May 12, 2017

"Attention, liberals: Comey deserved to be fired, and the Constitution is just fine. The hyperventilation in Washington is unjustified."

Says lawprof Richard Epstein.
[T]he critics in Washington should hold their fire until they have something more concrete to go on. The great tragedy is that too many voices are so rigidly and irretrievably anti-Trump — so opposed to him on every aspect of domestic policy and foreign policy — that it clouds their judgment.
And when and if they do get something more concrete, we might not be listening anymore.

AND: Then there are the people — including Donald Trump Jr. — who are pushing this...


... which snopes analyzes as true but so what?

ALSO: In Buzzfeed: "Why Is A Top Harvard Law Professor Sharing Anti-Trump Conspiracy Theories?/Among the prominent anti-Trumpers spreading unconfirmed information are famed constitutional scholars, Pulitzer prize winners, and United States Senators."
On April 22, [Laurence] Tribe shared a story from a website called the Palmer Report — a site that has been criticized for spreading hyperbole and false claims — entitled “Report: Trump gave $10 million in Russian money to Jason Chaffetz when he leaked FBI letter”... “I don’t know whether this is true,” Tribe’s tweet reads, “But key details have been corroborated and none, to my knowledge, have been refuted. If true, it’s huge.”

Reached by email, Tribe said...  “When I share any story on Twitter, typically with accompanying content of my own that says something like “If X is true, then Y,” I do so because a particular story seems to be potentially interesting, not with the implication that I’ve independently checked its accuracy or that I vouch for everything it asserts.”

Asked whether he had considered his role in spreading unconfirmed information, given his stature in American society, Tribe responded that “I really don’t have anything to tell you about my thoughts regarding my personal role in sharing information over social media in this usually agnostic manner.”
It's social media. It runs on interestingness. I remember years ago, in the first few years of blogging, I'd throw out things I thought were interesting and play with ideas, and I'd get pushed back with the phrase "you, a law professor...." so often that it became a running joke around here. But I don't see that phrase anymore. I thought, like Professor Tribe, that I was showing you things that caught my eye and always protecting my integrity by never saying anything that I didn't know, using phrases like Tribe's if this is true, then.

CORRECTION: I had an interesting homophone typo there: "things that caught my I." A Freudian slip: Blogging is so narcissistic.

162 comments:

Real American said...

Many of us stopped listening years ago.

Rusty said...

At this point the usual suspects are just comic relief.
You know, rattle their cage. watch em fling poo.

I Callahan said...

The great tragedy is that too many voices are so rigidly and irretrievably anti-Trump — so opposed to him on every aspect of domestic policy and foreign policy — that it clouds their judgment.

Thank you, Captain Obvious!

sy1492 said...

So Comey immediately leaked the details of his dinner with Trump to the NYTimes. Hmmm, maybe Comey is the source of some leaks in the past. Trump should of fired him on 1/20/2017.

Chuck said...

Good God, Professor Althouse; don't you want a solid, detailed explanation for all of this? Even more so, because the Trump Administration has been so spectacularly misleading about all of it?

Whether you favor the goals of the Trump Administration (I favor many of them), or whether you adore Trump or loathe Trump, isn't it basically required for the proper functioning of the federal government with the necessary confidence of the nation at large, for all of this to be investigated and explained?

I'm not going to presume that Trump is guilty of anything. I am certainly not presuming that Trump was elected illegitimately. I don't think he was. I will not at all be surprised if it turns out that Flynn, Manafort and Stone are all being investigated by the FBI, but Trump is not. I just don't know, and I am not presuming or expecting anything.

I am doing my best to make it impossible for you or anyone else to lay the label "Trump Derangement Syndrome" at my feet, as a Republican/Trump voter.

But holy shit; how about a serious and detailed explanation? With testimony under oath and a public record?

roesch/voltaire said...

Look Trump admitted in his interview with Lester Holt that he decided to fire Comey because of "this Russia thing with Trump and Rtussia..." and that is obstruction and should be a concern for everyone-- if the Show boater in charge was not worried about his sinking ship why not just make all the documents etc accessible?

Gahrie said...

I'm not going to presume that Trump is guilty of anything

Bull fucking shit

Gahrie said...

But holy shit; how about a serious and detailed explanation? With testimony under oath and a public record?

Why start now?

buwaya said...

So what - is that whole Vince Foster business was truly fishy, and still is.
I have no clue what the whole truth is, but from what is known it is at the very least an inflection point in the scope of corruption of the Clinton operation.

Chuck said...

sy1492 said...
So Comey immediately leaked the details of his dinner with Trump to the NYTimes. Hmmm, maybe Comey is the source of some leaks in the past. Trump should of fired him on 1/20/2017.


How do you know that? I posit this possibility; that people involved with the Trump Campaign investigation were briefed by Comey, officially, on Comey's dinner with Trump. And that those persons then leaked to the Times. FBI people, not Comey, who hate Trump for reasons having to do with protecting the FBI and its integrity.

Where do Trump fans -- and especially Trump himself -- step off, griping about leaks? Trump is, as a matter of record, the kind of guy who regularly leaked to newspapers while posing as "John Baron" and "John Miller," in such a laughably ham-handed way that the reporters were in hysterics over it. And then, proving that it was no joke to Trump himself, he lied about it.

traditionalguy said...

Vince doesn't look really depressed in that pic. He was a good actor, because he was so depressed that later that day he managed to hold a gun behind his own head and shoot himself in the brain with two shots because he was so depressed by living.

Matthew Sablan said...

"But holy shit; how about a serious and detailed explanation? With testimony under oath and a public record?"

-- We have a public record (the memo). Unless you think McCabe lied about the firing (that the investigation won't really go on), or Feinstein/Grassley lied -- there's nothing to be gained by gumming up with ANOTHER pointless investigation.

Trump fired a guy who misled/lied to Congress, fumbled multiple investigations AND, frankly, Trump didn't like him. Any one of those three reasons are perfectly valid.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Chuck,

Why the F do we need an investigation of anything related to the Comey firing? The president has the authority to fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason (as Comey himself said just a day or so ago after the firing).

End of story.

No need for any investigation. The why's and how's and wherefore's are rabbit holes. Even if every reason Trump gave was total BS... so what? He can give a reason, not give a reason, lie about his reason, whatever.

Snark said...

Keep it up. Keep on indulging yourselves, imagining that the institutions that underpin democracy are just going to protect themselves. That they're just going to be there as they always have been, just because.

Matthew Sablan said...

"and that is obstruction and should be a concern for everyone"

-- McCabe said that the investigation is ongoing and that the White House has not in any way obstructed it.

So, unless you think the Clintonite, who pocketed nearly half a million from Hillary Clinton, is lying to protect Trump, there was no obstruction.

traditionalguy said...

I believe I have figured out Chuck. He is the commenter name for John McCain.

rcocean said...

Hard to believe that was 20 something years ago. Hillary looks very attractive in that photo. Like I say, everyone looks better in B&W.

rcocean said...

Is this today's official "Chucks and friends" thread?

I Callahan said...

Good God, Professor Althouse; don't you want a solid, detailed explanation for all of this? Even more so, because the Trump Administration has been so spectacularly misleading about all of it?

If Trump takes a dump in the White House, I don't want a solid, detailed explanation. There is as much evidence of a crime, or some other ethical violation, in that example as well as this whole Russia mess.

