back to article Live blog: Fired FBI boss spills the beans to US Senate committee

Washington is gearing up for a potentially explosive session, as former FBI director James Comey gives evidence in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee over his dealings with President Donald Trump. Since his surprise firing last month, Comey has kept his mouth shut – although certain details have been leaked by his …

  1. frank ly Silver badge

    Tradition

    "As it traditional, he released his opening statement [PDF] 24 hours ahead of time ..."

    How long has it been traditional? If it's a formal inquiry, don't the rules of sub judice apply?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Tradition

      It's a Senate Committee, not a court. Anyway, the US approach to sub judice is very different to the UK one.

    2. Rafael #872397
      Headmaster

      Re: As it traditional

      It? First time hear about. Agree though. Think good idea.

  2. Locky Silver badge
    Joke

    Title of the day

    James and the Giant Impeach?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Title of the day

      PUSA - Impeaches

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvAnQqVJ3XQ

    2. zx122982685

      Re: Title of the day

      Not going to happen snowflake, keep dreaming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Title of the day

        You do know there are icons that can indicate your intent with regards to your comment and that people commenting after are usually following the same line in intent. In this case it was the "Joke" icon.

        I don't think he'll get impeached but lets be honest here he's such a buffoon I would be surprised if he didn't start a war. Though he would probably start it in a news conference in front of the world then say the next day it was fake news by the liberal media who are out to get him while giving jobs to family and changing policy to suit his businesses and the elite that he as a billionaire himself is out to stop and work for the common man.

        If it wasn't so tragic it would be hilarious. I mean who actually writes this shit up? I might even go so far as it could be proof of gods existence and he (or she) is sat wherever pissing their sides at the world saying to themselves "See, I told you they would fuck it up, the orange man with the small hands prophecy has begun"

  3. ma1010 Silver badge
    Joke

    I'm sorry, but...

    don't you mean "damp squid"?

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: I'm sorry, but...

      Thank goodness you used the joke alert icon, I was going to get all pompous on you.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'm sorry, but...

      i think you need to get off that high pedal stool...

    3. Andy Tunnah

      Re: I'm sorry, but...

      AcKTually, it's squib, you plebeian

  4. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Question.

    Did Trump ever say 'Read my lips' before blatantly lying to the press?

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Re: Question.

      Read my tweets

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Question.

      Is there a politician who hasn't lied? Rule of thumb: If a politician's lips are moving, he/she is lying.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Trump had told him repeatedly he was doing a great job.

    followed by

    "Your'e Fired!"

    Seems to be typical Trump.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Trump had told him repeatedly he was doing a great job.

      yeah I think Trump was just being Trump. He wanted a bit of loyalty (i.e. Comey not acting like an 'Obaka holdover', waiting for the opportunity to pounce, leak, etc. like a bunch of others OBVIOUSLY have been) and to Trump, that most likely means NOT obstructing his presidency (instead of 'obstructing justice to please the boss' which is what CNN and the left WANT it to mean). That's how I interpret it anyway. Washington insiders might imply a "nudge-nudge wink-wink know-what-I-mean" even when it's not there, but Trump doesn't speak Washingtonese, he talks like a New Yorker from Queens.

      Comey is acting JUST like the classic "disgruntled employee". he got fired for being like overcooked spaghetti, wishy-washier than a laundramat, etc.. He's bitter, and he took notes on his way out the door.

      No surprises here, including it being a "non-event".

      'Meh' indeed.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Trump had told him repeatedly he was doing a great job.

        Read his account again. He started taking notes before Trump even took office, long before he knew he'd be a "disgruntled employee". And if he is, it is Trump's lying about him that made him disgruntled.

  6. Dave Pickles

    Top-Posting?

    Having the events unfold in reverse order makes for a very confusing read.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Top-Posting?

      Indeed. At least you could put a notice just ahead of the reports mentioning that they're in reverse order so we'll know that going in.

      Thanks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Top-Posting?

        It'll be easier to classify it as fake news at a later date.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Top-Posting?

      Came here to say this. Seriously guys, how long would it take you to reverse the order of notes?

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    In private

    "He refuses to answer a question about the Steele (golden showers) document. He says he will discuss in closed session."

