Fired FBI director James Comey has been cleared to and plans to testify publicly in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the reported confrontations he had with Donald Trump before his firing. While the details are still being worked out, and no date has been specified, CNN reports the testimony could go down as early as next week.
According to a May 16 bombshell New York Times report, Trump pressured Comey while he was the FBI director to stop his investigation into disgraced former national security Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials. Such attempts to hinder an active FBI investigation, according to some legal experts, could amount to obstruction of justice.
This could be the most dramatic testimony on this entire scandal to date, and will certainly be one of the most watched congressional testimonies ever. While it’s unlikely that Comey will speak in any detail about the FBI investigation he was overseeing before his firing, but he does seem eager to discuss the interactions he had with Trump that ultimately lead up to his termination. If Comey generally corroborates the Time’s account of his meetings with Trump, that could be a major revelation in the larger scandal.
There’s still many people who argue that there ultimately is nothing here, that it’s all smoke, that Russia didn’t hack the DNC emails or that if they did, it wasn’t what cost Hillary Clinton the election. But that’s not the story here. The story here is the lies, the deceit, the abuse of power, the potential obstruction of justice all coming out of the Trump administration.
I’m sure Republicans in the Senate will be well prepared to try to divert Comey’s testimony towards the leaks coming out of the White House, or harp back to Hillary Clinton’s emails in an effort to distract from the obvious issue here. Trump himself will likely have an ill-conceived Twitter meltdown during the testimony. But it will be fascinating to see what we’ll learn when all the dust settles.