June 8, 2017

Let's read the Comey transcript.

I watched about an hour or so live on TV, skipped some, and heard the end on the car radio, but I didn't want to write anything without the transcript. I can't bear to read the news analysis, which I have good reason to assume will be slanted. I could spend my time parsing the slantedness, but I've got the transcript, and I want to live-blog my reading of the transcript. Ready?
SEN. RICHARD BURR [Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]: There are several outstanding issues not addressed in your statement... 
Here's where we discussed Comey's 7-page statement. I said I wanted to hear "what Comey and Trump meant by their shared silent gazing into each other's eyes, by their coming to rest upon the slippery phrase 'honest loyalty,' and the mystery of 'that thing' in 'we had that thing, you know.'"

The questions Burr stated at the outset were:
Did the president's request for loyalty, your impression, let the one-on-one dinner of January 27th was and I quote “at least in part” an effort to create some patronage relationship and March 30th phone call asking what you could do to lift the cloud of Russia investigation in any way alter your approach of the FBI's investigation into general Flynn or the broader investigation into Russia, and possible links to the campaign? In your opinion did potential Russian efforts to establish a link with individuals in the Trump orbit rise to the level we could define as collusion or was it a counter-intelligence concern? There's been a significant public speculation about your decision-making related to the Clinton email investigation. Why did you decide publicly, to publicly announce, FBI's recommendations that the Department of Justice not pursue criminal charges?...
Comey didn't read the already-released opening statement. Instead he offered what he called "some very brief introductory remarks." Comey concentrates on how he wanted to keep his job as FBI Director, and since Trump had "had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job," he was "confused " to hear he'd been fired. He knew the President could fire him for "no reason at all," it was disturbing that "the administration... chose to defame me" and to say the FBI "was in disarray" — "lies, plain and simple." That is, he let us see that he was angry about losing the job he dearly wanted to keep. 
BURR: Director, when the president requested that you, and I quote "Let Flynn go"... do you sense that the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek for a way for Mike Flynn to save face...?

COMEY: ... I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct. 
He says it's for the special counsel "to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense." With the Hillary email matter, Comey went deeply into intent, but I think that was because there was no special prosecutor and the Attorney General had withdrawn herself from the decisionmaking and left it to Comey. That at least shows Comey can make decisions like that. Burr brings up that subject:
BURR: Director, Comey, you have been criticized publicly for the decision to present your findings on the email investigation directly to the American people. Have you learned anything since that time that would have changed what you said or how you chose to inform the American people?

COMEY: Honestly, no. It caused a whole lot of personal pain for me but as I look back, given what I knew at the time and even what I've learned since, I think it was the best way to try to protect the justice institution, including the FBI.
Protecting "the justice institution, including the FBI" is the only value he cites. It affected the presidential election, but I guess his position about that needs to be that he couldn't take that factor into account one way or the other. The protection for "both the FBI and the justice department" was needed largely because of Bill Clinton's "tarmac meeting" with Loretta Lynch. There were some other factors that he couldn't speak of openly, but he could say that he was "confused" and "concerned" when Lynch "directed" him to use the term "matter" instead of "investigation," when speaking of Hillary Clinton's email problem.

Comey says there were "all kinds of cyber intrusions going on all the time... a massive effort to target government and nongovernmental, near governmental agencies like nonprofits." Burr wants to know what the Obama administration tried to do about that. All Comey says is that the FBI notified victims of phishing. (Is phishing a "massive effort"? It may reach a lot of email inboxes, but it's piddling within the category "cyber intrusions." I wished they'd be clear when they're talking about anything other than phishing.)

The Vice Chairman Mark Warner went next and took a noticeably more partisan tone, pointedly underscoring and amplifying Comey's answers. First, he asked about Comey's decision to write a memo documenting his January 6th conversation with Trump. Comey's reasons were: 1. He was alone with Trump, 2. The subject matter ("the FBI's core responsibility"), 3. He believed that it might be in Trump's "nature" to "lie" about the conversation.

Comey never wrote memos after interactions with the 2 other Presidents he worked under, because the 3 factors weren't present with Bush and Obama. He doesn't break factor #3 out separately and opine on the comparative "nature" of the 3 Presidents and that only Trump struck him as a liar, but I would have asked a follow-up question there. What made him think Trump but not Bush or Obama might lie?

Warner asks about the January 27th dinner, where, according to Comey's written statement, Trump was trying to create a "patronage" relationship. What did that mean? Comey's answer is careful not to claim to know things that he doesn't know but full of guesses about what might have gone on in Trump's head:
COMEY: Well, my impression, and again it's my impression, I could always be wrong but my common sense told me what was going on is, either he had concluded or someone had told him that you didn't, you've already asked Comey to stay, and you didn't get anything for it. And that the dinner was an effort to build a relationship, in fact, he asked specifically, of loyalty in the context of asking me to stay....
Next, Senator James Risch asks about a NYT article that "suggested that the [T]rump campaign was colluding with the Russians." That wasn't true, was it? Comey says: "In the main, it was not true." Comey says he's not "picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information," but they're often talking to informants who "don't really know what's going on." And those who do know can't call up and tell them they got it wrong: "We have to leave it there."

Risch asks Comey if he knows "of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?"
COMEY: I don't know well enough to answer. 
In other words, he doesn't know of a case. Why not say so? Comey restates that he took Trump's words "as a direction."
COMEY: I mean, this is a president of the United States with me alone saying I hope this. I took it as, this is what he wants me to do. I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it.

RISCH: You may have taken it as a direction but that's not what he said.

COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: He said, I hope.

COMEY: Those are his exact words, correct.

RISCH: You don't know of anyone ever being charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?

COMEY: I don't as I sit here.
That felt like a successful cross-examination.

Next came Dianne Feinstein. She began by asking "Why do you believe you were fired?" Comey said he didn't "know for sure," but he'd take Trump at his word, and that would mean that there was something about the way he was conducting the Russia investigation that "created pressure on [Trump] that he wanted to relieve."

Feinstein asks about Trump's "request that you pledge loyalty and your response to that and what impact you believe that had."
COMEY: I don't know for sure because I don't know the president well enough to read him well
And yet so much of this testimony is about Comey reading Trump's mind.
I think it was — first of all, relationship didn't get off to a great start, given the conversation I had to have on January 6th. This didn't improve the relationship because it was very, very awkward. He was asking for something, and I was refusing to give it. Again, I don't know him well enough to know how he reacted to that exactly.
Feinstein asks one of the best questions of the morning:
FEINSTEIN: Now, here's the question, you're big. You're strong. I know the oval office, and I know what happens to people when they walk in. There is a certain amount of intimidation. But why didn't you stop and say, Mr. President, this is wrong. I cannot discuss this with you.

COMEY: It's a great question. Maybe if I were stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took in. The only thing I could think to say, because I was playing in my mind -- because I could remember every word he said -- I was playing in my mind, what should my response be? That's why I carefully chose the words. Look, I've seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. I remember saying, “I agree he is a good guy,” as a way of saying, I'm not agreeing with what you asked me to do. Again, maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance. That's how [I conducted] myself. I hope I'll never have another opportunity. Maybe if I did it again, I'd do it better.
He's saying he wasn't strong enough or didn't have the presence of mind to stand up to Trump, but there are at least 2 other explanations. One is that he simply didn't think at the time that Trump had gone too far. Trump was approaching a line, but a little steely coldness was enough to signal to Trump to go no farther, and Trump did not, so wordless communication did the trick. The other is that Comey had not been fired yet and he dearly wanted to keep his job. He was working with and handling Trump, even as Trump was handling him. It was a delicate dance of power, and Comey was a consenting partner. You could put my 2 ideas together with what Comey said and blend them together and get an answer that might approximate the truth.

Feinstein asks what Trump mean when he asked Comey to "lift the cloud" that was the Russia investigation: "How did you interpret that? What did you believe he wanted you to do?"
COMEY: I interpreted that as he was frustrated that the Russia investigation was taking up so much time and energy. I think he meant of the executive branch, but in the public square in general. It was making it difficult for him to focus on other priorities of his. But what he asked me was actually narrow[er] than that. I think what he meant by the cloud — and, again, I could be wrong — but the entire investigation is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on what I want to focus on. The ask was to get it out that I, the president, am not personally under investigation....

FEINSTEIN: You told the president, I would see what we could do. What did you mean?

COMEY: It was kind of a cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him, we're not going to do that. That I would see what we could do. 
There's that delicate dance of power again, don't you think? I don't buy that Comey was just weak and weasely. I think both men wanted something — Comey wanted to keep his job — and they were working together.

Feinstein's next question makes an aggressive paraphrase which I will boldface:
FEINSTEIN: You have the president of the United States asking you to stop an investigation that is an important investigation. What was the response of your colleagues?

COMEY: I think they were as shocked and troubled by it as I was... Our primary concern was, we can't infect the investigative team. We don't want the agents and analysts working on this to know the president of the United States has asked, and when it comes from the president, I took it as a direction, to get rid of this investigation because we're not going to follow that request. So we decided, we have to keep it away from our troops....
Comey subtly rejected the Feinstein paraphrase.
COMEY: Is there anyone else we ought to tell at the justice department? We considered whether to tell -- the attorney general said we believe rightly he was shortly going to recuse. There was no other senate confirmed leaders in the justice department at that point. The deputy attorney general was Mr. Boente, acting shortly in the seat. We decided the best move would be to hold it, keep it in a box, document it, as we'd already done, and this investigation is going to do on. Figure out what to do with it down the road. Is there a way to corroborate it? It was our word against the president's. No way to corroborate this. My view of this changed when the prospect of tapes was raised. That's how we thought about it then.
Next is Marco Rubio, who begins with the important work of underscoring that Trump's "hope" about "letting it go" related only to the Mike Flynn matter, not the general Russia investigation. Comey agrees.

