May 18, 2017

Comey kept memos of his conversations with Trump and preserved them "because he presumes someone will want to see them."

The quotation is from an unnamed source in a CNN piece titled "Comey prepped responses ahead of Trump discussions."

The wording here is helpful to those who are taking different positions on whether Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice:
[Comey] was concerned that Trump's suggestion to end the Flynn probe could be an example of obstruction of justice. "It crossed his mind," a person familiar with the matter said, adding "even in its most benign form, it's an improper conversation. You're getting a little too close to the flame."
If we assume all that is true, it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime but that he did see hints of an intention to proceed into the area that would be criminal and he wanted to be careful and observant. Was Trump feeling him out, beginning with ambiguous suggestion and seeing how compliant and easygoing Comey might be? The subsequent summary firing makes me think that is what Trump was doing and he got his answer. Comey was going to be rigorous and independent, and that's not what Trump wanted.

This reminds me of something I've said a number of times about Trump. I don't think he is oriented toward law. The legal framework feels alien to him — a kind of problem or obstacle that must be dealt with, by your lawyers, after you decide what you want to do or — in Trump talk — what you have to do because you have no choice. I'd like to find all the old posts where I've made this observation, but here's one, from March 2016, "Trump's idea of law: 'I want to stay within the law... but we have to increase the law...'":
Perhaps George W. Bush and Barack Obama thought about law the same way, but they didn't say it like this:



As expressed in that clip: Law is respected only in the sense that you acknowledge that when the law is in your way, you'll "increase" the law. Most people would say "change the law," so I'm struck by the locution "increase the law." It's sort of like the way Bush would say things like "Make the pie higher"... but less sunny... and far more sinister...
ADDED: Here's another old post about Trump and the law. It cuts in a somewhat different way, but it shows how his perspective is that of a businessman who uses law when it's to his advantage. It was on "Face the Nation" again, a week later. John Dickerson questioned Trump about his use of H-1B visas and bankruptcy law and tax loopholes: "If you are president, why would anybody follow the laws that you put in place if they knew you were taking advantage of those laws when you were in the private sector?"
Trump's answer made sense to me, because businessmen should, as I put it, "understand the law, see what's to their advantage, and structure their transactions efficiently." And I thought, we should "trust a businessperson who followed the law and figured out how to use it," because that person would be "knowledgeable and competent," and not "someone who's so intimidated by law that he wastes money."

Trump said he should be trusted "because I know the game better than anybody, because I have been on the other side." It's what successful people in business do: "It's the game we play. We use the laws of the land." The laws are "part of the fabric of what you do. So, I'll use it. I mean, I'm a businessman."

Fine. But then how do you switch over and work competently and ethically on the government side? Trump said:
Now that I have turned politician -- I hate to say that, almost, about myself -- but now that I'm running for office, I know the game better than anybody. I'm the one that can fix all of this stuff. 
It's still a game, and he's confident he can play it from a different position, perhaps because he's onto the tricks that everyone else is playing. But it turns out they're playing very hard against him right now, and they have experience playing from the government and politics side, and Trump is winging it.

Back then, I said:
I don't see Trump as fomenting disrespect for the law. It's more the opposite. The law matters. Get it right. People using the law to their selfish advantage may reveal what's wrong with the law, and Trump is offering his services, as an expert player, in seeing and fixing the flaws so that the game produces a result that is in the general interest of the American people. There may be reasons not to trust him (and there are surely reasons to mistrust those who've played the law game from positions in government), but his use of the law isn't a good reason.
ADDED: Here's the transcript for the March 6, 2016 "Face the Nation." The full quote from Trump is: 
TRUMP: They're killing our soldiers when they capture them. I mean, they're doing that anyway. Now, if that were the case, in other words, we won't do it and you don't do it. But we're not playing by those rules. They're not -- why, somebody tell ISIS, look, we're going to treat your guys well, would you please do us a favor and treat our guys well? They don't do that. We're not playing by -- we are playing by rules, but they have no rules. It's very hard to win when that's the case.

DICKERSON: Isn't that separates us from the savages, rules?

TRUMP: No, I don't think so. We have to beat the savages.

DICKERSON: And therefore throw all rules out?

TRUMP: We have beat the savages.

DICKERSON: By being savages?

TRUMP: No. We -- well, look, you have to play the game the way they're playing the game. You're not going to win if we are soft, and they are -- they have no rules. Now, I want to stay within the laws. I want to do all of that. But I think we have to increase the laws, because the laws are not working, obviously. All you have to do is take a look what is going on. And they're getting worse. They're chopping, chopping, chopping, and we're worried about water-boarding. I just think it's -- I think our priorities are mixed up.

181 comments:

exhelodrvr1 said...

"The legal framework feels alien to him — a kind of problem or obstacle that must be dealt with, by your lawyers,"

So he treats the law the same way a lawyer (Clinton, Obama, Clinton) does?

David Begley said...

I want to see the Comey memo on how Cheryl Mills got immunity. How about all of the memos on that fake investigation of Hillary's emails?

Michael McClain said...

A memo may be disputed. It's not exactly hard evidence.

Darrell said...

Where's his memo on him not reporting the obstruction attempt as required by law, if he actually believed he was being arm-twisted?

Chuck said...

"...we have to increase the law..."

What a perfect example of why I never wanted him as the Republican nominee. It wasn't, by itself, reason to vote for a Democrat over Trump. And no reason to impeach him.

But it sure is why we are where we are.

This was a John Dickerson interview from a little more than a year ago. I still think the John Dickerson interview from a couple of weeks ago bears more discussion, most particularly Trump's personal brittleness in answering hard questions about his unforced errors; in that case, Trump's Tweet about Obama being "a bad (or weird) guy" for "wiretapping" Trump Tower.


Big Mike said...

Can you explain to me why, here in the second decade of the 21st century, the law ought to be respected? When the Clintons and Barack Obama and Al Sharpton and the Podesta brothers and other important Democrats can quite literally do anything they damned well please, why should anyone conclude that the law exists except to handicap people who work for a living? As an emeritus law professor I'm sure you have some bullshit reason why Trump and the rest of us need to do the kowtow, but society is already broken and no one gives a good God damn anymore.

Virtually Unknown said...

"Why would I want to use email, can you imagine?" - HRC

She had the utmost respect for the law, the utmost!

rehajm said...

If we assume all that is true, it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime

Comey's given press conferences explaining his belief that not even prosecutable crimes are prosecutable.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I just don't get it.

Is Comey's response to Trump out there? Did Comey go off on Trump and say that conversation was inappropriate? If it was so wrong, why didn't Comey resign and go public? Was Comey plan to try to blackmail (use leverage) Trump or others with the allegation?

The conversation strikes me as uncouth and not presidential but hardly unusual. He basically said the guy was fired and that was enough punishment for his mistakes.

And Trump must think this Russia collusion story is crazy. They had to withdraw the allegation the hack virus was Russian because the Ukraine story was wrong. Now we find Bernie Bro from the DNC sent WikiLeaks 40,000 emails. Podesta fell for a scam that a 12 year old knows better. It's all so rediculous.

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse said...
it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime but that he did see hints of an intention to proceed into the area that would be criminal
Was Trump feeling him out, beginning with ambiguous suggestion and seeing how compliant and easygoing Comey might be?
The subsequent summary firing makes me think that is what Trump was doing


Althouse continues her walk away from the Donald.

MadisonMan said...

Agree with David Begley.

Has anyone in the Press asked Comey if he has similar memos regarding the past administration -- because I think those would be very interesting as well.

Freder Frederson said...

This reminds me of something I've said a number of times about Trump. I don't think he is oriented toward law.

You believe this, and yet, you still support him.

Where's his memo on him not reporting the obstruction attempt as required by law, if he actually believed he was being arm-twisted?

You do realize your question contains your answer.

This conversation alone probably is not obstruction of justice (as Ann pointed out there are enough weasel words in it that Trump could credibly claim he wasn't trying to get the investigation ended). What it was was highly inappropriate. And combined with subsequent events (i.e., firing Comey a few days later after he didn't take the hint) begins to establish a sound base for obstruction.

Freder Frederson said...

Now we find Bernie Bro from the DNC sent WikiLeaks 40,000 emails.

