Thursday, June 08, 2017 6:51 PM
The fact that Trump is a liar is something witnessed by every observer of the 2016 campaign—and ‘liar’ was far from the worst trait he exhibited, though it still should be concerning that he is a liar. The only thing new about today was that a man of stature and probity said so in a public (and televised) hearing. We all saw or heard the three (count’em) reasons Trump and his staff gave for the firing of Comey. Comey wasn’t so much testifying Trump was a liar as pointing out something we all could clearly see long before this day’s hearing.
Then there’s the Republican response—while the Senators themselves acted with restraint and seriousness, the commenters and apologists for the right were digging deep for pertinent pushback—and there were slim pickings dug up. Poking at Comey’s motives; darkly hinting that his leaking of his own memos was a questionable act, at best; suggesting that Comey should have responded instantly to a fresh and complex issue between spoonfuls at a White House dinner—all of these things will be repeated ad nauseum, and much more, to be sure.
But none of it obscures the blatant unprofessionalism of the president’s behavior—so sloppy that Paul Ryan sought to excuse his misbehavior as ignorance borne of inexperience (to which some wit replied: ‘you don’t put a toddler in the cockpit of a 747’). Whatever may be thought up by pundits in later days—in that hearing there wasn’t a single senator, Democrat or Republican, who questioned the honesty of James Comey’s testimony. Legal eagles can tussle over the technicalities of what it all means, in court—but nobody’s saying the described encounters didn’t happen, as described—except maybe the Donald’s lawyer.