Former Detroit FBI Official Reacts to Comey Testimony

“I think we kicked off the game yesterday,” says Andy Arena.

Jake Neher/WDET

On Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey testified for three hours publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

There were a few bombshells in his testimony. One was that he thinks of President Donald Trump as a liar, and worried about his propensity to lie. The other was that he — James Comey — leaked the memos he wrote about his encounters with the president to the press, via a personal friend. Comey says he wrote the memos in an unclassified manner on purpose so that they could be made public if Trump lied about the meetings.

The president and his lawyer have both said that the testimony served primarily as vindication that he — President Trump — wasn’t being investigated for collusion with Russia during the election. And Trump isn’t wrong on that point. There is an element of vindication in that regard. But what wasn’t clarified was whether Trump is now being investigated for obstruction of justice.

“Obstruction of justice is a very difficult thing to prove,” says Andy Arena, executive director of the Detroit Crime Commission, and the former special agent in charge with the FBI in Detroit. He says there clearly is enough evidence worth investigating to determine whether there was obstruction.

“There’s some evidence there, and there are some things that need to be followed up on.”

Arena says he’s known Comey for a long time, and thinks he’s an honorable man who gave honest testimony. But while many Capitol-watchers, politics nerds, and otherwise concerned citizens were glued to the hearing yesterday, Arena says he thinks that hearing was just the beginning of a larger story.

“I think we kicked off the game yesterday.”

To hear more discussion about the Comey testimony on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.


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