This is a lie

Rene Saunce said...

Trump is clumsy = Illegal criminal!

Hillary is cagey, she lies, she pretends to be stupid "like with a cloth", she's devious, she set up a Private Server while working at the highest level of government, she abused and mishandled classified information, she destroyed evidence, she and her family made millions = "Comey: I don't see any intention here."


The system is broken.

AReasonableMan said...

This is a believable account of how Trump views his employees. He clearly viewed Comey as an employee.

rehajm said...

"increase the law."

It is a consistent Big Government theme that law, like regulation and taxes, is a commodity product to be stacked ever higher without regard to quality or consequence.

Rene Saunce said...

If Trump's comments about Flynn were criminal, and Comey said nothing - Comey is the one who is in trouble.

Ann Althouse said...

"Where's his memo on him not reporting the obstruction attempt as required by law, if he actually believed he was being arm-twisted?"

The post preempts that question. I wrote: "If we assume all that is true, it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime but that he did see hints of an intention to proceed into the area that would be criminal and he wanted to be careful and observant."

Rene Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rene Saunce said...

Trump is inarticulate and clumsy.
Hillary is a criminal.


In America, Trump's inarticulate clumsiness = the real criminal.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm unimpressed by responses that only say other people are bad too.

I agree that Trump is getting incredibly aggressive pushback on everything he does, and I would like to see the imaginary world in which Obama got the same degree of opposition in Congress and the media for everything he did.

But I'm trying to talk seriously about what Trump is doing and these responses feel evasive to me.

AReasonableMan said...

Freder Frederson said...
This is a lie


It is, although in this context it is more squirrel than lie. A beautiful squirrel, all bushy-tailed and cute as a button. A beautiful squirrel that would really exist if there was any decency in this world. But if there was any decency in this world Hillary would already be locked up and Obama would be in disgrace and Bill Clinton would be a convicted sex offender and Bush Jr wouldn't have to hide out on his ranch to avoid the opprobrium of the 'elites'.

Chuck said...

Also, on that year-old interview with John Dickerson...

That was way back when Candidate Trump was talking about "waterboarding... or worse" suspected terrorists. As someone who is actually an admirer of Judge Jay Bybee and Professor John Yoo (the authors of the DoJ OLC memos now popularly called "the Torture Memos"), even I was critical of Trump's reckless language in that regard.

Trump won the election, and as President he got to nominate his own heads of the Department of Defense, the CIA and Homeland Security. And each and every one of them testified that they would not support or condone enhanced interrogation techniques that were no longer authorized by law. (John Yoo himself renounced any support for Candidate Trump's threats to do "waterboarding... or worse.")

And of course, Trump hasn't proposed any new "enhanced interrogation" legislation.

Bob Ellison said...

Trump views law as a player in the game? Not as an incorruptible lady holding scales?

Ann Althouse said...

"I still think the John Dickerson interview from a couple of weeks ago bears more discussion..."

Why do you keep bringing that up? I blogged that show here.

Ann Althouse said...

There are 50 comments at that old post, and you participated there, Chuck. So what is your problem? You want repeated blog posts on the same interview? That was the post for talking about that interview. Why are you making people read your continued references to it? It's boring!

Ann Althouse said...

"You believe this, and yet, you still support him."

"Still" implies that I supported him in the past. You don't even know who I voted for in the election. I did not support either candidate openly. I react to things as they happen daily. My viewpoint is cruel neutrality. It may feel like support to you, because your viewpoint is anti-Trump.

Inga said...

"This conversation alone probably is not obstruction of justice (as Ann pointed out there are enough weasel words in it that Trump could credibly claim he wasn't trying to get the investigation ended). What it was was highly inappropriate. And combined with subsequent events (i.e., firing Comey a few days later after he didn't take the hint) begins to establish a sound base for obstruction."

Trump's intent. That is what the judges who blocked Trump's Travel Ban looked at too. His intent waspretty darn clear, then listen to the interview with Lester Holt. Intent becomes even clearer. Trump is his own worst enemy.

Darrell said...

I can tell that Comey is an asshole, just like Chuck.

Ann Althouse said...

"If Trump's comments about Flynn were criminal, and Comey said nothing - Comey is the one who is in trouble."

As I said above, this talking point is preempted by what I said in the post: "If we assume all that is true, it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime but that he did see hints of an intention to proceed into the area that would be criminal and he wanted to be careful and observant."

Inga said...

"Anti Trump", maybe it's pro democracy.

rhhardin said...

Trump is playing the ordinary man line against the elite soap opera enablers.

Not fitting is important to the effect.

He wants the obvious insanity.

Obvious is the point.

traditionalguy said...

That Trump is a crafty one. He just took out the Key Man in the Obama/Hillary Organized crime operation, and he made it look easy. Comey had suppressed every investigation into actual High Crimes over that Obama years. and at the same time he was praised as The Last Honest Man because he acted so self righteous.

Virtually Unknown said...

But I'm trying to talk seriously about what Trump is doing and these responses feel evasive to me.

Since Hillary is the alternative the Democrats offered us to Trump, she is the standard by which he is measured. Sorry if that sounds "evasive" to you.

rhhardin said...

You want pearl-cluthing at obvious nothings.

Rene Saunce said...

Inga - You want to install Hillary. That is not democracy.

Inga said...

We really don't know who Comey informed at the time. We don't know if it was kept under wraps so as not to blow the investigation. Maybe they were giving Trump more rope in which to hang himself.

Ann Althouse said...

"'Where's his memo on him not reporting the obstruction attempt as required by law, if he actually believed he was being arm-twisted?' You do realize your question contains your answer. This conversation alone probably is not obstruction of justice (as Ann pointed out there are enough weasel words in it that Trump could credibly claim he wasn't trying to get the investigation ended)."

Thanks for seeing this in the post.

"What it was was highly inappropriate. And combined with subsequent events (i.e., firing Comey a few days later after he didn't take the hint) begins to establish a sound base for obstruction."

I don't know whether it's "highly inappropriate," but it wasn't good, and it showed a tendency -- evinced elsewhere -- to see things not in terms of law but social interaction — loyalty and who's "a good guy."

Darrell said...

The conversation supposedly took place on Feb.14th. Flynn resigned on Feb 13th, meaning Flynn was no longer of much concern to the Trump Administration when the conversation took place. The FBI had just vetted Flynn in December for the highest security clearance.

Andy Krause said...

With no evidence other than her feelings, Althouse has assumed that Trump wanted to impede the Flynn investigation. The problem here is that this frame of reference assumes Trump's motives are bad and says nothing about Comey's motives. Maybe you could focus your attention to the other half of the "story".

Virtually Unknown said...

Maybe if she would go away, chasing that beautiful squirrel deeper and deeper into the woods....

Years later we would read about some old harridan in a ramshackle cottage boiling lost little children in a cauldron, but let's worry about that then!

rhhardin said...

The elite soap opera enablers are going all out on the bull-it-out line.

The soap opera will get him before our obvious insanity does.

A race of two effects.

Inga said...

April,

I know you must be feeling a bit foolish by now but don't keep saying things to make yourself look more foolish.

Otto said...

'There may be reasons not to trust him"- Talk about being a shyster.

Virtually Unknown said...

and it showed a tendency -- evinced elsewhere -- to see things not in terms of law but social interaction — loyalty and who's "a good guy."

If he had only done it on his private jet on some airport tarmac.... No, what he needed to do was only do it where the underling's loyalty was never in doubt, somebody like Lynch.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Is Mueller's brief restricted solely to Russian involvement with Trump, et al, or is it Russian involvement in U. S. politics?

If only the former, what restricts it to one party/campaign only?

Matthew Sablan said...

"A memo may be disputed. It's not exactly hard evidence."

-- Was it notarized or in some way verified to have been drafted the day claimed? Sorry, but Comey has a habit of lying to Congress, so I'd like to verify this convenient thing truly exists.

Virtually Unknown said...

Trump should say they talked about grandchildren.

Chuck said...

Ann Althouse said...
There are 50 comments at that old post, and you participated there, Chuck. So what is your problem? You want repeated blog posts on the same interview? That was the post for talking about that interview. Why are you making people read your continued references to it? It's boring!

