Has James Comey Committed Perjury? by Publius Tacitus


This will be pretty simple–James Comey is either a liar or the people speaking to the news media on his behalf are liars. There is no middle ground. The issue? Did Donald Trump or someone else in his Administration try to obstruct the FBI investigation into "Russian" influence in the Trump campaign and Presidency?

Comey was asked that very question under oath during a May 3rd hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Hawaii's Senator Hirono:

HIRONO: So if the Attorney General or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?

COMEY: In theory yes.

HIRONO: Has it happened?

COMEY: Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that — without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience.

In other words, no one at Trump's DOJ tried to halt the FBI investigation. Very simple. 

But that's not a story that CNN and the rest of the anti-Trump media want to push. CNN is up today with this screamer:

Comey now believes Trump was trying to influence him, source says

If Trump was trying to get Comey to back down on the investigation of Flynn or any other aspect of the so-called Russian case then Comey had a sworn duty to inform Congress. He was under oath on the 3rd. He did not even give a hint that President Trump was acting in an unusual or even illegal fashion with respect to the FBI investigation of the Trump Campaign.

CNN must be on crack or something. I simply cannot fathom a scenario in which Comey will risk perjuring himself. If he now testifies that Trump was trying to influence the investigation then it cannot be passed off as a simple misunderstanding of Senator Hirono's question on May 3rd.

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61 Responses to Has James Comey Committed Perjury? by Publius Tacitus

  1. doug says:

    I gather, assuming what was reported about Comey’s contemporaneous memo was accurate, that Trump inquired as to whether Comey could drop the investigation. Trump did not order or even strongly suggest Comey drop the investigation at that time. And they both agreed Flynn was a “good guy.” I don’t see that, in itself, as requiring Comey to have disclosed it in Congress. However, Trump’s statements about firing the “nut case” and that that would take the pressure off his relations with the Russians is pretty over the top.
    Even there, Dersh doesn’t think that is obstruction. He doesn’t even believe that a direct order to drop the investigation would be though obviously Comey would have had to disclose such an order.

  2. Robert C says:

    This post seems a little desperate. I see no e/o perjury. I doubt DOJ/AG tried to shut down investigation. I can completely believe Trump, after asking Sessions/Pence to leave Oval Office, asked Comey to back off on investigation of Flynn. Nudge nudge, wink, wink. That’s Trumps m.o. Works in business, but not always in government.
    Off topic, but I’m curious to know how Trump supporters feel seeing the Grifter in Chief genuflect as he glad-hands the Saudis. Makes you wanna vomit.
    Robert C

  3. DC says:

    The issue of “obstruction of justice” is not a fact; therefore one cannot perjure oneself by making a statement on this subject (which is a matter of opinion, and/or eventually for a jury of one’s peers). It is not unreasonable for one to change one’s mind about an issue that is ultimately a judgment call.

  4. Really? Does anyone actually pay attention to words anymore? Comey was asked, directly, if anyone in the DOJ had tried to influence his investigation and that was the question he answered. No one made any reference to the POTUS doing as such.
    As for whether or not he failed in his duty to inform Congress of POTUS meddling- which probably needs to be viewed in the context of his pre-election HRC announcements- I don’t know; but what is presented here, as it is, is not perjury.

  5. Castellio says:

    “Zucker said CNN’s overall viewership for the first seven weeks of the year (2017) was up 51% compared to the same period in 2016.”
    For CNN this is two birds with one stone: a political enemy to be taken out, and windfall profit in the take down.

  6. And the source for that is?? Seriously, who is putting this stuff out? Makes no sense.

  7. You are clearly a lawyer. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” A true statement? Well, if sex means intercourse then absolutely true. You appear to be exploring the outer regions of the obtuse.

