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The opening statement by James Comey has been released. It includes details that the press has already reported on, but nothing new.

Trump asked Comey for loyalty from the very beginning. He probably wanted loyalty that exceeds  the independence of the FBI.  In addition, he asked Comey to “let Flynn go”. This implies an obstruction of justice, but yet again, we already knew that.

So, part of tomorrow’s drama is gone.  The Q&A session could include more interesting tidbits. It seems that Trump did try to obstruct justice, but not in the most direct manner. The story will probably go on and on.

In the meantime, it’s a mini relief rally.

Here is the passage about Flynn:

The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would “let this go.”

And here is the key passage about loyalty:

My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.

You can read it in full 350651767-James-Comey-opening-statement

It’s risk on: USD/JPY is rising and gold is falling. Here is the dollar/yen chart. The pair is getting closer to 110, with a high of 109.85. The low for the day was 109.17. Resistance above 110 is at 111.60.

— more coming