Whether you favor the goals of the Trump Administration (I favor many of them), or whether you adore Trump or loathe Trump, isn't it basically required for the proper functioning of the federal government with the necessary confidence of the nation at large, for all of this to be investigated and explained?

Where is the line drawn? When do you decide you need an investigation and explanation for anything? Who is that up to? How long does such an investigation go on?

I'm not going to presume that Trump is guilty of anything. I am certainly not presuming that Trump was elected illegitimately. I don't think he was. I will not at all be surprised if it turns out that Flynn, Manafort and Stone are all being investigated by the FBI, but Trump is not. I just don't know, and I am not presuming or expecting anything.

The process is the punishment, Chuck. Let's follow your prescription, and maybe in 2 years, they find nothing, but someone chirps to the press 3 days before election day 2018 that they may have "found something", that turns into nothing the day after the election. I'm SURE that won't have ANY effect on the outcome of the congressional elections...

I am doing my best to make it impossible for you or anyone else to lay the label "Trump Derangement Syndrome" at my feet, as a Republican/Trump voter. But holy shit; how about a serious and detailed explanation? With testimony under oath and a public record?

You aren't trying nearly as hard as you say you are. You could just be non-emotional, look at the "evidence" that HAS come out, and just draw the reasonable conclusion that there is nothing there. Like someone who is NOT suffering from TDS would.

You have lost it, Chuck. There really is no other way to say it.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Depends what the meaning of "serves at the pleasure" is . . .

I Callahan said...

So Comey immediately leaked the details of his dinner with Trump to the NYTimes. Hmmm, maybe Comey is the source of some leaks in the past. Trump should of fired him on 1/20/2017.

How do you know that? I posit this possibility; that people involved with the Trump Campaign investigation were briefed by Comey, officially, on Comey's dinner with Trump. And that those persons then leaked to the Times. FBI people, not Comey, who hate Trump for reasons having to do with protecting the FBI and its integrity.

I don't know how anybody with a modicum of intelligence can POSSIBLY type that sentence, other than someone who's afflicted with TDS. There is less evidence that Trump cronies talked with Russians about election integrity, as Comey leaking his dinner details to the NYT, yet your first reaction is to doubt it.

Michael Guarino said...

When Vox feels like it has to Voxsplain to liberals, things have gotten way out of hand.

I Callahan said...

Keep it up. Keep on indulging yourselves, imagining that the institutions that underpin democracy are just going to protect themselves. That they're just going to be there as they always have been, just because.

The SKY IS FALLING!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

Darrell said...

Allegations followed by investigations, followed by a finding of "unfounded." Rinse and repeat in multiple cycles. I'm beginning to think that Rev, Jesse Jackson was right when he said something like sometimes you don't have to fear the allegations as much as the allegators. As he spoke this, he might have been saying "alligators," so who knows?

Robert Cook said...

Here is a good and very entertaining discussion of Comey's firing...from someone indisputably on the left.

DanTheMan said...

>>The president has the authority to fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason

I bet there's a judge on the 9th Circuit who disagrees, and would order his reinstatement.

Matthew Sablan said...

"isn't it basically required for the proper functioning of the federal government with the necessary confidence of the nation at large, for all of this to be investigated and explained?"

-- This is the reasoning used against Ted Stevens and others who suffered Democrat never-ending investigations. Where do they go to get their reputations back?

I Callahan said...

Good stuff, RC. I only perused it, but here is what I drew:

I don't necessarily agree with the writer's general view on things, but in the context of this whole mess, it's pretty close to the mark.

buwaya said...

"you don't have to fear the allegations as much as the allegators. As he spoke this, he might have been saying "alligators,"

Crocodiles are more fearsome, on the whole.

DKWalser said...

The "so what" of the firing of William Sessions by Bill Clinton the day before Vince Foster's death is the same so what about Trump's firing of Comey. If you assume that Comey was investigating Trump, firing him looks more than just a little bad. If you assume that Vince Foster's death wasn't a suicide and that the Clinton's might have been involved in his murder, firing the FBI director the day before his murder would be a good way to prevent the FBI from looking too closely at his death.

Both are examples of conspiracy theories. The difference is there is less basis in fact to be suspicious of Trump than there is of the Clinton's. And, there is precious little basis to any suspicions the Clintons murdered Foster.

Rusty said...

roesch/voltaire said...
"Look Trump admitted in his interview with Lester Holt that he decided to fire Comey because of "this Russia thing with Trump and Rtussia..." and that is obstruction and should be a concern for everyone-- if the Show boater in charge was not worried about his sinking ship why not just make all the documents etc accessible?"

Arguing facts not in evidence.
First you wanted Comey fired and now you don't want Comey fired. Is liberalism/progressivism some kind of dimentia?
Get a grip, man.
This is like your, "Walker is going to privatize deer hunting in Wisconsin!!" hysteria.
Lookit.
Until you have proof just calm down.
This , "Somebody do something or were all gonna die!!!"
shit is getting old.
Buncha pussies.

Jason Alicea said...

which snopes analyzes as true but so what?


The so what is the multitude of Dems running around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming Constitutional Crisis!!! Unprecedented!!! WELL NO. IT IS NOT UNPRECEDENTED FOR A President to fire an FBI head for wearing ugly shoes, they serve at the pleasure of the President.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I really haven't seen any hyperventilation by liberals. Hillary Clinton hasn't said anything, neither has Barack Obama. Ann Althouse is a liberal and she's not hyperventilating. I'm seeing a lot of hyperventilation on Fox and CNN, bot those aren't liberals either.

Angel-Dyne said...

Jason Alicea to AA: "...which snopes analyzes as true but so what?"


The so what is the multitude of Dems running around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming Constitutional Crisis!!![...]


I read that as "which snopes analyzes as 'true but so what'?". I.e., the "so what is Snopes', not Althouse's.

Rene Saunce said...

I'd like the FBI to look into who killed Seth Rich.

Chuck said...

AlbertAnonymous said...
Chuck,

Why the F do we need an investigation of anything related to the Comey firing? The president has the authority to fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason (as Comey himself said just a day or so ago after the firing).


This presumes a fallacy so massive, that I would hope Althouse would laugh you out of a classroom. (Wait; she'd never do that in Madison, "microaggressions," and all.)

Just because an official has legal power to take an action, doesn't mean that it is automatically beyond reproach.

A cop can shoot people if circumstances warrant. But not every police shooting is warranted.

A senator can vote for or against legislation. But if a bribe is involved in the vote, then it may be illegal.

The IRS can approve, or deny 501(c) status to an applying organization. But if IRS administrators conspire to deny or delay status to Tea Party organizations because of political beliefs, then that should be investigated.

If Trump fired Comey due to Trump's feeling threatened by an FBI investigation, or because Comey declined to offer his loyalty to Trump in terms Trump demanded, or because of truthful testimony Comey gave to Congress, then the public should know.

Henry said...

which snopes analyzes as true but so what?

Which is exactly the point.

And for more context, think of all the FBI directors that didn't get fired.

Mike said...

Hmmm. A voice of sanity. Surely the pussyhatters and nevertrumpers will stone him by day's end.

"Burn the witch!"

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Vichy Chuck in rare form today, displaying his lifelong Republican credentials and how he in now way has Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Chuck said...

Lulz.

Trump throws staff under bus; says that things move to fast for them (and, uh, I guess, Vice President Pence) to be perfectly accurate:


Donald J. Trump
✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!....

