The James Comey Show: Hijinks and High Drama

By Al Perrotta Published on June 8, 2017

Nothing against Broadway, but when it comes to good theater not much can beat The James Comey Show.

James Comey’s performance this morning in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee played to rapt audiences nationwide and packed bars in D.C. The spectacle shut down the Nation’s Capital like a blizzard. (Though what was being shoveled wasn’t snow.)

The Comey Show rolled out in three acts.

Act One: Trashing Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey did not come to praise Donald Trump but to bury him.
Comey said Trump administration comments about him were “lies plain and simple.” He typed up detailed memos of their chat because he was “honestly concerned (Trump) might lie about the nature of our meeting.” Comey felt important to get them written down because he had sensed he would someday need to defend the FBI.

Indeed ( the orchestra swells), Trump’s comments were an assault on the FBI itself.

Comey expressed befuddlement at the reasons behind his firing. Clearly Trump was out to”defame” him and the bureau. Still, of the many reasons offered by Trump and the White House, Comey has now settled on one: He was fired because of his role in heading the Russia investigation.

In his words, “The endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. That is a very big deal.” He claims this had a “chilling” effect on the investigation.

However, under further questioning, Comey acknowledged the investigations haven’t been affected at all.

So, did Donald Trump obstruct justice? Comey declared it wasn’t for him to say. (Considering he said under oath in May he wasn’t obstructed, he could hardly say otherwise now.) However, he did reveal Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible obstruction of justice. And why is there a special counsel? You’ll have to wait until the shocking third act.

Meanwhile, Senator Jim Risch seemed to have slammed shut the book on the case for obstruction. Comey says Trump told him, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting … Flynn go.” Even in Comey’s version of events it was not a direction. It was an expression of hope. Said Sen. Risch, “You don’t know of anyone who has ever been charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?

As the curtain falls on Act One, the obstruction charge against Trump seemed to go “poof.” But the curtain soon rises and the spotlight hits Loretta Lynch.

Act Two: Trashing Others

The Scene: Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch is no longer sitting on a government plane with Bill Clinton. She’s being squashed under James Comey’s bus.

Comey revealed under oath that Lynch had directed him to avoid calling the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email antics an “investigation.” Lynch directed him to call it a “matter.” Not, “I hope you call it,” mind you. This gave Hillary Clinton cover during the campaign to falsely deny she was under investigation. The order made Comey “queasy.”

(Comey’s symptom of feeling queasy or uneasy around those more powerful would recur over and over again. Hardly becoming for a guy tasked with helping stop terrorists. But we digress.)

Also, Comey felt Lynch’s tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton was so improper it motivated him to go public with the FBI’s findings in the Hillary investigation.

Lynch wasn’t the only character to bite it in the second act. The media were taken down as well.

Comey declared that news reports on the Russia investigation based on leaks were trash. “There have been many, many stories based on — well, lots of stuff, but about Russia that are dead wrong.” The New York Times in particular was cited for a story claiming that the Trump campaign and other associates had “repeated contact with senior Russian officials in the year before the election.” Comey agreed with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) the story was “almost entirely wrong.”

The New York Times must not have been too happy. The liberal giant soon tweeted out a rather unfriendly reader comment.

Which leads us to our third act, whereby the hero who speaks of independence, honesty, and the shining city on the hill, unveils his true, dark, colors.

Act Three: James Comey Trashing Himself

In a stunning admission, Comey confessed that he used a “close friend” on the Columbia law faculty to leak his Trump meeting memos to the media. “Make sure this gets out,” he told friends. (Almost word-for-word what former State Department official Evelyn Farkas told MSNBC she had hoped to do with classified intel on Russia and Trump.)

His mission: To force the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.

 

Let’s put aside the twisted irony that the man responsible for finding leakers was himself a leaker. Let’s also put aside, for now, the question of what else the FBI director may have leaked about Trump over the past year.