Going back to the mystery of why Comey didn't stand up to the President when he expressed that hope about Flynn, Rubio gives Comey an opportunity to present himself as somewhat incompetent and cowardly:
COMEY: I don't know. I think — as I said earlier, I think the circumstances were such that it was — I was a bit stunned and didn't have the presence of mind. I don't know. I don't want to make you sound like I'm captain courageous. I don't know if I would have said to the president with the presence of mind, sir, that's wrong. In the moment, it didn't come to my mind. What came to my mind is be careful what you say. I said, I agree Flynn is a good guy.
Rubio asks about the "cloud": If Trump was asking you to "tell the American people" that "he was not personally under investigation," did you tell him "it would be inappropriate for you to do so and then talk to the White House counsel or somebody so hopefully they'd talked to him and tell him he couldn't do this?"
COMEY: First time I said, I'll see what we can do. Second time, I explained how it should work, that the White House counsel should contact the deputy attorney general.

RUBIO: You told him that?

COMEY: The president said, okay. I think that's what I'll do.

RUBIO: To be clear, for you to make a public statement that he was not under investigation wouldn't be illegal but you felt it could potentially create a duty to correct if circumstances changed?

COMEY: Yes, sir. We wrestled with it before my testimony, where I confirmed that there was an investigation. There were two primary concerns. One was it creates a duty to correct, which I've lived before, and you want to be very careful about doing that. And second, it is a slippery slope. If we say the president and the vice president aren't under investigation[, w]hat is the principled investigation for stopping? So the leadership, at justice, acting attorney general Boente said, you're not going to do that....
RUBIO: On a number of occasions here, you bring up — let's talk about the general Russia investigation, OK? Page 6 of your testimony you say, the first thing you say is, he asked what we could do to, quote, unquote, lift the cloud, the general Russia investigation, you responded, we are investigating the matter as quickly as we could and there would be great benefit if we didn't find anything for having done the work well. He agreed. He emphasized the problems it was causing him. He agreed it'd be great to have an investigation, all the facts came out and we found nothing. He agreed that would be ideal, but this cloud is still messing up my ability to do the rest of my agenda. Is that an accurate assessment?

COMEY: Yes, sir. He went farther than that. He said, and if some of my satellites did something wrong, it'd be good to find that out.

RUBIO: That is the second part. The satellites, if one of my satellites, I imagine he meant some of the people surrounding his campaign, did something wrong, it'd be great to know that, as well.

COMEY: Yes, sir. That's what he said.
Comey clearly acknowledges that the "cloud" talk was not about ending the entire Russia investigation.  Rubio underscores that answer:
RUBIO: Are those the only two instances in which that back and forth happened, where the president was basically saying, and I'm paraphrasing here, it's okay. Do the Russia investigation. I hope it all comes out. I have nothing to do with anything Russia. It'd be great if it all came out, people around me were doing things that were wrong?

COMEY: Yes. As I recorded it accurately there. That was the sentiment he was expressing. Yes, sir.

RUBIO: What it comes down to is the president asked three things of you. Asked for your loyalty. You said you'd be loyally honest.

COMEY: Honestly loyal.

RUBIO: Honestly loyal. He asked you on one occasion to let the Mike Flynn thing go because he was a good guy. By the way, you're aware he said the same thing in the press the next day. He is a good guy, treated unfairly, etc. I imagine your FBI agents read that.

COMEY: I'm sure they did.

RUBIO: The president's wishes were known to them, certainly by the next day when he had a press conference with the prime minister. Going back, the three requests were, number one, be loyal. Number two, let the Mike Flynn thing go. He is a good guy, been treated unfairly. Number three, can you please tell the American people what these leaders in congress already know, which you already know and what you told me three times, that I'm not under personally under investigation.

COMEY: That's right.

RUBIO: We learn more from the newspaper sometimes than the open hearings. Do you ever wonder why, of all the things in the investigation, the only thing never leaked is the fact the president was never personally under investigation, despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans and the leadership of congress have known that for weeks?
It's a rhetorical question, but Comey offers an "I don't know."

Ron Wyden is next. I'm going to skip his segment for the sake of brevity and move on to Susan Collin, who asks (among other things) about the Michael Flynn conversation. Others have already asked why Comey didn't stand up to the President, and Comey had said he was "stunned," but what Collins wants to know is why afterwards he didn't "go to anyone at the department of justice and ask them to call the white house counsel's office and explain that the president had to have a far better understanding and appreciation of his role vis-à-vis the FBI?"
COMEY: In general, I did. I spoke to the attorney general and spoke to the new deputy attorney general, Mr. Rosenstein, when he took office and explained my serious concern about the way in which the president is interacting, especially with the FBI. As I said in my testimony, I told the attorney general, it can't happen that you get kicked out of the room and the president talks to me. Why didn't we raise the specific? It was of investigative interest to figure out, what just happened with the president's request? I wouldn't want to alert the white house it had happened until we figured out what we were going to do with it investigatively.
That's a bit confusing! I think the answer to Collins's question only begins after "Why didn't we raise the specific?" (in other words, the problem of the specific interaction about the hope of seeing the way clear to letting Flynn go). But I can't understand those 2 sentences! What "happened"?? Does that suggest that they decided to investigate whether Trump's statements at the meeting were criminal (e.g., obstruction of justice)?

Collins asks about the post-meeting memos. Did he show them to "anyone outside of the department of justice?" Why yes he did! After Trump tweeted about the possibility of an audiotape...
COMEY: ... I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgment was, I need to get that out into the public square. I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. 
What reasons?!
I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it.
Collins presses him and he identifies the "close friend" as "a professor at Columbia law school." Wow. We need more questions here, but Collins is out of time, and Martin Heinrich is up.

Heinrich asks about Trump's idea that "Russia's involvement in the U.S. Election cycle as a hoax and fake news," and that gives Comey the floor to speak very strongly on the subject:
COMEY: Yes, sir. There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that. It is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community and the members of this committee have seen the intelligence. It's not a close call. That happened. That's about as unfake as you can possibly get. It is very, very serious, which is why it's so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that. This is about America, not about a particular party.
I'd like to know why the Obama administration didn't do more to fend off this problem, but Heinrich seems to be working on the theory that if Trump didn't take it seriously, that's evidence of collusion. Comey doesn't buy into that game: He "can't answer that because I don't know what other conversations he had with other advisers or other intelligence community leaders."

Heinrich invites Comey to talk about why we should believe him, and Comey said his "mother raised me not to say things like this about myself so I'm not going to."

On to Roy Blunt, who needles Comey about why he was willing to keep working under Trump. Comey affirms that if he hadn't been fired, he'd still be working under Trump. Blunt suggests that the story Comey is telling today is the view "in retrospect," influenced by his having been fired. He didn't resign and, before the firing, he didn't let the Justice Department know about his misgivings.

Comey says that "at some point... I was sure we were going to brief it to the [Justice Department] team in charge of the case." And, Comey notes, he tried to keep the Attorney General from getting "kicked out of the room." He said to the Attorney General "I report to you. It is very important you be between me and the white house."

Blunt gets back to the subject of Comey's leaking the memo about the Flynn conversation.
BLUNT: So you didn't consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document. You considered it to be, somehow, your own personal document that you could share to the media as you wanted through a friend?

COMEY: Correct. I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out.... My view was that the content of those unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.

BLUNT: So why didn't you give those to somebody yourself rather than give them through a third party?

COMEY: Because I was [wary] the media was camping at the end of my driveway at that point. I was actually going out of town with my wife to hide. I worried it would be [like] feeding seagulls at the beach[, i]f it was I who gave it to the media. I asked my friend, make sure this gets out.
I had to go back to the video to understand the "feeding seagulls at the beach" remark. The bracketed material you see there is my correction of the transcript. I'm using Politico's transcript, by the way, and the mistakes, notably in punctuation, are irritating. The comma after "beach" is crucial to understanding. It's also important that the word was "wary," not, as Politico has it, "weary." Comey wasn't tired of the press, but vigilant. They were like seagulls, flocking where they anticipated feeding, and Comey didn't want to appear to be feeding these scavengers or didn't want to reward them for hanging out in his driveway.

Blunt hasn't got enough time left to do anything but muse that Comey "create[d] a source close to the former director of the FBI as opposed to taking responsibility yourself." Yes, but so what? Was this another instance of a failure of courage? Is Comey improperly tending to his personal image?

Angus King — an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats — goes next. There's what sounds like a rehearsed dialogue that gets bungled (perhaps because Comey doesn't trust King to get his line out:
KING: [W]hen a president of the United States in the Oval Office says something like, I hope or I suggest or would you, do you take that as a directive?

COMEY: Yes. It rings in my ear as, well, will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest.

KING: I was just going to quote that, in 1179, December 27th, Henry II said, who will rid me of the meddlesome priest, and the next day, he was killed. [Thomas a Becket.] Exactly the same situation. We're thinking along the same lines.
The bracketed name is heard in the video but missing (with no indication of an omission) in the Politico transcript. Lame.

King's "Exactly the same situation" is a tad overeager. And he screws up the quote. Not only is what Trump said not "exactly the same," Comey's quote "will no one rid me..." isn't even exactly the same as King's version "who will rid me...." In Senator King's version, Henry is asking who will do it. In Comey's version, Henry is expressing displeasure that it may not happen. Who got the quote right? It's not clear exactly what Henry said all those many years ago. There's no recorded recollection memo, but an oral tradition.

According to Wikipedia, the most common quote is "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" but according to the historian Simon Schama, what Henry really said was: "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?"

We don't really know what Henry said, but we do know that it was taken as a directive to kill Thomas Beckett. And the analogue here is that Comey took Trump's remark as a directive. The puzzle remains whether it was a directive. We should all understand that leaders may express themselves in enigmatic ways that are useful to keep themselves above the fray but that the underlings know how to interpret. We still need to think carefully about particular assertions that something that wasn't said was implied.