7:59 AM - 12 May 2017


You couldn't make this shit up.

Henry said...

If Trump fired Comey due to Trump's feeling threatened by an FBI investigation, or because Comey declined to offer his loyalty to Trump in terms Trump demanded, or because of truthful testimony Comey gave to Congress, then the public should know.

-- or because of false testimony Comey gave to Congress --

Which was Trump's stated reason.

Mike said...

Chuck said...
Good God, Professor Althouse; don't you want a solid, detailed explanation for all of this?

Whether you favor ... for all of this to be investigated and explained?

....

But holy shit; how about a serious and detailed explanation?


WTF are you blathering on about Chuck? Stop trying to avoid your rightly earned label and just spell it out already. All of WHAT?

AlbertAnonymous said...

Chuck,

It doesn't presume anything. It states a fact.

You want to claim he did something illegal? Knock yourself out. You want to investigate everything Trump because reasons, IDGAF.

What a waste of energy....

Darrell said...

Martha Stewart's revenge. She got to Trump.

Darrell said...

What a waste of energy....

What a waste of taxpayers' $$$.

gspencer said...

Lefties,

When DJT shots someone on 5th Avenue, as he once imagined himself doing in a mock exercise demonstrating the strength of his support, then it might be time to be vexed.

Otherwise, STFU.

JohnAnnArbor said...

President Clinton fired his FBI director on July 19th, 1993, The Day before Vince Foster was found dead in Marcy Park.

Probably a coincidence. Most likely, a coincidence.

The Clintons sure are the subject of a LOT of coincidences.

Darrell said...

Donald J. Trump
✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump
That Chuck guy at Althouse is a real asshole! What a fuckhead! Sad.

Mike said...

it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!

A statement that could be uttered by anyone in any job and be perfectly true. Despite the trumpian syntax employed what about this statement excerpt is WRONG, Chuck? Were Obama's surrogates perfectly accurate? Is anyone other than you, in your eyes?

rhhardin said...

Epstein is pretty thoroughly anti-Trump too.

John Lynch said...

This whole thing is strange to me. As I understand it, the FBI Director works for the President. Are we saying FBI Director is a lifetime post? If it isn't, someone has to fire him, sometime, or he can stay on as long as he wants. How'd that work out with J. Edgar Hoover?

About the only thing I like about Trump is "You're Fired." He'll fire people. It's great.

rhhardin said...

Epstein doesn't know what he's good at and what he's not good at.

He's good at Roman law and English common law and their incorporation in the Constitution, as a way to get the right interpretation of the Constition.

Meaning interpretations that don't ruin the whole system within a few years.

Example: civil rights laws.

Chuck said...

I Callahan said...
So Comey immediately leaked the details of his dinner with Trump to the NYTimes. Hmmm, maybe Comey is the source of some leaks in the past. Trump should of fired him on 1/20/2017.

"How do you know that? I posit this possibility; that people involved with the Trump Campaign investigation were briefed by Comey, officially, on Comey's dinner with Trump. And that those persons then leaked to the Times. FBI people, not Comey, who hate Trump for reasons having to do with protecting the FBI and its integrity."

I don't know how anybody with a modicum of intelligence can POSSIBLY type that sentence, other than someone who's afflicted with TDS. There is less evidence that Trump cronies talked with Russians about election integrity, as Comey leaking his dinner details to the NYT, yet your first reaction is to doubt it.


Manafort and Stone are under FBI investigation, as far as I know. Flynn is under subpoena. There is a federal grand jury.

Flynn was fired, by Trump, for Russian-related dealings. Manafort was fired by Trump, after Manafort's Russian lobbying hit the news. Roger Stone... well, I'd need to wash my hands, if I did too much typing about Roger Stone.

But I do admire your craftsmanship of this phrase: "There is less evidence that Trump cronies talked with Russians about election integrity..." Huh. So "election integrity" is the one forbidden topic?

I want to say again; the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome" is not something I have ever complained about before, and it's a tag that Althouse has used for some time. I think that "Trump Derangement Syndrome" would be appropriately applied to someone who insisted that the Russians turned the outcome of the 2016 election. It would rightly apply, to someone who thinks that Donald Trujmp is working for Vladimir Putin. And it would apply as well to someone who thinks that Donald Trump is going to rewrite the tax code so as to eliminate his own tax bill. TDS would be a fitting description, for the Trump opponents who have graduated from their thinking that Bush and Cheney were out to steal Iraq's oil.

I have no gripe with the existence of, or careful use of, the term "Trump Derangement Syndrome." I doubt, in all fairness to Ann Althouse, that she ever aimed it at me.

Original Mike said...

"I am doing my best to make it impossible for you or anyone else to lay the label "Trump Derangement Syndrome" at my feet,"

You're obsessed with Trump. I'd call that derangement.

Hagar said...

James Comey is a "political" and always was. Also an ambitious climber.
Most likely he bullshitted Trump once too many and Trump blew up. Nothing complicated there.

I Callahan said...

Manafort and Stone are under FBI investigation, as far as I know. Flynn is under subpoena. There is a federal grand jury. Flynn was fired, by Trump, for Russian-related dealings. Manafort was fired by Trump, after Manafort's Russian lobbying hit the news. Roger Stone... well, I'd need to wash my hands, if I did too much typing about Roger Stone.

Well, since Flynn was fired, that should sever him from the entire picture. As for everyone else - this is like the underpants gnome theory:

1. People who work for Trump are under FBI investigation.
2. ????
3. Investigate Trump!!!!

That whole second step is missing, and until you can connect 1 and 3 with something in 2, there should BE no investigation.

rhhardin said...

It's not clouding their judgment if anti-Trump is the point.

rhhardin said...

Anti-Trump sells. Eyeballs and clicks.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Snark said...

Keep it up. Keep on indulging yourselves, imagining that the institutions that underpin democracy are just going to protect themselves.

We don't imagine that. That is why we voted against Democrats: to protect the institutions that underpin democracy. We voted against the candidate that didn't believe that people had the right to pool their resources to publish information critical of her. That didn't believe that people who organized their business in a corporate structure, or whose efforts at charitable work involved hiring people, retained the freedom to follow their religious convictions. Who didn't believe in people's right to bear arms. Who didn't believe in a government whose powers, including the powers of the Supreme Court, were limited by the US Constitution.

And we are likewise committed to standing up to President Trump, and preventing him from harming those institutions as well. We just though we would wait until he gave some slight indication of threatening those institutions before we grabbed our pitchforks and headed to the streets.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"I am doing my best to make it impossible for you or anyone else to lay the label "Trump Derangement Syndrome" at my feet,"

Most likely just as in the rest of your life, your best just isn't good enough, lifelong Republican Chuck. Not even close. Some people have delusions of grandeur, you have delusions of mediocrity.

Chuck said...

Mike said...
...

WTF are you blathering on about Chuck? Stop trying to avoid your rightly earned label and just spell it out already. All of WHAT?


1. Why was Director Comey fired?
2. When was the decision made?
3. Prior to the decision, what sort of review of Director Comey was underway?
4. Who are all of the people who played any role in the decision to dismiss Comey?
5. Please produce a record of all communications between AG Sessions and the President and the President's senior staff.
6. Please produce a record of all communications between Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and the President and the President's senior staff.
7. Who are all of the people who were involved in the preparation of the Comey dismissal letter?
8. General Sessions, when can you appear to testify on the Hill?
9. Deputy Rosenstein, when can you appear to testify on the Hill?
10. Vice President Pence, when can you appear to testify on the Hill?

