Watch Comey’s testimony live

Former FBI director James Comey is tesifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee at this moment. Click on the screenshot to see what he says (you’ll go to the CNN front page where you can watch this):

62 Comments

  1. kieran
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    What was McCain trying to suggest?
    Investigation into email server was completed and showed bad judgement not criminal intent

    Investigation in Trump/Russia was ongoing so he wouldn’t comment on it and it is as far as he is aware ongoing.

    Two things I took from this, he was fired for Russia investigation in the hope it would shut it down, based on the incomplete knowledge of the white house on how things work in government

    Second nothing that trump did with Comey was in Comey’s mind a criminal act it was just outside the normal behaviour for someone in high office

    • ToddP
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      McCain’s questions and comments struck me as almost completely delusional and confused. You could tell Comey was like “wtf?” several times.

      A strange sequence, for sure.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Some of the difficulty with McCain could simple be the guy’s age. But he and maybe one other are the only ones who even got into Hilary and the Email. I suspect with McCain it is political. He, just like Putin has a lot of heart burn about the Clintons. It was almost delusional.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      I hate to judge anyone harshly based on a single bad outing. But McCain seemed disoriented and confused — I mean, like, recent-stroke-victim disoriented and confused.

    • Grania Spingies
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      McCain has subsequently clarified:

      “I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.

      “What I was trying to get at was whether Mr. Comey believes that any of his interactions with the President rise to the level of obstruction of justice. In the case of Secretary Clinton’s emails, Mr. Comey was willing to step beyond his role as an investigator and state his belief about what ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would conclude about the evidence. I wanted Mr. Comey to apply the same approach to the key question surrounding his interactions with President Trump—whether or not the President’s conduct constitutes obstruction of justice. While I missed an opportunity in today’s hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intend to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record.”

      From: https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=99CC344D-985C-4575-801D-9FBA8043A24B

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Well, that certainly makes more sense, but it wasn’t among the questions Sen. McCain actually asked. Its answer, nevertheless, was among those offered by Comey: The distinction was that the investigation into Hillary’s emails was done and closed (save for some stray emails found on the laptop of dick-pic auteur Anthony Weiner). All that remained was the final decision whether or not to prosecute her (and the resulting weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth). The Trump obstruction-of-justice investigation, OTOH, is ongoing (and, perhaps, only in its early stages). It makes perfect sense, therefore, to offer an opinion on the former, but not on the latter.

        John McCain is the lion in very late winter; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fade into the bright Arizona desert before his current six-year term of office is over.

      • tubby
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Except none of that was discernible from his questions. He seemed like he was having a senior moment (confused on or forgot what Hillary was even being investigated for) and/or being spitefully partisan (directly saying it was unfair that Hillary was not being investigated for Russian collusion because she was part of the election). His thoughts were uncollected when he asked his questions. So much so that I expected him to shout “BENGHAZI!” or “Lock her up!” in the middle of Comey’s response. He knew he had 7 minutes, and instead of getting to his point he went cloud coocoolander.

        • Denise
          Posted June 8, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Or his staff wrote the clarification because something needed to be said.

          • tubby
            Posted June 8, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            I hope he saw a doctor while his staff wrote that up.

    • Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      McCain was very confused (it’s dementia talking in my opinion).

      He was trying to suggest: Because Comey cleared HRC of criminal charges in the email thing (only the email thing; a CLOSED investigation) that he had cleared her in the Russia thing.

      Of course they are completely separate things — except that the Russians hacked her email (on what server??).

      And the FBI has not cleared Drumpf of wrongdoing in the Russia thing (because the investigation is ongoing).

      McCain was suggesting this was some kind of douvle standard.

      He’s either lying of confused.

  2. Adam M.
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Just responding to the image, I don’t get why people are so obsessed with the alleged Russian meddling. Even if they did meddle, what they did is release truthful information about what the Clinton campaign and DNC were doing, showing that there was corruption, collusion, money laundering*, and the like going on. I consider that a service to the American people. Of course the Republicans are no better…

    * Perhaps you recall the proliferation of news stories describing fundraisers where rich people were encouraged to donate to Clinton and 33 state committees to “help downballot Democrats”. That’s nice, but what an odd number. What about Democrats in the other 17 states? In fact, it was the same 33 states every time. Coincidence? No. Hillary and the DNC set up a scheme whereby money would be laundered through 33 state committees and the DNC to allow her to receive 35 times the legal limit in campaign contributions. Downballot Democrats got only 1% of the money. The rest went to Hillary. Despicable. Yes, she’s still better than Trump…

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      You are the one who just does not get it. You don’t get why we might be obsessed with the Russian Meddling in our elections. The question alone is so ridiculous it does not deserve an answer.

