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James Comey hearing: 13 fast facts

Now that the media circus around former FBI Director James Comey’s hearing about his recent firing has died down, here’s what you need to know.

    1. Comey called President Trump a liar

A lot.

At five different points during the hearing, Comey disputed Trump’s statements about their relationship, their exchanges, and the nature of the FBI during his tenure as director.

“Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey said of the president’s claims that the bureau was chaotic and disorganized.

    1. Comey copped to strategic leaking to get a special prosecutor

The infamous memo containing details of a conversation between the then-FBI director and the president was leaked by one of Comey’s friends, with the aim of getting a special prosecutor appointed:

    1. Comey all but unmasked one of the media’s sources

In the process of discussing the strategic leak, Comey eventually outed one Daniel C. Richman — a “friend” and Columbia Law School professor — as the source of the leak.

And the ensuing search even led to the school’s faculty website crashing, the Daily Caller reports.

    1. Yet, while he leaked it to the press, Comey didn’t hand the memo to Congress

    1. It’s not for me to say whether the president obstructed justice

Answering a question from Richard Burr, R-N.C., the intelligence committee chairman,  Comey said that it’s not up to him to determine whether Trump’s exchanges with him about the FBI’s investigation of former National Secuirty Advisor Mike Flynn constitutes an obstruction of justice:

At National Review, Andy McCarthy breaks down what constitutes obstruction, and what doesn’t. He says “pressure” doesn’t fit into that equation.

    1. “Hoping” to let something go isn’t obstruction, either, Comey says

When Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, asked if Comey had ever heard of anyone being charged with “hoping” something would happen, the latter responded in the negative:

    1. Nothing said by Trump made Comey want to quit

    1. In fact, Trump never asked about the Russia probe, Comey says

    1. His Comey sense was tingling

The word was “sense.” Aside from his account of what the president actually said and asked him (regarding the few meetings and calls he had with the president), Comey gave several accounts of how talking to the president made him feel.

    1. Comey admits to getting frazzled in the West Wing

When Trump made the request in the Oval office, Comey says he “didn’t have the presence of mind” to say the alleged request in question was inappropriate:

However …

    1. We now have some clarity on what happened with the Clinton email investigation

In one of the few legitimate bombshell revelations of the hearing, it turns out there actually was some confirmed election interference — on behalf of the Obama administration.

Conservative Review’s Jordan Schachtel has more:

The recently fired Comey revealed that Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered him to downplay the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server to maintain classified emails. Comey stated to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Lynch directed him “not to call [the Hillary Clinton email investigation] an investigation, but to call it a “matter.” “And that confused me and concerned me,” Comey said.

    1. Trump has responded

Trump is disputing claims that he asked for loyalty from Comey. And a White House lawyer has issued a statement, saying that Thursday’s hearing “makes clear that the President never sought to impede” the FBI’s Russia probe.

    1. Not everyone is enamored with the hullaballoo

Speaking to reporters about the event, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that conservatives should fight the temptation to be distracted by the high-profile hearing, and focus on real policy outcomes instead.

“There's a lot of noise, a lot of people lighting hair on fire on cable news television,” said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference, per The Hill. “Ignore the political circus and let’s focus on delivering results. We have an historic opportunity.”

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