Looking so forward to the explanation as to why the President's Deputy Press Secretary and the Vice President, were so certain that the decision to fire Comey was based on a memo from Rod Rosenstein (as was accepted by so many Althouse commenters), when just hours later, the President said that he decided to fire Comey long before. For as-yet unstated vague reasons like "He just wasn't doing a good job." And that, after the Press Secretary repeatedly expressed the President's full confidence in Comey. And after the President himself thought that Comey had done a great and a courageous job in the Clinton matter, back in the fall of 2016.

Can't wait for the questions, and the answers. Under oath.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Chuck said..."Good God, Professor Althouse; don't you want a solid, detailed explanation for all of this?

Whether you favor ... for all of this to be investigated and explained?"


Are we calling for an investigation of Trump firing Comey?

Angel-Dyne said...

I thought, like Professor Tribe, that I was showing you things that caught my eye and always protecting my integrity by never saying anything that I didn't know, using phrases like Tribe's if this is true, then.

I took a look at Tribe's twitter feed. It sure doesn't look to me like playful speculation hedged with the appropriate intellectual caveats. In fact, it looks a lot like the feed of any other random crazy person on twitter with a political bug up his butt.

(Don't know much about Tribe, but the last time I followed a link to him on twitter, he was praising a flamingly nutjobby television interview performance by the flamingly nutjobby Louise Mensch. Even with that impression in my head, I was still surprised at how off-the-deep-end his tweets are.)

Rick said...

buwaya said...
So what - is that whole Vince Foster business was truly fishy, and still is.
I have no clue what the whole truth is, but from what is known it is at the very least an inflection point in the scope of corruption of the Clinton operation.


The overwhelmingly likely Foster story is that he committed suicide because (a) he couldn't handle the pressure of lying and believed the truth would eventually come out and (b) Hillary belittled him in public casting him out of the inner circle thus ending the only benefit which made his sacrifice of integrity worthwhile.

Original Mike said...

Oh, I see that we are. You are deranged. Trump can fire Comey for whatever he wants. IF he fired him because he's in cahoots with the Russians and Comey was getting too close, don't you think the Russian investigation (which isn't going anywhere) is sufficient?

Matthew Sablan said...

1. Why was Director Comey fired? -- See the memo, publicly available.

2. When was the decision made? -- It doesn't matter.

3. Prior to the decision, what sort of review of Director Comey was underway? -- The one described in the publicly available letter.

4. Who are all of the people who played any role in the decision to dismiss Comey? -- The ones described in the publicly available letter.

5. Please produce a record of all communications between AG Sessions and the President and the President's senior staff. -- This is a stupid request and Executive Privilege.

6. Please produce a record of all communications between Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and the President and the President's senior staff. -- This is a stupid request and Executive Privilege.

7. Who are all of the people who were involved in the preparation of the Comey dismissal letter? -- This is a stupid request and Executive Privilege.

8. General Sessions, when can you appear to testify on the Hill? -- About what? The thing that is publicly available in the memo?

9. Deputy Rosenstein, when can you appear to testify on the Hill? -- About what? The thing that is publicly available in the memo?

10. Vice President Pence, when can you appear to testify on the Hill? -- About what? The thing that is publicly available in the memo?

You're describing a fishing expedition, like the one used against Ted Stevens.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Looking so forward to the explanation as to why the President's Deputy Press Secretary and the Vice President, were so certain that the decision to fire Comey was based on a memo from Rod Rosenstein (as was accepted by so many Althouse commenters), when just hours later, the President said that he decided to fire Comey long before."

-- The same reason EVERY memo is written. The executive has made a decision, and tells someone to put the decision in writing.

Original Mike said...

"Looking so forward to the explanation as to why the President's Deputy Press Secretary and the Vice President, were so certain that the decision to fire Comey was based on a memo from Rod Rosenstein (as was accepted by so many Althouse commenters), when just hours later, the President said that he decided to fire Comey long before."

Who gives a fuck? Other than people who are looking for any angle to take Trump down?

grackle said...

… isn't it basically required for the proper functioning of the federal government with the necessary confidence of the nation at large, for all of this to be investigated and explained? … With testimony under oath and a public record?

For an investigation(s) to be justified there has to be at least the possibility of a law to have been broken. Firing Comey was in no way illegal.

I am doing my best to make it impossible for you or anyone else to lay the label "Trump Derangement Syndrome" at my feet, as a Republican/Trump voter.

Not credible. Engaging in Trump-bashing by you at every opportunity tells us all we need to know about your vote, Chuck. Trump voters are Trump supporters – and you, sir, are no Trump supporter.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Can't wait for the questions, and the answers. Under oath.

I'm afraid you might have to. For all of his many faults, Trump seems immune to the pressures of your beta-male pearl-clutching.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Chuck,

I find it interesting that you demand an investigation and you want answers to the 10 questions you listed above (in response to Mike), but on the Sally Yates hearing thread you were complaining that the questioning would yield nothing useful regarding her actions/possible leaks.

Why in the world would these 10 questions yield anything?

Again, waste of time.

Chuck said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"Looking so forward to the explanation as to why the President's Deputy Press Secretary and the Vice President, were so certain that the decision to fire Comey was based on a memo from Rod Rosenstein (as was accepted by so many Althouse commenters), when just hours later, the President said that he decided to fire Comey long before."

-- The same reason EVERY memo is written. The executive has made a decision, and tells someone to put the decision in writing.


So where did Pence and Sanders get the notion (and they were passionate, about explaining exactly why Trump fired Comey) that Trump accepted a recommendation from Rod Rosenstein?

Are you suggesting that Rod Rosenstein was told to find an excuse to fire Comey, and to paper-up that excuse? I think that is exactly what you are saying.

And I will say again; I DEFENDED the Bush Administration, in its firing of Attorneys General in 2006. That was different. There is a qualitative difference in the level of independence, between political-appointee AG's, and the FBI. AG's do not serve for 10 year terms. FBI directors do.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Defense of Trump can be summed up as, "He's no more crooked than Hillary."

Original Mike said...

Let's say the "investigation" established that President Trump fired Comey because he didn't like his haircut. What's the next step; impeachment?

n.n said...

Left of center liberals are on one of their infamous baby hunts.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Chuck said:

"So where did Pence and Sanders get the notion (and they were passionate, about explaining exactly why Trump fired Comey) that Trump accepted a recommendation from Rod Rosenstein?"

Who cares? They pulled it out of their asses, just like the media pulls out of its collective ass all the stories (based on anonymous sources) that Trump's intent was [fill in the blank]. The media cannot possibly know such things unless they get them from Trump himself.

But please, Media, every time Trump does or says X, keep coming out with stories about one anonymous individual in the FBI who says "not X". It really makes for great truth gathering.

Waste of time

Chuck said...

AlbertAnonymous said...
Chuck,

I find it interesting that you demand an investigation and you want answers to the 10 questions you listed above (in response to Mike), but on the Sally Yates hearing thread you were complaining that the questioning would yield nothing useful regarding her actions/possible leaks.


I said no such thing. I thought that her questioning might well yield something interesting.

What I said was that the one question that Trump posed (and was then blogged in a pot by Althouse) was a useless question. Trump's Tweet: "Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel."

