Let’s just cut to the chase regarding the fallout from the Comey hearing: we learned far more about the former FBI Director than we did about any possible wrongdoing by President Trump. What we saw on display was a man bitter about being fired and willing to do anything in order to get back at the president. Liberals and conservatives may disagree about the impact of the hearing and spin their way through a cherry-picked version of the truth they want to see but one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that James Comey was a hostile man on a mission. He clearly had an agenda going in and it hurt his credibility.
Comey was trying to play, “patriotic hero” and look like he was taking the high road. But he undercut that argument when he revealed that he was actually the one behind leaking his own private conversations with the president. Why? He admitted he wanted to spur on a criminal investigation with a Special Counsel. That’s not taking the high road. That’s called, “payback” and disclosed his true motives. You might argue that Comey was simply trying to get his version out there to reveal the truth but Comey’s vindictiveness was clearly on display during the hearing so it makes you wonder how noble his cause really was.
Whatever the case, the bottom line on Comey’s leaked memos reveals that President Trump was actually telling the truth when he tweeted that Comey had told him three times he wasn’t under investigation. Additionally, Comey admitted that Trump never asked him to drop the Russia investigation. As a matter of fact, it’s now been shown that Trump actually wanted to make sure Comey got the “satellites” in his orbit if they did anything wrong regarding interaction with Russia. Did Trump break official presidential protocol by having a private conversation with the FBI Director and asking him that he hoped Comey could see his way clear to letting the Flynn matter go? Sure, of course you can make that argument. But the last time I checked, breaking presidential protocol isn’t a crime. And this just in: this won’t be the last time President Trump breaks presidential protocol.
Look, after hearing Comey’s testimony, it’s pretty easy to conclude that President Trump wasn’t trying to hide or cover-up any crime. This comes across as Trump being Trump. He didn’t like the fact that his name wasn’t being cleared and wanted the FBI Director to do something about it. It’s like he was operating in a Manhattan boardroom trying to ramp up the pressure. Of course, you run into problems when you’re the occupant of the Oval Office. Context does matter. That’s why pressure might be seen as something else when you’re President of the United States and your speaking privately to the FBI Director. Nonetheless, making the Obstruction of Justice case is pretty ludicrous now. It turns out that Comey ended up hurting himself more than President Trump. Comey’s 15 minutes of fame ended with a thud.
Oh, and one final separate note: I’m sure the cable TV network rating for the hearing will be HUGE. And you can be sure Trump will be taking credit for that. Trump is always good for business!