May the fake lord bless you and keep you, Charlie Pierce:
Comey eschewed the reading of the prepared statement that was released to the media on Wednesday in favor of beginning his appearance with a scathing denunciation of the president* who fired him, and who then proceeded to lie to the nation about why.
"Although the law requires no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader...Those were lies plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI work force had to hear them and I am so sorry that the American people were told them."
He repeated on several occasions that he'd been fired because of his handling of the investigation of Russian ratfcking in the 2016 campaign. And, every time he was asked why he believed that, Comey replied that he was "taking the president at his word." This is twisting the spear with a deft and practiced hand.
It was a singularly powerful performance, made more so by the fact that Comey is very close to the perfect congressional witness—stolid and relaxed, relentlessly on point, in command of the facts and of his testimony, and not willing to be baited into going a step beyond what he wanted to say.
Coupla things popped out on Twitter and elsewhere:
- 45*'s lawyer said Comey was a standup guy for "exonerating the president completely", and that Comey is a crafty habitual liar who can't be trusted to tell us the correct time of day.
- Comey as a private citizen chose to relay non-classified material to the Press Poodles through a friend, while 45* relayed classified material to Russia.
- Repubs still can't legit rebut any of it (and Jesus on a cornflake, why do they think they need to?) so they're still trying to deflect with "Yeah, but Hillary..."
- Just what the actual fuck is wrong with John McCain now?
Always read your Charlie - it's good for you.