James Comey's credibility problem

posted by Jay Weber - 

via The Week by Edward Morrissey

On Thursday morning, James Comey returns to a very familiar forum, and a very familiar conundrum. The former FBI director will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his observations of the FBI's investigation into possible Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election, and especially whether any attempt to influence him by President Trump played a role in his abrupt termination. Comey has an opportunity here to publicly air any grievances over his firing, free of the professional requirements for discretion during open investigations.

So, will what he has to say make any bit of a difference? The problem for Comey is that both Democrats and Republicans have spent nearly a year attacking him for failing to exercise professional discretion when it mattered, and politicizing the FBI as a result. So whether his testimony will have any sway depends on whether he can overcome his massive credibility problem.

For a moment, it was unclear whether Comey would get to testify at all. Last week, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested that Trump might invoke executive privilege to keep Comey from discussing a meeting between the two that took place in early February. This meeting in particular is of intense interest, as Comey will apparently tell Congress that Trump asked him if the FBI could drop its investigation into Michael Flynn after his resignation as national security adviser.

This unusual set of circumstances would have made executive privilege a problematic claim for Trump, at least politically, as it would have signaled that Trump thought there was something to hide. Trump himself has publicly discussed this conversation he and Comey had, and indeed ridiculed Comey on Twitter over it not long after firing him. Of course, Comey no longer works for the federal government either, so he has no incentive to refrain from public comment — and lots of incentive to stick it to Trump. It's this dynamic, as well as the possibility of official obstruction of justice, that has captured Congress' (and the public's) interest.

The complete story here > James Comey's credibility problem

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11:  FBI Director James Comey testifies during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee June 11, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on

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