James Comey confessed to leaking the details of privileged conversations with the President of the United States. “One of which he testified was classified,” observed Trump’s personal lawyer.

George Washington University legal scholar Jonathan Turley says this admission could put Comey in legal jeopardy. “Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information.” Further, “those memos could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation.”

Didn’t see that one coming.

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld tweeted he sensed Comey had prepared for the hearing by studying the works of West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin.

Little did Gutfield know that by show’s end Comey is Col. Jessup in Sorkin’s A Few Good Men.

Col. Jessup spends the first two hours presenting himself as the epitome of strength and American virtue. Then after bellowing the immortal line “You can’t handle the truth!” Col. Jessup implicates himself in a serious crime. As Jessup is being read his rights, he shouts, “What’s going on here?!? I did what I had to do!”

Whether what Comey “had to do” was criminal is to be determined. Whether he’s been acting out of justice or vengeance awaits the verdict of the American people.

However, as pure theater, The Comey Show deserves a round of applause.

And what was your review?

To read the full script of today’s performance along with the statement from President Trump’s personal lawyer, click here: Comey Hearing Transcript.

 

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  • Gary

    Not sure if Comey did anything illegal. But he was, at best, incompetent. He isn’t qualified to be a receptionist at the FBI. Maybe a janitor.

    • Bryan

      Too many classified or potentially classified documents a janitor could have access to.

      • Gary

        I had not thought of that, but you’re right. Maybe they could let him mow the grass in summer and shovel snow in winter. Keep him outside.

  • Paul

    It was funny watching Comey play the victim, trying to sow the seeds of obstruction while trying to dodge his own responsibility to report it. Also why did he wait so long to trash Lynch? Because like his suposed Trump meeting memos he was holding that card until he wanted to play it to appear non partisan by praising and trashing both Rs and Ds. The guy is a first class sleaze, perfect fit in WDC

  • Jim Walker

    Comey is infected with Hillarhetorical Denial Disease.

  • A. Castellitto

    Comey is trash! Flynn did nothing wrong and Trump is justified in asking for loyalty after how Comey has conducted himself as FBI head and all the leaks and traps being set for own president….. Comey is for lack of a better word a scumbag and a disgrace

  • Nelson Banuchi

    As you view of Comey is opinion only, I hope you won’t mind allowing me to give my opinion of your opinion.

    First, although Trump may not deserve to be buried, the inept way he’s doing things and disrupting the American process and the important issues, he should remove himself as POTUS. We deserve a more credible and competent President.

    Second – without going back to hear the tape so, if I am wrong, please accept my apology – however, I thought Comey said that if he had shared his private meeting with Trump to the rank and file (my words), he felt that would place a “chilling effect” on the investigation and, therefore, he did not share it except (I think) with a few other leaders in the FBI.

    Third, that is what is being investigated: “lies plain and simple”; and, if recent history is any evidence, Trump is not credible; Comey is.

    Fourth, the issue of Trump’s comment regarding what he hoped, just going by his wording, to me (of course, I’m not a criminal lawyer) is ignoring the context. Why would Trump remove everyone from the room to talk to Comey? And, why would Comey lie? Plus there are probably a bunch of other questions that can be asked, which once answered, (imo) would make Trump look bad.

    Fifth, everyone is against Comey demanding that he should have told Trump regarding correct protocol and that not to do so was incompetence, at least, nefarious, at worst. Yet, many times Trump does something that violates protocol, they say, “Oh, he didn’t know.” (a) Should we excuse human frailty for the latter but not the former? (b) What’s worse, an innocent human error, or a flat out lie.

    I won’t go any further, except to say that (again I may be incorrect), Comey’s admission to errors in hindsight made, lies excluded, makes him more believable.

    Respectfully, I just think your objections are so frivolous and inconsequential; a bit of showboating yourself. Showboating. That’s the most of an accusation (and that should be, legally speaking, I would think, *alleged* showboating) many are making against Comey in order to defend Trump.

    • GPS Daddy

      Nelson, Nelson, my how you have things wrong.

