Comey was unabashed, but pay attention to what he didn't say

Cheryl Sanders
June 23, 2017

US President Donald Trump said Friday he was willing to testify under oath about his conversations with former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, maintaining that Comey's testimony a day earlier had shown "no collusion, no obstruction".

"Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication", Trump wrote.

After strong testimony from former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) gave his impressions after asking questions as a part of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

During one White House dinner, Comey recalled that the president asked him for "loyalty" and to lay off his former top aide Michael Flynn - who is under investigation over his Russian Federation ties - imploring Comey to "let this go".

In his caustic testimony, Comey accused the Trump administration of spreading lies, though he acknowledged telling Trump that he wasn't personally under investigation.

Trump cryptically refused to say whether those private exchanges were taped - a matter at the heart of the conflicting accounts of what passed between them at a time when Comey was leading an FBI investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election and its ties to the Trump campaign. The statement went on to say that Mr. Trump "feels completely and totally vindicated", and that "he is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda".

The White House has seized on Comey's confirmation that Trump personally was not under investigation over his ties to Russian Federation to declare a victory of sorts.

Comey also revealed that he'd orchestrated the public release of information about his private conversations with the president in an effort to further the investigation.

Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) tells ABC's "This Week" that he thinks Trump was trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him.

Celebrated criminal defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz has argued in a lengthy Twitter commentary that Trump was at worst guilty of "political sins"; he said there is "no plausible case" for obstruction charges.

Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday was based on notes he made after nine conversations with Trump.

Comey implied that Trump fired him for moving forward with the Russian Federation investigation, despite the president asking for Comey's "loyalty".

If a pro like Baker had been on the job instead of an amateur like Reince Priebus, when Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Priebus to leave him alone in the Oval Office with Comey, chief of staff of Baker would have stepped in immediately.

"I mean, this is the president of the United States, with me alone", Comey said, noting Trump had sent all his staff out of the room before the discussion. The White House has not confirmed if such tapes exist.

Verification of Comey's claims are seen as an important next step in determining if Congressional investigators should start focusing on possible obstruction of justice. They remain involved in politics, however, attending meetings with the Republican National Committee as well as campaign events for Republican special-election candidates. He also said that he took it as a "directive" when Trump asked him, in a room he had cleared of a cabinet member and senior advisers, to "let this go" regarding an investigation of Flynn. And there would be nothing wrong with it if I did say that, according to everybody that I've talked to today.

The White House also highlighted the fact Mr Comey stopped short of accusing Mr Trump of obstructing justice - a potentially impeachable offence.

Other reports by iNewsToday