In the world of politics, there’s spin–attempting to put a positive face on bad news–and then there’s Trump Spin, which basically means declaring victory before the battle has concluded.
Such is the case with a statement from Trump’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, who released this statement shortly after Comey’s prepared remarks for his Thursday testimony were released:
“The president feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to move forward with his agenda.”
Kasowitz cherry-picked portions of what Comey will say at the beginning of his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and in particular he points to Comey saying Trump wasn’t under investigation as part of any Russia probe. But if you look closer, you see how that’s only half-true. As Politifact notes:
“Comey made clear in his remarks that he assured Trump he was not personally the subject of a counterintelligence investigation, which is separate and distinct from an FBI criminal investigation.”
A criminal investigation can be more far-reaching that a counterintelligence one because it can be difficult to interview all of the parties when some of them are in other countries, protected by their government. But criminal cases can easily be made with evidence obtained right here at home.
Second, Comey lays out three separate occasions when Trump asked him to end the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn:
- Trump asked Comey to “let go” of the investigation.
- Trump asked Comey to “lift the cloud” of the FBI’s probe.
- Trump insisted that Comey pledge “loyalty” to him.
Yet when Trump was asked at a press conference if he had “in any way, shape, or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn,” Trump brusquely replied:
“No. No. Next question.”
Should the president answer that way under oath, he would be guilty of perjury. As he proved on three occasions, he’s already set himself up for multiple charges of obstruction of justice.
And keep in mind that the questions Comey gets from members of the committee could be what sink the USS Trump. Celebrations can turn to funeral wakes very quickly in Washington.
Featured Image Via NBC News