The Senate Intelligence Committee appearance by fired FBI Director James Comey is underway. The world is watching. And pundits galore will be commenting.
Here in Arkansas, a few things:
* HONEST DEALER?Sen. Tom Cotton is on the committee. Will he be a thorough investigator or serve as a protector for his party's president? Early questioning seemed supportive of Trump, though he didn't get the disavowal he probably wanted when he asked Comey if he had evidence Trump "colluded" with Russians. He declined to answer "in an open setting." He also said it would be answered in the investigation. Oops. Dan Pfeifer, a former Obama advisor, ripped Cotton on Twitter:
Tom Cotton really thought he was smartly helping Trump but per usual opening his mouth has the opposite effect of what he intended
* DISHONEST DEALER: Arkansas will contribute a partisan commentator unmoved by facts, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. She's part of the Republican National Committee response team. But you can bet she'll mostly be regurgitating its talking points here. They say that James Comey's prepared testimony exonerated Donald Trump in every way. And, oh, by the way, Comey is a liar.
* RUSSIA: I've been stunned by comments from Arkansas readers on Twitter and Facebook who continue to insist that this is all fake news, a giant case of sour grapes about the defeat of Hillary Clinton. One insisted to me today to produce proof that Russia or Russians had had ANY involvement in the 2016 election. This is a good signal of how tribal we've become, how closed hardened partisans come to alternative views. Happily, even Republicans on the Senate committee say this investigation is precisely about the abundant evidence of Russian involvement in the 2016 election, an involvement that raises questions more about the future than the past. A "massive effort," Comey says.