    That's boring, no fun if all the juicy info kept private

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: In private

      There was a former national security guy from Bush's administration being interviewed last night, and he said he's been told nearly "nearly all" of that dossier has been confirmed by investigators. That's why Comey won't talk about it, that's part of the active investigation that is under Mueller's direction.

      Now obviously this is 'fake news' or 'leaks' at this point, but if I was a Trump supporter I'd be getting really worried about now, even if Comey has afforded him a few talking points to distract from the noose being slowly tightened around the throats of Trump and his cronies. There's nothing he can do to stop the investigation now.

      Those who disagree should visit Ladbrokes and lay a bet on Trump serving out his first time - as of yesterday it was an even money bet!

  8. Natalie Gritpants

    Odd refernce to the statue of justice

    On Wikipedia most of them from the countries of the Roman, Greek and British empires have the lady without a blindfold, it's the American ones that can't see what's in front of them.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Odd refernce to the statue of justice

      IIRC, it was the goddess of Luck to be blindfolded, but she had a cornucopia, not a sword and a scale.

      1. Apprentice of Tokenism
        Holmes

        Re: Odd refernce to the statue of justice

        Almost close. :-)

        In both cases it is the Roman goddess Iustitia (Lady Justice). She has been depicted blindfolded, holding a scale in the one hand and a wielding a sword in the other only from the middle ages (15th century?) on. Before that time she would neither wear a blindfold nor display a sword but be shown holding a scale and a cornucopia in her hands.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Odd refernce to the statue of justice

          Before that time she would neither wear a blindfold nor display a sword but be shown holding a scale and a cornucopia in her hands.

          Ah yes... cornucopia... the Horn of Plenty; symbolic of the fact that the lawyers below were doing quite well, thank you very much. Small wonder that someone decided to replace it with something else.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Odd refernce to the statue of justice

        I've been lucky with a few women who had a cornucopia so it must be right...

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Confused?

    I am.

    Bill O'Reilly being followed by El Reg?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Confused?

      Stalked.

  10. Herby Silver badge

    Summary is great...

    Even in reverse order, the summary by ElReg is wonderful. I can go through a couple of hours in less than 15 minutes of scrolling and get what is going on. Saves me LOTS of time that would otherwise be wasted listening/watching to blowhard politicians.

    Great work ElReg!

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Summary is great...

      ElReg watches this stuff, so you don't have to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Summary is great...

        Which is good, because otherwise I'd lose my sanity faster than I already am, what with this current clusterf**k of a government.

  11. handleoclast Silver badge

    Best quote

    I spotted this elsewhere (BBC news website):

    Lordy, I hope there are tapes.

    It was an aside from Comey, but very significant. He knows what he's saying is the truth. He knows some people will evaluate it as a "he said/he said" thing. He knows the tapes will vindicate him. He knows the tapes will dump Donald deeper in the shit. He's hoping Donald really did tape the conversations. He's hoping Donald is too stupid to dispose of them before Mueller finds them.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into a brief aside, but I really hope not.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Best quote

      Ah, but with some expert editing, the tapes could have almost any plotline !

      1. Patched Out

        Re: Best quote

        "Tapes"? - How quaint.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Best quote

          "Tapes"? - How quaint.

          The Orange Turnip used that word first (in a tweet, as usual), so Comey had to use 'tapes' too or Cheeto Benito wouldn't have known what Comey was talking about.

  12. A. Coatsworth
    Paris Hilton

    Honest question

    Since the start of the scandal, the existence of the memos has been treated as evidence against Trump... far be from be the thought of siding with the Orange One, but: why are the memos considered undisputed truth a priori? I mean are they official documents to any extent?

    Judging from my (very limited) understanding about the scandal, they sound like little more than a diary entry, so I'm genuinely curious as to why are they seen as hard proof.

    1. IglooDude

      Re: Honest question

      The reason is really Comey's reputation. And, I'd say somewhat ironically, Trump's threat of having 'taped' the meetings actually helped - it'd take a special kind of idiot to falsify meeting notes if an audiotape of it turned out to be available, and now that he's taken a pitchfork to both Hillary and Donald there seems to be bipartisan agreement (except for Trump administration folks) that Comey is no idiot.

    2. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Honest question

      As I understand it (and I could be wrong), it's a common practise at the FBI to document "iffy" conversations in this way. And it's also common practise for courts to give such documentation greater weight.

