“It was scheduled to be the worst week of the Trump presidency and now, now it’s going to be much, much worse.” — MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell:
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testifies today, and former FBI Director James Comey testifies tomorrow. Asked about Comey on Tuesday, the Russian Usurper said simply: “I wish him luck.”
There idle gossip (Hi Politico!) that the Russian Usurper could live-tweet during the hearing, though he has a speech scheduled shortly after Comey begins his testimony. His attorney might be sharing the Clorox jug with Reince, but I’m only guessing. (Not guessing.)
Comey expected to refute Trump: Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation. … Comey is not going to conclude whether the President obstructed justice.”
Comey Didn’t Want to Be Alone With President, He Told Sessions: Comey believed Mr. Sessions should protect the F.B.I. from White House influence, the officials said, and pulled him aside after a meeting in February to tell him that private interactions between the F.B.I. director and the president were inappropriate. But Mr. Sessions could not guarantee that the president would not try to talk to Mr. Comey alone again.
Both White House officials and an outside group that backs Trump plan to hammer Comey in the coming days for misstatements he made about Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails during his last appearance on Capitol Hill. An ad created by the pro-Trump Great America Alliance — a nonprofit ‘issues’ group that isn’t required to disclose its donors — casts Comey as a ‘showboat’ who was ‘consumed with election meddling’ instead of focusing on combating terrorism. The 30-second spot is slated to run digitally on Wednesday and appear the next day on CNN and Fox News.
The Republican National Committee has been preparing talking points ahead of the hearing, which will be aired live on multiple TV outlets. An RNC research email Monday issued a challenge to the lawmakers who will question Comey. There’s bipartisan agreement, the email says, that Comey ‘needs to answer a simple question about his conversations with President Trump: If you were so concerned, why didn’t you act on it or notify Congress?’
Today’s Coats hearing also features Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, NSA Director Michael Rogers and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who will no doubt be asked about the leak of a classified report on Russian hacking to the Intercept, among many other issues.
Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats “told associates in March that President Trump asked him if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe.
On March 22, less than a week after being confirmed by the Senate, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats attended a briefing at the White House together with officials from several government agencies. As the briefing was wrapping up, Trump asked everyone to leave the room except for Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The president then started complaining about the FBI investigation and Comey’s handling of it, said officials familiar with the account Coats gave to associates. Two days earlier, Comey had confirmed in a congressional hearing that the bureau was probing whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 race. After the encounter, Coats discussed the conversation with other officials and decided that intervening with Comey as Trump had suggested would be inappropriate, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.
I don’t know how significant this is in regards to the hearings, but AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III offered to resign right before the Anywhere But Home Tour when the Russian Usurper decided to embarrass us on the world stage:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his resignation to President Donald Trump amid Trump’s rising frustration with the series of events that culminated in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign’s contacts with Russian officials during last year’s election.
Trump ultimately refused Sessions’ offer, which came just before Trump embarked on his first international trip in late May, according to a person who regularly speaks with Sessions. This person said the attorney general offered to resign out of a sense of obligation because he was aware of how angered Trump was about his decision to recuse from the Russia investigations in March. …
Trump has continuously — sometimes publicly — expressed his frustration with Sessions’ decision to formally step back from any investigation of Russian election interference. Sessions has said his decision came after he consulted extensively with Justice Department lawyers about what was appropriate. A second source close to Sessions described Trump as ‘obsessed’ with Sessions’ recusal, describing it as an ongoing flashpoint ever since Sessions made the decision. ‘I guess it’s finally gotten out that Trump is pissed at Jeff,’ this person said.
Make no mistake: If Jeff Sessions were to resign as Attorney General, it would be the beginning of the end for Trump.
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) June 7, 2017
Why I think it is significant: Who’s in charge if Sessions leaves? The 4th Reich fired all the US Attorneys and there is no FBI Director still/yet since the mango-hued shitgibbon fired Comey and failed to convince Traitor Joe to become the head of the FBI.