      I’ll start with your third point. Comey KNOWS very well Hillary is guilty of violating the espionage act. When Comey said that Hillary was very carless he knows that’s all that is needed to be procecuted under the espionage act. The to recommend that she not be procecuted seriously undermines his credibility.

      On your first point, it’s the Democrates and the media that got the Russian collusion wrong. They are the ones that caused discruption these past few months. Although Trump’s response was poor at times he was just responding to the repeated and unjustified attempts to undermine him.

      On your forth and fifth points I suggest listening to Kevin McCullough on this. He has a podcast.

      Comey has a serious credibility problem. He cannot be trusted any further to lead anything in government.

    • Jim Walker

      You forget to include the part where Loretta NASA Lynch made Comey queasy pushing him to change calling it an INVESTIGATION to calling it a Matter. And that is not “I hope”, its “JUST DO IT!”
      Why did you avoid this ?

      • Nelson Banuchi

        What was there to avoid? For all intents and purposes, the Lynch issue is past history and irrelevant.
        Even if relevant, that Lynch may have been explicit does not make Trump’s “hope,” for all intents and purposes, any less a directive. The context in the which Trump expressed his “hope” to Comey is an obvious directive. I won’t go into the argument supporting that position since you can find it all over the news and it is quite legally logical and tenable.

        The only argument made by Trump supporters is that, essentially, he was ignorant of protocol and the constitutional separation of powers. That is so weak an argument, in my opinion, it is ridiculous; and it doesn’t help Trump at all since it posits that he was either purposely disingenuous or deliberately incompetent.

        • Jim Walker

          Lynch issue is past history and not irrelevant?
          She is the most corrupt AG I’ve ever seen. Her middle name NASA.
          Never A Straight Answer.

          • Nelson Banuchi

            May be true, but she’s no longer AG. Btw, same can be said for Trump…that he’s NASA and he’s our POTUS!

          • Jim Walker

            What did he say that is not straight??

          • Nelson Banuchi

            “What did he say that is not straight??” ?? Are you serious? Just google “Trump’s lies” for a bevy of answers.

            Like I said, right now Lynch is irrelevant (besides the fact that two wrongs don’t make a right). Compare all you want. It doesn’t change the present facts that Trump is a liar…obviously.

          • Jim Walker

            And you believe the news ?
            Name me some of Trump lies.

          • Nelson Banuchi

            Are you really serious? Did you google “Trump’s lies” as I suggested and see the many videos that show up? Maybe you believe many videos depicting Trump lying video-shopped the Trump lips and did voice-overs of Trump lying; and many others had a Trump look-a-like actor making contradictory statement.

            It would be interesting to find out what Trump supporters think when Trump is unable to provide tapes because he never taped the conversation with Comey (or, if he actually have them – which I doubt – destroyed them since they incriminate him and support Comey).

            This is my last response to you since, respectfully, you seem to living in Trump’s world and not the real world.

          • Jim Walker

            I’ve followed this election and listened and watched many thousands of news and videos. I was a Hillary supporter until I can no longer support her, so please…
            Trump’s tapes? Every man with a brain knows what he meant.
            He didn’t say there are tapes, he say it’s better there are no tapes.
            That is not a lie.
            What else? I’d like to help you.

          • Nelson Banuchi

            Did I say Trump has tapes? He implied threateningly to Comey that he has tapes of their conversation but he provided no evidence. That’s all I said, basically. If he has tapes, why doesn’t he immediately submit them and end the “he-said/he-said” controversy? If he doesn’t have the tapes…well…he stuck his foot in his mouth and was deceiving, which is just as bad as a flat out lie.

            Well, you’re really not adding anything new to the discussion except your opinion commenting with (respectfully stated, but I don’t know how else to express it at the moment) your head in the sand.

            I’ll take my leave to reality.

          • Jim Walker

            Next lie please.

