After so many weeks of waiting and speculation and intrigue, James Comey finally provided his testimony in front of the Senate this morning. It was probably the largest viewership the Senate’s ever had, not that this would take much. Anyway, the hype was crazy.
To be honest, the only way Comey could have lived up to the high expectations attached to his testimony were if he either claimed Trump was secretly an alien from a neighboring galaxy or if he’d revealed that President Cheeto and Vladimir Putin had been twin brothers all along.
In other words, it wasn’t gonna’ happen. This didn’t stop the media from counting down to the last minute, though, nor did it discourage bars in Washington, D.C. from offering a free round of drinks every time Trump tweeted during the testimony. (Trump was surprisingly silent…something tells me his staff confiscated his phone for the day. Translation: hundreds of disappointed Americans had to watch this testimony sober.)
Even so, there were a few interesting moments in the testimony. First of all, Comey’s memos were constantly referred to. Trump and Comey had nine one-on-one meetings over the last several months–an unusually large number considering Comey only met with Obama twice–and Comey started writing down everything about them from the very first. As I’ve mentioned before, the memos really don’t read all that official-like. They have a touch of romance novel and mainstream thriller about them. It makes them a more interesting read, but I find Comey’s responses…dramatic, to say the least.
Anyway, the Senators found it weird that Comey wrote up each meeting in such detail, even asking at one point if he did that for anyone else. It turns out only Trump possesses that level of unorthodox creepiness that inspires the people near him to write everything he says down. Not even Jeff Sessions can compete.
Secondly: there was an awful lot that Comey wouldn’t admit. He wouldn’t say if Trump had colluded with the Russians to get elected. He wouldn’t explain what was hinky about Jeff Sessions’ recusal in open session. He wouldn’t talk about the Steele Dossier (the famous “golden shower” document). Jared Kushner’s back communication channels with Russia also received no further discussion. Comey’s go-to response was, “That’s not something I can answer in an open setting.” There was just a lot that he wouldn’t say, and a lot of it had to do with Trump and his cabinet. That, at least, was rather telling.
Third: Comey is pissed about Russia. American elections might be messed up in the first place, as our country is a rigmarole of contradictions and misinformation, but at least it’s our own damn mess. When another country screws us around and molds our opinions, then he gets pissed. You don’t mess with the U.S., as far as he’s concerned. It was an interesting perspective.
Fourth: Comey has a thing for his wife. Apparently, she’s more fun to hang out with than a psychotic president with an agenda and no political experience. Who knew?
In the end, it was an interesting testimony, but we didn’t learn anything earth-shattering. Anything genuinely juicy was saved for the closed session in the afternoon. Now, that I would have paid good money to observe.
Oh, well. Maybe James Comey will write all of that in a memo, too.
Photo from cnn.com