All eyes are on Capitol Hill Thursday as former FBI Director Jim Comey is testifying on his conversations with President Donald Trump in advance of his firing less than a month ago. In what is the most-anticipated political moment in ages, Comey is set to testify about what he interpreted to be Trump’s efforts to try to influence the investigation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. He will also detail Trump’s request for personal loyalty—all of which are considered at least improper, and at worst, approaching obstruction of justice. Bars in DC are playing drinking games, Trump may or may not live-tweet, and we’ll have the latest on Time.com throughout the day.
The GOP is working to discredit Comey, casting him as a serial fabulist. “James Comey Plays Fast And Loose With The Truth,” one opposition research document distributed to reporters was titled. Teams of researchers and communicators are preparing to attack Comey and defend the president, who believes he has been vindicated Comey’s comments in his prepared testimony that he informed the president that he was not the personal subject of an investigation. But there are many unanswered and troubling questions about the president’s role.
A trial for Trump. The test for the nation. And a striking moment in American political history.
Here are your must reads:
President Trump Faces a Moment of Truth as Comey Testifies
The White House—and the nation—await his testimony [TIME]
Donald Trump’s Loyalty Pledge for the FBI Challenges the Nation
TIME’s Massimo Calabresi on Comey’s revelations
The Suite of Power
TIME’s Alex Altman on why Donald Trump’s Washington hotel is the capital’s new swamp
Legal Experts Say Trump Comments Inappropriate, Maybe Worse
A test for the president [Associated Press]
Comey’s Political Shrewdness Is on Display in Tussle With Trump
Meticulous notes and savvy timing [New York Times]
Trump on Iran Attacks: Countries That Sponsor Terrorism ‘Risk Falling Victim’ to It
The president’s statement didn’t condemn the attacks [Wall Street Journal]
“He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia…” — Comey in his prepared testimony
“I can’t imagine the president not standing by his own statement” on not asking Comey to drop Flynn investigation. — White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders
Bits and Bites
Rick Perry Sees ‘Opportunities’ to Cooperate With China on Clean Energy [Associated Press]