Secrets or Lies? Two Presidents on Trial

This morning I’m watching the House Intelligence Committee hearings with FBI Director James Comey as the lead witness.  (Also testifying is Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the Director of the National Security Agency.)  Republican and Democratic members of the committee are asking about intelligence information and investigations bearing on the 2016 Presidential elections, especially possible involvements of Russian agents.

Comey is being very careful not to disclose any specific information about ongoing investigations, but Comey has disclosed that there is indeed an ongoing investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election.  There is a striking contrast in the questions that the majority and minority members of the committee are asking.

Republicans are asking about leaks of intelligence information, leaks whose content suggest collusion or coordination between members of the Trump campaign apparatus and Russian agents.  These members of Congress want to expose that leaks of classified intelligence information are improper and serious.

Democrats are asking whether Comey has any knowledge of any wiretapping of Trump or his campaign by U.S. intelligence agents.  Comey has specifically denied any such knowledge, thus exposing those Trump claims as lies, reckless lies.  Similarly he has denied any knowledge of cooperation of British intelligence agents in any wiretapping of the Trump campaign, again exposing this as a lie, one that slanders a trusted ally.

The testimony is vindicating Obama from Trump’s charges, and affirming Trump’s lies. It also is calling attention to leaks by U.S. officials of classified intelligence secrets.

The question for any citizen is whether you are more concerned about leaks of secret intelligence information, or whether you are more concerned about slanderous lies by the President of the United States.

Me, I’m more concerned about the lies by a sitting American President.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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