  8. Jack says:

    The high muckety mucks in our governmental, political and corporate establishment act with impunity as the rule of law does not apply to them. When was the last time anyone was prosecuted for perjury relating to sworn testimony to Congress? Clapper as an example was given the pass when he blatantly lied under oath.
    While I doubt Trump will be impeached, we can be certain that the campaign of innuendo will run throughout his term. Every story will note that senior current and former officials said under anonymity that Trump committed treason. No evidence will be presented, but the WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC, et al will run that story with complete hysterics 24×7, until the next story.
    What those running this info ops don’t get is that this will become par for the course. Every president who runs afoul of the Borg will face a campaign to undermine them and the office.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I don’t think any legal training is called for(?) It looks to me as if Comey answered a straightforward question straightforwardly. Had he replied with, “Well, the President has been making me increasingly uncomfortable with actions and conversations that are highly irregular, to say the least,” he would have been going well beyond the bounds of the question asked, which I imagine he was not ready to do and would have been pretty irresponsible to do. This isn’t perjury. With all due respect to you and Col. Lang, I don’t think it will wash.

  10. iowa steve says:

    Whatever extra-legal definition of perjury you choose to employ might make for an interesting discussion, but it will have little to do with the meaning of the word in a legal proceeding where any allegation of “perjury” will only be considered in its legal sense by attorneys, obtuse or not.

  11. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater inquires of Robert C.,
    I thought the trip was going, OK. Shook hands, did the sword dance, and got $300 billion in ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’? What’s wrong with that?

  12. egl says:

    LiP and TP: “Does anyone actually pay attention to words anymore?”
    Comey was asked whether DOJ had ever “halted” or “told to stop” an investigation. This is stronger and more specific than “tried to influence”. And I don’t see any reading of what Comey or Trump have said that qualifies as Trump’s having told Comey to halt or stop.
    There are lots of things to worry about, but this bit of testimony isn’t one of them.

  13. anonymous says:

    given whats at stake sacrificing a knight is just par for the course.trump is now where his team want him to be.they will soon find out if it was worth it.
    an offer…..a penny for your thought,a shekel for what you bought.

  14. BraveNewWorld says:

    I have to agree with TLiP. Words do matter and they matter a lot in this case. From the article
    “In other words, no one at Trump’s DOJ tried to halt the FBI investigation. Very simple.”
    But that isn’t what is claimed in the Comey documents. The Comey documents claim that the White House tried to bypass the DOJ and put pressure on the FBI directly which is a violation of the proper procedure. This post is a classic strawman.

  15. Stumpy says:

    Not calling myself a supporter, here, but moderating the weapons sales to the Saudis was one reason for voting for Trump over Clinton. In that sense, definitely feeling a bit nauseated, even if the deals were already in the pipeline. Nice chunk of jewelry for Melania, though, very similar to the one HRC got from them as SOS.

    The State Department revealed on Thursday that Hillary Clinton received $500,000 in jewelry from Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and received $58,000 worth of jewelry from Brunei.
    Other gifts to Clinton include a $560 bottle of cognac from Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
    The New York Daily News reports, “The Constitution prohibits U.S. government employees from keeping presents worth more than $350. But officials at the U.S. General Services Administration said the gifts were accepted to avoid awkward moments.”
    Other gifts of note include “an autographed basketball from Chinese President Xi Jiping and a 41-inch saber from Mongolia” given to President Obama.
    Vice President Joe Biden received a “bare-breasted female bust” from Liberia.
    The GSA says that some of the gifts were donated and some of the gifts were sold to the public.

    http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/state-dept-hillary-received-500k-jewelry-saudi-king 5 FEB 2016
    I guess Hillary’s not a cognac drinker.

  16. Green Zone Café says:

    “Influence” and order to stop obviously different. Click-bait to even mention “perjury.”

  17. Dabbler says:

    With all due respect, the librarian has it right, and you don’t have to be a lawyer to see that. Go back to the quote you provided from Senator Hirono, substitute “Jeff Sessions or any of his employees” for “The Attorney General or any senior officials at the Department of Justice”, and the limits of the question and of comey’s answer will become clearer. The argument attempted in the original post should be strengthened if it is to be persuasive.