      Think of UK police notebooks. Sure, they could write a load of lies down, but they usually don't. And courts give greater weight to a policeperson reading from his/her notebook than a defendant saying "no, I didn't do that."

      I'm not saying either practise is right, merely that's what tends to happen.

      Now throw in the fact that Trump has been proven to lie about almost everything, including stuff that doesn't matter, and Comey is likely to be thought more believable by all but GOP die-hards.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Honest question

      As I've told a few people (and done myself), if ever you think you might end up in court, write stuff down at the time! Notes of phone conversations, with time and DATE. That's the important bit. Courts give extra weight to contemporaneous notes, as they're almost bound to be more accurate than later recollections from either side.

      Plus courts are run by lawyers, and that's what lawyers do.

      Obviously it gets sticky if both sides have done it, and disagree. But that's a good reason to follow up a conversation with an email saying what was agreed, then if they don't disagree at the time, you've got them.

      In this case, who'd trust Trump, over anybody? He's a lying arsehole?

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: Honest question

      As any journalist can tell you, notes taken at or immediately after a meeting carry a lot of weight, if you ever end up in court.

      Their strength decreases rapidly as time passes before making them, so it's important to make them as quickly as possible. If there's no dispute that the meeting took place, and if there are no other records, your memo - written immediately afterward - is likely to be accepted as the most authoritative account that's ever likely to exist.

  13. steve 124

    I'm loving this...

    This process is such a great way to smoke out all the Obama hold overs and traitors in senate. I really hope as many people are watching this as the media seem to think/want because this is going to wake up a lot of districts and I can't wait to see the backlash that occurs in next years election cycle. Al Green and other idiots calling for Impeachment are going to be standing on the street corner holding a sign that says "Homeless: Will lobby for spare change".

    Yes, keep it up Demolibs, we are making a list and this is going to be election commercial GOLD when it comes time to interview for your own job again in 2018.

    We will not forget.

    We will not forgive.

    Expect the American public... we will be heard again.

    1. Chris 3
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: I'm loving this...

      So, to be clear - you're fine with a president firing an FBI head, simply because he is change of an investigation that may prove politically embarassing, and refuses to say he will be loyal?

      Should the new FBI chief be required to swear an oath of fealty to Donald as part of the confirmation hearings?

      Are you not the least interested in finding out how Russia tinkered with the US election?

      Weird.

      1. steve 124

        Re: I'm loving this...

        So, who again is saying Trump fired him over the Russian investigation? Oh yeah, that's right, all the liberal media outlets, even though Comey hasn't said it and Trump has clearly said it was for other reasons (specifically decisions Comey made during the election cycle.)

        I wonder what that could be referencing?

        You want to know why Trump fired Comey? Here's the smoking gun right here...

        And I am quoting James Comey himself... word for word...

        “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues INTENDED to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

        "Clinton’s emails included seven message chains with information classified as top secret."

        (Now, these were just the ones they recovered from Anthony Wieners computer. Not the 30k+ emails Clinton had her IT guys electronically shred)...

        “Although there is EVIDENCE of potential violations of the STATUTES regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

        (By the way, the definition of "statute" is: a written law passed by a legislative body). So he said "Even though there is EVIDENCE of violations of the LAW"...

        So, yes, Trump had every reason and right to fire the head of the FBI when he has publicly stated that they discovered a crime (I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter if you "intended" to commit a crime, if you did it) but they weren't going to pursue it.

        Trump knows there's no validity to the Russian story being spun, so he certainly wasn't intimidated by Comey for running the make believe investigation on that. However, he really decided to drop the Hillary investigation when he was duty bound to pursue these "violated statutes" they discovered. That's the reason Trump can't trust him to run the premier investigatory branch of law enforcement.

        As to your question about swearing allegiance to Trump. No, of course not. But Comey (and Trump also) swore an oath of loyalty to the United States of America, part of which for both of them included the phrase "and to uphold and enforce the laws". He clearly could not be trusted to do that, which is kind of a big deal for the head of the FBI.

        I'd like anyone to tell me any law that Trump has either failed to enforce or has broken so far. If you can, you will be the hero of the Left, because it would mean they have something to try to charge him with.

