Photo credit: Brookings Institution via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

2 Reasons the Comey Hearing Was a Big, Fat “Nothing-Burger”


There are two big takeaways from former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony today before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:

1.) President Trump is not under investigation by the FBI.

Not about Russia. Not about covfefe. Not about anything.

2.) President Trump may have mishandled his communications with James Comey, but he did nothing illegal.

As Speaker Paul Ryan put it this morning, the President is “new at this.” Via Politico:

Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday defended President Donald Trump’s communications with ex-FBI director James Comey, saying Trump wasn’t “steeped in the long-running protocols” of how to interact with law enforcement and is “new at this.”

The Wisconsin Republican also expressed sympathy for Trump’s frustration with the Russia investigation, noting that Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday morning that Trump was not the subject of the probe — at least not while he was at the FBI.

“When the FBI director tells him on three different occasions he is not under investigation, yet the speculation swirls around the political system that he is, that’s frustrating,” Ryan said. “I think the American people now know why he was frustrated.”

According to Comey’s written testimony, Trump complained about Russia being a “cloud” over his presidency. Trump is right to be annoyed with the constant Russia obsession. It’s eating up precious political capital that could be spent on pushing his legislative agenda through Congress.

Trump asked for Comey to publicize that he was not under investigation, which Comey ultimately refused to do. This refusal allowed the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory to fester and become even more pronounced as the opposition-party mainstream media continued to push what was essentially baseless propaganda.

That sounds like a pretty justifiable reason to fire an FBI Director, who serves at the pleasure of the President. In other words, the Comey hearing was a massive dud.

President Trump was widely expected to respond to Comey’s testimony live on Twitter. That didn’t happen. Instead, President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., live-tweeted the hearing. He defended his father against claims of obstruction of justice:

He also had some pretty good zingers for Comey and the media:

Let’s hope this puts the Russian conspiracy theory to rest, and we can move forward on passing President Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda through Congress.

Photo credit: Brookings Institution via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jon Schweppe

Jon Schweppe is the Director of Government Affairs for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe

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