He—he asked…”
TRUMP: “…very early on. That dinner was arranged. I think he asked for the dinner. And he wanted to stay on as the FBI head. And I said I’ll, you know, consider. We’ll see what happens. But we had a very nice dinner.”
Trump lied when he claimed that Comey called him once to inform him that he was not under investigation.
TRUMP: “Then, during a phone call, he said it. And then, during another phone call he said it. So, he said it once at dinner and then he said it twice during phone calls.”
HOLT: “Did—did you call him?”
TRUMP: “In one case I called him and one case he called me.”
HOLT: “And did you ask am I under investigation?”
TRUMP: “I actually asked him, yes. I said if it’s possible, would you let me know am I under investigation. He said you are not under investigation.”
5.) Comey and McCabe have never said that there was no interference in the FBI investigation. Comey said that nobody at the Department of Justice had ever interfered, and McCabe said that Comey’s firing would not keep the FBI from doing its work.
Politifact: “It’s incorrect to say Comey testified under oath that Trump never pressured the FBI to halt or alter any investigation. The full exchange between Comey and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, shows that he was talking about whether anyone at the Justice Department had tried to stifle an investigation — not the president. Further, Comey was speaking generally about his experience at the FBI, not the Russia investigation in particular.”
Washington Post: “The acting director of the FBI also clarified a key point from an earlier congressional appearance, in which he had said there had been no effort to slow or interfere with the Russia probe. What he meant, McCabe said, was that the firing of Comey had not stalled the investigation.”