Former FBI Director James Comey has provided the full text of his opening statement to the Senate Intel Committee in advance of his testimony tomorrow, knowing full well that the committee would turn around and release it publicly today, which it has. In other words, Comey just strategically leaked his own testimony – and there’s only one reason for him to have done that.
We’ve already heard word this week that Donald Trump plans to watch James Comey’s testimony tomorrow and live-tweet his own rebuttals. One can envision Trump’s staff physically trying to keep his phone out of his hand tomorrow so he can’t tweet anything that could end up incriminating himself. But now Comey has gone and baited Trump by putting his testimony out there today.
Comey’s opening statement is nothing short of stunning. Much of it you’ve heard before: Trump asked Comey to let Micheal Flynn off the hook. Trump asked Comey for personal “loyalty.” Comey wrote memos after each Trump encounter and gave them to his staff. You can read all seven pages of it here. But it’s a whole other thing to see it all in a document written by Comey, with the knowledge that these same words will come out of Comey’s mouth tomorrow under oath on live television. Trump is no doubt reading it right now, and becoming more enraged by the minute.
This should make it next to impossible for Trump to hold back from posting an explosive Twitter rant about Comey, either tonight or tomorrow morning, in angry and desperate attempt at refuting Comey’s testimony before it’s delivered. And that seems to be the entire point. Trump is at his most self-harming, and self-incriminating, when he’s too enraged to listen to his handlers. Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be sitting back tomorrow, quietly taking each of Trump’s tweets into evidence as he continues to advance the Russia probe. Comey is toying with Trump, and Trump probably knows it, and yet Trump still won’t be able to keep himself from saying something stupid. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report