Comey has spoken privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III to work out the parameters for his testimony to ensure there are no legal entanglements as a result of his public account, a source said. Comey will likely sit down with Mueller, a longtime colleague at the Justice Department, for a formal interview only after his public testimony.
If Comey confirms to the committee that the information reported by the New York Times and Washington Post regarding Trump’s efforts to have him drop an investigation into Michael Flynn’s Russian connections, will Trump call Comey a liar? That kind of accusation is much more than a simple “he better hope there are no tapes” tweet. It’s an accusation of perjury by the President of the United States.
With Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused, and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein having penned the memo detailing Comey’s sins in office…who would even be proper to investigate such a charge? It would likely be Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed for the Russia probe. But what could he do with an accusation that turns out, itself, to be false?
Probably nothing. but the press would have a field day with it. So it’s likely that White House counsel Don McGahn and Trump’s personal Russia attorney Marc Kasowitz are screaming in the president’s ear “NO!” at his nearly-irresistible temptation to tweet or say something provocative.
“Our job, we are focused on the president’s agenda,” Spicer said in a 12-minute, off-camera press gaggle, adding that “going forward,” Kasowitz will answer any press questions about the Russia investigation. Spicer referred to Kasowitz as “White House counsel,” although Kasowitz — Mr. Trump’s longtime attorney — is being retained as part of an outside legal team to represent him in the investigation into Russian interference in the election.
If only they could take his smartphone…which should have been done at noon on January 20th.
It really doesn’t matter what Trump says or tweets after Comey’s testimony. If what’s purportedly in the NYT “memos” is confirmed under oath, the press will attack Trump for “lawyering up” as proof of guilt if he stays silent, or for making wild unproved accusations if he responds. Comey may say some damaging things, but the press will inevitably turn it into a Trump witch hunt–guilty until proven innocent.