Next is Senator Lankford, who wonders why Trump used such a light touch if he really wanted to stop the investigation. Why not be explicit? It is that "he doesn't have the authority"?
COMEY: I'm not a legal scholar, [so smarter people answer this better,] but as a legal matter, the president is the head of the executive branch and could direct, in theory, we have important norms against this, but [direct that anybody be investigated or anybody not be investigated]. I think he has the legal authority. All of us ultimately report in the executive branch to the president.
If the President can do that but didn't, does that mean he didn't mean for his vague expression to be taken as a directive? That would have been my follow up, and I assume Comey's answer would have been that it would have been more convenient for Trump to avoid taking responsibility for the action if Comey had done what Trump wanted.

Lankford gets back to the subject of Loretta Lynch's telling him to call the Clinton investigation ad "matter" and not an "investigation."


291 comments:

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Yancey Ward said...

I would be very interested to learn more about whether or not the memo's Comey leaked to the press via his Columbia professor friend were the originals Comey kept at his home, or whether or not they were copies. If they are the originals, I wonder if copies were kept at the FBI and DoJ. I wonder about this because I think it foolish to simply assume that Comey wrote these right after the meetings- I would like to see a paper trail, or at least have someone, anyone at the FBI confirm that the originals or copies were consistent with the leaked memo.

Yancey Ward said...

I bring this up because of the way Comey explained why he wrote them- that he suddenly woke up one night and realized that the meetings might have been recorded. Sure, that could have happened, or it could be that he read Trump's tweet (or is this the tweet some are claiming Comey read in the crystal ball).

Earnest Prole said...

Nothingburger.

rcocean said...

Trump's lawyer brought up the point that Comey had already either leaked the memos to Prof Richie or told "friends" verbally to leak what was in them PRIOR to the Trump tweet.

So his whole, I was afraid of Trump recording me, etc. was just hot air.

Birkel said...

Are Leftists going to use the "nothingburger" excuse to claim their front page, unsourced, wishcasting, Deep State, GOPe, anti-Trump bull shit should be forgotten?

Magic 8-Ball says: It is decidedly so.

Jimmy said...

How ironic that Comey reports that Trump entreated him to avow loyalty, and Comey meets him halfway with his promise of "honest loyalty", and then immediately passes his notes from this intimate and personal conversation on to a friend to share with an overtly hostile media.

What a snake.

David Begley said...

My main comment is that within 24 hours of her crushing defeat, Hillary's team concocted this fake Russia "hacked" the election story and the media has feed this narrative for the past seven months. Result? Trump has been distracted and largely rendered impotent. He has got to turn this around. He can't govern effectively if CNN and MSNBC are crying obstruction of justice for the next year.

Other than actually stealing Podesta's emails what actually did Russia do? It is just interference in the air.

And not a single question about how Comey gave Cheryl Mills immunity and destroyed her computer.

readering said...

The Kasowitz timeline on the leak/tweet was refuted by NYT.

The NYT and others have now found "hope" obstruction of justice cases. Of course in this case hope plus inaction equals firing followed by incriminating statement to Russians next day in Oval Office.

Drago said...

How very far the left has retreated from those heady, heady days of collusion/treason/russian dossiers!

Which was all a lie from the very beginning. But the purpose of that all that smoke generation and lying was supposed to lay the foundation for an inevitable "process" infraction leading to impeachment.

LOL

Sometimes the "best laid plans"...., eh lefties.

Not to worry. You still have lefty thugs with baseball bats patrolling Evergreen "College" in search of wayward conservatives so you've got that going for you, which is nice.

traditionalguy said...

Comey referred all further leaking inquiriesto His associate leakerRealty Winner.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"What made him think Trump but not Bush or Obama might lie?"

Right, how could anyone conclude that DJT lies more than the average politician? It's not like anyone tracked and recorded that sorta thing during the election. If that had happened Meadehouse would have known about it = didn't happen. Nope.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Now, if lyin' Ted had won, then it'd make sense for Comey to suspect dishonesty.

Obviously.

Plus his wife is ugly and his dad killed JFK.

Obviously.

"Honest Don" said so.

Drago said...

3rdgrader:" It's not like anyone tracked and recorded that sorta thing during the election."

LOL

That would be the guys who told us that Comey would never, ever, ev-ah, tell Trump he was not the target of an investigation. Nosirree bub, no way would Comey ever do that and anyone who says otherwise would be a big fat liar!!!eleventy!!11!1!!

So there you go!

Birkel said...

@ PBJ

Could you repeat that claim about politicians and lying? I couldn't hear you over the sounds of my intern, Ms. Lewinsky, who is under the Resolute Desk. Thanks.

Inga said...

Even Napolitano is jumping ship. And thanks Readering for mentioning Trump's idiot lawyer had the timeline WRONG, lol.

"Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano reacted to James Comey‘s congressional hearing on Thursday by underlining the serious legal implications of the former FBI director’s testimony.

“Today certainly advanced the ball on the seriousness of this investigation and the breadth of its scope,” Napolitano said. “If you look…at the big picture…you get a very, very credible and compelling argument that the President of the United States has not been truthful with the American people; and ordered the director of the FBI to shut down an investigation.”

The pundit continued by outlining, “Did he order it because he wanted to conserve Justice Department resources, or did he order it because he wanted to protect a friend? The former would be a legitimate order; the latter is arguably a corrupt order or a…corrupt intent.”"

Drago said...

3rdgrader is whipping out old campaign stuff between Cruz and Trump because.......well, we all know why.

The latest ploys have fallen a bit short and our little 3rdgrader is having a very, very difficult time projecting that faux joviality.

I wonder why that is?

No I don't.

LOL

Earnest Prole said...

Au contraire, the Magic 8-Ball says the front page, unsourced, wishcasting, Deep State, GOPe, anti-Trump bullshit will continue for months if not years.

But it’s still a nothingburger.

MaxedOutMama said...

Looking forward to the Althousian take on this.

"I hope you can see your way clear" is not an order. "Hope" acknowledges that it might not be the case, and "see your way clear" is literally a concession that something might prevent the hope, as well as an implicit stipulation that the decision is Comey's, and independent of factors other than Trump's hopes. This is not obstruction of justice in any way. It's just not. Comey would have to be awesomely sensitive to interpret that as a "direction" to do anything.

So far, and I am probably going to quit trying to read this thing tonight, I come out with a much worse impression of Comey than I had expected. He seems mostly concerned with politics and in a weird way.

I am not feeling well, and I guess my hope is that between Ann and the comment posters here, some clearer minds will sort this out for me. My uneasiness, which is real, seems to be centered on the idea that Comey was playing in politics for the benefit of the FBI's image? If it were for the benefit of the FBI's literal independence I could stomach that.

But instead this is suggesting to me that the FBI is, in Comey's mind, an important political arbiter that's above presidents? What do the Althousians think? Am I flat wrong?

I keep thinking of the Hoover days. If the FBI is going to be political, it's going to have to be subject to elected officials. Any independence granted to it in any way will have to be centered on the actual investigative process.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger David Begley said...

Other than actually stealing Podesta's emails what actually did Russia do?

6/8/17, 6:33 PM


They hacked the general election by releasing e-mails showing how the DNC hacked the primaries.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Remember: Republicans get to do whatever they want. Whatever impropriety or lawbreaking Trump did, partisan power must be preserved. He can shoot one in broad daylight in Manhattan and his supporters won't care. That's the important thing. That Republicans follow the moral instincts of his base. Party over country. Country over planet.

Rene Saunce said...

Repeating what Drago said in another thread:


Regarding Hillary and her private server:
The obambi Justice Dept and FBI under Comey raced as fast as they could to give everyone, EVERYONE, involved immunity deals WITHOUT forcing them to testify or give up any information.

In fact, the FBI, in addition to "forgetting" to take any notes, at all, of the 3 hour Hillary interrogation, also let another material witness act as Hillary's lawyer and, like Billy boys Grand Jury testimony years earlier, even let Mills sit in on Hillary's "interrogation" and provide counsel!!

Gee, nothing unusual about any of that....except every single thing.


Democrats allowed to be as corrupt as needed.

AReasonableMan said...

Today may be the official beginning of the end for a certain kind of populism. Trump is in irrevocable decline and May is springing leaks.

Hagar said...

Anybody really believe that James B. Comey ever is so stunned that he cannot think straight?

Inga said...

Ha!

"Kasowitz, in his first public appearance in the matter, accused Comey of leaking “privileged conversations” — but there is no indication the memos were classified. The lawyer then sought to dispute the timing of Comey’s account.

But Kasowitz — whose prepared statement was filled with typos and misspellings — appears to have gotten it wrong. The key Trump tweet about White House tapes was Friday, May 12, at 8:26 a.m. “James Comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

The first Times story quoting from one of Comey’s memos was not the day before that tweet, as Kasowitz claimed, but four days later, on May 16.

Kasowitz was evidently referring to an early Times story by Schmidt that did appear the day before Trump’s tweet. On May 11, Schmidt, citing accounts from Comey “associates,” described a Jan. 27 dinner the then FBI director had with Trump in which the president asked him for his “loyalty.” But the earlier story does not quote from any memos by Comey — or make any reference to the existence of such memos. And there is nothing in the story to suggest it was based on read-outs from those memos. Contacted by Yahoo News, a spokesman for Kasowitz said only: “Our statement stands.” A source close to the matter added: “It is our firm belief that the Times report [on May 11] had the memos read to them.”

Comanche Voter said...

Just another pustulent perfumed prince on the Potomac. My contempt for our "ruling class" grows daily.

traditionalguy said...

Remember DJT was not asking for the man's personal Loyalty. He was inquiring whether or not he was still loyal to Clinton, Inc that he had served for over 18 years. His yes
Answer meant yes he is still Hillary's operative . And so Trump waited till all was ready to seal the FBI directors office files and fired him.

Drago said...

ARM: "Trump is in irrevocable decline and May is springing leaks."

This is not possible according to the left.

According to them, Trump has never been ascent, only in descent and has rock bottom about 417 times.

At some point, to properly reset the scenario for "ANOTHER TRUMP DECLINE" you are going to have to identify when it was that he was ascending.

Or not.

Whatever.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Grab your cliches. You might lose them. They're falling out of your briefcase like those fake documents Trump had Sherry Dillon display when pretending to to demonstrate Trump's financial transparency and lack of compromised interests. Or they would if you ever had a briefcase.

