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Experts: Don’t expect many ‘bombshells’ from Comey’s testimony

The Comey Show will get good ratings but deliver little in the way of substance

(National SentinelPolitical theater: As we reported yesterday, official Washington is all abuzz and atwitter over fired FBI Director James Comey’s upcoming testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, with many politicos and especially Democrats believing that he’s going to lay the pipe to President Donald J. Trump and his inner circle over this “Russian collusion” business.

We wrote:

CNN has a countdown clock, billing the ‘The Comey Show’ as something bigger even than the Super Bowl. Most other mainstream media networks announced plans to broadcast his congressional testimony live. Some DC bars are opening early, featuring “Russian-themed drinks.” Oh, how clever; we get it. ‘Cause “Russia stole the election for Trump, and collusion, and Hillary should be president…”

But while the bulk of Americans are fed up with the BS, have no interest in “The Comey Show” and are far more interested in kitchen table issues like getting a better job offer and paying less for their health care, a number of experts are pouring water on the blazing self-interest in D.C., noting that Comey’s public testimony will fall far short of its “bombshells” hype.

As reported by Lifezette:

Liberals and media pundits are anticipating fired FBI Director James Comey’s upcoming Senate testimony like football fans look toward the Super Bowl.

It will be the biggest congressional testimony since the Clarence Thomas hearings! No, since Oliver North testified about the Iran-Contra affair! No, wait — since Watergate!

For all the salivating, Comey’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee may end up disappointing, according to national security and law enforcement experts.

For instance:

CNN on Tuesday cited anonymous sources as saying that Comey will dispute President Donald Trump’s account of a February meeting between the two men in which the president reportedly asked if the FBI director could back off the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump’s critics have interpreted that as obstruction of justice. But experts noted that federal law would have required Comey to inform the Department of Justice if he was concerned that the president was trying to obstruct justice. He apparently did not do so or even inform senior officials at the FBI. What’s more, Acting Director Andrew McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last month that “there has been no effort to impede our investigation today.”

James Kallstrom, a former assistant director of the FBI, told LifeZette that it would be hard for Comey then to drop a bombshell and tell the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that Trump was trying to improperly shut down the probe.

“I don’t see how that could possibly be,” he said.

Yeah, but couldn’t he now just say that he came to believe Trump’s actions amounted to obstruction of justice after the president fired him?

“He could say that, but who in the world would believe it other than the corrupt media?” Kallstrom said.

Well, lots of Democrats would believe Comey because they want to – you know, all that Trump hate – even though their hatred was directed at Comey when Queen Hillary was under the Comey-led FBI’s investigation (and why wasn’t she indicted, Mr. Comey?)

Chris Stecker, a former assistant FBI director, told CNN yesterday evening that it didn’t appear as though Comey discussed Trump’s alleged request with senior staff regarding whether it even justified opening a preliminary investigation, and that included supervisors who reportedly saw a memo Comey said he wrote after meeting with the president.

“He apparently didn’t do that, and he showed the memo and shared his conversation with other executive staff around him, and nobody thought it rose to the level of at least even a preliminary inquiry, which is a very low bar,” he said. “So he’s going to have to answer those questions” if he now makes an alternate claim.

Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, told Lifezette he believes that Comey may say he felt as though Trump pressured him, but that’s all. And that ain’t illegal.

“Pressure is not obstruction of justice; it’s pressure,” he said. “It’s not legally sufficient to make out a legal case for obstruction.”

And while McCarthy, who has said he is friendly with Comey and has a lot of respect for him, could argue that pressure combined with the firing amounted to obstruction, “then he’d also have to conclude the case was never shut down,” he said.

As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Trump has the legal right to order the Justice Department or the FBI to stop any investigation. And he said that Trump could have just pardoned Flynn, which he did not.

The president, meanwhile, had little for reporters when asked yesterday about Comey’s testimony.

“I wish him luck,” Trump said.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Trump lawyer: Prez feels ‘completely vindicated’ by Comey’s pre-testimony statement – The National Sentinel
  2. That time James Comey implicated himself and Loretta Lynch in committing crimes – The National Sentinel

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