  18. CaliHalibut says:

    Perjury is something that the deplorable class has to worry about. Deep state folks don’t have to worry about such inconveniences. They are clearly above the law and can do as they wish.

  19. Carl Olsen says:

    The issue seems simple enough to me. Comey was asked if the DoJ had interfered. He answered that they had not. If it transpires that Trump interfered, as he is not the DoJ, this is not perjury. If it transpires that Trump had indeed tried to stop the investigation,one could argue that Comey wasn’t as forthcoming as he could have been, but that is all. The question I have is why on Earth didn’t Somebody ask Comey whether anybody had tried to interfere with the investigation.That is the obvious question that any determined investigator would ask.

  20. Tyler says:

    Lots of people Ive never seen before here to assure us that Comey perjuring himself is a big nothingburger.
    Like how the Seth Rich story started getting legs and suddenly the Russians hacked Comey into stealing the votes.

  21. trinlae says:

    Not a DT voter but profoundly disturbed to see captains of industry line up to genuflect before the sponsors of 9-11, taliban, osama bin laden, and Isis, for the “privilege” of making more bombs and guns for these beacons of the most perverse notion of prosperity.
    These companies are international companies w usa incorporations run by international boards. They are the so called “American interests” American blood is so gleefully spilt abroad to protect.
    Ron Paul was among the first public figure to condemn it:
    Mercenary economy is the last economy of a failed state. The only upside i can fathom is that the travesty is a public event rather than quietly laundered back room deal of Clinton Foundation variety. The blood stained money is there for all to see openly.

  22. Lars says:

    I would prefer to hear the testimony of James Comey and see the memos he wrote about his meeting with Donald Trump. At this point, there are merely speculations about this matter.
    What we can speculate about is how to right the ship of state that now appears to not only have lost a propeller, but the rudder also. There are winds and waves and shoals out there. All that could do some serious damage to our common good.
    How do we clean out this mess? Asking those who created it will probably not work.

  23. steve says:

    He was asked a specific question, which he answered. He was not asked about POTUS. IMO he answered the question appropriately. You don’t volunteer stuff you are not asked about. Plus, as related so far ,it doesn’t should like Trump ordered Comey to halt the investigation, just asked if he could lay off it. Asking for a favor kind of a thing, not an order.

  24. LeaNder says:

    The “nut case” bit should be pretty easy to google.
    Beyond that I am not sure what doug suggests. But strictly as anyone of us I may have a self-referential core. Meaning: I am not sure I ever trusted Trump when push comes to shove, so to speak, never mind his election statements, that he really intended to somehow reset US-Russia relations.

  25. Keep your eyes tightly closed and ignore this Comey sentence:
    “But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience.”
    He’s not limiting that to just DOJ, which is under Trump control. You really think that Comey, who made his bones by resisting the Bush Administration effort to strong arm John Ashcroft, would remain silent when asked about pressure to stop an investigation? That is delusional.
    Your assertion that Comey would only comment on Trump pressure if asked specifically is just silly.

  26. Fred says:

    Corrine Brown would disagree on the part about laws not applying to Congress:
    Huma’s husband would agree. Perhaps soon so will Huma

  27. Fred says:

    We should also see the memos he wrote after his meetings with President Obama and AG Lynch.

  28. Cee says:

    One of the reasons for my vote too but now Sonny Boy Kursh engineered the weapons sales to benefit Israel if Daudia Arabia attack Iran.
    Also, Comey was investigating said Sonny Boy. Damn!

  29. Cee says:

    Kim Dotcom helped Rich leak evidence of DNC crimes and will be seeing his lawyer Monday…if he lives.

  30. GregB says:

    Congratulations Trumpists. You’ll be finishing off the American experiment at the behest of the Saudi Monarchy.
    What do you think, a hot war with Iran in under a year?