Trump's interference with the FBI's investigation is as at least as much a compromised conflict of interest as Clinton's private conversations with Loretta Lynch. Actually it's more of one. But that doesn't matter when being a partisan tool is all that Birkel knows. He's about as capable of having an honest discussion on a Republican politician as Reince Priebus - which is to say, not at all. Just not worth discussing anything with the guy who would forever defend Mr. Shoot Someone in Broad Daylight in Manhattan and Supporters Don't Care.

Birkel is one of those supporters.

Party over country. Country over planet.

Michael K said...

And not a single question about how Comey gave Cheryl Mills immunity and destroyed her computer.

Yes, that is obstruction of justice if any occurred in this business. The DNC would not let the FBI access their own servers. The laptop was destroyed. Normal people go to prison for things like that. I doubt many here remember that Enron was taken down and put out of business for less obvious evidence tampering.

Inga is busy reading tea leaves while the burglars run off with the family silver.

Rene Saunce said...

Inga- Today Comey testified that Trump did NOT ask him to shut down the investigation. Yes - It's old news that Trump and Comey agreed Flynn is a good guy and Trump hoped that investigation Flynn would be dropped, but so what? That is not a crime and certainly if it were a crime, Comey needed to say so at the time. He never did.


The big lie pushed by the leftwing machine is coming apart. Comey and the FBI were not and are not investigating Trump for collusion with Russia. Also, Comey said today that Trump never asked him to shut down any investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

The smoke and the stench... coming from the hacks.

Drago said...

Looks like Inga wants Kasowitz impeached now.

Impeachment must be like eating chips: once you set your sights on one it's must be really hard to stop!

David said...

Sorry, but the Feinstein question was not a good question. It was, however, a question about an important issue.

As delivered the question was a softball setup, spun up there without any preparatory questioning and phrased in such a way that Comey could easily get off the hook. In addition to the lack of foundational testimony, there was no follow up to the question.

In short, the question was collusive not probing, and designed to deflect attention from a the issue of why Comey did not react,

This question calls for a bullshit tag, and I think this is a rare instance where you were baffled by the bullshit.

Birkel said...

@ Rene Saunce

You may have to define corrupt nine times. I'm thinking a 3x3 matrix that with conservatives, Deep State/GOPe and Democrats on two both the left and top axis. The left axis would be politicians. The top axis would be the political affiliation of the observer.

Corruption would be defined in the Dem x Dem box as "If it advanced the consolidation of power, it was not corrupt".

Corruption would be defined in the conservative x Dem box as "If PBJ had a bad dream about dream cheating, it was corruption".

Plus seven more.

Earnest Prole said...

the FBI is, in Comey's mind, an important political arbiter that's above presidents

You are flat right, and it's the way the permanent Washington bureaucracy works. Presidents have a fighting chance if they can get their appointees into the agencies, but Trump either doesn't know that or doesn't care.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Oh, I think we are going to need a bit more detail on all that lawbreaking/impropriety stuff. Feel free to list all the criminal conduct.

Well he admitted to trying to prevent the FBI's investigation into his Russian benefactors, which is obstruction. But that doesn't matter to you when you'd let him shoot someone in Manhattan and not care.

He's as impeachable as Clinton was - seeing as how you can't prove that Clinton lied under oath. But that doesn't matter. You're a partisan! Anything goes! No standards!

Rene Saunce said...

Don't give up ARM - Some one will buy your healthcare - soon.

eric said...

I think Comey is in deep trouble after this latest testimony. Assuming he was under oath.

wildswan said...

There was no Russia collusion.

There was nothing for Trump to obstruct.

Comey - well, every person or institution which comes close to the Clintons emerges damaged while the Clintons move sleekly on having sucked up more life force. Comey is no exception. He is appearing before Congressional committees, appearing responsible for letting down Democrats, appearing to be the one that let Democrats think Russia had done something, fumbling to explain his actions. Because he fell into the Clinton orbit. Hillary is drinking Chardonnay.

David said...

"I think it foolish to simply assume that Comey wrote these right after the meetings-"

Always foolish to assume, but that is likely what he did. He would know that he needed to do it right away. Indeed my guess is that there was going to be a memo even if the conversation had been limited to their grandchildren.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Republicans are so gullible they actually think that the administration is acting like it has nothing to hide. And never mind those private lawyers that specialize in impeachment they're retaining! Pay no attention! It's a "vast left-wing conspiracy!"

Where have we heard that one before?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Glad you think it's funny.

How funny would you think it is if you were an Israeli espionage asset embedded into ISIS after Trump blew your cover, just so he could brag to his benefactors?

Hilarious!

You people are shameless.

Rene Saunce said...

The corrupt leftwing machine means people have to fight it, Balls. I know- we are all supposed to walk into the ovens - without a fight.

Drago said...

Remember, Trump is a treasonous treason-y Traitor who COLLUDED WITH THE RUSSIANS!!

Except, not really.

But that's okay 'cuz now the lefties have some active recent charges!!

Except, not really.

But that's okay, 'cuz now the lefties have brand spanking new charges that have to work! They just gotta I tellya, they just gotta!!

Rene Saunce said...

wildswan - 100%

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The corrupt leftwing machine means people have to fight it, Balls. I know- we are all supposed to walk into the ovens - without a fight.

Hey. Yours is the side that has to make common cause with Nazis. Actual Nazi revivalists!

Keep having no standards in order to defend your partisanship. Your partisanship is all you have.

And it's all you care about.

Party over country. Country over planet.

Birkel said...

Are the attorneys who specialize in impeachment law vampires? Do they only rise from the crypt, like cicadas, once every 17 years to check if there is an ongoing impeachment?

That is one of the best LOL, knee slapping howlers I've ever read. Keep that sort of humor coming.

Grab your carry on.

Bob Boyd said...

FBI leaked to the media, Deep Throat was ultimately successful in bringing down a President and he kept his identity secret for years.
Comey not so much.
Call him Shallow Throat?

Drago said...

There's alot of anger on the left, which is to be expected after their carefully constructed ediface of innuendo and smears comes falling down.

Expect more lashing out in all directions as well as unlimited leaks, which, apparently, as of about 5 minutes ago the lefties are "concerned" about again.

Tom said...

Did anyone else notice the stress eyes. He didn't have this level of stress with Hillary.

The funny thing about Comey is that he has a way of giving what appears to be a full and truthful answer... it's only when you watch the entire thing that the myriad of justifications don't add up. For instance, did he take notes related to Loretta Lynch and the pressure to reduce the seriousness of the email case? And, "it confused" him? He was confused by Lynch's request and by her meeting on the Tarmac. I don't think you need to be Sherlock Holmes to piece that fact pattern together. What's to be confused about? The fix was in. He chose to save the FBI and not the country.

Bob Boyd said...

Supposed to be leaker, not leaked.

AReasonableMan said...

I don't understand why the righties here keep mumbling about impeachment. The Dems don't want to impeach Trump they want his presidency to be as ineffective as possible until they get to the next election. Currently they are getting a major assist from the Donald himself.

Drago said...

Tom: "The fix was in. He chose to save the FBI and not the country."

And the democrats over the country.

Party over country.

And the lefties were four-square behind it, as they were for 70 years working on the Soviet-side of the tracks in domestic politics.

The dems chose party over country alright, but in those days they didn't even bother selecting a party in their own nation.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Ediface?

Keep dismissing Comey. Yep, he's not a true partisan, so he must be crushed and his character assassinated. He doesn't understand that the fate of the world rests on the fortunes of the Republican party, or that justice should not be pursued if the president feels that he doesn't have the personal loyalty of the person doing the investigating.

The funny thing is it could actually be about nothing. But Trump is so paranoid and ignorant of blind justice and has so much contempt for independent agency in law enforcement investigations that he doesn't care and threw away any chance at legacy and a good shot at getting out of office without being investigated/indicted/whatever else just for the sake of indulging his belief that we are a nation of men and not laws.

Birkel said...

Was somebody talking for the last year or so about how the Democrats are the party of the rich? And how they have lost working class voters in important states that can swing election?

I'm sure a strategy of demeaning people as if they were poor will fix that problem right away. Perhaps the Leftists can call people Hillbillies to really drive home just how much they love people who live in the Rust Belt and further flyover country. Perhaps the people who live in those places will not catch onto the hatred that springs out of the mouths and keyboards as they are demeaned by their inferiors.

Why are Leftists so angry?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Why are rightists so incompetent?

Rightists are the ones dismissing an independent judiciary, an FBI not beholden to the president's need for "personal loyalty," or the fact that they stand alone with Nicaragua and Syria in their loony belief that it's necessary to destroy the planet in order to save their country and party. (Well, maybe that one's true). But the proof will be in the pudding. Trump ain't doin' shit for the lower classes that Birkel pretends to feel so much solidarity with and that's a fact. Maybe Birkel should accompany his Congress Critter at their next "Let's price you out of health insurance market for the sake of an ideological concession to the wealthy and healthy" and see how much those "rust belt flyover hillbilly etc." friends of his agree with his bullshit. He will get tomatoes thrown at him, I'd bet.

You may see the poor as stupid, and love them for that. But they're not suicidal.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Or partisan hack jobs.

Matthew Sablan said...

I honestly do not believe the memos were drafted when Comey claims.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The Dems don't want to impeach Trump they want his presidency to be as ineffective as possible until they get to the next election. "

-- I guess the goal post has moved since the golden dossier was revealed and people said that they had actual evidence of collusion in hands.

Barry Dauphin said...

It was kind of a cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him, we're not going to do that. That I would see what we could do.

Is this what the country wants of someone heading up the FBI?

Drago said...

Mathew Sablan: "-- I guess the goal post has moved since the golden dossier was revealed and people said that they had actual evidence of collusion in hands"

The goalposts haven't just been moved. They've been knocked down, sawed into pieces and used for kindling.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Yeah, it's true. Trump's approval rating continues to drop like a stone into the low 30s as he makes his way through an administration beset by scandal, defensiveness, backbiting and the most volatile and easily manipulated/flattered president to managed by his staff (or what exists of them) in history. All he has to do is keep this up and the Democrats will wipe the floor with his party in 2018. Which for all anyone knows, might be just the plan that this lifelong registered Democrat had in mind after all.

