An article on some liberal website laid out the case that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election. They based this conclusion on Jim Comey’s much-celebrated nothingburger Congressional testimony. To illustrate their thinking, they laid their case out in the form of ten questions and Comey’s responses to questioning. The following is their summary and see if you can figure out the pattern.
- What was Jeff Session’s involvement in response to questioning from Ron Wyden (D-OR)? Comey’s response: “Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting…”
- Was Trump setting up a secret channel to Moscow in response to questioning from Martin Heinrich (D-NM)? Comey’s response: “I’m not going to comment on whether that happened in an open setting.”
- Was the FBI investigation into Flynn growing in response to questioning from Angus King (I-ME)? Comey’s response: “I can’t comment either way. I can’t talk in an open setting about the investigation as it was when I was the head of the FBI.”
- Were Russian banks now part of the FBI inquiry in response to a question from King? Comey’s response: “Nothing that I can talk about in an open setting.”
- Does Comey believe Trump colluded with the Russians in response to questioning from Tom Cotton (R-AR)? Comey’s response: “That’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.”
- Was the FBI intercepting phone calls from Trump’s team in response to questions from Cotton? Comey’s response: “I don’t want to comment on that, Senator, because I’m pretty sure the Bureau has not confirmed any interception of communications. And so I don’t want to talk about that in an open setting.”
- Was Flynn on the verge of being charged or cutting a deal, again in questions from Cotton? Comey’s response: “I don’t think I can talk about that in an open setting, either.”
- Did Trump’s campaign have other unreported meetings with Russians in response to questioning from Kamala Harris (D-CA)? Comey’s response: “Even if I remember clearly, that’s not a question I can answer in an open setting.”
- Did Trump’s campaign use encryption to communicate with the Russians in response to a question from Harris? Comey’s response: “I have to give you same answer, Senator.”
- Did Trump’s team conceal or destroy any evidence of illegal activity in response to Harris? Comey’s response: “I think I’ve got to give you the same answer, because it, it would touch investigative matters.”
To the Left, this nothing of significance testimony proves (1) Jeff Sessions is a dirty, rotten scoundrel, (2) Trump was setting up a private hotline with Moscow, (3) Flynn is ready to spill the proverbial beans and implicate Trump directly, (4) Trump and Kushner had cushy deals with Russian banks in the works, (5) the FBI believed there was collusion, (6) intelligence agencies were spying on Trump (perhaps the most egregious illegal act in this episode), (7) there were other unreported meetings with Russians, (8) the FBI caught the Trump team red-handed using encryption and (10) the FBI has evidence of an obvious cover-up.
In fact, nothing of that nature was revealed. Instead, they got a cagey Washington insider giving cagey answers to keep the controversy alive. The only revelation of significance was that Comey himself “leaked” his private recollection memos to a friend at Columbia University knowing it would then be leaked to the press. This little act of sleaze by Comey is important because it reveals him to be the weasel that he is. He said he did so in the hopes that an independent counsel would be appointed.
Left unsaid is the fact that Comey had the power to request that an independent counsel be appointed at any point during the FBI investigation that he admitted started in July 2016 in previous testimony. If there was evidence of collusion and/or a cover-up of some sorts, Comey could have made this request, or even have the FBI bring charges. Instead, he testified before many Congressional inquiries that no such evidence existed. So, which is it? The evidence is now intimated at through avoidance of answering questions “in an open setting.” The only thing that changed is that Comey is now unemployed.
While employed, why did or would he sit on such evidence? The fact is that the evidence does not exist to make a legal, criminal case now, nor did it when he was employed by the FBI whether those facts come out in open or closed testimony. His responses suggest ghosts that don’t exist. But then again, this is the same man who held a news conference to say that Hillary Clinton basically compromised national security with her e-mail server, but they were not bringing criminal charges against anyone.
Comey knew and knows now that the underlying case is basically garbage, yet he forced the hands of the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel through a cowardly act of “leaking” his own memos. That should say a lot about how James Comey works despite the accolades he receives.
Which is kind of funny since not more than 6 months ago, Comey was considered the #1 reason Hillary lost the election. She said so herself. He publicly lamented that fact. Democrats should have been happy to see him go. Yet in six months he has gone from political goat to political saint on the Left. If Hillary had been elected and Comey fired, it would be retribution. But because Trump fired him- as he had the right to do- it is a criminal cover-up and obstruction of justice.
Regardless, one has to ask whether collusion with the Russian government is even a crime. Politifact looked into the matter in response to an assertion that collusion is not a crime according to Gregg Jarrett at Fox News. Their conclusion? It is, but if you read the full analysis, collusion would occur in the context of campaign spending and there is no evidence that Russian money flowed into Trump’s campaign coffers.
However, there are two cases that the Left conveniently forgets about in this context. The first is Chinese money filtered into the Bill Clinton campaign through banks in Arkansas. But then, there was no Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 in effect then.
The other example is political sleazebag Ted Kennedy’s 1983 attempt to enlist Russian (actually KGB) aid in defeating Ronald Reagan’s reelection bid in 1986. There is more evidence for these more egregious acts than any which exists today regarding the Trump campaign.
As the Left chases chimeras to ends of the earth and we are inundated by the daily drivel of leaks- death by a thousand cuts by any other name- they lose sight of the bigger picture. Russia certainly tried to influence the election through the spread of fake news and propaganda on social media. They have a whole network designed for that very purpose.
Now what are we going to do about it?