    • JohnE
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      1. I guess you didn’t see the stories about the Russians taking actual, hacked emails and inserting phony text into them to smear the Clinton campaign.

      2. I guess you didn’t see the news about the Russians having hacked the vendors of voting machine software.

      3 If the Russians hack both parties, and only release the bad stuff that harms the party/candidate they oppose, I guess you’re OK with that if the stuff they release is true.

      Right, what’s the big deal.

      • Adam M.
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        My reply to Ken mostly applies here too, but you’re right that I didn’t see the stories you mention in #1. I’d be interested to see them, but it’s a hard thing to prove and it seems that the emails were, in the main, authentic.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      The Russian hacking was a crime. Would you be as sanguine if these same Russian hoodlums had done a home invasion at Trump Tower and stolen similar information, so long as the information they stole and released was truthful? How about if they hacked into Pentagon computers and released truthful information about American military strategy?

      Recently disclosed information reveals that, just days before the 2016 election, these same Russians endeavored to hack the computers of companies that provide voting software. The Russian’s success in hacking the DNC clearly emboldened them to continue their assaults on American democracy. Every patriotic American should be outraged.

      • Adam M.
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        To the extent that they are releasing truthful information in the public interest, I appreciate it, even if they don’t do it from public-serving motives. Beyond that I agree with you.

        The report you linked to seems to say that they apparently ‘only’ tried to use the information to hack into government systems, as opposed to actually messing with the election (in that case). I can’t be outraged about that given that we (the NSA, CIA, etc.) are hacking into pretty much every other major nation’s government and industrial systems, including Russia’s.

        I like to think patriotic Americans who care about democracy would be more outraged about the corruption in Washington, but you know…

        • Randy schenck
          Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          You think patriotic Americans who care about democracy would be more outraged about corruption in Washington than Russians hacking into our systems and attempting to manipulate our elections. That is pure nonsense and makes no logical sense to any patriotic American. You could not sell that to my cat. The idea that you think NSA or other agencies are getting our information is on the same scale with the Russian thing is just nuts. You should be working for Trump as he seems to think like you.

          • Filippo
            Posted June 8, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            The Russians, and Trump and his minions, should be exposed and condemned and prosecuted to the maximum possible.

            That being so, just for the record, do you have a position to express on U.S. meddling in other countries, elections or whatever. E.g., the overthrow of Allende in Chile in 1973?

            • Randy schenck
              Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

              Yes, I think that period in U.S. policy was very bad. We had the CIA doing all kinds of really stupid things in South America, in Vietnam, Middle East. Frankly, from the early 50s until the 80s I don’t think many Americans even paid attention to all the crap we were doing and did not care.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 8, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

                Yeah, a lot of this stuff wasn’t fully exposed until the “family jewels” hearings before the Church committee during the post-Watergate-reform era.

                But to answer Filippo’s inquiry for myself — firmly against it.

    • Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Funny you should mention money laundering. Keep a watch on Mueller’s investigation and Manafort, and Trump’s and Kushner’s finances as well.

      • Adam M.
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Wouldn’t be surprised in the least. 🙂 They’re so dirty they barely even try to hide it…

    • Alric
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      This is crazy. Do you think the Russians are doing this because it is in the best interest of the US? They are doing this to hurt us and gain profit for themselves.

      The reasons are obvious. Russia’s GDP is solely based on fossil fuels. They can’t have the West abandon fossil fuels and switch to renewables. Climate change denialist Drumpf and the GOP are the perfect stooges.

      • Posted June 9, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        AND: Now Tillerson is Sec of State — formerly Chairman/CEO of Exxon-Mobil; and Exxon-Mobil holds the largest oil drilling permits in history, guess where? Russia. And they can’t drill because of the sanctions against Russia.

        As the saying goes: “Follow the money.”

        Bets on how long before the USA lifts the sanctions on Russia? (I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already.)

  3. jwthomas
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    For those w/o tv’s the NY Times is streaming it live on its online front page.

  4. Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Comey projection of honesty and sincerity is as intense and compelling as Trump’s projection of the opposite.