Or he can keep it up after that point and lose in a landslide in 2020. Hating terrorists while ass-kissing Saudi terrorist sympathizers only gets you so far, as far as single-issue administrations go.

Birkel said...

That independent judiciary is very important. Just ask Samuel Alito.

I enjoy the tell of calling them "lower classes" instead of something more charitable. Maybe next time use untouchables or deplorables. That will show them you really care.

You know who likes government protection and dislikes competition? Big business. You know what group wants a clear, level playing field without government in the way? Entrepreneurs. I know which way the Leftists have chosen.

Birkel said...

The approval rating canard is tired and needs a good nap.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

OT? I noticed the premier law blog here neglected to mention Kelly Conway's lawyer husband tweeting Trumpy Dumpy that his bitchy tweets about preferred terms for "travel bans" don't help the case in SCOTUS. Or maybe I missed it.

And then of course he dispensed with the obligatory follow-up tweet in which he professed his loyalty, undying love, erotic obsession, golden shower fantasies for the all-powerful partisan leader-praesident.

Those Republicans and that ring-kissing. It's really quite the spectacle. Every criticism has to be followed by, "I STILL LOVE YOU!!!"

Astonishing.

Earnest Prole said...

I think it foolish to simply assume that Comey wrote these right after the meetings.

Really? Writing memoranda of conversations is a basic law-enforcement and executive skill. Professionals across the country practice it every day. The FBI Director would be incompetent if he didn't document every important conversation, including the ones that didn't smell funny.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

You know what group wants a clear, level playing field without government in the way? Entrepreneurs. I know which way the Leftists have chosen.

But you don't know which group the "entrepreneurs" have chosen. Go ask them how much they'd love to return to the days prior to insurance portability when they'd take a chance starting up a business.

rcocean said...

Here's Comey in 2007 testimony describing the events in March 2004. Card and Gonzales had gone to Ashcroft's Hospital Room and later Card had called Comey.

"And he said it was Mr. Card wanting to speak to me. I took the call. And Mr. Card was very upset and demanded that I come to the White House immediately.

I responded that, after the conduct I had just witnessed, I would not meet with him without a witness present.

He replied, What conduct? We were just there to wish him well.

And I said again, After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness. And I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States."


Once a Drama Queen - always a Drama Queen.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It's that same old Quinnipiac again. Naturally.

Surely Rasmussen got it right.

As well as common sense. What's not to love about a red-faced, friendless loser with temper control issues who can be flattered to no end and believes everything the teevee tells him and never loses an opportunity to make the nation's business about himself and a cabinet that jockeys to be at the front of the line of kissing his ring? Especially when all they need to do to get their agenda preferred over the other cabinet members' is to shove a short news clipping (or better yet graphic) in front of his face?

Yep. He's quite the inspiration. If by "inspiration" you aspire to nothing more than putting your name on things. Like a dog's territorial pissings.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Comey says he's not "picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information," but they're often talking to informants who "don't really know what's going on."
Exactly. I have never in my life seen so much malfeasance attributed to so many anonymous sources. Anonymous sources are a shitty way to write a news story, and journalists know it is a shitty way to write a news story, that is why they have so many rules governing the use of anonymous sources.
All of which the NY Times and the WaPo seem to have violated.
The primary reason why you don't use anonymous sources is because they can't be checked. The person giving you the info may be lying or may be leaving out important context, and there is no way to be certain. It is likely that a source who refuses to give his name is doing so because he wishes to avoid the hard questions a named source would have to answer.
I am unpleasantly surprised that no editor had the integrity to resign over the use of anonymous sources reporting hearsay.

Drago said...

Earnest Prole: "Really? Writing memoranda of conversations is a basic law-enforcement and executive skill."

Really? Then why didn't the FBI take any notes, any at all, during Hillary's 3 hour "interrogation" where her "attorney of record", Cheryl Mills, was allowed to be present and converse with Hillary even though Mills herself was a material witness!!

Please, tell us more of basic law-enforcement practices.

Birkel said...

@ British Exit Polls

It would appear that the actual voters cast votes differently than the exit polls might have suggested. The reports are early. It would be quite nice to see yet another polling disaster to be memory holed by the MSM.

Of course, Leftists demand history start each morning anew. People in flyover country, both Hillbillies and Deplorables, will remember.

Meade said...

"Call [Comey] Shallow Throat?"

Yep. It's as if Comey's clitoris is barely even on the tip of his tongue — as compared to Mark Felt — whose climax of disgruntlement was visceral.

Too much adrenaline coursing through Comey's blood no doubt.

Earnest Prole said...

Was somebody talking for the last year or so about how the Democrats are the party of the rich?

Apparently you missed Althouse's post on the coming Democratic civil war. That's the reason Democrats would rather focus on ephemeral Russian spookiness.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Conway's husband represents a great many republican establishment figures opinions and is in alignment with many Trump supporters as well.

You don't find them just a bit pathetic? Reminding the guy (publicly) of basic legal strategy like a kid on training wheels while having to follow that up immediately with a, "BUT I STILL LOVE YOU, TRUMP! MUAH!"?

You'd better start thinking about what you are going to do when the Clinton machine springs into action for 2020.

Yeah they're a different problem. I'd love to do something about them but they seem to be morons. As I told Rene Sauce, come on over and listen in when they call and hit me up for donations. You should hear the things I say. At least you guys have ripostes when I rip on you. The Dumbocrats don't even seem to listen. They're human robo-callers. Seriously. I feel like I should ask who's in charge but apparently no one is. I'm skeptical HIldebeast will fill the vacuum but it's equally bad for there to be a practically permanent vacuum.

Then again, there's time. And plenty more failure and division and jejeune mishaps for our 70-year old president-in-training Trump to embrace. The best thing the Democrats can do is to get out of the way and allow for a whole new House to win in 2018 where no one is over 40 years old. And let them lead everyone out of this mess. Anyone over 60 should be denied leadership positions at all - except as advisors.

Earnest Prole said...

Why didn't the FBI take any notes, any at all, during Hillary's 3 hour "interrogation" where her "attorney of record", Cheryl Mills, was allowed to be present and converse with Hillary even though Mills herself was a material witness!

The answer is in my original comment: incompetence.

Hagar said...

A.B. Stoddard said Comey is a political and a slippery customer, but it does not matter because he will now be gone and Trump will be stuck with the mess.
Well, I don't think Comey went to all this trouble with any idea of being "gone."

Birkel said...

@ Earnest Prole

Thanks for your concern but I missed nothing. I was writing about the inclination of Leftist statists to support Big Business. Adam Smith wrote of this inclination 241 years ago.

Do try to keep up.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Birkel, of course Democrats are the party of the rich. Haven't they spent the past year demeaning Trump voters as poor rubes who either couldn't be bothered to get a college education, or couldn't get in to a college if they tried? Those that weren't "deplorables" were "pitiables," as in "Aw, nothing much we can do for him." Meanwhile, what the formerly-sane Andrew Sullivan once, in his pre-OB-GYN days, described as "the decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts" is still there, and still wanting attention and cash.

Earnest Prole said...

I was writing about the inclination of Leftist statists to support Big Business.

This just in.

pacwest said...

"you don't know which group the "entrepreneurs" have chosen. Go ask them how much they'd love to return to the days prior to insurance portability when they'd take a chance starting up a business."

After many years as a small businessman I can tell you you don't have a clue what you are talking about in this instance. Where do you get this stuff?

EMyrt said...

MaxedOutMama said...

Looking forward to the Althousian take on this.

I am not feeling well, and I guess my hope is that between Ann and the comment posters here, some clearer minds will sort this out for me.

6/8/17, 6:51 PM

Once you realize or remember that Comey has been a Clinton Creature since Whitewater and Marc Rich, it's much easier to understand, although it will not make you any less uneasy about the Swamp. One more time, I will re-cite the excellent summary on Jerry Pournelle's Chaos Manor. Here's the link, and thanks again to the Althousian who first posted this in an earlier thread.
https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/recovery-opinionanalysis-on-comey-and-draining-the-swamp-a-note-on-education/

Matthew Sablan said...

"Writing memoranda of conversations is a basic law-enforcement and executive skill."

-- And a thing he selectively only did when it would help him make an argument later. That's suspicious, especially since he seems to accept that the FBI took ZERO notes when interviewing an actual suspect during the Clinton investigation.

clint said...

"RUBIO: Do you ever wonder why, of all the things in the investigation, the only thing never leaked is the fact the president was never personally under investigation, despite the fact that Democrats and Republicans and the leadership of congress have known that for weeks?"

I happened to see that bit live. This was the moment I remembered why I had ever liked Rubio. (Before amnesty...)

Virtually Unknown said...

Hillary needs to get the metaphorical Julius Caesar treatment, so we can start moving on. Democrats need to go talk to her the way Republicans talked to Dick Nixon and make it clear to her that she's done. Right now with the specter of her hanging over 2020, Trump looks pretty good.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Birkel, of course Democrats are the party of the rich.

That's funny. Maybe of the nouveau riche. But the 19th century captains of industry who need government protection are all Republicans. Government protection for their old energy industries or those cheap retailing Waltons who need Chinese slave labor to make the case that your job working for them could always be worse!

The Democrat billionaires are the ones creating new and relevant and useful and powerful industries. They're engaged. It's the old money Republicans like the Kochs who represent what wealth does on the Republican side: Go stale.

Velocity of money. Look into it, Neo-Class Warrior. The culture war diversion is old and unintelligent.

Virtually Unknown said...

Judging by many of the commenters here from the blue team, I get the feeling that they will jump right on the Hillary train again if the Clinton machine gets it rolling again. They don't give a flying fuck how many tens of millions she took from the Russians.

Drago said...