          • Nelson Banuchi

            I haven’t seen Trump do a press conference or little speech, yet today. Just awoke from a good night’s sleep. But as soon as I can watch the news and he inevitably lies about whatever, I’ll let you know…

          • Jim Walker

            I want those he said during the campaign and those when he was the President.
            Surely you can name a few to discuss it here and let everyone here debate over it civilly.

          • Nelson Banuchi

            Like I said, you can google it and research to yourself; I’m not going to do footwork for you. There are primarily two reason why I can no longer engage in this discussion: (1) You’re already settled in your imagination that Trump never lied during his campaign, or now as POTUS and are resistant to anything contrary to the facts of Trumps lying, which “every man with a brain” should be able to see, and (2) I have more important things that need my attention.

          • Jim Walker

            Please show me where in my replies I said Trump did not lie?
            You have repeatedly say he did and I ask you to post some here so we all can debate. You said he lied so much, so show us those articles that you read.
            You gave one example that he lied about the tapes but he didn’t.
            It’s like your daddy who caught you taking cookies from the jar and he commented “let’s hope the money in my wallet is not missing”. It’s that a lie? It’s more like telling you to stop stealing, ever.
            If you chose not to show us any proof, it’s goes to show you can’t have anything concrete to show what you said.

    • albert perrotta

      Thanks so much for your comments. I do appreciate them.
      1) “frivolous and inconsequential”? Relatively lighthearted, yes. (And why not?) But the theater motif was dead serious. Had it been serious business with honest answers, it would have lasted all of 45 seconds. “Did the President interfere with the FBI investigation?” “No.” Did he issue an order that obstructed you from executing any aspect of your job?” “No” “Does the President of the United States have the right to help set investigative priorities for his administration?” “Yes.” “Would the destructive leaking of classified national security secrets and privileged communications, and potentially illegal surveillance, unmasking and dissemination of information about American citizens be a bigger danger to the United States than one now-fired adviser who in the course of his job chatted up some Russians?” “Yes.” “So. He wasn’t under investigation. He wasn’t colluding with the Russians. He didn’t obstruct the investigation. He was rightfully concerned the hoopla was interfering with his ability to conduct the nation’s business.” “Correct.” “Thank you. One last question: Where we going for lunch?”
      2) You want Trump gone. Fine. Would I like to see his learning curve on the Washington ways speed up a bit? Yeah.
      But at the end of the day yesterday it was Comey who proved himself unfit for the job he held. The point may have been expressed in a manner you find flip, but it’s darn obvious. By his own statements he admitted he backs down to those in a greater position of power, even if they are ordering him to help Hillary’s campaign (in the case of Lynch), compromising his investigation (Lynch again with the tarmac powwow) or (in the case of Trump) offering suggestions or wanting to meet in a manner he felt inappropriate. Worse, instead of confronting directly, he then seeks alternative means. The July press conference. The leaks. That right there is a snake. There are enough snakes in Washington. You don’t want one as FBI director.
      3) What did Comey call “lies, plain and simple”? Seems he was talking about Trump’s claims about the FBI and its dysfunction under Comey, and his competence. Bravo his defending the bureau, but there have been stories all over the place about discord between field offices and Washington, between how the Hillary investigation was being handled, between DOJ and FBI, can’t forget how ticked Dems were at Comey. And here’s the one that gets me: The handling of the IRS beat-down of the Tea Party groups. Came out during the campaign so it got lost in all the noise: According to FBI notes/reports obtained under FOIA, the FBI determined that the IRS created a special office to handle Tea Party groups. (It was also determined, as you know, that the IRS deliberately treated these groups different.) Now, here’s the thing: Who created the office? The FBI was unable to determine who issued the directive for this special office to be created. Let that soak in a second. The best investigative body on the face of the planet could not figure out who gave the order, even at the IRS level. How does ANY office in the U.S. government get created without there being a paper trail? Everyone, including Lois Lerner denied knowing. So you are dealing with absolute utter incompetence or you are dealing with deliberate stonewalling for political purposes. Either of which lands right in Comey’s lap.
      4) Credibility, Integrity: He leaked his privileged communications with the President of the United States. Forget the legal problems, of which there will be. It is naive to believe that is his first leak. The issue is not that he’s a showboat. The issue is he is a “playa” — he will game the system however he can to protect his own power and self-interest, and image.
      I’d bet if you shooting a round with Trump at one of his courses, he’d say something like, “Thing is, Nelson. Bottom line? I just didn’t trust the guy. Would have had a lot more respect for him had he come at me straight.” (That’s one reason he is so fond of our publisher James Robison. James gets in his face. Tells him the truth. Does it with love and no ulterior motive, but its tough love.)
      Which gets to my final point: Be praying for the President. Pray for the areas you feel he is weak. Pray that he does God’s will, not his own. Pray that he GROWS. He already is not the same man he was two years ago.

