What now for the U.S. under 'lying' Trump?


Comey told the Senate intelligence committee Thursday about several one-on-one interactions with the president, during which he said Trump pressed him to show "loyalty", to back off on the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and to disclose that Trump himself was not under investigation. In that testimony, he had already disclosed that Trump demanded his "loyalty" and directly pushed him to "lift the cloud" of investigation by declaring publicly that the president was not the target of the probe into his campaign's Russian Federation ties.

The Rose Garden press conference was the first time since last month that Trump formally took questions from reporters. But, as Comey confirmed, Trump was never under investigation during his tenure at the FBI. Asked if he would make that denial under oath, he said: "100%".

"Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", Trump said.

Trump himself tweeted an attack on Comey - accusing him of "false statements" and improper leaking to the press - while his attorney planned to file a complaint with the Justice Department about how Comey's disclosures about private talks with the president reached the news media.

The Republican president took to twitter earlier in the day, claiming "total and complete vindication". Disseminating unclassified information is generally not considered leaking and the President did not assert executive privilege over Comey's testimony.

Then there was Comey's crusade against encryption, parallel to the FBI's efforts to force Apple into creating and handing over a master key to iPhones because the agents investigating San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook screwed up and accidentally locked his device. And there would be nothing wrong if I did say that according to everybody that I've read today.

Rubio asked Comey why he did not directly tell Trump that he thought the president was making inappropriate requests of him.

"Well, I didn't say that", Trump said. Comey did little if anything to correct that leap.

Comey's warning about the Russian threat was overshadowed by his confrontation with Trump, who fired him last month.

Not one senator from the Intelligence Committee has questioned Comey's memory or veracity.

The committee's chairman, Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, and the ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, sent a letter Friday to White House Counsel Don McGahn, asking him whether any such tapes or memos exist now, or had existed in the past.

Regardless of what Democrats would have you believe, the president still has the advantage of being innocent.

Additionally, said former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller, Comey wasn't acting as Trump's attorney, so there was "no attorney-client privilege".

After each encounter with the president, Comey went about his business, thereby confirming the president had not crossed a legal line.

Bob Inglis, a Republican former congressman who voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998, suggested Trump might be in particularly hot water. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., said Friday on "Morning Joe", "What we didn't talk enough about was the goal we were there, about Russia's involvement and Russia's intent, how doggedly that they tried everything humanly possible and they will continue to keep trying and hitting on us to change how we do business in America, how we elect our officials, the confidence we have in our government".

Recounting a February 14 White House meeting where Trump pressed the director to drop the FBI's inquiry into national security adviser Michael Flynn, Comey said a decision was made not to report the incident to Sessions. "But I did not say that". "I took it as, 'This is what he wants me to do.' I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it", Comey said in an exchange with Idaho Republican Sen.

"As I have mentioned to you directly, I am supportive of issuing subpoenas in those cases where we do not receive cooperation", she wrote.

Legal analysts assume that former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller, the independent special counsel in charge of the Russian Federation probe, has now branched out to see whether Trump has interfered in any illegal way. The setting was the Oval Office on February 14, after Trump cleared the room of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other top officials.



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