TTR: "The best thing the Democrats can do is to get out of the way and allow for a whole new House to win in 2018 where no one is over 40 years old. And let them lead everyone out of this mess. Anyone over 60 should be denied leadership positions at all - except as advisors."

TTR goes the "full Jack Weinberg"!

You know, it's interesting and serendipitous that you would re-launch a new version of that Weinberg-ian admonition right at the very time that we need to re-establish free speech rights on campus.

Virtually Unknown said...

The Democrat billionaires are the ones creating new and relevant and useful and powerful industries.

Yeah, like companies that rape our privacy and sell it to the highest bidder.

The Cracker Emcee said...

" “Today certainly advanced the ball on the seriousness of this investigation and the breadth of its scope,” Napolitano said. “If you look…at the big picture…you get a very, very credible and compelling argument that the President of the United States has not been truthful with the American people; and ordered the director of the FBI to shut down an investigation.”"

He was referring to Obama and Hillary. Try to keep up, Inga.

Sebastian said...

"to say the FBI "was in disarray" — "lies, plain and simple."" Calling a difference of opinion a lie shows Comey's animus. Of course, the FBI has yet to identify the leakers, and couldn't do the simplest thing to assist the executive branch for which it works, namely to state the President was not under investigation.

"In other words, he doesn't know of a case. Why not say so?" Because he hates Trump's guts.

"One is that he simply didn't think at the time that Trump had gone too far." He didn't, but, swamp creature that he is, Comey quickly realized that he could use the appearance e of impropriety to his advantage.

"The other is that Comey had not been fired yet and he dearly wanted to keep his job." That was his overriding concern at all times.

@Feinstein: “You have the president of the United States asking you to stop an investigation” Not "aggressive" questioning: a deliberate lie.

@wildswan: “There was no Russia collusion. There was nothing for Trump to obstruct.” Indeed. But it won't keep desperate lefties from tying to pin some kind of obstruction on him, pressuring Mueller next. It's all they got.

Drago said...

TTR: "But the 19th century captains of industry who need government protection are all Republicans."

Come on, lighten up. This Monopoly Man caricature of robber barons in spats hanging out at their private club is so out of date its unrecognizable.

More importantly, all those fortunes ended up in Foundation Trust funds administered now by liberals and leftists and go overwhelmingly to left-wing causes.

72% to democrats, according to Open Secrets: https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=W02



Birkel said...

19th century captains of industry are all dead. They need government protection not at all.

Somehow your inability to note that is more embarrassing than "ediface" ever was.

Drago said...

Earnest Prole: "The answer is in my original comment: incompetence"

So let me get this straight: career FBI investigative professionals called in the Democrat candidate for the Presidency during the tenure of a democrat President for a 3 hour interrogation and allowed the candidates to attend the meeting and converse (against policy) as well as NOT recording the testimony NOR taking any notes.

And your answer is "incompetence".

LOL

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

TTR, the 19th c. captains of industry are all dead. Every man Jack of them. Really.

"Old energy industries" obviously includes fracking. Probably nuclear as well. Are you against clean energy, or only against anything that isn't solar/wind/hydro?

The rich Democrats are doing the "new and relevant and useful and powerful" stuff. The Republicans, who apparently boil down to the Koch brothers and the Waltons, are doing all the nefarious stuff, like building the Keystone Pipeline and paying greeters inside Wal-Mart more to say hello to people in the air-conditioned inside than protesters are paid to march in the sweltering outside.

EMyrt said...

Birkel said...

@ Earnest Prole

Thanks for your concern but I missed nothing. I was writing about the inclination of Leftist statists to support Big Business. Adam Smith wrote of this inclination 241 years ago.

Do try to keep up.

6/8/17, 8:01 PM

As someone living in the SFBA who works with Silicon Valley companies, I would add that the current most successful entrepreneurs are overwhelmingly left-liberal, and very happy with the past 8 years of infinitesimal interest rates and green subsidies. The VC investors and "unicorn" startups have benefited hugely from the unlevel playing field.

Birkel said...

@ Michelle Dulak Thomson

As I understand it, the Waltons give quite a bit of money to Leftist causes. TTR doesn't even know that he doesn't even know.

Virtually Unknown said...

Wake me up when they find a pony. I have seen enough horse shit.

Hagar said...

Jan Crawford says "high crimes and misdmeanors" means whatever the Congress decides it means.
Remember how the Democrats derided Gerald Ford for saying that?
And that during the Clinton impeachment hearings it was absolutely not true? Grounds for impeachment absolutely had to be based on an offense known to the criminal code.

And 3d Grader, Billy Jeff was sanctioned by Judge Wright for committing perjury in her court, for which he was ordered to pay $850,000 in damages and court costs to Paula Jones and her lawyers and lost his license to practice law in the State of Arkansas.

Earnest Prole said...

Drago, Birkel, et al: Memoranda is the universal norm for law-enforcement and business conversations. The circumstances surrounding Hillary's FBI interview revealed the fix was in. We are in violent agreement.

Hagar said...

OT,
Blogger seems to be getting quite unpredictable as to what end of the comment section I get to see, sometimes even switching to the top or bottom while I am reading something in the middle.

Bob Ellison said...

COMEY: Yes, sir. There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. It was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that. It is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community and the members of this committee have seen the intelligence. It's not a close call. That happened. That's about as unfake as you can possibly get. It is very, very serious, which is why it's so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that. This is about America, not about a particular party.

Hey, Comey, some of us aren't as dumb as you. Lay out the evidence. You've been as opaque as possible for the last twelve months. Lay it out for those of us who know a capacitor from a phishing expedition, so that America, this bipartisan wonderland, can see just how serious the threat is.

Otherwise, I'm calling bullshit.

Birkel said...

@ Earnest Prole

And that puts the lie to Comey, RE: writing memos to preserve memories.

He is merely a political operator. The evidence I have seen to date is that he serves Comey. Serving Comey seems, often, to serve those with whom he could later curry favor. Trump appears not to have favored Comey.

Birkel said...

@ Bob Ellison

I don't doubt Comey on that point. However, I would not doubt that every other intelligence service in the world constantly barrages every other country with computer espionage. I assume the United States does too.

Virtually Unknown said...

Is it just my imagination, or does McCain sound more like Admiral Boom from Mary Poppins every day?

Earnest Prole said...

And that puts the lie to Comey, RE: writing memos to preserve memories.

You have it exactly backward. When Comey failed to document the Clinton interview, it was the dog that didn't bark.

Some don’t know how to take their own side in an argument.

Bob Ellison said...

It's all a call to authority. We know what we're doing. I showed it to you, under cover, where the American people can't see it. But we know what we're doing. Trust us.

Virtually Unknown said...

Fired FBI Director, James Comey said in a prepared opening statement released Wednesday that he didn’t keep detailed memos on his conversations with Obama like he did with Donald Trump. Comey took notes on EVERY meeting with President Trump before and after his inauguration. But Comey only spoke with Obama twice! Even after the DNC computers were ‘hacked’ he never spoke with the Democrat president about the criminal attack on his party’s computers! (Photo) Former Director James Comey also did not record his THREE HOUR interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her likely criminal email activity.

It's all on the up and up. No need to worry about any underhanded tactics people.

Birkel said...

@ Earnest Prole

You mean President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Hillary Clinton and others. That's an awful lot of dogs barking.

Meanwhile, only one person is known to have had their conversations memorialized. I guess the little yapping mutt is the only one that counts. Never mind that pack of dogs behind the curtain.

Grab your carry on.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Hagar said...
. . .
And 3d Grader, Billy Jeff was sanctioned by Judge Wright for committing perjury in her court, for which he was ordered to pay $850,000 in damages and court costs to Paula Jones and her lawyers and lost his license to practice law in the State of Arkansas.


We only found out about Monica Lewinsky because she was called as a witness in the Paula Jones case. Bill could have settled that, but he chose to fight it, and so the Lewinsky affair was revealed. And he eventually agreed to a settlement with Jones (as Hagar notes). It was all ego to Bill Clinton. He knew Jones was telling the truth about him, and he knew the stain on the dress was his (he insisted on a a DNA test anyway). These are the "progressives" you put into office, Democrats.
Bill Clinton was and is a liar and a grifter. How anyone could think that his talentless wife is a feminist hero is beyond me.

Birkel said...

@ Bob Ellison

Agreed. I do not trust Top Men any more than do you.

holdfast said...

Comey isn't a Clinton Creature.

Like Phreet Bharararara he's a Schumer Sockpuppet. But Schumer did lease him out to Holder and Obama.

robinintn said...

Dershowitz says even if Trump had ordered Comey to shut down the Flynn investigation, it wouldn't have been obstruction of justice because of his executive constitutional authority.

Earnest Prole said...

You mean President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Hillary Clinton and others. That's an awful lot of dogs barking.

I take it you're not familiar with the phrase "The dog that didn't bark."

Hagar said...

This was an attack by the former Director of the FBI on the President of the United States of America.
Comey's testimony seems to skate lightly over a lot of things with excuses of his being confused, flabbergasted, and stunned to the point that he just could not think straight and so went along with some things he perhaps should not have. Really??? This is James B. Comey of the FBI talking? Why was he ever appointed to anything if he is that uncertain about the basics of the jobs he has held through his career?

I think Trey Gowdy will tear him to shreds if he ever comes before Gowdy's committee in the House.

Bob Ellison said...

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Brookzene said...

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

G arry Kasparov ("Winter Is Coming")says a singular characteristic of Trump is you don't have to decide if he's acting from malice or incompetence - it's always both.

Earnest Prole said...

Here, Birkel, let me help:

Detective: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

Sherlock Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

Detective: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."

Sherlock Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

Drago said...

Brookzene: "Garry Kasparov ("Winter Is Coming")says a singular characteristic of Trump is you don't have to decide if he's acting from malice or incompetence - it's always both."

Well, if Garry Kasparov says so...

Lol

Brookzene said...

I don't think anyone could or even ought to give a squat what I think about the charge of obstruction of justice against Trump.
But for sure we got another look at how this president lies and what little character he has. To that end I thought it was a pretty bad day for Trump.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Comey isn't a Clinton Creature.