Right; that old post from a year ago had some good comments too.

And now, a year later after Trump's bloviating about "increasing the law" and how he'd favor "waterboarding... or worse," we are in no way any closer to what Trump was bloviating about.

It was bullshit. It was bullshit all along. It was salesman Trump, selling an unworkable and illegal idea, to people who didn't know any better.

I didn't really think I was rehashing any merits of that old thread, other than to say, See? He wasn't ever going to change anything substantive on enhanced interrogations, and sure enough he's not doing anything about it and he's got a Cabinet filled with people who have renounced the campaign position. Time has proven me right.


Rene Saunce said...

Poor Inga, Her corrupt money-grubber lost. Now, Inga wants to impeach Trump over his criminal obstruction of justice! She wants her Democracy Now!

Inga said...

Blogger Rene Saunce said..
"Poor Inga, Her corrupt money-grubber lost. Now, Inga wants to impeach Trump over his criminal obstruction of justice! She wants her Democracy Now!"

Poor April, she can't help being a dummy. I don't have the heart to say more.

Virtually Unknown said...

It would have been great had the Democrats, the oldest political party in the oldest democracy, offered us a choice who met the standards Trump is apparently missing.

Virtually Unknown said...

I don't have the heart to say more.

Is defending Clinton finally getting to you?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Has anyone in the Press asked Comey if he has similar memos regarding the past administration -- because I think those would be very interesting as well."

-- One thing I was always taught is that record keeping should be consistent across clients/bosses/etc. If you suddenly start taking extra memos/notes, or STOP doing the same, it looks really, really suspicious.

Bay Area Guy said...

1. Big Picture

In 2016, the Dems lost an election they shoulda won. They are still butt hurt over this dramatic loss. Their game plan is to gin up as much mass hysteria about Russian interference to try to "undo" the election results. Their chief weapon is to have their moles buried within the bureaucracy at NSA and DOJ leak seemingly salacious details of purported misconduct to the NYTimes and WaPost, who dutifully report like loyal stenographers. The Dems goal isn't necessarily to remove Trump from office via impeachment. The goal is to gin up fear and anxiety and loathing to win back Congress in 2018. If the Dems can impeach Trump in addition to this, it's an added benefit. But the goal is political power, nothing more.

2. Little picture:

- Flynn spoke with Russian Ambassador re sanctions, so what?
- Flynn's telephone conversation was bugged, big deal
- Flynn's telephone conversation was leaked to papers, big deal.
- Flynn mislead Pence about conversation, minor deal
- Trump fired Flynn, so what?
- Trump had dinner with Comey, so what?
- Trump expressed opinion that Flynn was good guy, getting railroaded, so what?
- Comey wrote memo of dinner, cya
- Trump fired Comey, so what?

-The FBI has opened a counter-intelligence investigation into Russian meddling into 2016 election.
-The FBI has not opened up a criminal investigation on this inquiry.
- The Left is conflating the two, and falsely claiming that Trump "colluded" with the Russians.

Jupiter said...

"Comey was going to be rigorous and independent, and that's not what Trump wanted."

Based on Comey's behavior during the last administration, it would be a bit of a surprise.

Matthew Sablan said...

"What it was was highly inappropriate."

-- Eh. Implying an IG is senile, firing them and closing their investigation was not deemed inappropriate. So. This? Small ball.

Matthew Sablan said...

"(i.e., firing Comey a few days later after he didn't take the hint) begins to establish a sound base for obstruction."

-- See above. Trump has done nothing close to how Obama obstructed the IRS case, the F&F case or the IG investigations into him. So, excuse me if I can't get too riled up that Trump is operating under the rules Democrats agreed to when their guy was in power. I don't like it, but they should've thought about that when they changed the rules.

Inga said...

No matter who the the Democrats would've made the candidate most of you would've still voted for Trump/ Republican. You people voted for him, accept the blame and the responsibility.

Virtually Unknown said...

I said before the election that I didn't care if Trump bulldozed the White House and built condos on Lafayette Square, I meant it. These people caterwauling about ethics don't have any ethics and solely care about power.

AReasonableMan said...

Chuck said...
Time has proven me right.


Time ... is on my side.

Ann Althouse said...

"Since Hillary is the alternative the Democrats offered us to Trump, she is the standard by which he is measured. Sorry if that sounds "evasive" to you."

The election is over. Hillary is off the stage. Trump can't avoid responsibility by pointing at her. Face reality.

I can see why she lost. I didn't want to vote for either of them, which is the main reason I won't say which one I did vote for. I did pick one. I didn't take the Gary Johnson off-ramp.

bagoh20 said...

Living your life consumed by what is legal is ruing human life, because nearly everything is illegal or at least capable of being expensively argued as such for the benefit of lawyers and the corrupt. It now forces us to hide the truth and our true feeling from each other. We can no longer tell each other that we made a mistake, we are sorry, or that what we really think about each other or our lives. What Trump said to Comey is what any honest human being would say in such a circumstance were it not for the hyperlegalizatiion and conflict now imposed by this "legality". We are to the point where we must choose daily whether to be honest, and human, or legally cover our ass. What is the end result of that, and why would we want it?

Virtually Unknown said...

No matter who the the Democrats would've made the candidate most of you would've still voted for Trump

Keep telling yourself that it doesn't matter that you sold out the professed beliefs of the Democrat party about corruption, sexual assault, rule of law, etc, etc, to support Bill and Hillary Clinton.

She is probably the only candidate you could have run that could have lost to Trump, and you defended her post after post.

Mike Sylwester said...

Didn't the Democrats foresee that the Republicans would respond by demanding to examine other memoranda that Comey wrote?

The Democrats' rules of the game seem to be that the public will be allowed to scrutinize only the Comey memoranda that Trump-hating FBI officials have leaked to Trump-hating journalists. Comey's memoranda on all other subjects must remain secret.

I want to examine and discuss all the memoranda that Comey wrote about Salley Yates, the leaker of the FBI's wiretaps of Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

What did Comey think of Yates' nutty warning that Flynn would be subject to RUSSIAN BLACKMAIL because the Russian Ambassador knew that Flynn had violated THE LOGAN ACT?

Ann Althouse said...

"Is Mueller's brief restricted solely to Russian involvement with Trump, et al, or is it Russian involvement in U. S. politics?"

You mean like that way Ken Starr was limited to Whitewater?

Virtually Unknown said...

Hillary is off the stage.

Would that it were so.

Rene Saunce said...

Bay Area Guy @ 7:51

That's exactly what is going on. The corrupt media happy to disseminate the manufactured outrage.

320Busdriver said...

Lets see where the tax reform proposal ends up, if it makes it through at all. It might be Trumps business expertise that created the push for the 15% rate on pass throughs like S Corp's, but it sets up a huge new way to game the system by having such a large difference between the different rates. As a wage earner I don't like the thought of paying a higher rate than these business owners who make 1/2 a million or more.

Pookie Number 2 said...

But I'm trying to talk seriously about what Trump is doing and these responses feel evasive to me.

I don't think it's evasive - so much of the Trump phenomenon reflects the conviction that the system is stacked against the little guy, while allowing the political elite to ignore any laws and customs they choose.

The media's current unbalanced focus on condemning and criticizing Trump while refusing to do any real investigative work on Hillary reinforces this conviction.

Rene Saunce said...

Inga - Your party ran a corrupt liar. What do you expect average Americans to do?

Oh right - You and your comrades are eternally butthurt over the pathetic deplorable's choice, so you want your Democracy Now! Impeach Trump.

bagoh20 said...

"The election is over. Hillary is off the stage. Trump can't avoid responsibility by pointing at her. Face reality."

The point is that the attacks on Trump are hypocritical in the extreme. If any outlandish charge has to be defended as serious, when such a thing is clearly unsustainable, then the fingers need pointed at the hypocrites demanding their hypocrisy be elevated to honest concern for the country, becuase the real damage to the country is being done by the unfounded attacks based on silly and dishonest literalism. Just look at the recent history of support for and disdain of Comey changing day to day depending on who he was helping or hurting. It's all on video, which now goes down the memory hole as smoothly as anything else, becuase politics.

damikesc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rene Saunce said...