        But you can't, because he hasn't, and it kills you, because he's still the POTUS.

        and he will continue to be... even after all this bullshit is laid to rest. You can delay his agenda but you can't stop it... because it is OUR agenda. America will not go silently into the night. We will fight and so will Trump. God Bless him!

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: I'm loving this...

          So, who again is saying Trump fired him over the Russian investigation?

          None other than Trumpy himself.

          1. steve 124

            Re: I'm loving this...

            Oh, please Stonedshop, produce a transcript of this announcement, because I've been watching all his public addresses and reading his press releases, so unless he tweeted it, you're just producing more fake news there bro.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: I'm loving this...

              "Trump told NBC's Lester Holt: "And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won'." "

              So it's a made-up story and still you fire the guy who's investigating it.

              1. steve 124

                Re: I'm loving this...

                You must be wearing some of those glasses from the movie "They Live" because you're seeing stuff that isn't in that interview.

                Here's the complete transcript: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/11/president_trumps_full_interview_with_lester_holt.html

                Although Holt does a bang up job trying to talk over Trump in several spots and trying to change the subject of Trumps answers while he's still answering. He starts to tell Holt it was the Hillary investigation that he was "angry" about but then Holt switches it back to Russia (because he sure doesn't want to start talking about Emailgate when he could be insinuating all sorts of KGB collusion (can't waste a precious moment of POTUS attack airtime here)...

                HOLT: But were you a fan of...

                (CROSSTALK)

                TRUMP: ...people of the FBI. (he was finishing his answer before Holt broken in on him)

                HOLT: him taking up that investigation?

                TRUMP: I think that -- about the Hillary Clinton investigation?

                HOLT: No, about -- about the Russian investigation and possible...

                TRUMP: No, I don't care...

                I'd like to mention here too, I've never seen the media be so rude to a President during interviews. I see this all the time with Trump where they barge in while he's answering a question. You can see on his face, he is not used to people doing that. I honestly can't remember anyone (maybe Reagan a few times, the media hated him) ever interrupting a standing President while he's talking. They sure didn't do that to Osama, er I mean Obama.

                You know, I realize you younger folks (under 30 crowd) have all been through the current public school system, which is about 12-16 years of socialist indoctrination, depending on if you went to college or not) and you're all just itching to turn our country into an extension of Europe. If this move had been 10 years later (once your generation has fully embedded itself into all facets of government) this betrayal of American values and Constitutionality may have succeeded. Fortunately for America, the trigger was pulled a little too early and we GenXers are still in control (the last generation who actually learned about our great country and the history of communism and other "isms" around the world (in my opinion, isms are not good).

                You want to see some real shit get stirred up? Let this Demo-led coupe actually try to throw out our elected POTUS. Our generation is pretty chilled. We are in mid-life and really just trying to live right and save for our retirements, but we were the ragers of the 90s. We were the punk rockers of the 80s. We may be in our 40s but we can still go out and do the kind of crap we've seen this little gay generation of kids doing, except we can drive there instead of being bused in. Don't fuck with GenX man... you don't know how crazy we can be (just ask your grandpa).

                Anyways, I've trolled enough on this thread. It was fun but at least I got to laugh at a stoned snowflake who thought he knew what was going on.

                Can't wait till you guys hit middle age and, maybe, finally understand some of what's going on this year.

                Deuces Stonedflake.

                1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: I'm loving this...

                  I'd like to mention here too, I've never seen the media be so rude to a President during interviews.

                  Oh dear, they shouldn't do that to a predisent who isn't the least bit presidential, no.

                  You know, I realize you younger folks (under 30 crowd)

                  Tell me, who would that be?

                  in my opinion, isms are not good

                  Then why are your postings dripping with patriotism?

  14. adnim Silver badge

    Comey calls Trump a liar

    Isn't Trump a politician?

    The word synonymous comes to mind

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Comey calls Trump a liar

      Trump's appeal to many voters was that he wasn't a politician. Or at least pretended not to be one.

      1. adnim Silver badge

        Re: Comey calls Trump a liar

        You may be right Adam 52, but so very few get rich by being honest, politician or otherwise. Oh sorry, my bad, he didn't get rich did he. He was born rich.

  15. IglooDude
    Meh

    And Comey's replacement will probably be someone who most recently defended a big-mouthed chief executive against allegations of politically motivated malice. That we could all hire folks as well-prepared for the job we want them to do...

