Comey's Released Testimony Is 'Equivalent of the Nixon Tapes'

So says Obama's White House ethics lawyer
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2017 4:32 PM CDT
Questions Comey Could Face Based on Released Testimony
On Thursday, James Comey is making his first public comments since being fired by President Trump and, according to his prepared remarks, will talk about the president's efforts put the investigation behind him.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Former FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated public testimony in front of the Senate is set for Thursday, but a transcript of his prepared remarks was released Wednesday. Vice reports the document raises a number of possible questions senators could ask Comey, including: "Were these one-on-one conversations with Trump appropriate, in your view?" and, "What was the president's mood when he asked you not to look into Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador?" Vice also hopes at least one senator is interested in how the food was during Comey's dinner with Trump. Here's what else you need to know about the Comey transcript:

  • First, the Senate has the full transcript of Comey's prepared remarks here.
  • CNN highlights the top lines from the Comey's prepared testimony, including: "[Trump] said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia."
  • Fox News also runs down what it sees as the transcript's highlights, including Trump springing a surprise one-on-one dinner on Comey and telling him: "I need loyalty; I expect loyalty." Comey called it "very awkward."
  • Comey's testimony includes three things that specifically hurt Trump and one thing that may actually help him, namely that Comey actually did tell Trump he wasn't personally under investigation, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • The Hill quotes Norm Eisen, Obama's White House ethics lawyer, who says Comey's prepared remarks are "the equivalent of the Nixon tapes" and read "like trial testimony."
  • Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post looks at the important questions raised by the transcript, including what made Comey start documenting his meetings with Trump, something he didn't do with Obama, and whether he believed he was going to be fired if he didn't drop the investigation into Michael Flynn.
  • Finally, Gizmodo found Comey's prepared testimony to be "full of saucy little details" and analyzes the "steamiest" ones, including the phrases "we had that thing you know" and "the door closed."
(Read more James Comey stories.)

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