Oh please. Hillary is running in 2020. Bet on it.

The left adore their corrupt liar. She's THEIR corrupt liar.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Oh please. Hillary is running in 2020. Bet on it."

-- I think she wants to, but I don't know if her infrastructure will be there. People will abandon her in a year or two.

Virtually Unknown said...

When Democrats make it clear that Hillary is in the past, that the Clintons are on the outs, we can talk about Trump. As it is, the leader of their party is pretty clearly guilty of worse than anything they have come up with against Trump. Let's all pretend it isn't true though!

Michael K said...

Ann, and some of you others, need to read "Three Felonies a Day."

The law has been made into a weapon which is used against political enemies.

Trump knows this. I know it.

You maneuver around the obstacle course the law creates in order to get anything done in life,

The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior.

Like saying, "The guy is fired. Why continue to harass him ?"

Rene Saunce said...

When to we get the transcript of the Comey-Hillary interview?

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xmas said...

Another BIG problem with the supposed Comey memo...

Comey gave testimony under oath that Trump did not interfere with the investigation. If the memo was done to document Trump's interference, then Comey lied under oath.

Darrell said...

This is the Left's plan to make America ungovernable unless the voters put a Lefty in the White House. The Media is complicit. Just tell fucking Lefties to go to Hell. Use a ball pein hammer, if need be.

Inga said...

April, you ranted and raved about how horrible Trump was for months and months here and at on other sites. You got the reputation as a bit of a kook actually. Now you are on the other end of the spectrum, defending a worse corrupt liar than Clinton ever was as if he was your daddy. Do you have a problem with controlling your extreme personality? It's either all hate for Trump, or all love for Trump with you, which makes me dismiss anything you have to say.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine if a prosecutor was unleashed on your life and business, with unlimited power, resources, and time. Maybe we should just have one permanently investigating the executive branch. It does have too much power to be running loose. Whether we have one or not, it seems there is always a need for a special prosecutor, especially over the last 8 years.

damikesc said...

I'd like to see a Republican call Alberto Gonzales to discuss the behavior of James Comey.

Suffice to say, nobody --- not even Bush --- was advised that Comey took over Ashcrofts office.

Comey is a sleazy seeker of power who is intensely loyal to Schumer.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"But I'm trying to talk seriously about what Trump is doing and these responses feel evasive to me."

OK, let's talk about what Trump is doing. As you may have read, he was recently elected President of the United States of America. Since you have devoted your life to the study of a field on which the most respected players are those who are best able to pretend that what they want is merely what the law instructs them to want, you may not have considered that the Presidency is not a magistracy. It is an executive office. This means that the President is not expected merely to ensure that policies designed by others are carried out according to that design. He is expected -- by those who elected him -- to develop policies of his own, and to put them into action.

So if you want to know who is way out of line here, it is not the President. It is the various upstart magistrates who presume, as Inga notes with such childlike delight, to obstruct him on the basis of his supposed intent. Unless that intent is criminal, it is lawful, and it is his duty to carry it into action if he can.

Now, what were you all excited about? Oh, yeah. Comey. You're right, Trump should have fired him on January 21, for debasing his office by going on national television to campaign for and endorse for high office a woman who was the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation his boss had instructed him to quash. He should not even have been discussing that investigation with anyone outside the federal legal system. It does look kind of bad that Trump waited so long to fire the corrupt toady, but he's got a lot on his plate.

Virtually Unknown said...

Why can't they just walk away from her? What is her hold on them? They are, in theory, free to choose different leadership, yet you have the Ingas here sticking by them out of some sick loyalty.

Only one Republican wasn't afraid of her, and he is barely a Republican. The rest of the party cowed to her and would have lost. Now he is in the arena fighting them, and we are supposed to forget the nature of his enemy? Cripes! I could go on in this vein for another hour, but I won't. I will spare you.

Brookzene said...

"Your party ran a corrupt liar."

Trump lies every single day. Every.single.day. Blatantly.

And you guys have the nerve to talk about hypocrisy. Trump has the worst character of any president we've ever had, and that was evident right from the primaries. And you still support him.

bagoh20 said...

" It's either all hate for Trump, or all love for Trump with you"

Maybe her standards, opinions, and outrage aren't glued to a personality or party.

Virtually Unknown said...

efending a worse corrupt liar than Clinton ever was - Inga

Since you made the judgement based on your review of the facts, apparently, why don't you let us in on what you think was the most corrupt thing Trump ever did? Then tell us the most corrupt thing Hillary ever did, in your judgement.

Then tell us Trump's biggest lie, and then Hillary's biggest lie.

I think that would be amusing.

Brookzene said...

"Single greatest witch hunt"

Right. From the guy who built his campaign on his efforts to prove Obama was born in Kenya.

Bruce Hayden said...

More anonymous sources. Maybe Comey had notes. Maybe not. Don't really care, except that it gave the lie to the previous anonymous claim about the conversation, which was very likely from Obama placed operatives who weren't present. That claim was too bogus and was too easily debunked, hence this new one.

In any case, while the optics may be bad, there was nothing the least bit illegal about what Trump is (anonymously, likely by embedded Dem operatives) alleged to have done. A lot of smoke so far, generated entirely by Dem operatives with bylines (MSM), and no indication yet of any possible crime having been committed. Which means that Trump was merely suggesting that the FBI quit wasting resources on what he, most likely, considers a politically motivated snipe hunt aimed at interfering with what he is trying to accomplish. There is no substantive difference between this and Obama/Holder/Lynch not pursuing any number of cases, ranging from Fast and Furious up through their own Russian investigations. Equivalent to prosecutorial discretion (which is based, in great part, on an allocation of scarce resources rational). What must always be remembered here is that the DoJ operates completely under his jurisdiction, and decisions throughout the DoJ about resource usage are based on his Constitutional power to run the Executive branch of govt. Let me repeat myself - there is nothing remotely illegal or wrong for the President to suggest to an Executive branch subordinate that they quit wasting precious resources on politically motivated investigations aimed at harming him politically (especially) if there has been no real evidence that any crime has been committed.

Virtually Unknown said...

Trump has the worst character of any president we've ever had, and that was evident right from the primaries. And you still support him.

Did he rape women who were his political supporters, sexually assault them in numbers?

Did he take tens of millions of dollars from the Russians and do them "huge' favors like Uranium One and killing Keystone?

Did he call the prime minister of Pakistan and pressure her to re-instate one of his donors at the head of a bank?

I mean, come on. How hard is this?

AReasonableMan said...

Pookie Number 2 said...
the Trump phenomenon reflects the conviction that the system is stacked against the little guy, while allowing the political elite to ignore any laws and customs they choose.


There are two Trumps. Trump, the man - a dumpster fire. Trump, the idea - Shane riding into town and restoring justice for the little guy.

The second Trump will live on in the imaginations of some but without significant changes to the system no real life version will ever be instantiated in an effective way. The changes that need to be made, removing the immense amounts of money slushing through the system, are opposed by the very same people that complain so vociferously that the system is rigged. Similarly, there is no stronger force for economic justice for the little guy than the unions, but once again unions are reflexively opposed by the same people complaining about the lack of justice for the little guy.

Ford just cut 10% of its US workforce. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Virtually Unknown said...

Why can't you just admit that the Clintons were the worst mistake that the Democrats have ever made and move on? But you won't, you continue to defend her, so we continue to defend Trump, since it is clear that ethics is not your primary concern.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Jupiter, the know it all, should just march his ass down to D.C. and present himself to the Office of the President and offer his services as another advisor to the President. I'm sure Trump will be very happy to have his wise counsel.

bagoh20 said...

"Right. From the guy who built his campaign on his efforts to prove Obama was born in Kenya."

To be fair, his point was that the truth of it should be proven instead of played with as a political tool by Obama. In the end, Trump got it done, and we finally moved on.

Rene Saunce said...

Inga - You fail to note that I was against Hillary Corruption, no matter what.
I will readily admit that I was no fan of Trump. The media pushed him because they thought he was the only candidate who Hillary could beat. I've said this over and over.
I thought Trump was in it to hand it to Hillary.
I will readily admit, like many Americans, that I was surprised by Trump's win and giddy with joy that America dodged the Corrupt Clinton-Podesta institutionalized corruption bullet.