  16. Suricou Raven

    I've not even bothered to read it fully, because I know what will happen.

    1. Comey will say some things that suggest Trump is a general ass and abused his power to try to cut short a potentially embarrassing investigation, and values loyalty to himself above anything else, but stop short of any actual claim of criminality.

    2. Trump will tweet something stupid about 'fake news.'

    3. Almost all Republicans - both the actual politicians and their popular supporters - will remain rallied behind Trump regardless and dismiss any accusations as a Democratic scheme. In politics, especially the US variety, party is everything. They might complain about him in private, but they won't turn on their own leader.

    4. Democrats will make many loud noises, but won't actually take any action, because they know the only action they can take is to try for impeachment - an attempt which is doomed to fail, due to point 3.

    At the end of the day the Republicans will regard the Democrats as treasonous liars who should be executed, and Democrats will regard the Republicans as fanatical nutjobs who are kept from becoming dictators only by their own incompetence, and we all remain right where we started. People have already chosen their side, and stand ready to dismiss immediately any claim that might suggest their side is wrong in any aspect.

    1. quxinot

      Re: I've not even bothered to read it fully, because I know what will happen.

      >3. Almost all Republicans - both the actual politicians and their popular supporters - will remain rallied behind Trump regardless and dismiss any accusations as a Democratic scheme. In politics, especially the US variety, party is everything. They might complain about him in private, but they won't turn on their own leader

      That's approximately equal to saying that all Muslims will remain rallied behind the jihadists attempting to destroy nonbelieving Christians.

      Pull your head out, it must be hard to breathe in there.

  17. DanielR

    Asking to cover up foreign bribery. This guy was taking payments from Turkey to influence foreign and military policy. Trump asks to cover it up.

  18. DanielR

    Voting machines have been hacked in many elections for years. I bet they have no answer why people were having Clinton being chosen for them or the voting count discrepancies ? They hack them themselves.

    I would concentrate on the payments to Flynn from turkey and Russia instead. There was no hacking. The CIA and NSA are the cyber criminals here.

  19. John F***ing Stepp

    I've been wondering for some time . . .

    If someone laid out a deck of cards, all of them the queen of spades, in front of the head Ompa Loopa; would it change anything? Probably not; that sort of thing only happens in books and movies.

    (Stiill, the moscovien cantidate would make for a good title.)

    No icon because I don't know whether I am making a joke or not.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    #BananaRepublicans

    Just a shame we could not watch the closed session. The open session was fascinating although clearly some questioners had forgotten their meds (or "stayed up too late"?!!). There was, mercifully, not as much partisan spin as I had expected. Comey came over as stiff shirted as one might expect, but he played well with those trying to make a point.

    The orange fart's lawyer has come out fighting, but, sadly, not spelling. However, can the GOP seriously countenance this playing out much longer? This hearing is just the tip of an iceberg that is already sinking the US's international credibilty. Yeah, sure, impeaching the D is going to get some rednecks riled, but leaving him to drown in his own over-confident ineptitude, and taking the Republicansm, and US economy, down with him, just ain't smart.

  21. BongoJoe

    One Mistake

    The one mistake that Trump appears to have made is to request, or require if you will, that Comey pledges loyalty to the President.

    Surely, both of these gentlemen should be loyal to the US Constitution and to no-one and to nothing else.

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Tapes?

    Tapes so we can restore from backup? I think we need to roll back to a known working version of the government. We'll loose lots of recent work, but I think most of that's damaged anyways.

    Wait, all the backups look like this?

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Tapes?

      Those tapes are corrupted. We will just have to rebuild it from the ground up.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Tapes?

        We will just have to rebuild it from the ground up.

        Maybe the US should try OpenGovernment for a change. I hear it's nowhere near as bloaty and crufty and with piles of patches upon patches (and it's still leaking and crashing despite) as what's currently running slogging along.

    2. steve 124

      Re: Tapes?

      Now that is funny Kevin. Had to give you a thumb up for that comment. Sometimes we forget this is a tech site. Good on you for reminding us with a chuckle. :)

  23. kain preacher Silver badge

    but OpenGov would put lobbyist,lawyers ,liars and thieves out of work.

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