The Comey hearings were always destined to be a Rorschach Test where each side saw what it wanted to see. That being said, reality doesn’t change because of partisan leanings and ultimately, Comey’s public comments turned out to be good for Trump.
1) Despite Multiple Anonymous Reports To The Contrary, Comey Did Tell Trump 3 Times That He Wasn’t Under Investigation In The Russia Probe: Numerous outlets, but most prominently CNN reported that Comey’s testimony would contradict Trump’s claim that Comey told him on three separate occasions that he wasn’t under investigation. As it turns out, Trump was right and the anonymous reports were wrong. Again.
2) The Conspiracy Theory That Says Trump Colluded With Russia To Somehow Steal The Election From Hillary Clinton Is Now Dead: Not only did Comey thoroughly shoot down the idea that Trump was being investigated in the Russia probe, he explicitly denied stories based on anonymous sources that said Trump colluded with the Russians. He added, “Yes, there have been many, many stories based on — well, lots of stuff but about Russia that are dead wrong.” Read it and weep, conspiracy theorists.
3) Loretta Lynch Interfered In The Clinton Investigation: Comey said he was “concerned” that Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, asked him to publicly call the criminal investigation of Clinton a “matter” instead. This matched rhetoric used by the Clinton campaign and Comey said he had a problem with it because, “I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way it was describing that. It was inaccurate.” Despite the fact that Comey was “concerned” and felt it was “inaccurate,” he did as Lynch asked, which doesn’t exactly speak well of his honesty or impartiality.
4) Comey Clearly Despises Trump: Trump has not been kind to Comey since he fired him and Comey quite clearly detested Trump from the beginning.He called Trump a liar multiple times and said he had memos of all their 1-on-1 conversations (but not his 1-on-1 conversations with Bush or Obama) because he thought Trump was dishonest. So, this is a man who didn’t like Trump from the get-go and detests him even more since he’s been fired. His instant dislike has to be factored in when you consider how much stock to put into his testimony.
5) Comey Did Claim Trump Asked for “Loyalty:” According to Comey, Trump said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Trump denies that this happened.So, is it true? I tend to believe that it is, only because of a personal experience I had with Trump early on in his campaign. At the time I had written a lot of positive things about him and was doing an interview. Trump told me, “I appreciate your loyalty,” which was a weird comment to make to someone in the press who had not endorsed him. If Trump would shoehorn loyalty into that conversation, could I see him mentioning it to Comey? It certainly seems possible.
6) James Comey Leaked Information To The New York Times: Not only did Comey give memos to a friend of his with the intention that they be leaked to the New York Times, he did so with the hope that it would cause a Special Counsel to be appointed. Those were not the actions of a trustworthy or impartial man.
7) It’s Very Unlikely Trump Will Be Prosecuted For Obstruction Of Justice: Comey does claim that Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting (Mike) Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go” in reference to the events that led to Flynn being fired. However, as this exchange with Senator Jim Risch confirms, there’s not much “there, there.”
RISCH: You may have taken it as a direction but that’s not what he said.
RISCH: He said, “I hope.”
COMEY: Those are his exact words, correct.
RISCH: You don’t know of anyone ever being charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?
COMEY: I don’t as I sit here.
Additionally, Comey declared that Trump said, “If some of my satellites did something wrong, it’d be good to find that out.” In other words, he would want to know if it turned out that any of his campaign staff did anything wrong in regard to Russia. Given all that, it would be extremely difficult to make a case that Trump obstructed justice and realistically, if the Special Counsel was even going to try to make that case, it’s very unlikely he would have allowed Comey to testify in front of Congress in the first place.