I'm not in love with Trump, as you ignorantly contend.

Your party and your party's sad-fuck media are on another witch hunt.

CStanley said...

Obama thought of Constitutional law as an obstacle to overcome, as expressed here:

Obama in his interview disparages the Constitution as merely "a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf

That's the difference between a businessman's perspective (statutory law and regulations are to be dealt with as potential obstacles to work around in his private sector life) and a leftist community organizer who is looking at ways to increase the scope of the federal government as his life's mission.

I know which one seems more dangerous to me.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

"Blogger Freder Frederson said...
Now we find Bernie Bro from the DNC sent WikiLeaks 40,000 emails.

This is a lie

AReasonableMan said...
Freder Frederson said...
This is a lie

It is,"

Here's the quote from Fox News:

The federal investigator, who requested anonymity, said 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.

Just because you don't believe it doesn't make it a lie.

Brookzene said...

"To be fair, his point was that the truth of it should be proven instead of played with as a political tool by Obama."

Ha ha! It was Obama's fault

Inga said...

Clinton Derangment Syndrome in full evidence on this thread, as usual. I didn't vote for her. I voted for Jill Stein. I never defended her daily, however there comes a time to stop attacking the woman. She's not running for anything. She won't ever get the Democratic nomination again. You people have a much bigger problem of your own making.

Mike said...


Ford just cut 10% of its US workforce.

Not quite. More like 10% of North American and Asian white collar jobs. You try too hard to pin stuff on Trump, ARM.

Pookie Number 2 said...

The changes that need to be made, removing the immense amounts of money slushing through the system, are opposed by the very same people that complain so vociferously that the system is rigged. Similarly, there is no stronger force for economic justice for the little guy than the unions, but once again unions are reflexively opposed by the same people complaining about the lack of justice for the little guy.

The changes that need to be made involve limiting the power and influence of an inherently corruptible and increasingly incompetent federal government. Creating new loopholes for directing money to favored politicians and pretending that union officials are incorruptible won't help.

Rene Saunce said...

"Scott Walker will be indicted any second now." -- Inga

Virtually Unknown said...

Similarly, there is no stronger force for economic justice for the little guy than the unions, but once again unions are reflexively opposed by the same people complaining about the lack of justice for the little guy.

I wish unions were just in it for economic justice for the little guy. Maybe they are. But of you replace "picket line" with "border" and "scabs doing the work union members won't do for the wages on offer" for "illegal aliens doing the work citizens won't do for the wages on offer" and their political position turns on a dime. They are hypocritical because they allowed themselves to be too deeply associated with the Democrats, and now they have bought into the whole identity politics of that party, which leaves a lot of traditional Democrats on the outs.

And I'm my humble opinion, if the Democrats go on a further anti-Christian tear, it is going to start hurting them with blacks. Have you ever had a meal in a black home where grace was not said? I haven't.

Inga said...

"Scott Walker will be indicted any second now." -- Inga

April, are you hallucinating? Go and find a quote of me saying anything like this. You are nothing if not a walking talking hyperbole.

mockturtle said...

[Comey] was concerned that Trump's suggestion to end the Flynn probe could be an example of obstruction of justice. "It crossed his mind," a person familiar with the matter said, adding "even in its most benign form, it's an improper conversation. You're getting a little too close to the flame."

Of course, Comey was not on the plane with Bill and Loretta and Loretta didn't take notes.

AReasonableMan said...

Mike said...
More like 10% of North American and Asian white collar jobs.


Well that's OK then. Those people had it coming.

Bruce Hayden said...

".. It might be Trumps business expertise that created the push for the 15% rate on pass throughs like S Corp's, but it sets up a huge new way to game the system by having such a large difference between the different rates. As a wage earner I don't like the thought of paying a higher rate than these business owners who make 1/2 a million or more."

Not sure how seriously we should take any suggestion that S-Corp income be taxed at a lower rate than any other income. One of the justifications for giving C-Corps that sort of rate is that they face one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Sure - the rate is supposed to currently be 35% or so, but, realistically, a lot of small businesses pay a marginal rate of 39%. Almost 2/5 of every dollar of profit taxed at the corporate level BEFORE BEING TAXED AGAIN AS DIVIDENDS on the personal level. This is the critical point to keep in mind - that the corporate tax rate is effectively on top of the individual tax rate for any dividends paid out.

Oh, and this 1/2 million figure essentially means that we are talking about a very small number of people, and, thus, the issue is not the actual amount of revenue raised, but rather what someone considers to be "fair". Personally, I don't consider our progressive income tax system fair. A lot of people pay nothing, while a small number of people pay an awful lot, to fund our government. That doesn't seem the least bit fair to me. Each to his own, I guess.

Meade said...

"You don't even know who I voted for in the election."

Whatever. But I do know who you'll vote for for reelection in 2020.

Hagar said...

I remember James B. Comey standing on the courthouse steps and listing the charges against Martha Stewart while looking straight into the camera, and I thought then that this guy is lying and knows that I know he is lying, and he still stands there lying to my face.
This is a very bad hombre.

Inga said...

The deflection away from the topic of this blog post is pretty telling. That's OK, it's understandable.

Clayton Hennesey said...

You mean like that way Ken Starr was limited to Whitewater?

I don't know. Because I'm not a lawyer or a law professor, I thought I'd ask on a law professor's blog in the event she or someone equally qualified might know.

It does seem to me that, with something already as multiply broad as (1) a hostile foreign nation's alleged interference in (2) a U. S. presidential election involving a spectrum of campaigns and ideologies (as opposed to say, Boris Badanov's alleged interference in the northern New Jersey corrugated box supply chain), preemptive restriction to one single campaign or ideology looks suspiciously political rather an like an impartial, purely legal quest for criminal justice.

What would the legal basis be for a special counsel remaining scrupulously restricted to potential Russian involvement with, say, the Johnson-Weld campaign while remaining entirely incurious about any other potential Russian presidential campaign involvements?

Rene Saunce said...

Inga - you want us to shut up about Hillary?

The reason we don't is because she is a criminal who walked. While you leftists witch hunt Trump over his clumsy inarticulate non-lawyer, non-politician ways, you are strangely forgiving of Clinton Crimes.

A special prosecutor should be called to re-open criminal case on Clinton Foundation, Private Server, and lucrative secret Russian Uranium deals.

Virtually Unknown said...

Clinton Derangment Syndrome in full evidence on this thread, as usual.

As is Trump Derangement Syndrome. I have always assumed you were "Unknown" who did, in fact defend Clinton daily, who left right about the time you joined here. I miss her "Keep hope alive!" taunts!

Rene Saunce said...

I repeat:

If Trump's comments about Flynn were criminal, and Comey said nothing - Comey is the one who is in trouble.

Inga said...

"You don't even know who I voted for in the election."
----------
"Whatever. But I do know who you'll vote for for reelection in 2020."
-----------

Whoa, are you going in the voting booth with her to make sure?

Virtually Unknown said...

April, are you hallucinating? Go and find a quote of me saying anything like this. You are nothing if not a walking talking hyperbole.

You took the name of a poster who was pretty famous here, now your gas lighting people over it?

Inga said...

" Inga - you want us to shut up about Hillary?"

No, keep it up. Just makes you look obsessive and gives me the opportunity to point it out.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"The quotation is from an unnamed source in a CNN piece"

Really, what more would any serious person have to say after reading that intro?

Brando said...

"This reminds me of something I've said a number of times about Trump. I don't think he is oriented toward law."

And this is why a president is supposed to have good advisers, many of whom SHOULD be oriented in law. Keeps them from breaking the law!

Trump isn't our first non-lawyer president, and many of our lawyer presidents hadn't practiced for a while by the time they took office. But normally they will have lawyers to advise them in how not to step in it all the time.

Whatever Trump's intentions with Comey, whether he was trying to lean on the guy in charge of the investigation or just feel him out, this was incredibly clumsy and coming on the heels of firing Comey and admitting Russia was on his mind when he did it--if you look at that whole mess and think "brilliant, more of this, please!" then you're off your rocker.

If nothing else this should be a sign he needs a shakeup on his team.

Virtually Unknown said...

