CNN’s top story right now is a report that former FBI Director Comey will testify before the Senate as early as next week.
According to this “CNN Exclusive” his focus will be his interactions with President Trump before he was fired, including the claim that Trump asked him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn:
Fired FBI director James Comey plans to testify publicly in the Senate as early as next week to confirm bombshell accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into a top Trump aide’s ties to Russia, a source close to the issue said Wednesday…
Comey has spoken privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III to work out the parameters for his testimony to ensure there are no legal entanglements as a result of his public account, a source said…
“The bottom line is he’s going to testify,” the source close to the issue said. “He’s happy to testify, and he’s happy to cooperate.”
Here’s what’s strange about this report. The fact that Comey was going to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee isn’t news. Nearly two weeks ago chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman Mark Warner released a joint statement saying Comey had “committed” to testify. I wrote about it here. The press release also indicated the hearing would take place after Memorial Day.
So what is the news in this CNN report exactly? As far as I can tell, it’s that Comey will confirm the memos, though I think everyone assumed that would be the main topic of discussion back when his testimony was announced. Sen. Warner said at the time that he wanted Comey to discuss, “some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President.”
The bit about Comey sitting down with Mueller to work out “parameters” for his testimony does seem to be new but doesn’t add a lot to the story. CNN also reports Comey is “eager” to testify which may be based on that tepid quote at the end of the piece, i.e. “He’s happy to testify.”
All in all, I think CNN is stretching a bit with this one. Comey’s testimony is not news and the few new bits of information here aren’t exactly revelatory. I guess the pressure to keep up the daily Trump scoops is pretty intense.