The Corner

Law & the Courts

Finally: Comey Scheduled To Testify Next Week

Good news:

Why is this good? Because — hopefully — we’ll finally start breaking out of the cycle of anonymous scoops, White House denials, and anonymous countercharges that’s poisoning our political discourse. Rather than speculating about sources and wondering about the context of memos, we’ll see live testimony, under oath. The American people will have the opportunity to judge the credibility of a key witness themselves. 

I firmly believe that anonymous sources have their uses (and the White House apparently agrees; it leaks like a sieve when it leaking suits its purposes), but they also have their obvious risks. Anonymously-sourced reporting asks the public to place an enormous amount of trust in the reporter. We’re asked to simply trust that the source is informed and authoritative. We’re asked to trust that the reporter has done his or her due diligence,  and we’re asked to trust that they can discern when they’re being manipulated. As a result, anonymous sourcing can often begin a serious investigation, but conclusions require testimony. A key part of that testimony starts next Thursday.