Comey Hearing Wrap-Up

Well, that was something. James Comey answered questions for nearly three hours, and essentially confirmed a lot that we already knew, and gave us a few bits of new information—the most important of which, in my estimation, being that the reason he started taking copious contemporaneous notes following his meetings with Donald Trump is because he did not trust Trump not to lie about what transpired during those meetings.

On the one hand, stating that Trump is a reflexive and abundant liar hardly seems like new information. But look a little more closely: This is the former FBI Director saying that he felt obliged to carefully document his interactions with the President of the United States because he could not trust him to faithfully and honestly represent their interactions.

Not only is that assessment significant, but so is the fact that he testified to it in an open senate session.

If you were unable to watch or follow that session in real time, I live-tweeted the hearing and have Storified those tweets.

A couple of other key takeaways:

* Comey definitely took Trump's suggestion to drop the Flynn investigation as a "directive," not a casual request.

* Comey reiterated that there is no doubt Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. He also repeatedly made the point that the resulting investigation should not be seen as partisan, but about a necessary investigation into an attack on our country.

* Special Counsel Bob Mueller's investigation remains exponentially more likely to result in accountability than the Senate (or House) investigations.

* The Republicans continue to be unpatriotic nightmare water-carriers for Trump.

To that last point, it was incredibly distressing watching the Republican Senators question Comey about the way in which he responded to Trump. I had a number of things to say about that in my live-tweeted commentary, but the long and the short of it is this: Republicans desperately wanted to make this hearing about Comey's "failure" to hold Trump accountable for possible obstruction in the moment that he did it. But it wasn't Comey's job to hold him accountable in that moment. It's theirs to hold him accountable now.

And they are, quite clearly, manifestly unwilling to do it.

On a final note: Fuck John McCain.

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