Comey as a three-act com­edy

The for­mer FBI di­rec­tor’s tes­ti­mony ren­dered laugh­able the Trump-Rus­sia nar­ra­tive of ‘col­lu­sion’

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - By Joe Borelli

Cut­ting into the tra­di­tional day­time soaps’ view­er­ship, for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey’s tes­ti­mony be­fore the Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee to­day was hyped by the me­dia as a must­see-TV event of “Su­per Bowl” and “block­buster” pro­por­tions. Un­for­tu­nately for Democrats and drama-hun­gry me­dia, Mr. Comey’s three-hour tes­ti­mony — which dis­man­tled much of their Trump-Rus­sia false “col­lu­sion” nar­ra­tive — was any­thing but the soap opera they ex­pected.

The star of the show, James Comey, came off as a dis­grun­tled for­mer em­ployee try­ing to save face af­ter los­ing the con­fi­dence of lead­ing Democrats and Repub­li­cans over the last two years. In fact, the ac­count Mr. Comey gave at the hear­ing cor­rob­o­rated what Pres­i­dent Trump has said from the be­gin­ning of this witch hunt.

In the first scene, Sen. Richard Burr ques­tioned Mr. Comey about whether Mr. Trump had ever asked him to stop the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into

Rus­sia’s in­volve­ment in the 2016 elec­tion. Mr. Comey’s re­sponse was clear: “Not to my un­der­stand­ing, no.”

Mr. Comey made clear that the pres­i­dent never im­peded the FBI’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, nor asked him to end it, and nei­ther had any White House staff. There goes the first of the Democrats’ con­spir­acy the­o­ries.

In Scene Two, Mr. Comey put to rest me­dia spec­u­la­tion that he might use his tes­ti­mony to re­fute the pres­i­dent’s ac­count that he was told three times he was not un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The for­mer FBI di­rec­tor con­firmed re­peat­edly that Mr. Trump was never un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, even go­ing so far as to re­call the di­rect quote where he told him that at no point was he per­son­ally un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

While those two cru­cial mo­ments to­tally un­der­cut the left’s anti-Trump nar­ra­tive, Mr. Comey’s tes­ti­mony also shined a light on his mo­tives that led to some re­veal­ing ad­mis­sions.

In Scene Three, and the most per­son­ally dam­ag­ing to Mr. Comey him­self, he ad­mit­ted to giv­ing his writ­ten memos about con­ver­sa­tions with Mr. Trump to a friend at Columbia Law School with clear in­struc­tions to leak the in­for­ma­tion to the me­dia. Mr. Comey ac­knowl­edged that he did so af­ter be­ing an­gered at a tweet by Mr. Trump, and the leak was aimed at try­ing to force the ap­point­ment of a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor to in­ves­ti­gate the pres­i­dent. The bla­tant po­lit­i­cal hack­ery at play here is truly as­tound­ing com­ing from a man who once led an agency that holds in­de­pen­dence as a high im­per­a­tive.

Fol­low­ing that ac­count, Mr. Comey gave a se­ries of awk­ward “I don’t know” an­swers when he was re­peat­edly pressed about why he didn’t bring it to the pres­i­dent’s — or any­one else’s — at­ten­tion that he thought the dis­cus­sion of Michael Flynn was in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

The most sig­nif­i­cant takeaways from the en­tire hear­ing did not, in fact, in­volve al­leged in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, but rather by the Obama Jus­tice De­part­ment. Though we’ve long known that Obama At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta Lynch in­ter­fered in the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary

Clinton’s emails, this was the first time that Mr.

Comey ad­mit­ted un­der oath that Ms. Lynch gave him di­rec­tives about how to han­dle that in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Ac­cord­ing to his tes­ti­mony, Ms. Lynch asked him not to call the in­ves­ti­ga­tion an “in­ves­ti­ga­tion” but sim­ply a “mat­ter” — lan­guage that iden­ti­cally mir­rored the mes­sag­ing com­ing out of the Clinton cam­paign at the time. That the head of the Obama Jus­tice De­part­ment at­tempted to get the FBI to use Clinton talk­ing points is a gross abuse of power and the real ob­struc­tion of jus­tice.

By the time the hear­ing con­cluded, the re­views were al­ready in. Even lib­eral MSNBC host Chris Matthews had to ad­mit that the left’s Trump-Rus­sia col­lu­sion the­ory “came apart” dur­ing Mr. Comey’s tes­ti­mony

While Mr. Comey’s cred­i­bil­ity re­mains in ques­tion, the fact that he re­peat­edly con­firmed that no one from the White House, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Trump, stood in the way of his in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that the pres­i­dent was never un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion makes it abun­dantly clear that this witch hunt is near­ing its right­ful end.

By the time the hear­ing con­cluded, the re­views were al­ready in. Even lib­eral MSNBC host Chris Matthews had to ad­mit that the left’s Trump-Rus­sia col­lu­sion the­ory “came apart” dur­ing Mr. Comey’s tes­ti­mony.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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