If you are going to pretend to be 'Inga,' part of the character is a deep and irrational hatred for Scot Walker.

Michael K said...

" You got the reputation as a bit of a kook actually."

Inga, you should try stand up comedy. With ideas like this one , you might be a hit.

Inga said...

"You took the name of a poster who was pretty famous here...."

Oh? Inga was pretty famous here? I'm sure she wouldn't mind me using her name, right Inga?

Rene Saunce said...

If you are going to pretend to be 'Inga,' part of the character is a deep and irrational hatred for Scot Walker.


Heh!

Rene Saunce said...

@ Bagoh

Living your life consumed by what is legal is ruing human life, because nearly everything is illegal or at least capable of being expensively argued as such for the benefit of lawyers and the corrupt. It now forces us to hide the truth and our true feeling from each other. We can no longer tell each other that we made a mistake, we are sorry, or that what we really think about each other or our lives. What Trump said to Comey is what any honest human being would say in such a circumstance were it not for the hyperlegalizatiion and conflict now imposed by this "legality". We are to the point where we must choose daily whether to be honest, and human, or legally cover our ass. What is the end result of that, and why would we want it?


Worth a repeat.

Democracy Now! hacks do not allow for human.

Meade said...

Inga said...
" I voted for Jill Stein"

Whoa! Here in Wisconsin, a vote for Stein (or any other 3rd party) was a vote for Trump.

Rene Saunce said...

Brando - Argeed.

He needs a shakeup on his team.

Is that legal? Will leftwing witch hunters cry over that, too?

Rene Saunce said...

Meade -
LOL- Inga voted for Trump.

Rene Saunce said...

OT: It's snowing here.

I'm pretty sure that's illegal.

John said...

A 1-Star review from Amazon re: the book Michael K recommended:

"Book does not relate to common person. It only addresses those in politics or in public eye. Only redeeming value is to point out how prosecutors are used to carry out a political agenda."

Preemptive apologies to those in the legal profession - but, isn't this the point? The 'law' has penetrated EVERY aspect of our lives. While this reviewer doesn't believe the 'common person' can relate, I'd suggest that they are very much impacted. They are impacted because our government cannot do their job - which should be relatively easy - because nearly EVERYONE is now a prosecutor: both political parties, the media, and even commenters on blogs.

For those of us that "wake(s) up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep,..." - we could care less. All this noise by the 'professional political and punditry class' is getting old - but unfortunately, it is also having an effect on us. Get over yourselves.

Inga said...

Yes Meade, that's probably true. I hang my head in shame. I should've voted for Clinton.

AReasonableMan said...

Pookie Number 2 said...
The changes that need to be made involve limiting the power and influence of an inherently corruptible and increasingly incompetent federal government.


Yet the golden age of the little guy was established by FDR, not exactly a small government man.

Chuck said...

Brando said...
"This reminds me of something I've said a number of times about Trump. I don't think he is oriented toward law."

And this is why a president is supposed to have good advisers, many of whom SHOULD be oriented in law. Keeps them from breaking the law!

Trump isn't our first non-lawyer president, and many of our lawyer presidents hadn't practiced for a while by the time they took office. But normally they will have lawyers to advise them in how not to step in it all the time.

Whatever Trump's intentions with Comey, whether he was trying to lean on the guy in charge of the investigation or just feel him out, this was incredibly clumsy and coming on the heels of firing Comey and admitting Russia was on his mind when he did it--if you look at that whole mess and think "brilliant, more of this, please!" then you're off your rocker.

If nothing else this should be a sign he needs a shakeup on his team.


Brando; that is so clearly-thought and well-written. So calm and composed. So indisputably correct.

And yet, Trump has had time to prepare for this moment, and has had access to competent people all along. He's been told, by Mitch McConnell and others, to lay off the Twitter account. Things may be improved by a staff shakeup, but there remains an essential problem with Trump. A personal problem with his impulses and behavior.

Kevin said...


Althouse said...

it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime but that he did see hints of an intention to proceed into the area that would be criminal

Was Trump feeling him out, beginning with ambiguous suggestion and seeing how compliant and easygoing Comey might be?

The subsequent summary firing makes me think that is what Trump was doing.


Trump comes into office. Unlike Hillary, he doesn't know most of these people personally. Like any new CEO, he's there to make changes, and part of that is determining which people you keep and which you move out. The FBI Director is a key person. He's got good things in his favor, and he's made some poor decisions such that people on both sides feel he could go for cause.

Trump meets with him a few times in a few different settings to feel him out. Is he someone you can work with? Do his heart and head seem to still be in the game? Or has he lost his fastball? Has his time passed him by?

Trump has to do this with hundreds of people at the top of our government. Generals, US Attorneys, Department Heads. Obama did too. It comes with the job. It's a key way you change the government.

Comey is not Trump's kind of guy. He's aloof. He seems to take forever to make decisions, even when the facts are clear early on. He's botched a bunch of terrorism stuff of late. And he's full of self-importance. The guy at the top can be a self-promoter - that's branding. Congresspeople are all a bunch of self-important jerks. The Executive Branch needs to be run differently.

So he wants to fire him. But he takes an additional step. He asks Rosenstein to write up his opinion on the guy. Maybe Trump missed something. But Rosenstein's memo says, "Nope". It doesn't have any reasons to keep him that Trump didn't consider.

And based on his opinion, and the opinions of others he asked, he fires him. Was he feeling him out? Of course. He's feeling everyone out. That's why so many feel they need to get rid of him before it becomes their turn.

Trump's not worried about the investigation. He knows he didn't do anything wrong. It's just a matter of time before he's cleared, no matter who the FBI Director is. He's not considering the political fallout because he doesn't make decisions in his own best interest. He makes them for the good of the organization.

The real issue is there are likely a lot more people who need to be replaced. The good people Obama put in have left for private sector jobs long ago. Second terms are full of second-stringers and people who stayed too long, people who have the right connections but not the right "stuff".

Was Comey great? Was he making America great? At one time for sure. Certainly no longer. Trump's not going to put up with that. And that's why the American people elected him.

Kevin said...

He's been told, by Mitch McConnell and others, to lay off the Twitter account.

It's not about impulse control. It's about narrative control. He watched the shows to see what the narrative was. Then he tweeted out "witch hunt" and now every major network is repeating the words "witch hunt" for their viewers.

It doesn't always work. He doesn't always execute properly. But when he does it gives him a power that past presidents didn't. They had just a few opportunities to speak to the American people a year without it being filtered by the press. Trump has that opportunity several times a day, if he needs it.

And in this media climate, he needs it more than ever.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"The election is over. Hillary is off the stage. Trump can't avoid responsibility by pointing at her. Face reality. "

The election is not over for the Democrats and the "deep government", and Hillary is not off the stage. Trump absolutely should keep pointing out how Hillary and Obama (and Democratic politicians in general) were and are treated dramatically differently when it comes to what is considered legally acceptable. That is one of the biggest problems facing America today.


Brookzene said...

"Trump absolutely should keep pointing out how Hillary and Obama (and Democratic politicians in general) were and are treated dramatically differently when it comes to what is considered legally acceptable."

Why should I be held accountable?

rehajm said...

(Battle Hymn of Republic playing in the background of Kevin's post)

Martin said...

Dickerson's question was just partisan hackery and unworthy of notice.

Here's a thought... Maybe a real estate developer background is not good prep for being a senior statesman, let alone President.In real estate, everything is transactional, every project is a stand-alone "deal," not just in its genesis but actually stand-alone--a separate corporation. You build relationships with people because in the future there may be a deal you can do with them, and a lot of that goes on in private: doing little favors, effusive compliments, occasionally a public compliment that is unnecessary but sends a signal. Then, when a deal is in prospect, you get good lawyers and lobbyists to push it through the approval process and stay just this side of the legal line, while pushing every possible advantage.

None of which sounds like being head of state or head of government of a major world power, especially one with a vestigial democratic process, and a hostile media.

Which is NOT to say Trump shouldn't have run, or it was wrong to vote for him over the even worse Hillary Clinton, but maybe at age 70 Trump is either slow to pick up on the differences, or having trouble changing the way he has succeeded for the past 40 years.

khesanh0802 said...

