The Lawman vs The Liar

170511114551-comey-trump-white-house-composite-aa-super-169Well, yesterday was the big day. The day everybody has been waiting for the last couple of weeks. Comey took the stage, and the whole country listened. But what did it all mean? Certainly, there were things in Comey’s testimony that both sides can like, but in my opinion, this was a very bad day for the President. I have four reasons.

First, today’s testimony didn’t do anything to get rid of the twin tornadoes that have been whirling around the President. Both the Flynn investigation and the Russia collusion scandal are probably going to hound the Trump White House for months or years to come. Whether Trump himself is currently under investigation doesn’t matter. It was still his campaign, his transition team, his people, and Comey made it clear that any investigation into these matters would inevitably lead to the man at the top. What Trump needs are these two investigations to go away. That didn’t happen yesterday. In fact, we now know more about the seriousness of those investigations than we did before. They are real, not fake, and they are here to stay.

Second, we now know that Trump himself is probably under investigation by Mueller for obstruction of justice. Comey’s testimony clearly puts Trump in the crosshairs of the Special Counsel for his attempt to impede the Flynn investigation. This probably would not have happened if Trump had not fired Comey. It is only through that act that we have this testimony, a Special Counsel appointment to investigate the whole matter and the public knowledge that Trump tried to put his thumb on the scale. This is, once again, damage Trump has done to himself. Try as he might, he has no one else to blame.

Third, Trump’s credibility is now officially in question. We all know that Trump has an honesty problem. But today, he was called a liar by the former head of the FBI, under oath, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing being watched by millions of Americans. Comey testified that the very first time he met the President-elect he “was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.” In total, Comey called the President a liar five times. That type of testimony, again under oath, has a way of sinking into the American consciousness. Trump is a liar. Trump is dishonest. Trump is not to be trusted. That embedded idea will have a huge impact on this Presidency.

Fourth, there were no Republicans willing to defend the President in that hearing room. In fact, they all did their best to praise Comey for his honesty and his ability to recount the facts in such detail. Yes, there were attempts to deflect the conversation away from the President by bringing up Hillary. Yes some of them made a stab at emphasizing that Trump himself wasn’t under investigation during Comey’s time at the FBI. But nobody on the Republican side really made a dent in Comey’s main points about the President’s dishonesty with the American public, and his ham-handed attempt to pervert the course of justice. That’s a real problem for the President. He needed Comey to be the dishonest one with an agenda, not him. He needed his Republican friends to put up a vigorous defense. That clearly did not happen.

Trump’s troubles are not going away anytime soon. In fact, they just got much worse. No amount of spin by the White House is going is going to change that. Comey’s testimony wasn’t the smoking gun that Democrats were hoping for, but it did help to paint a picture of a Presidency that rejects norms, customs, general good practices and even laws to get its way. That image is here to stay, and Trump has to live with it.

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About Mike Burns

For years I was a self described independent. I liked the idea that America was built on the powerful idea of compromise. Politics at its best was an exercise in give and take that at least tried to be respectful of both sides of an issue. However, since the rise of right wing talk radio and Fox News, this no longer seems possible. For me, it is time to fight back in my small way. The conservatives have had their way with the truth for too long without enough of us standing up and saying no more lies. Maybe this blog will make a small difference, maybe not. The main thing is that it will satisfy my need to speak out against conservative hate and hypocrisy. Mike Burns Google+

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