Opinion: Comey’s Testimony Just the Start of Problems for President Trump and the White House

by Maria T. Cardona

The uber-anticipated testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey did not disappoint. It seemed that Washington, D.C. came to a standstill to listen to Comey’s account of his troubling interactions with the president of the United States. But as much as we all held our breath for the three hours of testimony, what came of it?

I would distill it down to four key points:

First, it’s to be expected that Trump’s lawyers and supporters rushed to claim vindication of Trump in underscoring that Comey confirmed several times that Trump is not personally under investigation.

They should all be careful in claiming this victory. While Comey did say that he told Trump that Trump was not personally under investigation — in the context of the salacious Russian dossier — one of the biggest bombshells that came out of the testimony was that Comey also stated he was sure that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will look into whether Trump obstructed justice.

Let me repeat that. Comey said, “I’m sure” Special Counsel Mueller will investigate and reach a conclusion on whether President Trump’s efforts to interfere in the criminal investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn amount to obstruction of justice. This is evidence that Trump is indeed under investigation. I don’t think the White House celebrated that revelation.

Second, Comey said he decided to memorialize his interactions with Trump because, very simply, he was afraid Trump would outright lie about those conversations. Comey was right about his concerns. Trump did lie; several times in fact.

While that in and of itself should not surprise any of us — we are talking about the most dishonest candidate-turned-president we have had in recent history — it should concern us all that Trump continues to lie to seemingly cover up possible collusion with the Russians or even high treason that may have occurred during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle.

If Trump can lie so easily about events leading up to this moment, what makes us think he is telling the truth when he says there was no collusion between him and the Russians?

What did Trump lie about? He lied when he denied asking Comey to drop the Flynn investigation in a recent press conference. When asked by a reporter if Trump had at any time urged Comey in any way, shape or form to close or back off the Flynn investigation, Trump said “no, no, no!” Comey’s testimony makes this a blatant lie.  

Trump also lied when he denied that he had asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to the president. When asked by a Fox News reporter if he had demanded loyalty from Comey, Trump said, “No, no, I didn’t…” Comey’s testimony makes this a blatant lie.

Trump lied again when he recounted that Comey had asked for the dinner meeting — instead of the other way around — and that Comey did it to ask to keep his job. Comey’s testimony makes this a blatant lie.

In fact, it was one of the several times Comey mused about how odd, disturbing and alarming the situation was because, in Comey’s mind, he had already told Trump — twice actually — he would be staying on.

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SOURCE: The Hill