Mike Allen Jun 8
Comey truth bomb: Top Republicans relieved
Jim Comey's cinematic opening statement, describing his awkward encounters with President Trump in vivid detail that you almost never get from inside government, foretells gripping testimony when the fired FBI director goes before Capitol Hill cameras at 10 a.m. ET today.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out that any actor would want to act it, and any director would want to direct it.
Comey's pre-released testimony, about a Jan 27 dinner in the White House Green Room: "[T]he President said, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.' I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence."
For all the cable-news talk of smoking guns, top Republicans were authentically relieved by what they read in the afternoon bombshell.
Their reaction puzzled me at first, but here's a truth bomb: Comey's seven-page, 3,100-word statement describes unusual, unprecedented and, to most, disturbing behavior by the president. But it presents no new information that proves a crime:
Be smart: The road ahead is long. Comey's statement is captivating, but not grounds for impeachment. The threshold for any action is much higher than many think, because Republicans alone will set it.