Correction, Please! Left-wing Journalists Remake Comey Testimony to Make Trump Look Bad
A sampling of news articles:
Item: Reporting on former FBI Director James Comey’s June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the New York Times ran an article that same day insinuating that after Comey’s testimony, charges of obstruction of justice against President Trump are in the offing. Under the headline “Comey Says Trump Tried to Derail Inquiry,” Matt Apuzzo and Emmarie Huettman wrote, “In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, [Comey] provided an unflattering back story to his abrupt dismissal and raised the question of whether Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct justice.”
Item: In a separate article for June 8 entitled “For Trump, the ‘Cloud’ Just Grew That Much Darker,” Peter Baker wrote in the New York Times, “Mr. Comey also revealed that he had turned over memos of his conversations with Mr. Trump to that newly appointed special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, suggesting that investigators may now be looking into whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by dismissing the F.B.I. director.” The article — slanted even by the standards one expects from the Times — includes the analysis by the reporter that “Mr. Comey’s testimony on Thursday was almost certainly the most damning j’accuse moment by a senior law enforcement official against a president in a generation.”
Item: In an article entitled “Comey’s testimony changed everything — and not in Trump’s favor,” the Washington Post reported on June 8 that President Trump is — because of Comey’s testimony — in very real danger of impeachment. The article by Jennifer Rubin is part of the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” series the Post has been running. Peppered with references to the near inevitability of impeachment, the article paints a picture of two points in time, “Before Comey and After Comey,” and says, “Before Comey, impeachment talk was not a real concern for Republicans. While they may still insist there is nothing to see here, Comey’s testimony turned impeachment into a serious topic of discussion.” Following up on that line, the article also asserts, “Before Comey, it was possible (although not likely) that Trump could have righted his ship, moving beyond the Russia scandal,” adding, “After Comey, it is impossible to imagine that the ‘cloud’ Trump so badly wanted to dissipate will vanish before the end of his term — which might well end before January 2021.” Based on Comey’s testimony — and the commentary of “a friend of Comey’s who spoke to him during the events at issue,” the article insists, “We have a legitimate question as to the president’s fitness for office.”
Item: The Washington Post reported — also on June 8 — under the headline “Comey lays out the case that Trump obstructed justice” that portions of Comey’s testimony “highlighted critical encounters that will be part of any evaluation of whether Trump committed a crime.” The article, written by Matt Zapotosky, asserts that the key elements of obstruction are all laid out in Comey’s testimony:
There was evidence of possible intent: when the president cleared the room so he could ask Comey — without the attorney general or his son-in-law present — about the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials after the 2016 election.
There was the suggestion of quid pro quo: when Trump repeatedly raised the status of Comey’s job as he asked for loyalty.
And there was the consequence: when Comey, having not steered investigators away from Flynn, was fired by Trump in May, long before the end of his 10-year term.
Correction: While the Times and the Post may wish that Comey’s testimony shows that President Trump obstructed justice and left himself open to impeachment, any honest reading — or viewing — of that testimony shows that these liberal mainstream media peddlers of fake news are guilty of projecting their wishes onto his testimony. What he said bears little to no resemblance to what they say he said. But — in an obvious absence of anything approaching journalistic integrity — neither the Times nor the Post seems to have any qualms cherry-picking Comey’s testimony and leaving the truth on the cutting room floor.
Photo of James Comey: AP Images
This article appears in the July 10, 2017, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.