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What Came Out of Comey’s Testimony?

June 11th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

The media buildup ahead of his testimony was almost unprecedented. Mass Thursday coverage substituted for regular programming.

Comey’s appearance before Senate Intelligence Committee members was an unspectacular spectacle - lots of smoke, no fire touching Trump.

No blockbuster revelations came out, nothing suggesting Trump obstruction of justice or other wrongdoing in dealings with Comey.

Sure Trump is a liar, as Comey said. So are Obama, Bush/Cheney, the Clintons, all their predecessors, and virtually all congressional members.

All politicians lie. Nothing they say is credible - nothing to be taken at face value. Politicians can’t be trusted. Rare exceptions prove the rule. The criminal class in Washington is bipartisan - representing wealth, power and privilege, along with their own self-interest.

Comey’s “revelation” of Trump lying was meaningless - claiming it a likely vengeful act for his sacking, scorned and striking back.

Here’s what we know from his testimony:

The hype preceding it was wholly unjustified, the event itself a media circus over something amounting to nothing as it pertains to Trump. Comey never laid a glove on him.

He explained the president is not under investigation for alleged improper or criminal ties to Russia or anything else. He didn’t interfere with the FBI’s Russia investigation.

The NYT got a huge black eye. Asked if its claim about collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia is true, Comey replied it’s “not true.” The Times is a notorious lying machine. Comey provided hard evidence.

He explained Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch pressured him on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary’s wrongdoing - telling him to call it “a matter,” not an “investigation.”

He said her improper private meeting with husband bill at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport “capped it for me…I had to do something…to protect the credibility of the investigation…”

Claiming Trump “defam(ed) him and more importantly the FBI” sounded like sour grapes, anger over his sacking.

He admitted leaking information to the media through Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman, a Comey adviser, specializing in criminal law and criminal procedure - doing it to force an appointment of a special counsel, he said.

Law Professor Jonathan Turley said leaked memos “could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation.”

His action “is problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration.”

“(I)t creates a curious scene of a former (FBI) director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.”

Whether leaked material was classified or not, federal law prohibits stealing, selling or conveying “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof,” Turley explained.

“There are also ethical and departmental rules against the use of material to damage a former represented person or individual or firm related to prior representation,” he added. The FBI’s web site states the following:

“Dissemination of FBI information is made strictly in accordance with provisions of the Privacy Act; Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a; FBI policy and procedures regarding discretionary release of information in accordance with the Privacy Act; and other applicable federal orders and directives.”

If Comey believed he was legally and ethically justified to leak information to the media, “why use a law professor to avoid fingerprints,” Turley asked?

“I find Comey’s admission to be deeply troubling from a professional and ethical standpoint,” he stressed.

Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz responded to Comey’s testimony, saying:

“(I)t is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.”

“Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.”

“Although Mr. Comey testified that he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from those memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to be entirely retaliatory.”

“We will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated along with all the others that are being investigated.”

Comey’s testimony showed no Trump wrongdoing in dealings with him or the FBI.

The former director acted improperly and unethically for leaking agency material on Trump.

It’s for jurists to decide if he broke the law and warrants prosecution.

-###-

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at http://www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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