Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying today to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about goings on between himself and President Trump following Trump's obstruction of the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. It promises to be an explosive hearing. Watch history being made right here:
So why is Twitch, a game-streaming service broadcasting the hearing at all? In a brief blog post they stated simply: "You may remember that last summer we broadcast the Republican and Democratic conventions on Twitch. We wanted to provide the Twitch community with an easy, familiar way to get involved in the political process. Thousands of you joined us to not only hear the speakers, but also to engage with each other via Twitch chat." Simply put, it's important, and you need to know what's going on.
"This is the John Dean moment, if you want to compare it to Watergate," says Nick Akerman, a former assistant special Watergate prosecutor, referring to the former White House counsel whose Senate testimony ultimately implicated President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up. "It’s going to be the first time the American public is going to hear what these conversations were about. Right now, we’re just getting it second-hand in press reports."
Comey's opening statement already portrayed an openness and candidness that has so far translated to his public hearing. While there are details that will ultimately remain classified from the public and only disclosed during the closed hearing. Peruse this excerpt from his written opening statement, published yesterday, for a taste of what we can expect over the next few hours.
"It is important to understand that FBI counter-intelligence investigations are different than the more-commonly known criminal investigative work. The Bureau’s goal in a counter-intelligence investigation is to understand the technical and human methods that hostile foreign powers are using to influence the United States or to steal our secrets. The FBI uses that understanding to disrupt those efforts.
"Sometimes disruption takes the form of alerting a person who is targeted for recruitment or influence by the foreign power. Sometimes it involves hardening a computer system that is being attacked. Sometimes it involves “turning” the recruited person into a double-agent, or publicly calling out the behavior with sanctions or expulsions of embassy-based intelligence officers. On occasion, criminal prosecution is used to disrupt intelligence activities."