Last week, there was a huge buildup of excitement among Washington wonks and political commentators leading up to former FBI director James Comey’s first interview since he was fired. Comey spoke with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, which aired in primetime Sunday night on 20/20 and coincided with the release of Comey’s tell-all book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership. The book was released April 17, earlier than originally anticipated.
But for all its promised hype, Comey’s big week on television got overshadowed by Beychella, at least on this campus. Comey’s book is not the first that promised to deliver fuel to the news cycle – Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury got there first, but Comey is still a critical character in the Trump-Russia picture.
So what should we care about here?
Remember, Comey was one of the earliest high profile firings; he believes he was fired because he wouldn’t promise President Donald Trump “loyalty.” One of the most critical points of the interview with Stephanopoulos was when Comey compared Trump to a mob boss.
“What I’m talking about is that leadership culture constantly comes back to me when I think about my experience with the Trump administration,” Comey said.
This issue ties into one of the key questions the Special Counsel investigation, led by Robert S. Mueller, seeks to answer: Did the Trump administration obstruct justice by attempting to block the Russia investigation through this you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours culture?
What does Comey know?
“I don’t know.”
That was Comey’s response when Stephanopoulos asked if he believed the Russian’s had something on Trump. He did, however, acknowledge that there is some evidence of obstruction of justice.
Comey told CNN in an interview Thursday night that releasing the contemporaneous memos he wrote detailing his interactions with the president and his concerns about then national security advisor Michael T. Flynn would be “fine by me.” Later that night, the memos were released and Comey week effectively peaked.
Do we *finally* have answers?
Much of what was contained in the memos was already public, but they provide insight into highest-level government interactions and paint a picture of the early days of Trump White House operations.
But it still doesn’t look like we are going to get any real answers, or anything close to clarity, until the results of Mueller’s investigations come out. So don’t worry if you skipped Comey week for the start of darty season, surely there's bigger drama yet to come(y)!
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018