Truth: Yesterday was a frustrating day for those of us who really would like to see Donald Trump impeached sooner rather than later. Yes, the FBI Director James Comey basically called Donald Trump a liar, and yes, Comey admitted that he is investigating collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, but after watching a bunch of dudes drone on for six hours during the hearing, we didn’t learn anything new. The hearing didn’t feel like an investigatory hearing so much as it was an opportunity to put everything we already knew on the record, while the Republicans spent half the hearing complaining about where the information came from instead of what was in the information.
That said, news reporting kept telling us that the hearing was a big deal, and a friend of mine — who doesn’t follow the news as religious as some of us — checked in last night to ask how it went, and she was flabbergasted by the hearing.
Still, there were no bombshells. There were no smoking guns. And I felt kind of deflated about the whole thing, because I’m chomping at the bit to get rid of this guy.
And then I read this quote from Benjamin Wittes over at Lawfare from before the hearing (via ThinkProgress), and this quote? For those of us anxious to get rid of the President before he inflicts long-lasting harm, it gives us life:
“Comey’s communicativeness with the committee — and through it with the public — will almost certainly be inversely proportional to the seriousness of the Russia investigation.”
“That is, if Comey says a lot, makes a lot of news on Russia matters, and cheers a lot of anti-Trump hearts by maximally embarrassing the President for his outrageous comments on Obama’s alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower, that will very likely be a sign that Comey has relatively little to protect in terms of investigative equities in the Russia matter and is thus free to vent. Conversely, a quiet, reserved Comey — one whose contrast with the relatively loquacious FBI director who talked at length about the Clinton email matters will infuriate a lot of liberals and frustrate those who want to know what’s going on with Russia — may well spell trouble for the President.”
Comey said almost nothing yesterday. He wouldn’t speak about any of the individuals involved — Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, etc. — and gave anti-Trump hearts very little with which to be heartened by, which I guess means that this is a serious investigation. The fact that he said almost nothing about Stone, Manafort, or Flynn and Sean Spicer spent a good portion of his press conference trying to distance Trump’s campaign from Manafort, Flynn, and Stone suggests to many of us that maybe there is something about to catch fire beneath all the smoke. I mean, we know now that Stone is under investigation and that he was heavily involved in the campaign.
Manafort and Flynn’s roles in the campaign are obvious, despite what Spicer might have us believe:
Meanwhile, this is like the third or fourth investigation opened up against Manafort in the last month, one of which includes murder after leaks revealed that Manafort’s own daughter suggested that her Dad was having men killed.
New documents show Trump aide hid payments from Ukraine party with Moscow ties, lawmaker alleges https://t.co/FBMwVPtFQ9— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 21, 2017
It’s not just the cloud of the investigation hanging over Trump’s head, either. His credibility is shot:
For those keeping score on Trump’s wiretap claim, Monday’s hearing means it’s now his word against the FBI, the NSA, the Department of Justice, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom have said there’s no evidence to support his attack.
In other words, it may take a few days for all of this to filter down and sink in for the average American, but look at what’s happening here. Soak it in. The President of the United States is under FBI investigation, and so are several people with whom he was involved during the campaign, including Brietbart — which was ran by his chief advisor, Stephen Bannon.
And Comey ain’t saying sh*t. His silence may speak volumes.
Get ready for impeachment.— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) March 21, 2017