The Comey statement concerning his conversations with the president has been released. It may contain a little for both critics and supporters of Trump, but overall does very little to damage the president, and may in fact, aid him. If one is tempted to draw the conclusion that Trump acted improperly by demanding loyalty and by pressuring the FBI to drop an ongoing investigation, the facts say otherwise. If Comey believed there was anything improper about conversations with the president, he certainly didn’t act like that happened at the time. Had he felt he was being asked to do something wrong, he had several choices to make: Report it up the chain of command and if nothing was done, report to the appropriate congressional oversight committees and if he was still not satisfied with the response, then he had to resign. Since none of the above steps were taken, we can rightfully assume the conversation may have been awkward but not seriously believed to be improper, unethical or illegal. Further, he shared his contemporaneous notes with colleagues who testified, as did he, that there was never any pressure to do anything improper. Contemporaneous notes can be useful but contemporaneous actions are determinative. Actions speak louder than words.
Certainly asking for “honest loyalty” can’t be considered a bad thing when there were so many illegal disclosures coming out of the intelligence community. There were enough people surrounding the president who were disloyal to the US and its elected leader.
It’s understandable that Comey is upset about being fired. It’s understandable that he would want to cast Trump in as bad light as possible. But regardless of the memo details, which were well-crafted to add to the “smoke” that the Democrats have been sniffing for months, they have not kindled a fire. At this point their smoke is more like smoke and mirrors.