  31. FourthAndLong says:

    According to The Hill, Trump in his speech today is set to characterize the terrorism conflict as a war between good and evil, independent of faith/confession:
    President Trump in a speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday is expected to characterize the fight against “Islamic extremism” as a battle against “barbaric criminals” instead of one between different faiths.
    “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” Trump is expected to say in Riyadh, according to excerpts released by the White House.
    “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil.”
    The excerpts provided by the White House do not include the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” which Trump used frequently on the campaign trail.

  32. Tyler says:

    When you’re reduced to Talmudic hair splitting to support your mendacity as the new converts to Comeyism are in order to prop up their new avatar, you’re pretty much admitting you don’t have an argument.

  33. Tyler says:

    The news media being maliciously pedantic because he didn’t use the single specific phrase they seem to want?
    And they wonder why they’re so hated.

  34. Fred says:

    You mean the war Hilary was going to give us in 2017? Feel free to “resist”.
    BTW does all that bling Saudi gave Hilary belong to her or the US Govt.?

  35. Thomas says:

    In the realm of reality it helps to see the subtle difference between bombast and bombs away in a public figure’s speech to a foreign audience in their own land. Tell them what they want to hear and do what is in your own interests.

  36. Gene O. says:

    The Saudi Chief of Protocol must have a twisted sense of humor. They seated Steve Bannon right next to a noted Salafi, Saleh bin Abdul-Aziz Al ash-Sheikh, who is the Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs.

  37. Westcoaster says:

    Lavrov, the Russian ambassador, who was at the meeting with Trump (and the NYT and WP were not), says there was no discussion of Comey at all. More fake news, methinks.

  38. ToivoS says:

    This thread has brought out a bunch of new voices decrying Publiases interpretation about Comey’s testimony. (I sort of agree that lawerly weasel words will prevent his ever being indicted for perjury). But it also brought out a number of comments blasting Trump for kowtowing to the Saudis. As if that will have any influence of the regular readers of sst. Every president since FDR have been doing that. There is no one on this site that support SA. Nor did any of us (Trump supporters or not) expected Trump to be any different. We all know how important the petro dollar is to maintaining the US dollar as the reserve currency. Abandon that at the risk of a terrible financial crisis.

  39. different clue says:

    I really was hoping and believing that he would reverse and cancel the “HanniHill Lecter” Clinton policy that Assad Must Go.
    The parts of the speech bearing indirectly on Syria sound like he is offering and pledging firm support against the “Iran-backed terrorist militias” in Syria. President Trump would absolutely reject my interpretation of what he said around Syria, but I interpret his words to mean that he has committed America to supporting the Global Axis of Jihad and the Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis to overthrow Assad and take over Syria.
    He would see it differently, of course. But that is what he has now pledged to support. Can the R + 6 exterminate all traces of rebellion within Syria before the DC FedRegime can get the balance tipped towards the GAJ and the CLEJ? Can the R + 6 at least exterminate all traces of rebellion within all of Idlib before the DC FedRegime helps make the Idlib cancer-beachhead secure and ready for the CLEJs to break out from? Again, that was NOT what I voted for.

  40. DavidKNZ says:

    Kim has a long memory and scores to settle:
    ” Hillary Clinton personally signed the request to extradite me from New Zealand. @HillaryClinton ”
    Watch this space 😉

  41. Robert C says:

    Obama didn’t. He had the insight and guts to tack toward Iran and away from KSA despite tremendous pressure from inside the beltway.
    Robert C.

  42. bks says:

    I don’t get the thesis. Trump is not DOJ.

  43. Tomonthebeach says:

    Seriously, who in the WH is denying that Trump called Comey a Nut Job? – not Spicer when asked. Not even the Russians have come to their little buddy’s defense on that issue. Trump has remained tweetless. So, the source is irrelevant if the WH actively or tacitly sustains it. Moreover, POTUS is noted for such bullying bravado. It is not as if somebody who brags to the press about groping genitals is above calling a senior official a nut job. The action is even worse now that the WH has confirmed that Trump’s bravado declassified intel, siphoning off a lot of future intel.
    So, sir, I would challenge that questioning who is putting stuff out, or who should be locked up for leaking intelligence is not relevant to the growing concerns about a loose cannon in the WH.

