By Sebastian Shuken ’18
James B. Comey, who President Donald Trump recently fired as FBI director, spent approximately three hours discussing his communications with the president in a testimony given before the Senate on June 8. The day prior, he released a written report of his testimony with many new details in it.
Comey stated that he believed that President Trump tried to derail the FBI investigation into former national security advisor Mike Flynn and that Trump had lied to him throughout the time he was in his position. The testimony generated a wide array of different emotions around the country and school, with some finding that the information points to lying from the White House and other information pointing to security for the Trump Administration.
“There were a lot of lies thrown around,” Addie Hogue ’19 said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction that someone as important as Comey has the ability to speak about this. Now that Comey is not FBI director, he was able to be more honest about the situation both in Russia and at the White House.”
Other students expressed doubts as to whether Comey’s statements in his testimony were accurate.
“Even though Comey is not the head of the FBI anymore I expected him to be more consistent in his responses,” Christian Montgomery ’18 said. “While he said that the White House was lying he did not suggest that the White House had any connection to the Russian government which was contradicting.”
Comey described his talk with Trump at a dinner on January 27 shortly after Trump’s inauguration saying, “a few moments later, the President said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed.”
Some showed their concern for the relationship that Trump cultivated with Comey.
“President Trump fired Comey because he believed that the investigation would tarnish his administration and would ultimately lower his approval rating,” Lindsay Dry ’19 said. “Trump didn’t want Comey to continue the investigation and expected him to follow his requests.”
Although there was no information provided that would point to any criminal charges against Trump, there was possible evidence of abuse of power that might lead to impeachment proceedings.
“As of now, I think Trump appears guilty,” Dry continued, “but I cannot say anything with certainty.” Dry believes that Trump could have some criminal charges involved in both his interactions with Comey but also his administration’s possible ties with Russia.
“Personally I think that when you are dealing with relationships in politics you need to be as transparent as possible,” Christine Kaszanek a science teacher said, “and they must be incredibly careful of the wording and requests they make because they don’t know the entanglements that could happen.”
Photo used under the Creative Commons License