    • Nell Whiteside
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

      As a non-American I am appalled by Trump’s shenanigans.

      Presumably, Comey earned his position as head of the FBI? Trump, on the other hand, conned his way into the Presidency?

      Is Trump going to be allowed to continue to be a bull in the china shop of the world or will your great nation actually do something to stop him?

      • tomh
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        He will be allowed to continue.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see how you come to that conclusion. The investigations in to Trump and his possible connections to Russia are just now getting into gear. Most of the information collected and known is classified at this time and no one knows. So how do you know?

          • tomh
            Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            I know because the only way he won’t be allowed to continue has to go through Congress. Until the 2020 election, that is.

            • Randy schenck
              Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

              So this is now June of 2017. You are sure that nothing will be done by congress for the next 3 plus years? You are quite the fortune teller.

              • tomh
                Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

                Doesn’t require a fortune teller, just a realistic look at this Congress.

            • Posted June 9, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

              I’m hoping 2018 (and the GOP’s anticipation of it) will swing things. I hope, I do not predict.

          • jwthomas
            Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Doesn’t take a weather man to know which way the wind blows.
            GOP needs him in place for the midterms so he’ll be in place.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 8, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, well, don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.

              Come the 2018 midterms, the House Republicans may find their meters expired (especially if the courts continue to rule Republican gerrymandering unconstitutional, as they have in N. Carolina).

              Also, as those midterms loom nearer (and the odds of being “primaried” by a Trump deplorable decreases), might start backing away from Trump. Or a really bad disclosure about Trump campaign collusion (or Trump’s financial ties to Russia), could do the trick. If Trump’s approval rating were to fall below 30%, Republican congresspeople might actually find a little spine.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    “No, no. Next Question.”

    — President Donald Trump’s answer at his last press conference to the question whether he had ever asked FBI director Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn.

    Seems to me that Trump, his White House staff, and his Republican supporters have a yooge problem. They either have to admit that this conversation took place on February 14th in the Oval Office (and that Trump flatout lied about it at his press conference), or they must at minimum come forward with a plausible alternative explanation for what Trump discussed with Comey after improperly excusing everyone else from the Oval Office, as well as a plausible explanation for why Comey would lie about this discussion in his contemporaneous notes and memorandum.

    Or have we become so jaded to this president’s pervasive lying that Americans are willing to accept it as his business as usual?

    • barn owl
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Like all narcissists, Tyrannisimmo Bigoto thinks he can change reality and facts to suit himself, or at least convince others that they’re remembering or experiencing things WRONG and his version is the correct one.

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      “Or have we become so jaded to this president’s pervasive lying that Americans are willing to accept it as his business as usual?”

      Yes we will. Not individually of course, but the country as a whole will accept it. We always have; lying is business as usual in our government. The old saw that asks how you can tell if a politician is lying, though overly broad, is based on decades of experience. Trump is just such an idiot that his lies are bald, plain, and stupidly public so they are easily spotted. Generally, we Americans don’t care if our representatives lie to us as long as we hear what we want to hear.

      • Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        I am afraid that, since the end of the Cold War, too many Americans are not taking Russia seriously.

        • Posted June 9, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

          Absolutely correct. I can’t effing believe it! They are so blinded (Drumpf supporters) by their greed for power and their hubris, they can’t see the threat.

          Idiots.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        I agree that politicians have always lied. But Trump’s lying is of a different order. Where others lie to persuade, Trump lies merely to prevail. For Trump, the more preposterous the lie (see, for example, his initial ludicrous pretext for having fired James Comey), the greater the demonstration of his power to force others to his will.

        A democratic republic cannot long survive such gaslighting.

        • mikeyc
          Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          Well put.

        • Posted June 9, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          Indeed, generally speaking liars (and politicians for sure) tell untruths; but they “play the game”: They are trying to simulate honesty. They don’t want to be caught in a lie.

          With Drumpf, that goes out the window. I am firmly convinced that this man will lie about anything, make any statement that pops into his head, regardless of anything. Hell, he’s already done it many times!

          This is what Sam Harris is very much concerned about. When blatant lying (statements that are child’s play to disprove) become the norm, people will no longer have anything they can rely on; and maybe the entire social contract goes out the window. Is this how society ends?

          I’m a bit more sanguine about this. I think that in the end, enough concerned people will band together for a course correction. Like we did after the McCarthy era.

      • Filippo
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        ” . . . lying is business as usual in our government.”

