Former FBI Director James Comey's Testimony "Will Make the White House Uncomfortable"

And probably not much more than that (which is why I've warned about approaching his testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee with tempered expectations).

Anyway [Content Note: Video may autoplay at link]:
There will be much in former FBI Director James Comey's upcoming congressional testimony that will make the White House uncomfortable, but he will stop short of saying the president interfered with the agency's probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a source familiar with Comey's thinking told ABC News.

Although Comey has told associates he will not accuse the President of obstructing justice, he will dispute the president's contention that Comey told him three times he is not under investigation.
In my estimation, it would be fairly unreasonable to expect Comey to straightforwardly assert that Donald Trump had attempted to obstruct justice, as opposed to offering testimony that investigators can subsequently conclude does (or does not) meet the definition of obstruction. So it makes sense Comey would flatly contradict Trump, but not flatly accuse him of obstruction. The former is stating a fact; the latter is drawing a legal conclusion.

And yes, even that expected testimony "will make the White House uncomfortable." Whether they are obliged to experience something rather more significant than discomfort will be left to Congressional investigators or, more likely, Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In related news, a pro-Trump nonprofit has purchased airtime to run anti-Comey adverts during his testimony on Thursday:
Comey "put politics over protecting America," a narrator says in the 30-second spot, titled "Showboat," which was shared with The Associated Press. It accuses him of being "consumed with election meddling" even as "terror attacks were on the rise."

Great America Alliance has paid for the ad, which is slated to run digitally Wednesday and appear the next day on CNN and Fox News. The group, formed after [Donald] Trump's election to advocate for his administration, is not required to disclose its donors.

The message of the ad reflects a strategy by Trump and his advocates to erode Comey's credibility. ..."James Comey: just another DC insider only in it for himself," the ad concludes.

Eric Beach, head of Great America Alliance, said no one from the White House asked his group to do the ad.
Irrespective of the veracity of that claim, the fact is that the ad borrows the precise language that Trump used in his interview with Lester Holt two days after he fired Comey.

TRUMP: Look, he's a showboat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil—you know that; I know that; everybody knows that.
You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. Less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that.

HOLT: Monday, you met with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

TRUMP: Right.

HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation?

TRUMP: What I did is—I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not—

HOLT: You had made the decision before they came in the room?

TRUMP: I—I was going to fire Comey. I— There's no good time to do it, by the way.
Thought I'd include that little reminder of Trump admitting he'd decided to fire Comey on his own, regardless of what was contained in Rosenstein's report. A fun little reminder before Comey testifies. Ahem.

Even if there was no official coordination between the White House and Great America Alliance (which frankly I find difficult to believe, given that this White House has zero regard for ethics or laws), the White House message on Comey is front and center in their ad. And it's remarkable that such an ad is going to run while Comey is testifying.

This is beyond playing to the base. This is an administration at war with every democratic norm in the nation.

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