Over the last several hours, the former director of the FBI, James Comey, released a detailed statement and testified in front of a congressional committee about his interactions with President Trump.
We will hear from Democrats and their flacks in the media that the hearing was a disaster for Trump, but it was only a disaster if we pretend that they haven't spent the last five months accusing the president of personally colluding with the Russians and then working to shut down the investigation into his own treasonous activity. Indeed, if we all agree to enter into an alternative universe where Trump's enemies have been measured and honest in their criticisms, and have alleged only that he has acted inappropriately and incompetently, then it would be true that the story Comey tells is a vindication for the left and a dagger right in the Trump Administration's heart. But we live in no such universe. We live in a universe where Trump has been repeatedly slandered as a "traitor" and a "criminal" who worked with Russia to undermine our elections and then fired the head of the FBI for daring to investigate it. And in that universe -- which, again, is the real one -- Trump's critics come out of this thing looking worse than Trump himself. This has been a familiar pattern.
For comparison sake, imagine that I called the police and reported you as a serial rapist and murderer. Then imagine that the police arrested and interrogated you, and then determined that you have never raped or murdered anyone, but you did get drunk at a bar a few years ago and punch a guy in the face. You may be exposed as a drunken fool, but your drunkenness and your foolishness look pretty good -- downright virtuous, even -- compared with the original allegations. You emerge from the ordeal relatively unscathed, and I emerge as the jerk who falsely accused someone of rape and murder. I may protest, "Well, yeah, but he still assaulted a guy! That's pretty bad." Yes, perhaps you did, and perhaps I should have just accused you of that from the get go.
It's clear from Comey's own testimony that Trump was not and is not under investigation, personally. And, as Trump claimed, Comey did assure Trump of this on three occasions, although Comey refused to inform the country of the fact, for reasons he still cannot explain. Further, according to Comey, Trump actually encouraged Comey to investigate the Russia situation so that Trump would know if any of his "satellites" had been up to no good. It's also now confirmed that Trump never directly ordered Comey to drop the investigation into Mike Flynn. Rather, Trump said he "hoped" that Comey could "see his way" to letting it go, because Flynn is a decent guy. Comey says he "interpreted" this as an order, but that is only his interpretation. Oddly enough, Comey seems eager to ascribe the worst intentions to Trump even as he ascribed completely innocent intentions to Hillary Clinton.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that there is no evidence of Trump himself colluding with Russians, nor of Trump ordering the FBI to stop the investigation into Russia. There is evidence that Trump behaved in an uncouth manner, and that he doesn't understand how a president is supposed to interact with the director of the FBI, and that he fired Comey because he was angry at him, but those are not the accusations that Democrats levied against him. They accused him of a crime, of treason, of essentially being a clandestine operative for the Russian government. Trump has committed no crime and there is not a shred of evidence that he cooperated with the Russians on any level. Narrative debunked.
Democrats may wish to move the goal posts now. They may wish to give us a series of Yeah Buts. They may wish to amend their narrative, changing it from "He's a traitor and should be on death row" to "He's a rude, bumbling, clueless idiot," but it's too late. They overplayed their hand. Way overplayed it.
In fact, the situation is even more disastrous for Democrats. Comey did actually provide evidence of obstruction of justice -- but it was of Loretta Lynch's obstruction, not Trump's. Comey testified that Lynch, as Attorney General, instructed him to stop calling the investigation into Hillary Clinton an investigation, and instead call it a "matter." Comey said that Lynch clearly wanted the FBI to align its narrative with the Clinton campaign narrative. So, the hearing that was meant to crucify Trump only managed to indict the Obama Administration. A true debacle for the Democrats. They threw a grenade, it bounced off the wall and blew their own arms off.
But none of this matters, of course. Those who've spent months crafting this fiction of Trump the Russian Agent will either continue pushing it or pretend they never did push it. The truth doesn't matter to anyone anymore. All that matters is drawing blood. But, once again, the Democrats have only managed to draw their own.
Nicely done, guys.
To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.