What to Do and What Not to Do About the Comey Memo

Courtesy of Andrew Harrer for Bloomberg.

The news of the Comey Memo serve as the rising conflict in the fantastical novel that is Trump’s Russia fiasco. While we haven’t reached any sort of climax yet, it’s hard to think there isn’t one coming.

Today, headlines dropped on a Comey memo that states that Trump explicitly asked him to end the investigation on Michael Flynn. The memo was initially reported on by the New York Times and has been confirmed by several other sources, including the AP via the Washington Post, who plainly stated that “Comey wrote in memo that President Donald Trump asked him to end FBI investigation into former aide Flynn.”

As I talked about in one of my most recent articles, the media frenzy surrounding Comey’s termination — and much of the Russian investigation in general — has relied largely on allegation and suspicion and less on objective fact. The news of the memo, though, is the first hard piece of evidence that has been bestowed upon our cupped, begging hands.

Trump and Flynn courtesy of George Frey for Getty.

Despite the White House’s perplexingly vague denial of the nature of the memo, it’s still there. Obviously, the actual significance of the memo is contingent on several key factors: if Comey and his memos are considered credible, if the context of the entire conversation fit the facts of the report, and, if all of those things are set, the reasoning for Trump’s request to Comey. Still, the report is the first fact that could actually lead us in the direction of anywhere with the investigation. Remember — we still don’t have any clear evidence of Trump’s alleged interference with the Russian investigation. This report is, or at least it seems to be, the most promising clue on which we may actually rely.

Moving on, here’s what I think should — and shouldn’t — happen as a result of the report.

I do believe Comey should testify on the memo and disclose the facts of Trump’s relationship with both him and Flynn. The only way we — citizens, journalists, and law enforcement alike — can truly analyze the situation to the fullest extent is if Comey discusses it himself under oath. I also believe the White House should actually acknowledge the situation instead of using bizarre coded language as it did in its statement, but that’s probably a push.

What I don’t think should happen is another case of mass hysteria, where the words “Trump” and “impeachment” become synonymous and we extrapolate small facts into grand scale myths. The report is absolutely damning, and I can’t help but say it feels somewhat satisfying to finally feel like we’re covering some ground in the Trump/Comey quicksand. Still, the report requires a lot more time and action to really be explosive or politically effective.

Courtesy of Joshua Roberts for Reuters.

In sum, we have to continue doing what it seems like we’ve been doing since the day Trump was inaugurated: grit our teeth, hold our breath, and wait.

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