Like Phreet Bharararara he's a Schumer Sockpuppet.


Insight into the right-wing mind #54: No one is ideologically or politically or morally independent. They all answer to a higher power.

Except Trump.

These people remind me of the flat-earthers. There's always another explanation to explain the last thing they imagined. When asked what holds up the turtle that the earth supposedly rests on, a lady once said, "It's turtles the whole way down!"

Such is as it is with Republican hierarchies. The buck stops nowhere. The Almighty Dollar is itself the authority.

Bay Area Guy said...

Comey is a drama queen, he botched up the Hillary E-mail investigation, but it fueled the politics with his press conference, thus earning massive Democratic wrath.

Then, he was fired by Trump.

I say big deal. His testimony was weak, he is a leaker, and he needs to simply go away.

Matthew Sablan said...

How is a day where we learned Comey is a leaking liar and that the media lied to us about Comey never telling Trump he was not under investigation... a bad day for Trump?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I say big deal. His testimony was weak, he is a leaker, and he needs to simply go away.

That's what you say.

Trump say, "ME ALL-POWERFUL! NO ONE CAN OR EVER SHOULD INVESTIGATE ME! RUSSIAN FINANCING THAT SON ERIC ADMITTED TO CAN NEVER BE INVESTIGATED! I AM ABOVE THE LAW! WHY SHOULD ANYONE EVER INVESTIGATE ME!"

Now pledge allegiance to the Trump, Next FBI Director. Kiss the ring. The ring is above the constitution.

Brookzene said...

"Comey is a drama queen"

Just for your information Comey didn't sound at all like a drama queen in today's testimony. He sounded very sober and very credible. Drama queens don't punctuate their testimony with rational disclaimers: "I could be wrong about this but..."

MikeR said...

Thank you, Professor. This was a good piece of work.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

How is a day where we learned Comey is a leaking liar and that the media lied to us about Comey never telling Trump he was not under investigation... a bad day for Trump?

How is a man given the power of political invincibility by Republicans not politically invincible? How should such a man, with all his contempt for the law, be beholden to the law?

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

How did victims of sharia law become such Zen Buddhists?

Brookzene said...

"How is a day where we learned Comey is a leaking liar "

Where do you get "liar" Matthew?

J2 said...

EMyrt

Highly recommend Re Jerry Pournelle at Chaos Manor referenced by poster EMyrt. This is very very interesting.

I have seen this information word for word in 2 other places. Bill Still report of may 30 which credits Dave Bertrand as the author.

Dave Bertrand's identical piece of May 27 credits Ziad Abdelnour (Blackhawk Partners).

Jerry Pournelle's post of May 23 says of the info: "This is provided as received. I cannot find any confirming source online. It contains assertions of fact I had not seen in other sources. Take it with as little or as much salt as you deem appropriate. This unidentified email confirms many suspicions and fills in some details that I could not understand."

Take your pick of the 3. Bill Still's is a video. In reverse chronology:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV_urRnwnFU

http://syria-personally.beforeitsnews.com/spies-and-intelligence/2017/05/bombshell-intel-on-former-fbi-comey-2450729.html

https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/recovery-opinionanalysis-on-comey-and-draining-the-swamp-a-note-on-education/

David53 said...

It appears to me that Comey contradicts himself about how many meetings he had with Obama, is this a something or a nothing?


WARNER: And so in all your experience, this was the only president that you felt like in every meeting you needed to document because at some point, using your words, he might put out a non-truthful representation of that meeting.

COMEY: That's right, senator. As I said, as FBI director I interacted with President Obama, I spoke only twice in three years, and didn't document it.

Later when speaking with Heinrich about Russian interference in our election system…

COMEY: I attended a fair number of meetings on that with President Obama.

William said...

The very first private meeting between Comey and Trump was requested by Comey. Comey says that he wanted the private meeting to discuss the salacious items in the fake dossier. Comey set the precedent. Maybe Trump thought that was how things were done.......Comey gives the appearance of being an honest and honorable man, but it's obvious he tilted somewhat towards Hillary and Obama and sharply against Trump.

Krumhorn said...

“Well first of all, let’s look at the big constitutional picture,” Dershowitz said. “The president could have told Comey you are commanded, directed to block the prosecution against Flynn. The president has the right to do that. Comey acknowledges that. He says in the statement that historically, historically presidents have done that to the Justice Department. But in the last few years, we’ve had a tradition of separation.”

“But that tradition doesn’t create crime,” he continued. “Remember also what the president could have done – he could have said to Comey, ‘Stop this investigation. I am now pardoning Flynn. That’s what President Bush did in the beginning of the investigation of Casper Weinberger, which could have led back to the White House to the first President Bush, President Bush on the eve of the trial pardoned Casper Weinberger, pardoned six people and special counsel Walsh said, ‘This is outrageous. He’s stopping the investigation. Nobody’s talking about obstruction of justice. You cannot have obstruction of justice when the president exercises his constitutional authority to pardon, his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI or his constitutional authority to the director of the FBI who to prosecute, who not to prosecute. So let’s get out of the weeds and let’s look at the big constitutional question.”
>

- Krumhorn

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"But for sure we got another look at how this president lies and what little character he has. To that end I thought it was a pretty bad day for Trump."

It seems like the biggest problem is that Comey is letting all the DJT admin folks know the MO of the one on one pressure game that he plays. That weakens DJT's ability to work this angle. Folks* will be on guard for being played and dumped. Sorta like the way that the crazy handshake was robbed of whatever it was it was supposed to be doing, because it became too known, and a joke.



*Unfortunately folks at these high levels of success think a few steps down the road and care about reality, IOW they are not as smart as many in these threads who often point out that the DJT administration is failing to act even though there is obvious (to the internet geniuses) justification for HRC justice, i.e., locking her crooked ass up.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Trump could have held initiation rites in a subterranean lair of his somewhere with finger pricking rituals and cards held over flames with pledges sworn over saints to his "family" and Republicans would all be like, "So? What's wrong with that?"

Now I know why Sarah Palin saw a witch doctor and Christine O'Donnell practiced witchcraft.

n.n said...

So, the Russians forced Obama to prematurely evacuate Iraq. The Russians forced Obama to start elective wars in Somalia, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc. The Russians forced catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform so that leftists could exploited refugees for welfare profits, to disenfranchise native people, and to coverup the collateral damage from elective wars. The Russians forced Clinton to ignore Americans and slander American citizens as "deplorable" and "irredeemable". The Russians forced Clinton to operate a Water Closet in order to avoid accountability to the People. The Russians forced Democrats to adopt [class] diversity (i.e. racism, sexism, congruence) and to deny life unworthy under the progressive liberals' Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral/legal philosophy. The Russians forced Democrats to ignore Americans in "flyover country", urban ghettos, etc. The Russians forced press collusion with the DNC, foreign parties (including sovereigns), in order to influence Americans to vote for Democrats. The Russians forced Fannie/Freddie to redistribute debt and inflate real estate assets, which led to yet another decadal catastrophic economic misalignment and reset. So, what, exactly, did the Democrats do to earn the trust and votes of American citizens (and our Posterity)? Most Republican candidates were rejected, but what about Democrats?

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, you have the contradiction mentioned above about how often he met with Obama, and you have the fact he claimed a tweet that didn't yet exist inspired him to take action.

I mean, you might have to use a bit of logical reasoning to realize that means he's lying.

Also, if you believe him that he didn't know whether or not obstruction was happening, that means he perjured himself earlier when he said there was no obstruction.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Can I just get some admissions by Republicans here that they think requiring loyalty pledges to presidents over and above those sworn to the constitution are ok by them?

I just want to know that that's what you really think.

Matthew Sablan said...

Toothless: You must have missed where Obama got the same thing from his staff.

Also, to some extent, yes. I expect someone's staff not to deliberately conspire to leak information to politically damage them, even though you have no proof of their wrong doing.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Who required a loyalty pledge, R&B?
I want a link to a real quote from an identified person, not a paraphrase of something reported by an anonymous source.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

When Trump accused Comey of "showboating," I think what he meant is that Comes had no right to get in the way of Trump's massive projection of his own infallible ego.

Someday, when Trump's prosecuted, he'll accuse the attorney of doing the same thing.

William said...

Contra Trump: Comey was in a weak and vulnerable position. There must have been some way of forcing Comey to resign without all this brouhaha. It was inept. Also, he should have named the next FBI director at the same time he announced Comey's resignation.,...I would presume that Comey has his friends and loyalists within the FBI. They'll be around for a long time. It's easier to govern if the FBI is on your side.

Matthew Sablan said...

Or he meant that Comey lied about his reason for doing things, such as moving a tweet in time to make his actions seem more noble than if he just gave his friend government documents illegally.

Seeing Red said...

What's down is up.

Brookzene said...

"Comey gives the appearance of being an honest and honorable man, but it's obvious he tilted somewhat towards Hillary and Obama and sharply against Trump."

Yes, that's true. But based on today's testimony I think he felt he had a read on Trump's character as being dishonest in a way that he didn't get from Obama or GW Bush. I might have missed something but couldn't really tell what Comey thought of Hillary.

It's pretty clear what he thinks of Trump.

Matthew Sablan said...

Mind you, I don't like Trump a lot. But... today's testimony did a lot to help him.

If doing nothing else than completely gutting the media's attempts to lie that he had been under investigation and that Comey would never tell him he wasn't. If they couldn't get that right, why should I believe the REST of their reports?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I want a link to a real quote from an identified person...

Trump is a pathological liar. Comey has an admirable and proven record of non-partisan independence. I take Comey's word over Trump's - concerning an event between them - any day. X1000.

Trump even admitted to wanting the Russia investigation to go away. He is a buffoon and a proven tyrant based on that admission alone.

Comey holds his fidelity to the constitution above that to any "man." Trump only knows loyalty to Trump.

No witnesses needed. You have to basically disbelieve everything you can observe about these two individual's basic character to believe Trump over Comey. You'd have to live as a pomo-con. A post-modernist, post-truth conservative. Someone who thinks nothing is real, but the projection of power, of course.

