America is waiting to hear what Former FBI Director James Comey will say during in Congressional testimony.
Comey’s testimony has the country’s attention, with all the networks planning to broadcast it live. CNN will suspend its usual subscription requirements to view its live-stream.
In DC, where I guarantee you, most residents are welcoming the day Trump leaves town in disgrace, at least 3 local bars will open at 9:00 to accommodate people who want to see the testimony of the year.
Few of us doubt that Comey will offer testimony about his encounters with Donald Trump, including the dinner conversation that Trump talked about during the Lester Holt interview. We may even hear some of the specifics that led to Comey asking Attorney-General Jeff Sessions not to leave Comey alone with Trump.
Comey’s testimony is expected to help provide guidance on Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. It’s likely he will be asked questions about the contents of his discussions with Donald Trump. Senators will ask Comey about Trump’s claims that Comey told him he was not under investigation. They will ask if Trump tried to convince Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn.
Some will ask the one question Comey will not answer: Does Comey believe Trump obstructed justice?
Former FBI agent, Ronald Hoskey explained why Comey likely won’t answer the question to Bloomberg: “You’re going to have senators who probably challenge Comey to some extent because they don’t like what he’s done in the past … I would look for Comey to be circumspect and very deliberate in his descriptions of meetings so as to not to taint any future potential testimony.”
If Comey answers that question, he would be drawing a legal conclusion and that would discredit any potential testimony he may have in the future. It’s all but certain the Republicans will pounce on that. They’d also claim this is merely the subjective conclusion of a disgruntled former employee.
Of course, Republicans will also try to claim that anything other than an affirmative answer means the Russia investigation is fake news, as are any suggestions that Trump obstructed justice.
Aside from Donald Trump, Republicans are hoping they can use Comey’s testimony to discredit him and make the Russia investigation go away. The primary reason for that is protecting their hold on the White House, even if the person occupying it can’t get a decent lawyer to represent him on the Russia investigation.
Let’s face it, in our dreams Comey will say that Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the election in his favor. He will tell us that Trump definitely and without question obstructed justice. We want Trump out and we want him out now. The problem is, even if Comey believes that to be true; he is there to present what he has seen and heard, and leave the conclusions for others to draw. So he will talk about his encounters with Trump. He may comment on whether any attempts by Trump to kill the investigation were appropriate or inappropriate. But, assuming he was well advised, he will not offer legal conclusions as to whether Trump obstructed justice or colluded with the Russians.
As we know, articles of impeachment are waiting for Mr. Trump. So it isn’t a question of if there is a basis to hold impeachment proceedings. But as Jason Easley rightly pointed out, that isn’t going to happen in 2017 because Trump’s willing little obstructionist control Congress.
The best we can hope for is getting out the vote in 2018 because the fact is, the future of our country and the world’s well-being depends on it.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.