Former FBI Director To Testify Before Congress

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitFBI director James Comey is the ice man cometh.  Comey’s testimony is the most anticipated in this city since the Anita Hill testimony against Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.  In a city where politics is our professional sport of choice, this is the Superbowl and World Series rolled into one.  Bars are opening early to allow people to watch in the right atmosphere.  The only thing missing is a Vegas betting line and bunting.  No doubt children got up this morning screaming “it’s Comey day, it’s Comey day!”

The day however is not necessarily purely festive for Comey who is likely to face some tough questions on his own conduct.  He is a seasoned operator in Washington so I expect him to do well, but the stakes are high.

Comey has already created a firestorm by releasing his testimony early — something that is not often done.  It had the effect of pushing the media into a frenzy but it allowed greater preparation by other sides. If I were his lawyer, I would have him read part of the statement anyway. It tends to calm a witness and Comey is very good on television.    Then it begins.

Comey should be prepared to answer questions about his earlier testimony in which he denied political interference.  He should also be prepared for questions as to whether he or his associates leaked information to the media during the controversy.  There is also the question of alternative intended implications of things like “loyalty.”  Trump was obsessed with leakers within his own Administration.  Comey was viewed clearly as someone with uncertain ties and loyalties.  He will be pressed on how to interpret these statements.

The Washington Post identified are the most quoted excerpts:

The president and I had dinner on Friday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Green Room at the White House. … It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.

The president began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and I had assured him that I intended to. He said that lots of people wanted my job and, given the abuse I had taken during the previous year, he would understand if I wanted to walk away. …

I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my 10-year term as director. And then, because the setup made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth. I added that I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense, a stance I said was in his best interest as the president.

A few moments later, the president said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on …

Near the end of our dinner, the president returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions and many others. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” … As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase “honest loyalty” differently, but I decided it wouldn’t be productive to push it further. The term – honest loyalty – had helped end a very awkward conversation and my explanations had made clear what he should expect. …


On February 14, I went to the Oval Office for a scheduled counterterrorism briefing of the president. … The president signaled the end of the briefing by thanking the group and telling them all that he wanted to speak to me alone. … When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the president began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The president began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the vice president. …

“He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the vice president. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” I did not say I would “let this go.”


On the morning of March 30, the president called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him. …

The president went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him. …

He finished by stressing “the cloud” that was interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated. I told him I would see what we could do, and that we would do our investigative work well and as quickly as we could.


On the morning of April 11, the president called me and asked what I had done about his request that I “get out” that he is not personally under investigation. I replied that I had passed his request to the acting deputy attorney general, but I had not heard back. He replied that “the cloud” was getting in the way of his ability to do his job. He said that perhaps he would have his people reach out to the acting deputy attorney general. I said that was the way his request should be handled. I said the White House counsel should contact the leadership of DOJ to make the request, which was the traditional channel.

He said he would do that and added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” I did not reply or ask him what he meant by “that thing.” I said only that the way to handle it was to have the White House counsel call the acting deputy attorney general. He said that was what he would do and the call ended.

That was the last time I spoke with President Trump.

73 thoughts on “Former FBI Director To Testify Before Congress”

    1. Hey – for those of us forced to do real work in the real world today …….how’s the sh*t show going, generally ?

        1. Doubt Comey is lying under oath. He is not foolish enough to open himself up to perjury charges.

        1. …if you have proof, please share–and don’t be a parrott for the GOP…..

  1. “I don’t think I can answer that in this setting” Scoreboard: 2 times in first 20 minutes.

    “Because of the sensitivity of the matter”

    Will any Senator follow up on this line of questioning?…..

    “…notification of counter-intel investigations are discussed with the White House, and other pertinent oversight officials, on a calendar basis, ie. “quarterly”.

    With the statement that such counterintelligence notifications happen “generally quarterly”, and against the backdrop that Comey stated in July of 2016 a counter-intel investigation began, Stefanik asks:

    …”when did you notify the White House, the DNI and congressional leadership”?

    BOOM! Watch an extremely uncomfortable Director James Comey outright LIE… by claiming there was no active DNI to notify -which is entirely false- James Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

    FBI Director Comey intentionally obfuscates knowledge of the question from Rep Stefanik; using parseltongue verbiage to get himself away from the sunlit timeline.

    The counter-intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

    The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

    There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and James Clapper (ODNI), and then keeping it under wraps from congress: James Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes – wittingly, or unwittingly.

    It became clear during that testimony that Director Comey was using his office as a facilitating conduit for political purposes; presumably in favor of the 2016 White House.

    Unfortunately, a slightly nervous Stefanik, never forced Comey to go back to the non-answered question and respond by saying:

    No, Mr. Comey, there WAS a DNI in place in 2016, please answer the question of when did you notify him (James Clapper) and the White House?

    ….. then it would get a little ugly:

    Why did you notify Clapper and the White House but delay congressional notification?

    With all the banter about these hearings, and against this slight moment of clarity of purpose, it bears repeating:

    There is only ONE KNOWN Factual and CRIMINAL activity currently identified: the unmasking and leaking of Mike Flynn’s name to the media.