        As it is in the private corporate tyranny world, of which Trump is an exemplar. (As John Dewey put it, “Government is the shadow cast by Business.”) Private corporate tyrants are so used to having their way. Meet those Wall Street expectations – to heck with flesh-and-blood “human resources.” Trump is repeatedly demonstrating that he just can’t handle not getting his way. Today Paul Ryan was making excuses for Trump, saying that he hasn’t held public office before, doesn’t know the ropes, etc. Whither all the wise political owls advising him? Does the buck stop with Trump? Does he think he can declare political bankruptcy?

  6. Curt Nelson
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    There are suggestions that the Trump campaign worked with Russia to help them interfere with the US election. I don’t know why you don’t see why that would be a big deal.

    The Republicans became so obsessed with Bill Clinton’s affair that they impeached him. That’s what I don’t get.

    • Curt Nelson
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Intended as a response to comment 2 by Adam M.

    • jwthomas
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Impeaching Clinton didn’t get him out of office. Only a trial in the Senate can do that.

      • mikeyc
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Well yes. An impeachment is equivalent to an indictment. The House indicts, the Senate conducts the trial.

  7. Posted June 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Do Paul Ryan and the others realize how it looks to the rest of the world when they proclaims that Trump makes stupid beginner’s mistakes because he doesn’t understand what his own job is?

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      How does it look? Like last days of American power. The final throes of a dying republic.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, like Caligula appointing Incitatus as counsul to the Roman senate.

      • Posted June 9, 2017 at 4:05 am | Permalink

        I think Bill Maher summed it up pretty well — like watching the fall of the Roman Empire, to the sound of the Benny Hill music.

    • Posted June 9, 2017 at 12:15 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure if they fully realize it, but Trump has presented so many situations where the only available explanations are “he’s utterly incompetent”, “he’s corrupt to the core”, and “he’s both.” The Republicans probably prefer to suggest the first, seeing how his claim to not be a politician like all the others was one of his selling points.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    About the Comey testimony I will say this. The guy is a clever operator in the tough world of Washington DC politics. He would not have gotten where he was if he were not. His written testimony was first class stuff and he avoided all the classified junk so he could get his story out there. He made obvious the character of this president and he got him good for the lying SOB that he most certainly is. He also made obvious some additional leads that will be followed up on by others. I wish I could be in there to listen to the closed testimony he gave later.

    He even admitted to leaking some of his info in order to help push for the special council which did happen. Trump discovered or will discover that he was not the smartest guy in the room by far.

    The only thing he left on the bone for Trump’s lawyer later in the day was for him to come out and pretend that Trump was vilified. What was their proof of this, that Comey admitted that Trump wasn’t being investigated by the FBI. No, just his whole damn campaign. Then the lawyers stated that Comey lied about Trump asking to stop the investigation on Flynn and that Trump asked him to drop the Russia thing. Sorry boys, you don’t get to cherry pick on sworn testimony, it makes you look the fool. It’s kind of like cherry picking the bible. Everybody tries it but your case falls apart. One down and many more to go.

    • Filippo
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      We can look forward to the media ragging on Trump to say whether or not he taped Comey. Katey, bar the door, Sean Spicer (who will no doubt respond, “The President has not talked to me about this.”)

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        I just have the feeling this Russian thing is going to grow into real problems for Trump and his crew and he does not get it. He has this thing for Russia and Putin that is highly suspect and it will go on. In the meantime he will get nothing done during however long he last in office. He gets nothing done in Washington so he goes golfing and has campaign rallies, like he is still running. He just does not have a clue.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Comey’s having his law-professor buddy leak the contents of one of his unclassified memos was a clever insider move, by someone steeped in the Justice Department bureaucracy, to goose Assistant AG Rosenstein into naming a special prosecutor.

      It let Rosenstein know that Trump was dirty — and confirmed that Trump had a motive for doing Rosenstein dirty by getting him to draft the memo used as a pretext for firing Comey.

      As a result, Trump ends up being investigated by Robert Mueller, Comey’s good buddy who will out-Comey Comey when it comes to pursuing the Russia investigation.

      Almost enough to make you believe in karma, huh?

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        I think the old saying goes for Trump, if I can say it in mixed company. If you fuck with the bull, you might get the horns.

    • Posted June 9, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      ” Trump discovered or will discover that he was not the smartest guy in the room by far.”

      He is, however, psychologically incapable of recognizing this. (Goldwater rule be damned.)


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