The Comey Hearing is Damning, Just Not for Donald

The Comey Hearing is Damning, Just Not for Donald

There are no two-ways about it: former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee all but buried the already paper-thin narrative that Donald Trump and his associates colluded with Russia in order to win the election.

As we know, this is not the end of the narrative. I’m not so naïve as to believe CNN and MSNBC will allow facts and sworn testimony to dash their ratings-driven fairytale.

But for those who do consider and form opinions based on factual, first-hand accounts, Thursday’s hearing cleared Donald Trump of many baseless charges. Further, it exposed revelations regarding the co-mingling of political agendas and FBI operations and the lack of basic journalistic standards by the American news media that are alarming in their grander implications.

Here’s what we learned.

Donald Trump was never under FBI investigation

The president had, prior to Thursday’s hearing, stated on at least three occasions that he was assured by then FBI Director Comey that he was not the subject of an investigation regarding collusion with Russia.

That’s right; there was not enough evidence, not even an inkling of credible suspicion, to pursue an investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

Here’s an excerpt of the exchange between Comey and a Senate Intelligence Committee member:

Member: “I gather from all this that you’re willing to say now that while you were director the President of the United States was not under investigation, is that a fair statement?”

Comey: “That’s correct.”

Member: “So that’s a fact that we can rely on?”

Comey: “Yes sir.”

If that is not crystal-clear enough (it is), another member of the committee asked essentially the same question, in her own wording:

Member: “I’m trying to understand whether there was any kind of investigation of the president underway.”

Comey: “No.”

Before claiming total innocence, there is still the possibility that Donald had his underlings do his dirty dealings with Russia, and that he would plausibly protect them from investigation to whatever extent possible, therefore insulating himself from being implicated.

Not so fast.

It’s true, Trump admitted to “hoping” that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was under investigation, would not be charged. The exact quote from Trump, according to a memo Comey took of the conversation:

"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." (CNN)

As has been pointed out, nobody has ever been prosecuted for “hoping,” and for Donald Trump to advocate for a man he had high regard and respect for is not unusual, and certainly not criminal.

In fact, Comey revealed that President Trump actually encouraged the FBI to investigate his “satellite associates” for any evidence of wrongdoing:

‘Mr. Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey “it would be good to find out” in that investigation if there were “some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong.”’ (WaPo)

In conclusion, Donald Trump was never deemed worthy of inquiry by Director Comey and the FBI, even encouraging thorough investigation into any of his associates. These investigations have yet to reveal evidence of collusion.

There is no evidence of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election

This has been stated periodically by even members of the left, including those leading the frantic, torch and pitchfork wielding mob calling for Donald’s impeachment, preferably his head if they can get it.

To this point, there is no evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. election. None. Not a trace.

Forget the fact-deficient report released that spoke of some ambiguous “influence campaign.” We are talking evidence, tangible connections that would support the twisted logic that continues to drive the Trump/Putin Best Friends Forever storyline.

Once the Russia interference narrative got going, and the FBI began investigations, did they experience pressure from the President-elect to stanch such inquiries, as a guilty man likely would?

Let’s ask Jim, why don’t we?

Member: “Did the president, at any time, ask you to stop investigations into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections?”

Comey: “Not to my understanding, no.”

And, during those investigations, was there ever any sign that Russians had in fact sabotaged Hillary to help install their alleged puppet?

Member: “Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?”

Comey: “I’m confident. When I left as director I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.”

Yet your news feed remains clogged with Trump/Russia stories. Which leads me to…