Comey speaks! (a live blog)

Senator Warner’s welcome to Comey was more like a prosecutor’s opening statement than a greeting.  Pure propaganda exploiting the big TV audience.

Comey's opening statement:

- “Shifting explanations” caused him to worry. Picks up on Warner -- Trump “defamed” him and FBI.

- In response to question from Sen. Burr, Comey refused to testify in open session about the Steele Dossier -- to protect an investigation, he says.

- Comey admits, “All kinds of cyber-intrusion going on all the time.” That tends to contradict Warner’s opening statement drama about Russia “attacking us” – as if its efforts weren’t part of ongoing cyber operations conducted by foes and not a few friends, too.

Sen James Risch (R-ID) takes over questioning

- Compliments Comey on his legal writing skills. Seems like a double-edged, if not back-handed compliment.

- Risch gets Comey to state that a NYT report was “untrue.” He is low key and very effective. A slight country lawyer flavor.

- Risch gets Comey to confirm Trump said that he “hoped” that Comey would act, did not “direct” him to act. Closes the trap by asking if Comey knows of a case of prosecution based on a person’s expressed hope. Comey tries to dodge, but Risch pounces and gets it on the record that Comey knows of no prosecution over an expressed hope.

- Sen. Rubio, like Sen. Burr, comes across as no apologist for Trump. They both are trying to appear fair.  Not like the Democrats.

- Rubio's positioning is paying off with his closing questions for Comey. He is getting solid admissions.

- Sen. Olympia Snow asked Comey what made him decide to memorialize his meeting. His first and final explanation was “gut feel” – and a need to protect the Bureau.

- Comey admits that he asked a “good friend” who teaches at Columbia Law School to leak his memo on the Flynn conversation to help prompt a special counsel

- Sen. Heinrich (D-NM) is a real piece of work. Led Comey through his paces with the most incriminating spin.

- Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is another propagandist, calling Fynn “the central figure” in the Russia probe.

- Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) just trapped Comey into admitting he was able to get copies of his previous memoranda back from Mueller investigators to prepare his testimony, thus opening the door for the Committee to obtain them.

- Comey admits AG Lynch "instructed" him to call the Clinton inquiry a "matter" not an "investigation" -- and he complied with a "queasy" feeling.

- In response to a question from Sen. Manchin, asking if Trump’s actions amounted to “obstruction of justice,” Comey said, “I don’t know.”  This from a guy who decided Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted for negligence because there was no intent.

-Sen Kamala Harris (D-CA) just went very, very low. She likened President Trump to a gun wielding mugger. If such a criminal says he hopes that tyou give him your money, it is not idle. I bet she isreally proud of that. She's already thinking about the nomination for president.

- Comey just asserted that he was fired to affect the Russia investigation, responding to Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

- Sen. McCain is trying to be helpful to Trump, but sadly, is not too sharp this morning. Having a hard time being fully coherent.

Senator Warner’s welcome to Comey was more like a prosecutor’s opening statement than a greeting.  Pure propaganda exploiting the big TV audience.

Comey's opening statement:

- “Shifting explanations” caused him to worry. Picks up on Warner -- Trump “defamed” him and FBI.

- In response to question from Sen. Burr, Comey refused to testify in open session about the Steele Dossier -- to protect an investigation, he says.

- Comey admits, “All kinds of cyber-intrusion going on all the time.” That tends to contradict Warner’s opening statement drama about Russia “attacking us” – as if its efforts weren’t part of ongoing cyber operations conducted by foes and not a few friends, too.

Sen James Risch (R-ID) takes over questioning

- Compliments Comey on his legal writing skills. Seems like a double-edged, if not back-handed compliment.

- Risch gets Comey to state that a NYT report was “untrue.” He is low key and very effective. A slight country lawyer flavor.

- Risch gets Comey to confirm Trump said that he “hoped” that Comey would act, did not “direct” him to act. Closes the trap by asking if Comey knows of a case of prosecution based on a person’s expressed hope. Comey tries to dodge, but Risch pounces and gets it on the record that Comey knows of no prosecution over an expressed hope.

- Sen. Rubio, like Sen. Burr, comes across as no apologist for Trump. They both are trying to appear fair.  Not like the Democrats.

- Rubio's positioning is paying off with his closing questions for Comey. He is getting solid admissions.

- Sen. Olympia Snow asked Comey what made him decide to memorialize his meeting. His first and final explanation was “gut feel” – and a need to protect the Bureau.

- Comey admits that he asked a “good friend” who teaches at Columbia Law School to leak his memo on the Flynn conversation to help prompt a special counsel

- Sen. Heinrich (D-NM) is a real piece of work. Led Comey through his paces with the most incriminating spin.

- Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is another propagandist, calling Fynn “the central figure” in the Russia probe.

- Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) just trapped Comey into admitting he was able to get copies of his previous memoranda back from Mueller investigators to prepare his testimony, thus opening the door for the Committee to obtain them.

- Comey admits AG Lynch "instructed" him to call the Clinton inquiry a "matter" not an "investigation" -- and he complied with a "queasy" feeling.

- In response to a question from Sen. Manchin, asking if Trump’s actions amounted to “obstruction of justice,” Comey said, “I don’t know.”  This from a guy who decided Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted for negligence because there was no intent.

-Sen Kamala Harris (D-CA) just went very, very low. She likened President Trump to a gun wielding mugger. If such a criminal says he hopes that tyou give him your money, it is not idle. I bet she isreally proud of that. She's already thinking about the nomination for president.

- Comey just asserted that he was fired to affect the Russia investigation, responding to Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

- Sen. McCain is trying to be helpful to Trump, but sadly, is not too sharp this morning. Having a hard time being fully coherent.

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