    FBI Director Comey stated his organization is “investigating”, fair enough. Director Comey stated the investigation was a counterintelligence operation; again, fair enough. However, not a single congress person followed-up to his admission and questioned why only he decided to act without oversight, and only this aspect of the investigation was kept secret from congress and the gang-of-eight.


    Additionally, during this same March 20th testimony Director Comey stated there was an ongoing leak investigation. However, almost two months later, on May 8th 2017, both James Clapper and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates stated they were unaware of any leak investigation and neither of them had been contacted or questioned as part of the supposed leak investigation.

    How can there be a leak investigation if the key stake-holders who possessed the intelligence that was leaked have never been questioned?


  2. Put another Comey on the fire
    Cook me up some bacon & some beans
    And go out to the car & change the tire
    Wash my socks and sew my old blue jeans
    Come on baby you can fill my pipe & then go fetch my slippers
    And boil me up another pot of tea
    Then put another Comey on the fire babe

    And come & tell me why you’re leaving me

    Now don’t I let you wash the car on Sunday
    And don’t I warn you when you’re gettin fat
    Ain’t I a gonna take you fishin’ with me someday
    Well a man can’t love a woman more than that
    And ain’t I always nice to your kid sister
    Don’t I take her driving every night
    So sit here at my feet cause I like you when you’re sweet
    And you know it ain’t feminine to fight

    So put another Comey on the fire
    Cook me up some bacon & some beans
    Go out to to the car & lift it up & change the tire
    Wash my socks & sew my old blue jeans
    Come on baby you can fill my pipe & then go fetch my slippers
    And boil me up another pot of tea
    Then put another log on the fire babe
    And come & tell me why you’re leaving me

  3. Obstruction of Justice is TOUGH to prove, and based on the prepared testimony, it ain’t there. The attorneys who are screaming this is are all political hacks. Jeffrey Toobin, a failure as a human and attorney, also thinks this is obstruction. I rest my case!

    1. That may very well be, but it doesn’t seem to make a whit of difference in our modern legal system. I don’t personally trust Comey any more than I do Trump, the Obamas or Clintons, I doubt much truth will come out of any of this. It’s s crapshoot.

      1. Comey will be under oath so there is that. He has made some strange choices along the way.

  4. The sporting event analogy is a sad reflection on politics today. This will not be the final game. We’ve got hooligans on each side prepared to defend their team and the final score won’t matter. One side will technically win but this won’t quell the passion to oust President Trump. These hooligans will burn the country to the ground before they concede that Donald Trump is the legitimate President of the United States.

    1. I say he is the legitimate president of the United States but if he is guilty of crimes he needs to pay the price.

      1. Absolutely Mike. Everyone that has committed a crime needs to be prosecuted. That’s called the rule of law. The unmasking of Flynn should be prosecuted.

  5. Time to get some popcorn ready, and set up a ringside seat in front of the big screen …..

  6. Comey: I assured Trump he was not under investigation …..
    Trump: Can you release to the public that I am not under investigation ?

    And THEN …….. (insert sinister music here):
    Trump: I want a milkshake.
    Comey: And I looked deep into his eyes and said, I can give you a banana.
    Trump: Licked his lips and said, that’s what I want—a banana milkshake.

    The swamp are stuck in a cul-de-sac with nary a clue how to extricate themselves from the circular mess they created for themselves……

    1. Trump was not under investigation on Jan. 6. After that ????????

    1. Opinions about the law by non-lawyer folks like CNN’s Jake Tapper make him into the cartoonish figures he draws. He’s got an anti-Trump agenda and his opinions are in furtherance thereof.

  7. FBI director James Comey is the ice man cometh. Comey’s testimony is the most anticipated in this city since the Anita Hill testimony against Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. In a city where politics is our professional sport of choice, this is the Superbowl and World Series rolled into one.

    If you wanted proof that Prof. Turley is (psychologically) part of official Washington and not vernacular Washington, this is it. Only about 20% of the workforce in greater Washington consists of federal employees (and a great many of them are schlubs of a sort you can find anywhere – building custodians, security guards, accountants, secretaries, &c). Of the remainder, only a modest sliver work in lobbying, public relations, media, electioneering and political advocacy, or law firms with a ‘government relations’ practice.

  8. Did he keep memos on every meeting with Obama, Hillary, Lynch, Holder?

    1. In the end the efforts to divert will not help Trump Kushner Flynn.

      1. In the end it will be only Trump’s pride that was a fault.
        Keep dreaming for impeachment.
        Fact: Hillary Clinton is not the current President. The gift that keeps giving.

        1. Pence the dominionist is just as bad in his own way but at least he does not appear to be into money laundering. Doubt Trump will be not be impeached unless Flynn sings big time. Ryan and McConnell are hanging in with Trump for the time being so no impeachment for now.

    2. Fox news is saying that Comey did NOT keep Memos on Obama because he only talked with him twice. Once we to say “goodbye” as President Obama was leaving office. We all know that Comey was “mildly nauseaus” if his action affected the 2016 election results. Personally, I have conflicting opinions about Comey but suspect that while not a “show pony” as some people have described that he’s a “work horse” who got onto a track that was just too slippery.

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