Stupid question. Her answer was bound to be, "I have no idea how the newspapers got it." Or, "The information left our office, where it hadn't been leaked, and got to the White House, when it did get leaked. Makes me think it was the White House. You might want to ask there." Or, "Senator, the ongoing investigation cannot be discussed in a public hearing."

grackle said...

AG's do not serve for 10 year terms. FBI directors do.

FBI Directors serve for 10 years – unless they are fired by the POTUS, in which case their tenure is somewhat limited.

Matthew Sablan said...

"So where did Pence and Sanders get the notion (and they were passionate, about explaining exactly why Trump fired Comey) that Trump accepted a recommendation from Rod Rosenstein?

Are you suggesting that Rod Rosenstein was told to find an excuse to fire Comey, and to paper-up that excuse? I think that is exactly what you are saying."

-- Uh... yes. That's exactly what happened, and there's nothing wrong with that. Every executive who has fired someone knows that is the process.

"I want X gone; tell me what he's done so that he be gone."

Rosenstein pulled together reasons Trump could cite, put it in an official memo, and made a formal recommendation, just like almost every other personnel action in modern industry.

PackerBronco said...

I've heard that Tribe has had sexual relations with his dog. I don't know whether that's true, but the key facts are true: Tribe has a dog and he has had sexual relations.

Lucien said...

Chuck/Tokyo Rose,

Do you promise to hold your breath until your list of 10 questions gets asked and answered under oath? Please?

Unknown said...

I want Chuck to explain, in detail, what the Russians are supposed to have done and more importantly: Why?

Why would the Russians want to help Trump be president over Hillary?

This entire "Trump! Russia! Trump fired Comey because of Russia! Flynn! Russia! Wharrbargl!" that you leftists are engaged in is insane.

Fact one:
1) Putin and Russia don't have "I hate my country" syndrome that is required of today's leftists. They are proud of being Russian, and they love their country and its heritage. Thus, they rationally act to advance their countries interests. That's a sin for leftists, I know.

2) Given that priority, who is more likely to be pro-Russian-- She of the "Reset" button and "Sure, give me a few bucks and I'll give you most of the US Uranium stockpile!"? Or Trump, a shrewd capitalist businessman? All of the alleged "hacking" is easily explained as trying to weaken Hillary and getting blackmail on her--not a "Pro Trump" bit.

Tell us, Chuck: Why would Russia want a Republican president when Democrats are always, always praising commies and socialism and most Democrats get stars in their eyes and cry over the fall of the Berlin wall?

--Vance

Christopher said...

If I thought Trump were capable of it I'd think the whole Russia kerfuffle was a deliberate ploy by this administration to make the opposition look crazy.

It'd basically be similar to how the Obama administration took advantage of the Birther nonsense to undermine the Republicans.

Rusty said...

Since, Chuck, the director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the president he can released at the pleasure of the president. That's just how that works.
Did Comey , in his tenure as director, act honorably?
If yes then it is sad that he was let go.
If he did not then the president has done the country a favor and hopefully will appoint someone more concerned with the rule of law.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't think that the FBI Director technically serves at the pleasure of the President, but rather has a 10 year term and can be removed for cause. In reality though, a distinction without a real difference. Rosenstein's job was to generate the fig leaf of just cause, which he did. Comey could have fought that, but wouldn't - despite his flaws, he is too moral and honest to put the agency through that, and to try to run it knowing that he didn't have the confidence of the three bosses above him (Rosenstein, Sessions, and Trump).

Birkel said...

Wait, so you're saying I can pretend NeverTrump Chuck is better informed than anti-Trump Richard Epstein and the Republic needs NeverEnding NeverTrump investigations?

Grab your carry on.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add that in all probability, the reason that the President can remove the FBI Director for cause, despite his 10 year term is the Constitutional Separation of Powers. Everyone in the govt must be removable by some mechanism or another to, and the FBI being in the DoJ. Makes it part of the Executive Branch, so the Director there has to be removable by the President. Congress can require that termination requires cause, but can't deny the President the right to fire those operating under him and/or his Constitutional authority.

Nonapod said...

[Comey] is too moral and honest

Someone who is "moral and honest" would actually care about rule of law, specifically that everyone is equal under the law. Comey's actions don't indicate that.

Mike said...

As I thought, Chuck, you provided ten reasons why you have TDS and not any foundation for yet another investigation. Matthew (bless you sir) easily and effectively showed why your list of ten things is stupid partisan posturing. And yet you persist!

Everybody agreed Comey should be fired. Some came to that conclusion on July 5 last year and some more recently, but up until May 9 around say 2:30 EDT this agreement on Comey's ineffectiveness, however the various entities arrived at it, was damn near unanimous.

Now it isn't. If you yourself believed Comey incompetent and in need of a good "you're fired!" then ask yourself why that list of 10 questions (and really you ran out of steam around number 4; feel free to edit yourself; we aren't being billed by the hour) is so important. The "why" isn't important if we all agree on the "what," and in this case I think we do. The "how" I understand does trouble some, but it's no reason IMO to question the "what" in any way.

Questioning the why seems extremely partisan, and I use the word "extremely" purposefully here. That is why every audience this week cheered when it was announced Comey had been fired. Lefty bubble-dwellers were sure the memo had already got around that Goldstein was no longer considered a traitor but a martyr. But audiences made up of ordinary American's don't get that memo.

Chuck said...

Does anybody here realize, just how much Professor Epstein is, with me?

"If Congress thinks the FBI is not up to the job, it can conduct its own investigation..."

Precisely.

Big Mike said...

@Chuck, you moby slut, Comey lost the trust of the man on top. This is called "a career limiting move" out in the real world.

Nonapod said...

Mike said...Lefty bubble-dwellers were sure the memo had already got around that Goldstein was no longer considered a traitor but a martyr. But audiences made up of ordinary American's don't get that memo.

Yeah, some of the more surreal (and even a little creepy) moments this week were seeing these live TV audiences on Colbert and the View react in real time to the news of Comey's sudden termination before proper narrative instruction was given. They all wooted and cheered, only to be scolded by their betters in the manner of "Silence! We haven't told you what to think about this yet!"

Chuck said...

Mike, I haven't agreed that Comey should be fired. It is quite possible that Comey should be fired.

On that subject, were you clamoring for Comey's resignation, last fall when Comey was re-opening the Clinton investigation and Trump was praising Comey for his work and his courage?

I just don't know. And unlike most of you, I don't pretend to have all the answers. I want more information. I want people questioned under oath, on the record.

Chuck said...

Big Mike said...
@Chuck, you moby slut, Comey lost the trust of the man on top. This is called "a career limiting move" out in the real world.


When?
How?
Why?
Who was in the decision process?

Chuck said...

Bruce Hayden said...
Let me add that in all probability, the reason that the President can remove the FBI Director for cause, despite his 10 year term is the Constitutional Separation of Powers. Everyone in the govt must be removable by some mechanism or another to, and the FBI being in the DoJ. Makes it part of the Executive Branch, so the Director there has to be removable by the President. Congress can require that termination requires cause, but can't deny the President the right to fire those operating under him and/or his Constitutional authority.


I think you are right; there is a sound constitutional reason for that organizational schematic.

At the same time, just like the DoJ can investigate Congress, the Congress can investigate the Executive.


Chuck said...

Unknown said...
I want Chuck to explain, in detail, what the Russians are supposed to have done and more importantly: Why?

I have no idea. It isn't even a question I have asked.

