Well, fortunately, there is an actual reality BETWEEN Door number 1 and Door number 2.
Let’s take all the talking points and break them down:
In Reality 1, Comey definitively confirmed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election
Comey said that Russia hacked various organizations peripheral to the election (which was not new news), and also that he was confident that no vote totals were changed (ending any speculation that Trump was not legitimately elected). S0, Reality 1 is correct on this…..but we knew that.
In Reality 1, called Trump a liar
Well, Reality 1 is right again, but….that’s not new news, either.
However, interestingly, we did learn that Trump did NOT lie about his “you told me three times” tweet. And Mr. Comey did exhibit frustration with fake news releases that by law he and Justice are unable to refute. And I have to say, Mr. Rubio’s observation that in a Washington where everything is leaking these days, it’s somewhat telling that the only things that DON’T leak are things that are beneficial to Mr. Trump….is curious.
In Reality 1, and provided testimony strengthening the case the president obstructed justice.
Reality 1 here is delving into fetish behavior; I would suggest they are better off with whips and chains and a rubber catsuit.
It’s quite false, if you understand what constitutes “obstruction” from a legal standpoint; you’ve stopped a bit short of the fullness of Prof. Dershowitz’s explanation. Prof. Dershowitz has in fact argued as you say, that the President is within his statutory rights to fire the FBI Director, and even to order him off a particular investigation. (The FBI Director works for him, after all.)
However, Prof Dershowitz has also made the point that this thing called “OBSTRUCTION” has to be more than a whimsical statement by the President hoping that a particular matter (regarding Gen. Flynn) could be dropped. OBSTRUCTION has to be something a bit more tangible, like a clear, quid pro quo threat to fire, or lying to the FBI, or shredding evidence.
The notion that any of what Mr. Comey said amounts to OBSTRUCTION, legally, is nonsensical, which is why an editorial in the Post today (the Post, be noted is no friend of Mr. Trump) said this:
Opinion | What Comey described wasn't obstruction of justice. Here's why.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor and a contributing editor at National Review. James B. Comey's…
“But the arguments for presidential obstruction here tend to omit the statute’s most important word: “corruptly.” Not every form of interfering with an investigation, or even the closing down of an investigation, is felony obstruction. Only corrupt ones. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused not only acted intentionally but also with an awareness that his actions violated the law.”
So, Reality #1 is two-for-three, but they wiffed on the ball they really wanted to hit.
Now, let’s move on to Reality #2:
In Reality 2, Comey exonerated Trump
Well, that’s just false, prima facie. A case can still be considered. I would say that Comey provided more evidence to the defense than the prosecution, and leave it at that.
In Reality 2, testified that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch obstructed justice
Well, I wouldn’t agree with that one, either. However, he did provide evidence that she may have done so.
In Reality 2, implicated himself in a federal crime.
So, Reality 2 is 0 for three.
However, I would add something that I believe is extremely important, here, to BOTH “realities”.
What we did learn that “unnamed sources” are, at times, baldfaced liars.
Or, if not, then Comey is, and we can ignore what happened yesterday in its entirety.
At any rate, these people with not enough to do who are mapping all this circumstantial evidence trying to connect dots between golden showers in Moscow, Russian bankers, and campaign phone calls need to look at their white boards and draw a big black line through any “evidence” which is provided by an “unnamed source”.
Which leaves them with…..not much.
SIDENOTE: Nick, agree with you totally on Reality Winner. There is a difference between a “leaker” and a “whistleblower”. The latter reports on internal matters of governmental malfeasance. The former provides internal information based on a personal agenda. The latter is helpful, the former a danger to good governance.