Former FBI Director James Comey will be delivering his testimony this morning before the Senate Intelligence Committee to talk about his firing and the Russia investigation. This will be the first time Comey has spoken publicly since he was fired by President Trump.

The hearing starts at 10am ET and will be carried live on broadcast networks and on cable news. Here’s a live stream from CBS News:

Some background on the hearing from Wired:

It’s almost showtime in Washington, DC. On Thursday, former FBI director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee for the first time since he was fired in the midst of an ongoing investigation into a possible connection between Trump campaign officials and Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The committee called Comey to testify several weeks ago. His opening remarks, already public, set the stage for an explosive hearing. He confirms a few pivotal, previously reported interactions: Yes, President Trump did request a loyalty pledge. Yes, he did ask Comey to let go of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. And yes, Comey has the receipts (or, in this case, meticulously kept memos) for each of their nine one-on-one conversations. For political pundits and DC dwellers, it might as well be Christmas morning.

“This is the John Dean moment, if you want to compare it to Watergate,” says Nick Akerman, a former assistant special Watergate prosecutor, referring to the former White House counsel whose Senate testimony ultimately implicated President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up. “It’s going to be the first time the American public is going to hear what these conversations were about. Right now, we’re just getting it second-hand in press reports.”

The constant drip of anonymous leaks in the press, coupled with the reciprocal rebuttals and denials from the White House, have made the investigation a bit maddening to follow. Comey’s testimony could provide some clarity, if not sanity. Since you won’t want to miss it, here’s a handy primer to tomorrow’s senatorial showdown.

We don’t know yet if there is anything that comes close to “Watergate” status, that’s the point of Comey’s testimony. He shared his written statement yesterday, which basically said a lot of what we already know, that Trump asked Comey for “loyalty,” but Comey only could promise “honesty.” Some are interpreting that already as a means by which Trump was attempting to obstruct justice but we’ll see how that actually plays out and how Comey responds to the questioning on his statement.

So far, Trump’s twitter feed is quiet this morning, let’s see if it remains that way by the time this hearing is over.

CNN gives you five things to watch for in the hearing this morning, here’s a tidbit:

1. The former FBI director will testify under oath that the President asked him to drop an investigation into one of his top allies

It’s impossible to lose sight of the most important items to emerge from the Russia investigations thus far: Trump asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn.

If you’re a Democrat, that sounds like obstruction of justice (and possible grounds for impeachment.) If you’re a Republican, it may sound like a political novice asking his aide to help one of his friends. But it is one of the most important, and prominent, developments in the sprawling web of the Russia investigations.

Coverage has already begun, watch the live stream above for the hearing to begin at 10am ET.

6 COMMENTS

  1. From what I heard, it would be hard to prove obstruction of justice. Stupidity? Sure. Ignorance. Absolutely. But not obstruction.

    Comey missed two opportunities. First, when they asked why Comey didn’t begin action against Trump right away, he answered, “a stronger man might have.” The obvious, true answer was that he was the head of the FBI. In that position, he believed he could save Trump from himself.

    The second point was when some senators said Trump just “hoped”–he didn’t command. Comey just sort of rolled over. Instead, he should have said it was in the tone of voice, and the situation. In this case, Trump forced everyone else out of the room, so he could “have a little chat” with Comey. Intimidation.

    If the tone of voice is like, “I hope nothing were to happen to that pretty little wife of yours,” it’s not innocently wishing her well.

    Since Trump brought it up, Congress should subpoena any and all audio tapes the White House may have recorded on that day.

    • Oh, a third one. When they tried to make a big deal about Comey telling Trump he’s not under investigation. How idiotic. EVERYONE is “not under investigation” until EVIDENCE suggests wrongdoing. When Trump said he was not under investigation, Comey should have added, “at this time.”

      Again, I don’t think Trump had any direct involvement with Russia, but he is so terribly sloppy in the things that he says and does that he will hang himself at some point.

      • Sloppy or honest?

        Was Bill Clinton sloppy, honest, or a typical lying, phony, untruthful politician when he met with Lynch (spelling?) aboard the yatch? Aren’t these the politicians you like?

        • Actually, as I said elsewhere, I have had no great regard for any president since Harry, Ike, and Jack.

          Did you expect me I would say Bill Clinton was not sloppy when he “Lynched” his wife?

          But no, being careless has nothing at all to do with being honest. For instance, Trump said he could murder someone in broad daylight and his fans wouldn’t mind. That honestly describes people who have no ethics, but is it smart to so blatantly insult his own “sheeple”?

          I would have expected backlash from the other side, since I began by saying obstruction of justice won’t be proven, and I don’t think Trump had any direct involvement with Russia. It’s good to get slammed from both sides.

          • I wasn’t slamming you. My post was merely Trump like sloppy. Like Trump i tweeted; before thinking.

            I do believe though that Trump’s tweets are meant to distract. He baits the press and they continue to bite. Example: remember when his secretary of state was being ripped for his Russian connection? He tweeted and Rex was forgotten.

            • I think you’re giving Trump too much credit. I don’t believe that he plans what he tweets. He just blathers off anything that pops into his head, so that the mere volume and scattershot topics will bury the real news. And, of course, he’s right.

              The high-volume is intentional, but I don’t think he thinks before tweeting.

              For example, I don’t think he intentionally tweeted “covfefe,” but look at the distraction that became!

              Back to the point, his unthinking tweets have not gotten him into trouble yet, but his attorney was brilliant to force him to shut up for the 48 hours around Comey’s testimony.

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