      Again, thanks for your comments. Next time I will try to be consequential.

      • Nelson Banuchi

        1. All your conclusive answers to the questions regarding Trump’s involvement, whether or not Trump himself is being investigated, are still presently under investigation; therefore in reality, your conclusions, respectfully, are premature and personal opinion.

        2. Trump should have learned what is necessary as President, anyway. The fact that he doesn’t even know protocols of the US government or displays an ignorance in the Constitution, which ought to be relatively simple, makes me wonder how informed he is with foreign policy? More importantly, Trump had enough time to show some advance, both in his knowledge of government and in maturity. He, as of yet, demonstrates no advance.

        3. Why did Comey say that Trump lied? Obviously, and I think as this issue advances it will be evident, because Trump is a liar, plain and simple; and he has not changed his ways giving evidence that he never will.

        4. Allegations that Comey leaked either privileged or classified information is being reviewed, if not investigated, and though there has been no definitive conclusion yet, again, your judgment is premature and, in my opinion, based on weak arguments.

        Bottom line: (a) If Trump came to me and said he doesn’t trust Comey, shucks, I would turn around and boldly tell him, “I don’t trust you! You’ve lied and continue to lie thus undeserving of any truth!” In any case, please note, no one in the Comey hearing suggested, implicitly or explicitly, that Comey lied. (b) I will take your advice and pray for Trump…that he either steps down from the office of POTUS or is impeached.

  • Louise C

    When Comey didn’t immediately report his concerns about his meeting with the President, wasn’t that a crime? Why wait until after he was fired?

    • albert perrotta

      I think he knew it wasn’t a crime. Or didn’t raise anywhere near the level of it. A little leaning, a little prioritizing. Can we get this off our plate and get to real investigations? Guy’s already fired, been through enough. Comey’s been in the game far too long to be “shocked” by that. I believe what he did after he was fired was strictly to strike back. But here’s the thing: If he REALLY felt the Prez was over the line, and fired him to interfere with the investigation, and a special prosecutor is warranted, why did he use a friend to leak parts of a memo to manipulate the public and congress? He’s an FBI director. Stand up, be a man, and say it publicly. Seems by this act alone Comey proved why Trump was right to fire him.

      • Louise C

        Yes, exactly. This isn’t the way for the FBI director to behave. Shummer said something about Trump not being smart about the way he treated Comey because they, the FBI, have ways of getting back. Not ethical.

  • Jim Walker

    Loretta NASA Lynch

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Comey’s performance was delivered w/the verbal precision of Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet soliloquy w/a touch of Minnie Pearl thrown in for the folks. While the narrative felt stifled at times it did eventually build to a crescendo of unprecedented dramatic proportions. While there was plenty of redundancy presented by the supporting actors, some brief comic relief was provided by both the least & most senior members of the chorus. However when it came to pathos, I can think of no character actor other than Ms Clintons recent performances that have succeeded as well. Curious though how this presentation seems to have generated such mixed reviews from critics on both sides of the viewing isle. I hear theres even talk of a spin off in the works. I think it will be called “What’s the Matter w/Loretta ?” …..

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