The biggest holiday on the Democratic and MSM calendar has finally arrived. It’s Comeymas! All of the good little cable news hosts no doubt left milk and cookies out by their televisions last night in the hopes that James Comey would hop off his sleigh (pulled by eight tiny pegasi), slide down their wifi beams and leave them a bag full of presents. These would presumably take the form of the long awaited, rock solid evidence that President Trump had Obstructed Justice, committed High Crimes or Misdemeanors and very likely kidnapped the Lindbergh baby. Andrew Kugle at the Washington Free Beacon reminds us of all the media mavens who said that today was going to be the “Superbowl of Congressional testimony.”
Journalists, commentators, and television hosts predicted that Comey’s appearance before the committee on Thursday would be a “blockbuster” and the “super bowl” of congressional testimony.
“I think it will be one of the most explosive moments of the Trump presidency,” former CBS anchor Dan Rather said.
“The most explosive and dramatic congressional testimony in a generation,” CNN host Kate Bouldan said.
“Must see TV,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo declared.
But in the cold, gray light of dawn, hopes seem to be waning. Last night we told you about how Jonathan Turley doesn’t seem to see any evidence of obstruction from the material thus far released. Following up on that, Andrew McCarty wonders how anyone thought this was going to add up to an obstruction charge to begin with.
It is hard to understand why this news is news at all, but ABC News reported Tuesday evening that former FBI director James Comey will not accuse President Donald Trump of obstructing an FBI investigation. Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday.
Comey is a decorated former prosecutor who served at the highest echelons of the Bush Justice Department before becoming the nation’s top federal cop under President Obama. That is why the news that he will not accuse the president of obstruction should be no news. Though better informed than virtually anyone in the country about what constitutes an obstruction crime, Comey took no action consistent with a belief that he had witnessed one during his February 14 meeting with Trump. He did not resign, and having known him for 30 years, I am quite confident he’d have done just that; he would neither countenance such a thing, nor permit himself to become enmeshed in it. Nor did the then-director report either the commission of a crime or being solicited to participate in a criminal scheme—not to his superiors at the Justice Department, and not down his chain of command at the FBI, as internal regulations and protocols would have required.
From everything we’ve heard thus far, the goal posts are going to have to be moved a significant distance. I still recall the many cable news personalities and outspoken Democrats who all but directly called the President a liar when he claimed that Jim Comey had told him that he wasn’t under investigation. And when it was proven that he had lied it would surely be the smoking gun we were all waiting for. Right? Well, Comeymas doesn’t seem to include that as one of the gifts under the tree because the former FBI Director will confirm it to be true. (No less than three times, in fact.)
Still, that didn’t stop the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent from keeping hope alive. Any claims that Trump was somehow not guilty of obstruction of justice and on his way to the hoosegow are, as Greg so eloquently said on Twitter, “pure pernicious bull****.”
The GOP spin is that Comey exonerated Trump today.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 7, 2017
Just to be clear on the facts here, even if Comey did tell Trump several times earlier this spring that he wasn’t personally under investigation, this does not mean that the conversations themselves that took place between Comey and Trump are not currently being examined as possible obstruction of justice. I’m not saying they are or aren’t; merely that we do not know either way.
I was wondering where the goalposts would land today. Greg is probably giving us a fairly good indicator here. Okay… so maybe Trump didn’t actually do what we were all positive he did. But that doesn’t mean that he might not have done something else. Yeah… that’s the ticket.
As for me, I’ll wait to see what Robert Mueller has to say. That should give both the Democrats and the media talkers who love them plenty of material to work with over the summer. But if that bag comes up empty you’d better start setting up nets under all the tall buildings. We might have some jumpers.