Comey is/was a political animal. He is/was not a particularly talented political animal. (Watch Trey Gowdy slice and dice him.) The memo was a cya that (here's what I don't understand) he showed to other people. Stop for a moment and examine the motives of someone who does that. I have no problem with the memo, it's a helpful exercise, but usually that exercise is reserved for "the files" and not broadcast to your buddies. It is, as many have mentioned, similar to a diary entry and diary entries are notoriously self-serving. I am looking forward to Rosenstein's talk to the Senate today. I expect it will pretty non-political and a good outline of how the DOJ is supposed to act. Comey will come out of it not looking terribly good, although that will only be a side effect.

I think Ann's analysis of Trump's attitude toward "The Law" is accurate. To a businessman the law is the rules of the game, to be followed and to be taken advantage of when possible. Similar to when Bill Belichik took advantage of the rules to make his offensive alignment so confusing that Raven's coach John Harbaugh had apoplexy on the sidelines - and, typically, the rules were changed following that occasion.

I do think that Mike K is right the the law has become so complex (and serves so many special interests) that one can hardly escape breaking it on a daily basis. Quite appropriately "the law" is looked at as a partisan weapon these days, thus making it vulnerable to disdain.

It is still very early in the Trump game. There have been some screw ups and some successes. (See Scott Adams a couple of days ago). The Comey firing is going to turn out to be a success whoever is appointed. I don't particularly fear the " special prosecutor". Like so many others I am convinced that there is very little "there" there.

I do think the Trump organization has been taken a bit by surprise by the vehemence of the opposition and the outright distortions of the MSM. They have not developed a good answer yet, but I expect they will soon. I think it is difficult for non-politicians to be as cynical about ignoring the welfare of the people as are professional politicians.

Brando said...

"Is that legal? Will leftwing witch hunters cry over that, too?"

Rule 1--don't let the witch hunters drive you. Do what's best for your team!

I'm not sure who he's getting advice from, or who he's listening to, but whoever's been behind the strategy of the past few months and especially the past couple weeks is not cutting it. Unless of course the goal was "focus everyone on this Russia thing and make it look like the White House is chaos" in which case, bravo!

"Brando; that is so clearly-thought and well-written. So calm and composed. So indisputably correct."

Thank you!

"And yet, Trump has had time to prepare for this moment, and has had access to competent people all along. He's been told, by Mitch McConnell and others, to lay off the Twitter account. Things may be improved by a staff shakeup, but there remains an essential problem with Trump. A personal problem with his impulses and behavior."

I'm not sure exactly how things are run in his inner circle--whether he gets good advice but will not or cannot take it, or if he only trusts people who simply aren't up to the job. But anyone who told him firing Comey would have earned him bipartisan praise should never work in politics or even retail again, because they likely would get themselves locked in a safe on a regular basis.

I'm just glad they haven't faced a real national crisis (war, terror attack, economic disaster) yet.

J2 said...

Maybe Anne has explained this but if so I missed it.

Why did you vote as opposed to not vote?

Kevin said...

@rehajm

LOL!

Karen said...

This whole discussion is based on an assumption that the press is telling us the truth. Every single comment in the news is that "a friend of Comey said", or "unknown sources allege", so how are we supposed to believe that any of this is true?

khesanh0802 said...

Everyday I remind myself - like J Farmer, I think - that Hillary Clinton is not president. I am endlessly grateful to Trump for that.

Brookzene said...

"The memo was a cya that (here's what I don't understand) he showed to other people. Stop for a moment and examine the motives of someone who does that."

A memo he showed to his professional peers.
"What do you think? Does that sound like obstruction of justice to you? How would you evaluate it?"

Such sinister motives. Showed it to his "buddies" you say.

J2 said...

Interesting facts seldom noted.

Loretta Lynch was first married in 2007. She has no children. She has no grandchildren.

According to Comey's testimony, the FBI agents who interviewed Hillary Clinton for a whopping 3 hours at the tail end of this huge investigation did not record the interview. There is no transcript of the interview.

Clinton was not put under oath when she was interviewed. Cheryl Mills, who had been given immunity by the DOJ was present when Clinton had her 3 hour interview.

I was shocked to learn from his testimony that the FBI does not normally tape interviews. They produce a summary called FD 302.

sodal ye said...

"Trump has the worst character of any president we've ever had"

I suggest reading Hitchens' No One Left To Lie To

Birches said...

I'm skipping over the back and forth and commenting on what caught my eye. Comey made memos because he thought someone might want to see them, but he hasn't shown them to any one who matters. I'm skeptical.

Michael K said...

So he wants to fire him. But he takes an additional step. He asks Rosenstein to write up his opinion on the guy. Maybe Trump missed something. But Rosenstein's memo says, "Nope". It doesn't have any reasons to keep him that Trump didn't consider.

And based on his opinion, and the opinions of others he asked, he fires him. Was he feeling him out? Of course. He's feeling everyone out. That's why so many feel they need to get rid of him before it becomes their turn.


Good analysis. I'm skipping by so many comments here now that I miss the few good ones.

Meade said...

Inga said...
"I hang my head in shame. I should've voted for Clinton."

Good god, woman — just how low do you want your head to hang?

mockturtle said...

The swamp creatures are hanging on for dear life.

Kirk Parker said...


"And yet, Trump has had time to prepare for this moment, and has had access to competent people all along. He's been told, by Mitch McConnell and others, to lay off the Twitter account."

Here we see Chuck trying standup comedy, by placing 'competent people' and 'Mitch McConnell' in close proximity.

Really, what better recommendation could a person have for continuing with Twitter, than having Yet Another Dinosaur Of The Establishment recommend against it?

johns said...

So now Mueller will be investigating not only the Trump campaign but Comey as well. Does anyone know what Mueller thinks of Comey?

Todd said...

Inga said...
No matter who the the Democrats would've made the candidate most of you would've still voted for Trump/ Republican. You people voted for him, accept the blame and the responsibility.

5/18/17, 7:53 AM


Blame? Responsibility? Shit, based on the alternative, it is a damn badge of honor!

Despite all of the dust that MSM/Dems/AntaFa/libs kick-up, he is still not only better than "grandma" that the Dems were running but he is currently better than the spineless weasel he replaced. It has yet to be reported that Trump sent the IRS after anyone, send the DOE after any schools, sent the NSA after political opponents or reporters, or allowed US dignitaries abroad die while blaming it on a video. So, so far so good...

FullMoon said...

"To fully understand and appreciate Jim Comey’s approach to politics, the writings and testimony of Alberto Gonzales, who served as both White House counsel and attorney general during the events in question and is intimately aware of Comey’s history of political maneuvering, is absolutely essential."


Former Bush AG on Comey

Todd said...

Inga said...
April, you ranted and raved about how horrible Trump was for months and months here and at on other sites. You got the reputation as a bit of a kook actually. Now you are on the other end of the spectrum, defending a worse corrupt liar than Clinton ever was as if he was your daddy. Do you have a problem with controlling your extreme personality? It's either all hate for Trump, or all love for Trump with you, which makes me dismiss anything you have to say.

5/18/17, 8:09 AM


LOL, now THAT is rich! The great part of that line is that it really don't matter which Clinton Inga meant! They are both DOCUMENTED as bigger liars! LOL!

readering said...

I thought it interesting that Trump so quickly stated after the election that he didn't want to investigate Clinton further. I think he expected reciprocity: let's turn the page on campaign stuff. But that's not how the game is played or how the law works.

khesanh0802 said...

@brookzene If that's what Comey, in fact, did then his buddies must have said "No", because he/they did nothing about it until he got his ass fired. I never ascribed "sinister motives" to anyone. I just questioned what Comey's real motivation was. As the head of an organization you rarely show a "to the files" memo to your subordinates, it is there to bolster your own recollection.

Known Unknown said...

"But I'm trying to talk seriously about what Trump is doing and these responses feel evasive to me."

What about Comey's own testimony? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mMTJSs0fN0

Known Unknown said...

"Really, what better recommendation could a person have for continuing with Twitter, than having Yet Another Dinosaur Of The Establishment recommend against it?"

Trump knows that Twitter was a net asset in his campaign in reaching out to the public directly. Bypassing the media is an essential tool for any President, and especially Trump.