Why would the Russians want to help Trump be president over Hillary?

Again, no idea. I don't think the Russians made any difference in the election. At least not with any degree of certainty. Hokay?

This entire "Trump! Russia! Trump fired Comey because of Russia! Flynn! Russia! Wharrbargl!" that you leftists are engaged in is insane.

I'd like the real reason(s). Then maybe all that noise can be stopped.

Fact one:
1) Putin and Russia don't have "I hate my country" syndrome that is required of today's leftists. They are proud of being Russian, and they love their country and its heritage. Thus, they rationally act to advance their countries interests. That's a sin for leftists, I know.

2) Given that priority, who is more likely to be pro-Russian-- She of the "Reset" button and "Sure, give me a few bucks and I'll give you most of the US Uranium stockpile!"? Or Trump, a shrewd capitalist businessman? All of the alleged "hacking" is easily explained as trying to weaken Hillary and getting blackmail on her--not a "Pro Trump" bit.

Damn, that was the most boring part of this entire thread. Why don't you tell it to somebody who cares?

Tell us, Chuck: Why would Russia want a Republican president when Democrats are always, always praising commies and socialism and most Democrats get stars in their eyes and cry over the fall of the Berlin wall?

--Vance

No idea, Vance. But you do win today's prize for the stupidest anti-Chuck post of the day. Have a nice weekend.

Hagar said...

Trump has told us why he fired Comey. Trump may not be the official "target" of any FBI imvestigation, but he knows very well the nature of the questions the agents are asking in the "Russian meddling" investigation. In essence he was asking, "Look, are you going to play straight with me, or not?" and Comey gave the wrong answer.

Birkel said...

@ Fopdoodle

Answer the questions of Vimax Medan or we demand a congressional investigation.

FullMoon said...

Original Mike said...

"I am doing my best to make it impossible for you or anyone else to lay the label "Trump Derangement Syndrome" at my feet,"

You're obsessed with Trump. I'd call that derangement.
5/12/17, 11:58 AM


Chuck hated Trump before he was nominated. Chuck explained how bad Trump was on an almost daily basis. When Trump won, Chuck lost the argument. Admirably tenacious, Chuck continues in attempts to validate his distaste for Trump, and to convince others that he was right from the git-go. So, Chuck's obsession is not entirely with the disastrous Donald Trump. His obsession has as much to do with being taken seriously about his views regarding Trump.To not be taken seriously by Althouse hillbillies is understandably a blow to Chuck's ego. Unlike the infamous "no-mas" spoken by Roberto Duran, Chuck will never give up. Like I said, kind of admirable, if annoying.
Personally, I would respect him if he apologized for threatening to give Greta a "you know what" . so she could see how it feels

buwaya said...

Clinton got rid of William Sessions by making allegations of misc petty actions.

buwaya said...

Also justified by a report from the AG.

johns said...

Chuck, CNN wants to add an 11th question to your list:

"President gets 2scoops of ice cream, everyone else 1." Why?

http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/11/one-screenshot-captures-everything-wrong-media-coverage-trump/

Robert Cook said...

"That is why we voted against Democrats: to protect the institutions that underpin democracy."

Heh. You're not going to protect the institutions that underpin democracy voting for Republicans.

buwaya said...

"Heh. You're not going to protect the institutions that underpin democracy voting for Republicans."

Nope. You have a hopeless case. The only way out is revolution. Of one sort or another.
Trump is a strategic disruption that causes the system to go mad, and hopefully thereby destroys itself.

In the end, with luck, I think you will have a constitutional convention.

DanTheMan said...

>>Heh. You're not going to protect the institutions that underpin democracy voting for Republicans.

Cookie says something I 100% agree with. There is hope for him yet. Or maybe for me?
:)

Original Mike said...

Chuck said..."I just don't know. And unlike most of you, I don't pretend to have all the answers. I want more information. I want people questioned under oath, on the record."

I truly don't understand to what end.

Birkel said...

Protect the institutions of democracy. Decentralized power.

Every other answer is wrong.

Robert Cook said...

"Chuck hated Trump before he was nominated."

That's an entirely rational position.

In fact, what past or probable future presidential aspirants in either major party does not warrant hatred?

DanTheMan said...

>>I think you will have a constitutional convention.

Because the leaders we have now are so much more principled than the founders.
Thought experiment: Assume the convention occurs: What does the 2017 Bill of Rights look like?
My first guess is 2,500 pages of incomprehensibility.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Chuck said:

"And unlike most of you, I don't pretend to have all the answers. I want more information. I want people questioned under oath, on the record."

Chuck, who the F cares what you want? He did what he did. You and the Dems all think its a great big conspiracy, and you deserve answers to every inane question you have. You don't.

This is all a big waste of time. You wanted an reason. He gave you one. You don't believe it. Too bad. Suck it. No one cares what you believe.

I'm sure you wanted an investigation and everyone's questions answered under oath about Obama's place of birth and his long lost birth certificate.

Bill said...

I often confuse Lawrence Tribe with Cass Sunstein.

Robert Cook said...

A Profile in Coura--uh, in Reality.

Mark said...

The fanatic left has successfully destroyed any trust that anyone could ever have in what they read and hear in the media, on-line, in academia, from government officials and on and on. And when you cannot trust anyone in anything, it is the end of civil society.

khesanh0802 said...

Here's a quote from Cookie's first link today. I thought I would do the Inga thing and give us all the gist:"Comey is a self-righteous prude, whose preening sense of rectitude is more than “mildly nauseating.” It’s not surprising he is despised by many on his staff, who feel Comey sucked up all the oxygen in the dark chambers of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. Comey’s awful tenure at the FBI, though brief, was cruelly destructive to basic liberties. Comey’s counter-terrorism record consists largely of having his FBI agents fabricate plots and then entice mentally disturbed misfits, druggies and loners to join them." This from, as Cookie says, a liberal.

Trump has once again blown up the world and after a few days those who were so upset recover and decide he did the right thing. Amazing!

khesanh0802 said...

Cookie's 2:30 link is pretty tough on our liberal friends as well. What the hell is going on?

Robert Cook said...

"This from, as Cookie says, a liberal."

No, I didn't say that. I said, from a "leftist." Entirely different thing.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Bruce Hayden 1:7 I usually enjoy your well thought out comments, but your mild defense of Comey is misplaced. He was incompetent, had made some fatal errors in judgement and his recent appearances before House and Senate Committees - if not disasters - further exposed his incompetence and lack of judgement. Rosenstein's memo was no fig leave. It was a only a partial indictment. If Rosenstein had wanted to embarrass Comey further I think he could have.

Qwinn said...

Cookie has always been tough on Democrats. They've always been way way way too right wing for him.

Seriously.

Snark said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And we are likewise committed to standing up to President Trump, and preventing him from harming those institutions as well. We just though we would wait until he gave some slight indication of threatening those institutions before we grabbed our pitchforks and headed to the streets.


Wait until it's already fait accompli on some level you mean? Don't underestimate how hard it is to roll events back uphill. Whatever you think of the "hysterical left", they are the ones currently doing the work to warn this aspiring authoritarian kleptocrat that they are a force who will not obey in advance.

grackle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"Cookie's 2:30 link is pretty tough on our liberal friends as well. What the hell is going on?"

What do you think?

khesanh0802 said...

