Preview of Comey’s Senate Testimony

Preview of Comey’s Senate Testimony
by Stephen Lendman
Comey’s prepared remarks were published ahead of his Thursday testimony before Senate Intelligence Committee members. 
Nothing he’ll say suggests Trump obstructed justice or acted improperly. It’s unlikely anything damning will come out during a Q & A session.
During his meeting with Trump in New York at Trump Tower, Comey said the FBI “did not have an open counterintelligence case on him.” He wasn’t being investigated.
He “recall(ed) nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months” – three face-to-face, the others by phone.
During a one-on-one January 27 White House dinner, Trump asked him if he wanted to remain FBI director. Earlier he said he hoped Comey would stay.
“I assured him that I intended to,” he said – though felt uneasy thinking Trump might want him replaced. 
He said he wasn’t on anyone’s side politically “and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense.”
Trump responded, saying “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.” Comey stressed the FBI and Justice Department should be independent of the White House.
“You will always get honesty from me,” he said. Trump replied “(t)hat’s what I want, honest loyalty.” Comey said “(y)ou will get that from me” – thinking he and Trump may have interpreted that differently.
On February 14, following a meeting with various administration officials, Trump said he wanted to speak to Comey alone.
He wanted to talk about Michael 
Flynn, saying his contacts with Russian officials weren’t improper or criminal. He fired him for misleading Vice President Pence.
“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go,” Trump said. Comey declined to drop the issue.
Trump briefly discussed the problem of leaks. The conversation ended and Comey left, saying:
“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 did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”
Nothing in this interchange suggests obstruction of justice. Media reports otherwise are part of a campaign to denigrate, weaken and delegitimize Trump for the wrong reasons.
During a March 30 phone call, Trump called the (witch-hunt) Russia investigation “a cloud,” impairing his ability to do his job.
He asked what the FBI could do to “lift the cloud.” Comey said the investigation is moving as quickly as possible. He told congressional leaders the agency was not investigating the president.
Comey last spoke to Trump on April 11, again saying he was not being investigated.
If he sticks to his prepared remarks as expected, and nothing sensational comes out during a Q & A session, his Thursday testimony will amount to much ado about nothing. Trump haters will be sorely disappointed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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