Known Unknown said...

"Yet the golden age of the little guy was established by FDR, not exactly a small government man."

Keep telling yourself this is what actually happened, and not WW2 making America an unstoppable global industrial force that raised thousands out of poverty into a newly-minted middle class.

Known Unknown said...

"I thought it interesting that Trump so quickly stated after the election that he didn't want to investigate Clinton further. I think he expected reciprocity: "

Or he was pulling a page of the post-Civil War Lincoln handbook because who wants to drag the election on and on and on ...

Rene Saunce said...


Comey testimony - that's worth a replay Known Unknown

Will said...

Let's face it. Obama had scandals galore, but he resisted any attempts to hold him accountable. The fact that Trump has a Special Counsel but Obama never did on any of his numerous horrifying scandals proves Trump point.

Obama plays like ISIS and will take no prisoners. The Republicans are slowly learning that nominating a nice guy like Romney who has character and whose morals and character are above reproach bought them no respect. Obama spent ONE BILLION DOLLARS smearing a good man.

So this time around the decent people of America (and this is not the same as the Republican establishment) said "we have to beat the savages" and they went and nominated their own savage who would skewer Bill and Hillary Clinton as the evil scumbags they are and not let them get away with the bullcrap that Obama got away with.

When you look at an Elijah Cummings and what he did to cover for Hillary's crimes and how he is baying for blood with Trump you will see that you just cannot reason with these people. They have radicalized themselves and are all about political Jihad now.

John Dickerson was the guy who said Obama needed to crush his opponents. I hope that Trump wakes up to the fact that his opponents are savages and fires Koskinen and the other Obama holdover scumbags and goes over the media's head. He is not going to win by playing their game and his own comments on ISIS show that he knows it.

The party that was so outraged about respecting the results of an election is now 6 months into its tantrum about the results of an election. America is sick of it.

They got Sessions recused, they amorist got Gates in line to make decisions that would have sealed Trump's fate, they have a Special Counsel now and they have the media to beat it 24/7.

Trump better take a long hard look at his comments and get smart real quick or it will be his Presidency that these savages behead. It is already happening....

Ray said...

The book "Three Felonies a Day." is terrifying and educational. I wish it was written better and it's a dry read.

An example, I think it was in the book, but it seems that US law now recognizes overseas law in importing some products under the Lacey act. So if you import items from overseas, and violate an overseas law, such as using a plastic bag with lobsters from Honduras. https://www.thoughtco.com/protecting-us-from-plastic-packed-lobster-3321824

Same act was used on Gibson on importing wood from India.

The law has become so complicated, that as mentioned in a previous comment if the government decides your guilty of something, unless you have basically unlimited resources your toast. And even if you are proven innocent, the process is a punishment.

Instapundit has a paper called Ham Sandwich Nation when everything is a crime.
http://volokh.com/2013/01/21/ham-sandwich-nation-due-process-when-everything-is-a-crime/

Back to Trump and the Comey mess. Kudos for the poster that mentioned The Federalist article about what happened during the Bush administration with Comey. Another tidbit was the involvement of Comey's friend Preet Bharara, whom was a staffer for Schumer.

Two items that I have not noticed being mentioned:

1. Comey was working for the Feds in NY. That means Trump probably knew of him, or interacted with people who interacted with Comey or where investigated by him. This created some type of impression of Comey by Trump.

2. Why was Comey's firing so messy. I would call it demeaning and just plain mean. Yet, when Trump fired the head of the WH staff, the Chief Usher, it was done in a nice way. Supposedly the staff was very happy when she left, because she did not treat them with respect and supposedly it was so bad some cried.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Based on the principle of restricted choice , I would lay odds that Althouse voted for Hillary Clinton. Keep in mind that even though she hasn't shown us her hole card, she has shown some of the other cards in her hand.

Observe that choosing the lesser of two evils in the 2016 election was an especially complex problem. For example, you might have computed that Hillary was sure to be impeached, whereas for Donald it was only a high probability. In any case, one needed to compute both the expected rate of evilness and its expected duration in years, which might be the usual 4 or 8 with the 12 year option, but might also only be 1.

Some of the Inga's of this world were voting for .5 years of Donald. In other words, they judged Donald to be more evil than Hillary, but thought he wouldn't last very long so the total amount of evilness to be endured would be less. That's the resistance in a nutshell.

Do you see though, how Althouse's attitude towards the resistance, the Russia investigation, and the possibility of impeachment may show her to not also be holding the voted for Donald card?

rcocean said...

"He's been told, by Mitch McConnell and others, to lay off the Twitter account."

If people listened to Mitch, we'd be talking about President Hillary Clinton.

"Mitch" is only good at 2 things, being a weak-kneed RINO and convincing the boobs in Kentucky to elect to the senate every 6 years.

Achilles said...

readering said...
I thought it interesting that Trump so quickly stated after the election that he didn't want to investigate Clinton further. I think he expected reciprocity: let's turn the page on campaign stuff. But that's not how the game is played or how the law works.

Clearly the law is only meant to keep the DC elite in power as a weapon against the citizens of the country. Obama and Clinton committed numerous crimes with zero special prosecutors called. The leftists here can't even cite a single law Trump may have broken.

The law Trump broke was taking power from the Oligarchs and the DC elite. Now the leftists squeal with glee over their abuse of power. It has been said: Trump is your last chance. His election and peaceful dismembering of the Obama police state is your last chance at peace. The police state is going to go one way or the other.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Genuine question: when Come testified that the Trump admin had not tried to influence any ongoing investigations, was that before or after the conversation w/Trump that Comes allegedly wrote this memo about?

Unknown said...

I hope they prosecute this as effectively as they did with Hill.

Don't convene a grand jury, then give immunity to everyone in exchange for their wiped laptops.

Let the conspirators act as each other's lawyers and sit in for deposition.

Hillary was divined to "lack intent".

Where did Comey get that angle from?

April 11, 2016

"I can tell you this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” Mr. Wallace then cited the 2,000 or so emails we have since learned contained classified information, including 22 that included “top secret” information, and he asked: “Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America’s secrets?”

Mr. Obama replied: “I’ve got to be careful because, as you know, there have been investigations, there are hearings, Congress is looking at this. And I haven’t been sorting through each and every aspect of this. Here’s what I know: Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy.”

Mr. Wallace pressed further on the jeopardy angle, and Mr. Obama responded again: “I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security. Now what I’ve also said is that—and she has acknowledged—that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”

walter said...

"it seems to me that Comey did not believe that the interaction thus far amounted to a prosecutable crime but that he did see hints of an intention.."

Oh..but Comey does seem to struggle with that intention issue..

Chuck said...

All this bitching, about my mention of Mitch McConnell's name...

At this point, President Trump has accomplished exactly one thing of meaning and permanence: the elevation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Which was orchestrated from start to finish by Mitch McConnell. The outstanding hero of protecting the Scalia seat is McConnell.

Birkel said...

@ Chuck, so called fopdoodle

Mitch McConnell will be remembered as the guy who allowed an additional 1.2 trillion dollars of debt to accrue every year while President Obama occupied the White House. The interest payment will be $150 billion per year forever, assuming interest rates stay very low, despite the end of Quantitative Easing.

Utah Chris said...

Has anyone asked if there are notes about his conversations with Hillary Clinton and her cronies?

Big Mike said...

I'm unimpressed by responses that only say other people are bad too.

@Althouse, I'm unimpressed with your lack of impression. Do you not get it? There. Is. No. Law. Not anymore. You helped kill it.

AReasonableMan said...

Big Mike said...
There. Is. No. Law. Not anymore. You helped kill it.


Hysterical.

Trump is the one struggling to conform to society's norms.

Big Mike said...

Item: the ACLU has taken the position that the same Executive Order they are fighting in the courts would be perfectly constitutional if Hillary Clinton had issued it. Tell me again that laws exist except to be used to bludgeon people that libs don't like.

Known Unknown said...

"Genuine question: when Come testified that the Trump admin had not tried to influence any ongoing investigations, was that before or after the conversation w/Trump that Comes allegedly wrote this memo about?"

After. The 'memo' origin date is approximately February 14, 2017.