Comey Testified: Now What?
Yesterday, former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of members of Congress in an open setting. Comey could not answer some questions in the open setting, but they would be addressed in a closed session later. Topics ranged from his contact with President Trump to the role Russia played in our election process in 2016 and their future influence, with more questions and information in between.
Unless the former FBI director committed perjury, the hearing determines multiple occurrences. Mr. Comey said under oath that there was no questioning that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.
“There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government,” said Former Director Comey after a question from Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM).
Comey also said in his testimony that he doesn’t recall ever having a conversation with President Trump on how to rectify or halt that interference, but that he attended meetings on the topic with President Obama.
When asked if this interference was off proposition or part of something long term by Senator Angus King (I-ME), Mr. Comey responded, “Oh, it is a long-term practice of theirs. It's stepped up a notch in a significant way in '16. They'll be back.”
Comey also confirmed that on February 14th, 2017, President Trump removed all superior officers from the oval office minus himself and Mr. Comey, and asked the then-FBI director to let the investigation into Michael Flynn go.
Towards the end of the hearing, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) referenced an article from the February 14th edition of the New York Times that had a headline that read “Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence.” Senator Cotton asked Mr. Comey if it was fair to characterize that article as almost entirely false, to which Mr. Comey replied “Yes.”
Senator Cotton also quoted Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) from an appearance on the Wolf Blitzer show on May 3rd. Senator Feinstein is the Senior Democrat on the FBI Committee, which gives her information many members of Congress do not possess. On the Wolf Blitzer show, she said in regards to evidence of Trump associates and collusion with Russia, “Not at this time.” She appeared on the show again on May 18th, where she gave the same answer.
After the hearing yesterday, it seems that what has been determined is that there is little-to-no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump associates, but that President Trump was in no way concerned of the election interference from the Russians.
Mr. Comey continued his stance that the president himself wasn’t under investigation. The curiosity comes in the timing of these events, which was displayed in the opening statements.
“The loyalty pledge, the admonition to drop the Flynn investigation, the request to lift the cloud on the Russian investigation. Of course, after his refusals, Director Comey was fired. The initial explanation for the firing didn't pass any smell test. So now Director Comey was fired because he didn't treat Hillary Clinton appropriately,” said Senator Mark Werner (D-VA).
So where do we go from here? Facts have been presented and there is evidence to stand on in the Russian investigation. According to former-director Comey’s testimony there was undeniable Russian interference, the questions now are to what extent and to whom did they reach. There is much more investigative work to be done, and many more hearings to be held.
About the author:
Jackson Collier is the Editor-in-Chief for The Bitter Student. He wants to graduate with concentrations in both journalism and communications. His writing interests are politics and short stories. You can follow Jackson on social media @jacksoncollier and LinkedIn.
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