@Cookie Okay, I apologize. Either way it is from someone unalterably opposed to Trump, with political leanings on the left. There. Still pretty damning of our late President's attitude.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I just noticed Hillary's hair in that photo. Isn't it odd? It looks like 1940's or '50's hair, not the 1990's. That's the sort of curl you got from using those bristly wire rollers.

Big Mike said...

When?
How?
Why?
Who was in the decision process?


And the answers, my dear Chuck, are (1) Who cares?, (2) Who cares? (3) Who cares, but probably not for the "reasons" that the Dumbocrats were offering up just the day before the firing, and (4) It only takes the man on top.

Unknown said...

I realize, Chuck, that your burning hatred of Trump demands that you ignore things like "facts" and "rationality." But you can't ignore my questions, because you are here bashing Trump as firing Comey because, well, something about Russians and investigations.
Thus, you argue that 1) Trump did something regarding Russians that was apparently wrong somehow. And now 2) Trump by firing Comey is trying to conduct a coverup.

So, I ask again: What did Trump do that was wrong? You can't claim Trump is impeachable for doing something wrong if you can't identify what exactly Trump is accused of doing.

Blind, irrational hatred for Republicans is not in fact a reason to impeach Trump. It's a shock to you, I'm sure, but it is not. Until you can name a crime Trump did, why are you caterwauling about the firing of Comey?
--Vance
--Vance

grackle said...

For me Comey lost all credibility with the press conference on July 5, 2016, in which he exonerated Hillary, thereby shielding Obama’s DOJ from having to exonerate her.

The inevitable DOJ exoneration, had not Comey exonerated her, would have been seen as ridiculous, given what was public knowledge about Hillary and her emails before Comey’s presser. Like a good trooper he took one for the team because he thought his next boss was going to be Hillary. He, the respected public servant, would temporarily sacrifice a bit of his own credibility, proving to Hillary that he was loyal.

A thought experiment for Chuck:

Imagine, Chuck, if you will, that you called your boss(you do have one, don’t you?) “crazy” in public and it appeared on the front pages of newspapers all over the country. What do you think would happen, Chuck?

Robert Cook said...

"Still pretty damning of our late President's attitude."

With good reason. He is and always was damnable.

DanTheMan said...

>> Like a good trooper he took one for the team because he thought his next boss was going to be Hillary. He, the respected public servant, would temporarily sacrifice a bit of his own credibility, proving to Hillary that he was loyal.

Exactly correct. He was being loyal to President Hillary Clinton, when everybody knew she had it all locked up.

Oooops.

Birkel said...

Never forget, Robert Cook would damn us all. We are all damnable.

Up against the wall, Comrade.

Yancey Ward said...

I have read somewhere that Laurence Tribe likes to eat dog shit fed to him by underage prostitutes. If true, it is huge. As far as I know, this story has been partially corroborated, though I haven't done any checking on my own.

Birkel said...

I have heard that every rumor Yancey Ward publishes on the interwebs turns out 100% correct more than 63% of the time. Therefore I believe this rumor. I will take this rumor to my editor to confirm Yancey Ward's sources based on Yancey Ward's say-so.

Yancey Ward said...

Grackle,

I have a different view of the July 5th press conference- without it, the DoJ would have done nothing but issue a press release that the case was closed. If Comey were trying to ingratiate himself with Clinton, he would not have laid out the evidence collected.

However, even with that view, I think he should have been canned almost immediately by Obama, and certainly on the day Trump took office.

Birkel said...

@ Yancey Ward

I thought we were spinning an MSM worthy story.

Robert Cook said...

"We are all damnable."

Isn't that what the Christians say?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Snark said...

Whatever you think of the "hysterical left", they are the ones currently doing the work to warn this aspiring authoritarian kleptocrat that they are a force who will not obey in advance.

Whatever you think of the boy who cried wolf, he was the one doing the work to warn the wolves that he would call out to the villagers if the wolves went after the sheep.

Good plan there.

Birkel said...

@ Robert Cook

Christians say we are all redeemable but only by accepting the truth offered by Christ. Odd that an out and proud communist like you would not know much about Christianity. /s

Snark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

Libertarian Richard Epstein is on solid group for as far as he goes with his analysis , based on Rod Rosenstein's letter outlining Comey's shortcomings, but he ignores Trump's actions, particularly the President's admitted efforts, on three separate occasions, to unduly influence the ongoing investigation of the Russians and the Trump team.

if there is a linkage between Trump and the Russians, the President's actions are impeachable. No, I am not a lawyer and Epstein is, but I have spent nights at the local Holiday Inn Express.

Fernandinande said...

So now Trump killed Vince Foster?

$10 million in Russian money

What's that in real money, about $100? And the only thing you can buy with Russian money is uranium.

Bruce Hayden said...

"At the same time, just like the DoJ can investigate Congress, the Congress can investigate the Executive."

And this is part of why Comey is getting little support in Congress right now, esp on the Republican side. Congress is trying to inv stigmata the leaking and the FISA targeting, and the FBI appears to be stonewalling them right now,,as contrasted with the CIA, which seems to have gotten the memo the 2nd or so day into Trump's term, when he made a special trip there.

My theory right now is that Comey had to go for several interrelated reasons. First, and foremost probably, the FBI appeared to be stonewalling the President, the DoJ, as well as Congress in these areas. Maybe they all want answers more quickly than the FBI wants. Tough. You don't tell President Trump "no" when he wants answers. This starts at the top, which is why Comey had to go. Trump needs someone at the top of the FBI with an axe, and willing to use it, until the agency is brought to heel. As I said the other day, Comey's job, when hearing Trump telling him to "jump" is "how high?" And not to ask the opinion of Chuck Schumer, Jeff Bezos, and Carlos Slim first. Interrelated to this - Trump requires loyalty, and Comey apparently wouldn't guarantee that.

Snark said...

@Ignorace is Bliss

Yeah. Because the "hysterical left" is lying about the current pressures on a free press, the rule of law and the very concept of truth. They aren't perfect but they at least seem to be aware that the wolves are, in fact, at the door.

Rusty said...

Bruce.
If he can be appointed by the president he can be removed by the president regardless of his term.

Bruce Hayden said...

"@ Bruce Hayden 1:7 I usually enjoy your well thought out comments, but your mild defense of Comey is misplaced. He was incompetent, had made some fatal errors in judgement and his recent appearances before House and Senate Committees - if not disasters - further exposed his incompetence and lack of judgement. Rosenstein's memo was no fig leave. It was a only a partial indictment. If Rosenstein had wanted to embarrass Comey further I think he could have."

Here is where you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I don't think that Comey was incompetent, but rather caught between a rock and a hard place with Obama, Lynch, and Crooked Hillary and her various scandals. He couldn't ignore her crimes, but the DoJ and President Obama had made clear that they weren't going to prosecute her, even if she were the last person on the earth. Wasn't going to happen. But his people, the rank and file at the FBI, were apparently in almost open revolt over this. They knew that she was dirty, and should be in prison for the rest of her natural life, and probably the next several, if reincarnation is true. Yet, Lynch and Obama were telling them to stand down and shut up.

