On May 9th 2017, Donald Trump fired the then director of the FBI: James Comey. Since his termination, James Comey has been the center of attention in the news, controversy surrounding whether there was an ongoing Russian investigation during the time of Comey’s dismissal and to what extent these investigations were conducted were widely discussed. But today, June 8th 2017 is the day of James Comey’s court trail, and his first time to speak publicly of his recent termination from the FBI.
James Comey, an American lawyer, formerly served as the 7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) until he was dismissed from office in May of 2017. During the presidential race of 2016 Comey oversaw investigations of Hillary Clinton’s email controversy, and fought to find the truth of the scandal. Comey served as a patriotic American during his time in office and did great work for the Bureau and the country.
On June 8th, 2017, James Comey testified on Capitol Hill at a large Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Comey built a case for himself aimed towards his recent termination by Trump earlier in the year. Many of the questions posed during the hearing today were focused around the speculation and search for facts surrounding relations with Comey and Trump and their prior conversations. Prior to the hearing, Comey released a seven-page testimony where he outlined his engagements with President Trump on black and white ink. He explained how Trump had asked for his loyalty and requested him to halt all investigations into Russian relationships with the US.
To begin the hearing, Comey was asked about the tapes Trump had previously mentioned in a tweet. Trump tweeted: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” These tapes, if real, would be a recording of the exchange between Trump and Comey in a private meeting in the Oval Office. “Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey demanded, explicitly voicing his confidence that the meeting went completely to his account. The discussion of tapes remained a constant topic during the hearing, but besides Comey’s explicit demand for tapes, not much else was uncovered.
Furthermore, Comey spoke of his memos he had taken about meetings and interactions with Trump. Previously, Comey handed over all his memos to the Justice Department, specifically Mr. Mueller, and created the first suggestion of an investigation into Trump’s abrupt firing of Comey and a possible obstruction of justice.
About half way through the trial, Comey spoke of how he created a media-leak of his memos. He handed his memos over to a “trusted friend” to be leaked to the public media. When further asked who this friend was, Comey would only go as far as saying “he is an old friend, a professor at Columbia University.”
Another main often mentioned in the hearing was Michael T. Flynn, the former national security advisor. Mr. Flynn resigned on February 13th while under investigation about his recent communication with Russia. During Todays’ hearing, Comey was asked about the relationship between Russian investigation and the Flynn investigation and their connection to each other, Comey responded with: “I saw the two as touching each other, but separate.”
Ultimately, the hearing did not uncover much. Due to the confidentiality that went into James Comey’s former job as FBI director, he could not answer many questions because they would interference with confidential information. Much of the hearing was based on “he said she said information.” However, Comey remained calm and respectful and often supported American unity during this controversial topic. When talking about Russia and their involvement with the US, Comey explains that “Nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for, except for fellow Americans.” “People need to recognize that it isn’t about republicans or democrats, they [Russia] are coming after America.” “We remain that shining city on the hill, and they don’t like it.”