Comey Deals Trump a Political Blow When He Can Least Afford It
*Lawmakers are weighing Trump’s political capital as votes near
*Health care bill, Supreme Court nomination both at stake
by Justin Sink
March 20, 2017, 1:32 PM EDT
FBI Director James Comey dealt President Donald Trump a stinging rebuke on Monday at a time of acute political vulnerability for the White House.
In his opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating Russia’s interference in the presidential election, and whether any of Trump’s associates collaborated with Vladimir Putin’s government.
On another day, in another time, that would be the bombshell. But Comey said more, establishing that the president’s charge his predecessor had wiretapped him was false. Working systematically, tweet by explosive tweet, under questioning from lawmakers Comey repeatedly insisted there was “no evidence” to substantiate Trump’s March 4 claims.
Nothing to prove Barack Obama had ordered phones tapped at Trump Tower. Nothing to indicate Obama had somehow subverted Nixon-era safeguards enacted to prevent abuses of power and protect Americans from top-secret foreign electronic surveillance programs. No reason to conclude Obama had violated the rules of a decades-old intelligence alliance and solicited a foreign ally to carry out the spying.
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