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Comey Testimony – Only The Beginning!

After James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Committee yesterday we have a clearer understanding of where all of this is heading.  However there are things not yet revealed so don’t draw any conclusions.  Some thoughts on the situation:

  1. There is a palpable impatience brewing in the country.

Some of us remember the way things progressed during the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s.  The efforts to conceal, or reveal the truth of what President Nixon had done was revealed to us in a painfully slow manner and it was maddening.  However, the progress made during the Watergate scandal is not significantly different than what we are experiencing now.  That being said, the advent of 24 hour cable news, the immediacy of the internet, and the proliferation of online sources such as Facebook and Twitter have intensified the interest in the process.  Back then, we waited until the 6 PM evening news or the next morning delivery of the newspaper to learn what was happening.  Today, we see it live.    However, the increased availability of news and commentary will not affect the pace of the revelations that are to come.  The conclusion of the Watergate scandal took several years.  There are no reasons to believe that things will be different now.

Suggestion – reduce your expectations for a quick resolution to this and let things progress in the usual way to reduce the level of your anger and distrust.

  1. We are in an age of incredible investigative journalism.

As I sit and prepare my commentary I am sitting across of a bookshelf filled with political commentary by some incredibly talented journalists.   Among my collection are several books by the journalists that broke open the Watergate case.   “All The President’s Men” by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, “The Secret Man”,  “Plan of Attack”, “Bush at War”, and “State of Denial” by Bob Woodward are all sitting on my shelf waiting for a second or even third read.

My point here is that investigative journalism was critical to the unveiling of the actions of President Nixon during the Watergate scandal.   Investigative journalism in the age of the internet and cable news is going to be just as important to the country as we seek to know the truth of the issue.   The rising and falling of Washington’s power brokers is always an incredibly alluring topic to those interested in the governing of the nation.  There are literally hundreds of potential Woodard and Bernstein’s out there now doing everything they can to unveil the truth.  Journalism careers are going to be established and cemented in the history of this event.

Suggestion – Watch for articles by Thomas Ricks, David Corn, Michael Isakof, Ron Suskind and others who have proven over the years to be talented investigative journalists.

  1. Don’t automatically believe the written and spoken word.

Do you want to know the truth or do you want to fall in with those whose only allegiance is to their political party?  Can you believe everything you hear or read?  Of course you can’t.  That being said you must always take into consideration the past and current allegiances of your news source.  The internet is filled with absolutely ignorant and harmful garbage.   Are you wise enough to discern between that which is trash and that which is truth?   I have come to believe that a large section of the American electorate have a limited ability and even a low desire to learn anything beyond that which is spouted to them through the lens of their political affiliation.

Do you get your information from websites that have been proven to be sources of conspiracy theory and dubious information?   Do you get your information from news sources that have been developed to be the mouthpieces of one political party or another?   Not all news sources are equally adept at presenting facts and truth.   Significant research by reputable organizations has revealed that not all cable news channels present the truth to their listeners.

Suggestion – Don’t settle in on one source for your information.  That is a sure fire way to be uninformed.

  1. Not all proclamations from those involved in the issue have equal relevance and reliability.

Take for example, the information presented to the Senate committee on Thursday, June 8th.  The statements by Jim Comey should be subject to close scrutiny.   Lying to Congress is a serious offense punishable by prison time.  There is probably no one in the country more aware of this than Jim Comey.   His entire career has been spent discerning between that which is true and that which is false.   What are the chances that he would appear before the Senate committee under oath and present statements that he knows can be proven to be false?  His written and verbal statements are under incredible scrutiny.  While you may not agree that he handled things properly in regard to his revealing information about the Hillary Clinton email situation, no one can charge that he has not been totally truthful.

Compare that to the proclamations of our current President.  Donald Trump lies without consequence.  He has made a career of doing just that.  Just to give you an example of how unreliable his words are, I learned this morning that in one of his first meetings with Congressional leaders after taking office, he made it a point to claim that he had actually had many more votes than his opponent in the November election.  He also claimed that there were thousands of illegal votes for his opponent and he commented that his claim did not take into account the thousands of illegal votes in California.  Add to that his proclamation that the crowds at his inauguration we larger than those of the Obama inauguration and you can see that our President is a man who has a distant relationship to facts. He is a man who has lied his way to the top and until now it has worked for him.

Trumps surrogates have bought into his fact-free world.   Yesterday his $1500 an hour personal attorney made claims that Comey’s claims about the timing of releasing his personal notes were false indicating that he had lied to Congress.   Further investigation has shown that Comey’s claims were correct and the high-dollar lawyer had it wrong.   At times their claims would be almost amusing if the situation were not so important.

None of Trumps comments have been made under oath.  He has not been subject to perjury penalties.  He is going to be called before either a Grand Jury or Congress in the future and we will see what he has to say under oath.  The problem with a habitual liar is that you never know when he is telling the truth.  That being said, any statements that come from him at this time has to be evaluated as to their truthfulness.

Suggestion – don’t believe everything you hear or read and consider whether or not the claims were made under oath.


  1. Contrary to the Presidents claims, he has not even remotely been vindicated.

In the letter used to terminate Jim Comey, the President claimed that Comey had told him 3 times that he was not personally under investigation in the Flynn investigation.   Comey validated this fact in his written statement.   The President jumped all over that fact and is now proclaiming that he told the truth (which he did) and that he is now free to move forward with his political agenda.

That being said, the President has latched on to a tidbit of information and has failed to consider that his actions have placed him under intense scrutiny by those investigating the entire situation.   There is no doubt that the President is under investigation for obstruction of justice.  There is no doubt that his campaign organization is under investigation regarding their incredibly deceitful behaviors involving individuals whose allegiances are to the country’s most serious enemy.   Heads are going to roll in the Russian investigation.  The only question will be whether or not the Presidents campaign underlings roll over on him to reduce or avoid jail time.  The individuals tasked with uncovering the truth have wide latitude to turn over every rock and go where the evidence leads him.

Nixon was forced to resign, not because of the Watergate burglary.  He was forced to resign because of his attempts to cover it up.

Clinton was not impeached over the Whitewater land deal.  He was impeached for lying about completely unrelated events.

I am not sure if President Trump has any clue what awaits him.   Or maybe he does, and that is why he is trying so hard to impede the investigation.   Or maybe there is a “there” there and he knows if it comes out he is done.

Suggestion – Take any claim made by a President who doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction with a grain of salt.  Proclamations made by one with such a distant relationship with truth are rarely reliable to anyone but those whose job it is to support him.


Investigators have barely scratched the surface of this issue.  It will be a while before we fully understand all that has happened.  Take your time, don’t jump to conclusions based upon unreliable sources.



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