  44. sid_finster says:

    Laws apply to those that the powers that be, the establishment, whatever you want to call it, want them to.
    Otherwise, those same laws don’t apply.

  45. ToivoS says:

    Are you trying to tell us that Obama never visited the Saudis? That he and Hillary approved over 100 billion dollars of arms shipments to the Saudis? That Hillary in her first two years as SoS doubled the size of arms deals than had any previous admin?
    It is true that Obama cut a deal with Iran and that was the reason the Saudis turned on him. That deal was the only positive thing that Obama did as president (and he had to get rid of Hillary before he could carry that out).

  46. TonyL says:

    different clue,
    Trump is “the devil we don’t know”. So Trump voters will regret the choice they have made at the ballot box.

  47. Fred says:

    of course we should not worry about his testimony. We should be asking about that statement of findings from the email server investigation – the document that explains why Hilary should not have been indicted.

  48. Fred says:

    I agree. As Spencer Tracy’s character put it in “Judgement at Nuremberg” when he was first elected judge he knew there were some people in town he wasn’t supposed to go after.

  49. Fred says:

    DOJ is part of the Executive Branch. How is it hard to understand that DOJ employees all work for him now?

  50. Robert C says:

    You just said what I said.

  51. LeaNder says:

    With all due respect to you and Col. Lang, I don’t think it will wash.
    Stephanie, for me, personally, it makes a lot of sense to distinguish between Pat, and whomever else he puts up for discussion on SST.
    I agree with you though, along the lines several others suggested here, the dismissal or more specifically how it happened was a disgrace. What I also think, never mind the Russian interference theme, the way it was done had to trigger what we witness now for exactly this reason. The way it was done: Not least the reference in Trump’s discharge letter.
    I am tended to add another line of thought, but …

  52. Eric Newhill says:

    Based on the number of new info ops commenters that have shown up on this thread to hand wave away PT’s observation, I’d say PT is dead center in the ten ring. They doth protest too much.

  53. Fred says:

    Sergey Lavrov is the Foreign Minister of Russia.

  54. Bacchus says:

    Do I need your pemition to post an opinion you wouldn’t agree with? Is there an order of seniority in the comment section?

  55. Sam Peralta says:

    Yes, a few Congressmen and a few unimportant bureaucrats and a few losers like Huma’s husband to make it seem that the application of the rule of law is universal.
    Have you heard of a CIA Director or FBI chief or NSA Director or someone at that level being prosecuted for anything other than illicit sex? Of course, there are a few cases like Scooter Libby & Tom Delay, although he was acquitted by a Texas Court of Appeals.

  56. TonyL says:

    Can you make a case against the comments? I would like to hear it.
    You are only judging them to be “info ops commenters” because you cannot refute their logics.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    Be careful. This is not our fred. pl

  58. turcopolier says:

    The hierarach here is ME. I will decide if your comment is worthwhile. pl

  59. Freudenschade says:

    PT and Stephanie,
    when I first read PT’s argument this morning, I was struck by the same flaw. He was asked about the DOJ, not POTUS. Is the POTUS a part of the Department of Justice? Clearly no. If you’re going to make a technical, legal charge of perjury, you’d best make sure the facts line up. In this case, they don’t.

  60. Freudenschade says:

    who is splitting hairs now? If your claim is that Comey is overly political and should have revealed Trump’s attempted interference instead of metering out the truth, then I think we can agree. But you are making the claim that he committed perjury, i.e. lying under oath. You’re making a hand waving argument that although the question was about the DOJ, the answer seemed to encompass the whole of the administration. Good luck with that.
    I do agree he should have blown the whistle on Trump at this point.

  61. Which of the many investigations of HRC and DT now and in past years were self-initiated?

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