Ex-FBI director Comey hearing: 5 things to watch

Ebony Scott
June 8, 2017

Congressional Republicans seized on Comey's remarks that he three times told Trump he personally wasn't under investigation.

The drama seems destined to take its place alongside televised Capitol Hill cliffhangers of the past, including the Anita Hill hearing in 1991, parts of the Watergate hearings in 1973 and the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1964, which all contributed vignettes that have gone down in political lore.

As the White House tries to push past a series of distractions and focus on Trump's legislative agenda, the president will travel to the Rivertowne Marina on the Ohio River in Cincinnati to deliver a speech that will press efforts to fix the nation's aging levees, dams, locks and ports, as well as his larger infrastructure aims.

Mike Toohey, president of the Waterways Council Inc, an inland waterways infrastructure advocacy group, said he was pleased to see the president addressing what he called the "silent r" of the transportation system - rivers.

Comey's penchant for making a theatrical splash has already turned what was set to be a one-day drama into a two-day feeding frenzy, after he released his prepared opening statement Wednesday afternoon, transfixing Washington.

He said "the most serious allegation is the statement by Director Comey that the President asked him essentially not to pursue the investigation of Gen. Flynn", but that "the President, I presume, will say that he never said anything like that". The event is so popular that one bar in Washington DC is offering free drinks if Trump tweets about Comey during the hearing.

Some legal experts said Comey's statement could be used to show that Trump engaged in obstruction of justice. He also said he implored Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shield him from future one-on-one conversations with the President.

Mr Comey is expected to testify before the Senate this week in what will be one of the most watched congressional hearings in modern times.

"He wrote that Trump said during a private meeting in the Oval Office: "'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.

According to the book, "Angler" which examined Dick Cheney's vice presidency, Wray stopped Comey to relay a message: "Look, I don't know what's going on, but before your guys all pull the rip cords, please give me a heads-up so I can jump with you".

NSW thrash Queensland in State of Origin opener
The format sees club-mates regularly step over the line against one another as tempers flare in Australia's biggest grudge-match. Fifita set up another try and ran a total of 175m to help NSW win their second game in their last 10 Origins in Queensland .

Rift in the Gulf
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the move was rooted in long-standing differences and urged the parties to resolve them. Qatar houses the largest US airbase in the region and has contributed to efforts to roll back Iranian ambitions in Syria.

Qatar in talks with Iran to secure food and water supplies
"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off", Trump said in a series of tweets. The rift comes less than a month after Trump visited Saudi Arabia and called for Muslim nations to unite against extremism .

"He then said, 'I need loyalty.' I replied, 'You will always get honesty from me.' He paused and then said, 'That's what I want, honest loyalty.' I paused, and then said, 'You will get that from me'".

Trump's personal lawyer said Trump was cheered by the testimony. And, in those conversations Trump is repeatedly cast as attempting to secure Comey's loyalty - and, at times, suggesting his job depends on it. (FBI directors are appointed for 10 year terms but, as we know, can be fired at any time by a president.) That he asks for Comey to end the probe into Flynn is, at minimum a massive breach of protocol. He has frequently offered up important nuggets-but also has a plethora of ways to say, ever so politely, that he will not answer a question.

"Yeah I think that's right", Ryan responded.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a veteran member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and former chairwoman of the panel, hinted at this in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash Tuesday.

In parallel, the Senate and House Intelligence Committees are leading their own probes, and a number of key former Trump aides as well as his son-in-law Jared Kushner have been asked for, or subpoenaed to provide, information and testimony.

Trump's actions and justifications presented the possibility that Trump's intention was to obstruct justice.

That probe is now led by a special prosecutor.

"America must have the best, fastest and most reliable infrastructure anywhere in the world", Trump said, pushing his infrastructure plan in middle America as Washington geared up for Thursday's appearance before Congress by fired FBI Director James Comey. The President feels completely and totally vindicated.

Comey's testimony will be his first public comments since Trump abruptly fired him on May 9.

Other reports by GizPress

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