Comey to take the stand and explain how Trump, demanding loyalty, instructed him to drop the FBI investigation into collusion between members of his campaign and the Russians

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but today’s the day that case against Donald Trump is expected to turn. In three hours, former FBI Director James Comey is going to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and say, under oath, that the President of the United States attempted to coerce him into stopping the agency’s investigation into collusion between members of his campaign and Russian agents working on Putin’s behalf to influence the outcome of our presidential election. This, in other words, could very well be the beginning of the end, the point at which we stop debating whether or not a crime may have taken place, and start prosecuting the sitting President of the United States for obstruction of justice. And this is the day we’ll know for certain where each Republican member of congress stands… whether they’ll do the right thing, and join us in the fight to save our Democracy, or whether they’ll continue to protect a President they know to have engaged in illegal activity. Today’s the day we draw the line in the sand.

The above front page story from the LA Times should give you a pretty good, high level indication of what Comey is expected to say when he takes the stand this morning. If you have the time, however, I’d suggest you read the former FBI Director’s entire prepared statement, which was made public yesterday afternoon by Senate Intelligence Committee, as it relays in incredible detail how aggressively Donald Trump worked to end the FBI’s investigation. I’d also suggest, if you have the time, that you look up the phone numbers of your representatives in Congress, so that you can begin calling them once Comey is done testifying, demanding that they immediately begin impeachment proceedings.

As Representative Adam Schiff pointed out today, we now not only know the efforts to which President Trump went to influence the Director Comey, but we have a timeline that tells a very clear story as to what happened transpired and why.

And, here, in case you missed it yesterday, was the highlight of undercard fight before today’s main event.

For those of you unable to watch the video, here’s a brief description from Politico of the exchange that took place between Senator Angus King, FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe, NSA Director Michael Rogers, and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, all of whom refused to answer the Senator’s questions about the extent to which the President may have attempted to similarly attempted to coerce them.

…“I would like a legal justification for your refusal to answer,” King said. “Why are you not answering these questions?”

“Is there an invocation of executive privilege?” King added, referring to the possibility that Trump would attempt to stop them from testifying by claiming their conversations are legally protected from disclosure.

Rogers answered that he is “not aware of” an attempt to invoke executive privilege, but said he is in touch with the White House counsel’s office on the matter of what he can and cannot say in a public hearing. “To be honest, I didn’t get a definitive answer,” he said.

Pressed on the question of executive privilege, Rogers shut down King’s line of questioning. “I’m not interested in repeating myself, sir,” he said. “And I don’t mean that in a contentious way.”

“Well, I do mean it in a contentious way,” King snapped. “I don’t understand why you are not answering our questions. You can’t— When you were confirmed, before the Armed Services Committee, you took an oath. ‘Do you solemnly swear to give the committee the truth, the fully truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?’ You answered yes to that.”

Rogers answered that he “feel[s] it’s inappropriate” to reveal details of his private conversations with the president and with Comey in an open hearing.

“What you feel isn’t relevant, admiral,” King fumed. “What you feel isn’t the answer.”

King then tried the same line of questioning with Coats, asking: “What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?”

“I’m not sure I have a legal basis,” Coats admitted. “But I’m more than willing to sit before this committee during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your question.”…

As former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said yesterday, Watergate pales in comparison.

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11 Comments

  1. stupid hick
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    “This, in other words, could very well be the beginning of the end […] And this is the day we’ll know for certain where each Republican member of congress stands…”

    The beginning of the end for Trump. How many times has that been said, time after time, following every incident that previously would have immediately ended any politician’s career? And don’t we already know where each Republican member of Congress stands? Behind Trump. A few may make some ambiguous statements after the hearing that you can read into what you want to imagine, but sorry, I don’t think they’re going anywhere.

  2. stupid hick
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Pretty obvious that Rogers and Coats pledged loyalty to Trump, isn’t​ it?

  3. M
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    We’re clearly at an inflection point. As for what happens, it’s in the hands of the Republicans in Congress.

    In case you missed it, there’s also a good piece on Vox, talking with legal scholars on this whole thing.

    https://www.vox.com/2017/6/8/15742880/donald-trump-james-comey-fbi-russia-investigation

  4. Iron Lung Larson
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter. You now live in Trump Nation. He is almighty.

  5. M
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?

  6. Janette Rook
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    His notes are riveting in the way of a slow train wreck. I appreciated the foreboding details: “when the door by the grandfather clock closed….”

  7. nick
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    i like the blog more when u write about ypsi.

  8. Lynne
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree with stupid hick. Nothing is going to happen. Not unless voters wise up and vote in a different congress in the midterms.

  9. EOS
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Hoping is not a crime. Trump isn’t being investigated. No evidence of Trump colluding with Russia. The investigation should turn today and wrap up, but it won’t. It will drag on for months with Mark keeping us informed of the latest stories in the LA Times. At some point, a witness will get confused and make a false statement and then will be indicted in a manner similar to how Libby was hung to dry. Thereafter we’ll all be told that there were charges, but Trump was isolated and protected but somehow the mastermind of it all. Meanwhile Comey admitted to leaking information. He admitted that he lied about the Clinton investigation due to pressure from Lynch. He gave immunity to her staffers and then destroyed the evidence on their hard drives. The information that the Russians released to influence the election was actual emails of HRC that were classified but kept on an unsecured server, sent to Huma’s yahoo account, and printed from her perverted husband’s computer. Had she handled the sensitive information in a legal manner, Wikileaks could never have published it. The real reason she wasn’t indicted for her crimes was due to the fact that Obama, using a pseudonym, emailed HRC on her unsecured server, and was complicit in the criminal activity.

  10. Jcp2
    Posted June 8, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    It was Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick.

  11. Iron Lung Larson
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Death is preferable to life.

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