At that point, I expected him, given his reputation for integrity, to have resigned. Instead, we got the non-indictment indictment. Which did get the information out into the public, where it belonged. And a resignation may not have. Not sure why he made that choice. But one possibility is that he thought that he could protect the FBI better this way. The other thing to remember about resigning is who would have stepped into his shoes, at least temporarily - Asst Dir McCade, who was already compromised by the Clintons, because his wife had taken over a half million dollars in campaign contributions from long time Clinton bagman, Terry McAuliffe. And who appeared to be slow walking the Clinton Foundation investigation already. The Republican majority in the Senate weren't going to confirm any potential replacement as long as there was a chance of winning the Presidency in Nov. any confirmation fight would have been bloody, to say the least, which is why, expect, that McCade would have stayed in charge through the election. And that would have destroyed the reputation of the FBI even more, with Trump being able to point at Clinton money seemingly have bought the acting FBI Director. Someday, we are going to find out what actually happened there, and I expect it to be interesting.

The other thing to keep in mind is that since J. Edger Hoover, the FBI Director has had more independence than other agency heads in similar positions. You can see how this was a goal, with his 10 year term and removal only for cause, as contrasted to his boss, the AG, who can be removed whenever, for any reason whatsoever, by the President. I suspect that Comey went into the job expecting the same sort of independence that his predecessors were supposed to have. And, that is why I expect that he refused to profess the loyalty that Trump apparently required. But I think that he had already sold out, to some extent, last summer with Crooked Hillary and her emails, and was floundering because of the compromises that he had had to make by the time he testified last week before Congress. But I do respect that he appears to have gone down trying until the end to protect the FBI and its people.

I do think that Dir Comey would have done just fine under a President Bush (41, 43, or JEB), many of the other Republican candidates last year, Mitt Romney, and maybe even under Bill Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The problem though is that Trump has a more businesslike, loyalty and effectiveness based management style. Trump just has no patience for bureaucratic niceties and political maneuvering.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Bruce.
If he can be appointed by the president he can be removed by the president regardless of his term"

And was.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It's social media. It runs on interestingness. I remember years ago, in the first few years of blogging, I'd throw out things I thought were interesting and play with ideas, and I'd get pushed back so often with the phrase "you, a law professor...." so often that it became a running joke around here.

Not just social Media! NPR had Senator Ron Wyden on yesterday (and replayed a portion of the interview this morning) saying that he's been told to not only follow the money but "follow the bodies" (of dead Russians, presumably) in the Trump-Russia scandal. That's straight up Clintons-killed-Vince-Foster-ism, right there, and NPR gobbled it up.
I don't think we can blame this one all on social media.

Sebastian said...

Very nice of Epstein to argue that Dem hyperventilation is "unjustified," but since when do they need "justification" for anything? It's unfortunate, but arguments don't matter anymore. When a Dem rep says Trump firing Comey is an outrage but Hill firing Comey would have been great, you know, as if you didn't before, that it's all about power and tribe, who/whom.

Original Mike said...

For reasons I don't remember, I used to respect for Ron Wyden. But he's turned into (or maybe always was) a loon.

Clark said...

@Bruce Hayden: Why do you think the FBI Director can only be removed "for cause"?

Here is Lyle Denniston, writing on October 31, 2016: "It is sometimes assumed that the President can oust an FBI director only 'for cause' – that is, for some misconduct in office. But, as a Congressional Research Service study of the director’s office pointed out two years ago, 'there are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI director.'"

Robert Cook said...

"Christians say we are all redeemable but only by accepting the truth offered by Christ.

Right, the Christians say we are all damned..."unless we accept the truth offered by Christ."

Chuck said...

grackle said...
For me Comey lost all credibility with the press conference on July 5, 2016, in which he exonerated Hillary, thereby shielding Obama’s DOJ from having to exonerate her.
...


For you, maybe. But not for Donald Trump. He spent October, heaping praise on Comey. He then, according to Trump himself, met with Comey. And after that, when asked repeatedly by the press, everyone in the administration said that they and more particularly the President said that there was total confidence in Comey. Maybe it was all just political bullshit for the moment from Trump. Gee whiz what a shocker that would be.

No matter what; your saying that Comey lost you last summer is not what Trump's position is now.

Birkel said...

@ Robert Cook

You, as an atheist, know nothing of Grace.

Birkel said...

@ Robert Cook

You also know nothing of using quotation marks. If you use quotation marks, make sure they are quoting somebody.

Birkel said...

@ Chuck, fopdoodle, so called

You lost me a while back. Hillary thanks you for your continued support.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Snark said...

Because the "hysterical left" is lying about the current pressures on a free press...

What pressures?

...the rule of law...

Yes, about this they are lying

...and the very concept of truth.

While I'm entirely unimpressed with Trump's relationship with the truth, the left doesn't give a flying fuck about it, at least not when the lies come from a Democrat.

Bay Area Guy said...

If I may paraphrase Otter and Boone in Animal House: "hey you can't do that to our FBI Director. Only WE can do that to our FBI Director"

Swede said...

Burn the heretic!

Splitter!

Zach said...

" “If X is true, then Y,” I do so because a particular story seems to be potentially interesting, not with the implication that I’ve independently checked its accuracy or that I vouch for everything it asserts.”

Disingenuous. This particular story is interesting only if it is true. If it's false, it's just another malicious rumor.

Douglas said...

It's tough to explain Larry Tribe's behavior, peddling rank conspiracy theories and frivolous lawsuits. It's like watching a formerly great ballplayer play out his last season, batting .200 and striking out a lot, hoping for one last shot of glory. Too bad. Makes me think of that famous line from The Who: "Hope I die before I get old."

grackle said...

If Comey were trying to ingratiate himself with Clinton, he would not have laid out the evidence collected.

My guess is that Comey knew that the collected evidence would have been leaked by the disgruntled FBI employees who gathered it. Comey decided to preempt the inevitable leak by getting it all out at the presser.

And the evidence really didn’t matter, did it? Hillary was still exonerated, wasn’t she? Comey paid a small, temporary blow to his credibility, as did Hillary, but what he did kept her out of legal trouble, didn’t it?

And below, a different commentor:

He spent October, heaping praise on Comey.

Trump was trying to keep the mountain of evidence against Hillary cited by Comey in Comey’s July presser in the voting public’s consciousness. Everyone in the country needed to be reminded that Hillary was guilty. There was an election going on. Apparently it worked – Trump won. And Trump had no way of knowing what an idiot Comey would turn out to be.

He then, according to Trump himself, met with Comey. And after that, when asked repeatedly by the press, everyone in the administration said that they and more particularly the President said that there was total confidence in Comey.

All Presidents have total confidence in members of their administration – until they boot their asses out the door after a series of idiotic missteps, grandiose behavior and insubordination.

No matter what; your saying that Comey lost you last summer is not what Trump's position is now.

Of course not. For one thing, Comey was never going to be an employee of mine.

If I had been Trump in July I would have noted that Comey was willing to take one for the team. I would have been aware that everyone was dead certain that Hillary was going to win and that Comey was sending a message to her with Comey’s preemptive exoneration of her; a message of loyalty from Comey to Hillary.

This type of behavior, ingratiating yourself with someone who will be(you wrongly believe) your next boss, is commonplace and predictable and probably something Trump has witnessed many times.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

grackle said...

Hillary was still exonerated, wasn’t she?

Despite all the major media headlines, no, she was not.

grackle said...

I said: Hillary was still exonerated, wasn’t she?

A reply:

Despite all the major media headlines, no, she was not.

I’m puzzled. I see no charges bought against Hillary. She’s not in jail and not in court. Comey declared her innocent of crime and described her behavior as “extremely careless.”

Let me put it this way: Please give some sort of explanation about how Hillary was NOT exonerated by Comey.