If former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony proves anything, it’s that President Trump was forthcoming and honest about his interactions with him. While Democrats are seizing on Comey’s firing itself, a discussion the two of them had about loyalty, and Trump’s remarks regarding the investigation into Michael Flynn, these incidents – at best – indicate a man who has never before served in public office and was perhaps unaware of what should and shouldn’t be said. It does not, by any means, rise to the level of “abuse of power,” and it certainly doesn’t amount to obstruction of justice.
What’s really interesting is that in his statement, released before his public testimony, Comey actually confirms that what Trump said in an NBC interview with Lester Holt was completely correct. That not only was he not under direct FBI investigation, but that Comey himself told him that on a number of occasions. In fact, Comey confirms that on January 6, Trump mused about ordering him to investigate the outlandish charges made in the Christopher Steele dossier. Comey told him that might be unwise, specifically because it would give the public the impression that the president was under investigation…which he was not.
As for the Flynn controversy, there are many ways to read it. In front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he took Trump’s remarks – “I hope you can see your way to letting Flynn go” – as the president directing him to drop the criminal investigation into Flynn’s meetings with the Russians. But under questioning, he acknowledged that he had never seen anyone prosecuted for merely “hoping” that an investigation would come to an end. This is where we chalk it up to Trump’s inexperience. He was and is clearly a friend to Flynn and was disappointed to be forced to ask for his resignation. Was it appropriate for him to put pressure – indirectly or directly – on Comey? Probably not, but we’re in “slap on the wrist” territory here. And yet, the Democrats are throwing the I-word around.
When it comes to Comey’s firing, it’s clear that Trump was indeed frustrated about his handling of the Russian investigation. Why? Well, from what both Trump and Comey have said, it seems obvious that the president was sick and tired of seeing half-true information, skewed to make him look guilty, constantly stream out to the media. And he was angry that Comey, despite telling him and the Senate that Trump was not under investigation, would not say the same publicly. And he was likely also irritated that the investigation was dragging out and casting a pall over his presidency and his agenda. Perhaps he suspected that Comey was playing politics with his refusal to investigate the leaks and his simultaneous refusal to set the record straight on those leaks in a public forum.
Abuse of power? Not even close. To the contrary, Comey’s “blockbuster” testimony only proved that Democrats are chasing their tails and trying to give the American people a narrative that they themselves know to be fictional.