Republicans have become like hippies - only without the drugs or peace and love. But they sure do love their alternate reality.

I wish them well in it. Bon voyage.

n.n said...

Then there was Water Closet exposed by Deep Plunger, a disenfranchised Democrat now deceased, that was covered-up through collusion between the DNC and press affiliates at the NYT, WAPO, etc.

Another day, another baby hunt by the left, that exposes witches in our government and Fourth Estate who act against the People and our Posterity's interests.

Brookzene said...

"Well, you have the contradiction mentioned above about how often he met with Obama, and you have the fact he claimed a tweet that didn't yet exist inspired him to take action.

I mean, you might have to use a bit of logical reasoning to realize that means he's lying.

Also, if you believe him that he didn't know whether or not obstruction was happening, that means he perjured himself earlier when he said there was no obstruction."

Gotta say these are a few horseshit reasons to call a man a liar. Especially when you are doing it in defense of Donald Trump.

Matthew Sablan said...

Brookzene: That's an irrational read of what Comey did. For example, Comey admits that what Lynch did made him queasy as well. Yet he did not keep any notes; we know that Obama fired people who were investigating him within the IG office. He routinely told his administration to do things like audit his enemies, etc., etc. If Comey really were just a principled guy who didn't trust Trump... why didn't he act out in any way when he actually was told to lie about an ongoing investigation to help the President's party under Obama?

You could assume that maybe he lied or misspoke, and Lynch didn't really upset him as much as it sounded. Or, you could assume he's not really that honorable a guy and is much more a political creature, which pretty much every action he's taken paints him as. He thought he could play both sides, and then he got played so badly he can't even keep track of his lying reasons for why he did things.

MikeR said...

I am coming to understand that this was a pretty simple business, only complicated if Trump is Satan. He is busily appointing heads of departments, political appointments. They are of course expected to be loyal to him. That doesn’t mean they’ll let him poison the water, but they are his man at the EPA or whatever.
Comey refuses that status. He holds that the FBI is different and he is not in any way going to be the president’s man. All the meetings are built around working out that misunderstanding or disagreement. Nothing nefarious, except that Beltway people have enough contempt for non-Beltway people that they would rather assume that Trump is evil than accept the idea that he doesn’t know the conventions of every single Beltway job.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Gotta say these are a few horseshit reasons to call a man a liar. Especially when you are doing it in defense of Donald Trump."

-- We also know in his previous testimonies he routinely misspoke or lied to Congress about his investigations into Clinton/Abedin/Weiner. He has a history of not being honest, and you consider it a bad reason to call someone a liar when they lie about why they did something to make themselves sound better?

No. When someone lies, that's a damn good reason to call them a liar.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Gotta say these are a few horseshit reasons to call a man a liar. Especially when you are doing it in defense of Donald Trump.

Any Republican here wanna take an outright stab at vouching for Don Trump's honesty/decency/honor?

Come on. Any takers?

Bueller?

Matthew Sablan said...

"He holds that the FBI is different and he is not in any way going to be the president’s man."

-- No. He wasn't going to be THIS president's man, as we know by the fact he took no action to leak about Lynch's improper attempts to meddle in his investigation.

khesanh0802 said...

The real tell on Comey is that he refuses to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee where he would be sure to be asked about the Hillary mess.

Brookzene said...

"Who required a loyalty pledge, R&B?"

I think it's the shit that the President of the United States demands (needs!) the Director of the FBI to be loyal to...what? The United States of America? The Constitution? Freedom, justice??

No. "I need you to be loyal to me."

Michael K said...

You lefties had better get used to Trump because you will have him as president for the next four and possibly eight years.

Ritmo is amusing talking about honor.

Brookzene said...

"Lynch's improper attempts to meddle in his investigation."

Are you just making stuff up? I didn't hear him make any claim about Lynch "improperly attempting to meddle in his investigation," other than she wanted him to call it a "matter" rather than an "investigation." Is that what you mean or did I miss something else?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Trump is the Republican Bill Clinton. He's the last slimy douchebag left to do the dirty job of being an effective liar for their party. And like Democrats and Clinton, they will defend him to their last breath.

We know where that led Clinton and his Democrats.

Enjoy.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"The real tell on Comey is that he refuses to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee where he would be sure to be asked about the Hillary mess."

Yes, that was a mega mess.

But, now we have an R POTUS and an R Senate and an R House and an R Supreme Court, so I'm sure they just don't know that there is a need to reverse the Comey disaster re not locking up HRC.

Since you've discovered the slam dunk re locking up crooked HRC, please, for America and babies, immediately write into the DJT administration and congressional Rs to make sure they lock up HRC.

America thanks you!

Matthew Sablan said...

Brookzene: She wanted him to lie about the investigation. If you think that asking the FBI Director to lie about an investigation isn't improper, that's fine. But, you're going to be working under a different framework than most people.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I should have said, an effective if slimy liar.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Ritmo is amusing talking about honor.

You simpletons remind me of all the fans and Democrats who couldn't get enough of their pictures taken with Bill Clinton.

Trump will sell you out the same way. Go on, defend the guy. You know you can't, but that's what you love about him.

You are turned on by his weasel ways. He squirms through ethical quandaries in ways that make you green with envy.

If you had a sense of honor or decency, I don't think this would happen. You admire his rule-bending.

Brookzene said...

"She wanted him to lie about the investigation."

I didn't hear that anywhere. Got a key word I can or something? Of course asking the FBI to lie about an investigation would be horrible - have to really talk about resignation I would think. But I haven't heard that Lynch asked the Director to lia about an investigation. Again, what am I missing?

Matthew Sablan said...

I'd be happy to dump Trump. I just also think that he should get the benefit of playing by the rules that were established for the last eight years.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"She wanted him to lie about the investigation."

Lock her up w/ HRC. Right?

khesanh0802 said...

@J2 Thanks for the references. This will all come out sooner or later. The Dems would be smart to get Comey off the stage as quickly as possible.

Matthew Sablan said...

... Brookzene earlier said: "Are you just making stuff up? I didn't hear him make any claim about Lynch "improperly attempting to meddle in his investigation," other than she wanted him to call it a "matter" rather than an "investigation.""

Now, Brookzene says: "I didn't hear that anywhere. Got a key word I can or something? Of course asking the FBI to lie about an investigation would be horrible."

If you can't even keep what you know straight, probably best to call it a night.

Spiros Pappas said...

I still don't get how the Russians "hacked" the election and got Trump the win. I mean, the Russians didn't manufacture a terror attack or get the Iranians to act up or pour billions of dollars into the Trump campaign or even plant a 16 year old Lolita in Anthony Weiner's path. The Russians did next to nothing. The fake news stuff was amateur hour. And the DNC hacking was a big nothing burger. It wasn't that much of a surprise that the DNC knee capped Bernie and, anyways, most of us believe that a stupid kid was the source of the leak and not Russian super sleuths. So what happened? I mean, Mrs. Clinton said they were thousands of Russian agents working on sabotaging her campaign. Where are these people and where are their captured communications? All this stuff sounds crazy.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

We should also jail BHO.

And, obviously, Holder.

It be nice to find a white dude to lock up too. Just for appearances. Doesn't look good if we're only locking up gals and blacks (or both at once). Any ideas?

How about Comey?

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I'd be happy to dump Trump. I just also think that he should get the benefit of playing by the rules that were established for the last eight years.

Just stop it. Enough of this, "We're just like the Democrats!" bullshit. He seems to get off on inviting investigation and scrutiny and the possibility of prosecution because his victimhood complex demands it. Just like Bill Clinton did. Both of them love wrapping others up in their drama. Just be an adult and admit that the things he does are not normal for someone hoping to remain above-board with federal prosecutors. His squad doesn't act like people with nothing to hide. Maybe they do have something to hide and maybe they just get off on portraying themselves as victims. Either way, you're being duped. Ask yourself what you're getting out of, if not lovingly going along with it, defending it on the basis of some "political rulebook" that federal prosecutors are generally professional enough to be above playing along with.

Matthew Sablan said...

Oh, no. I agree. It would be great if Trump *didn't* act like what has been normalized the last eight years was how the country worked.

But, I lay that blame equally at his feet and the feet of the people who enabled it over the last eight years.

Brookzene said...

"You lefties had better get used to Trump because you will have him as president for the next four and possibly eight years."

Maybe. Seems foolish to completely rule that out the way things are. Note, I said "completely rule it out."

If that should happen though, (or even if it doesn't) I could imagine getting to a point where many who support him now stop supporting him in the future - even though there's no getting rid of him.

Just entertain the possibility that some of you supporters also become disillusioned with Trump. For example, you also can't rule out the possibility he does something that would alarm a great many of his supporters who aren't alarmed now. Has to possible particularly given how volatile the political situation has been since he took office (or before).


Bob Ellison said...

Brookzene said:

"Comey is a drama queen"

Just for your information Comey didn't sound at all like a drama queen in today's testimony"


Comey comes across as a truthful, honest, upstanding, gracious person. That's the way Obama came across.

Comey is very impressive, face-wise, audio-wise, and word-wise. That's good enough for some people.

Matthew Sablan said...

"He's saying he wasn't strong enough or didn't have the presence of mind to stand up to Trump, but there are at least 2 other explanations. One is that he simply didn't think at the time that Trump had gone too far."

-- Which is the explanation Comey gave last time he testified when he said no obstruction happened. Funny how some anonymous sources and a few weeks to stew in bitterness can change the story.

Birkel said...

@ TTR

As I admitted last night, I have always preferred bosses who ask for my disloyalty.

Brookzene said...

"If you can't even keep what you know straight, probably best to call it a night."

Can't imagine what you are talking about Matthew. All I know is you made what to me is an unsubstantiated accusation that Lynch asked Comey to lie about an investigation. I haven't heard that anywhere before.

Put up or shut up. And here anyone can jump in and tell me how I'm wrong about that. Since Matthew doesn't seem to want to.

Birkel said...

@ Arrogant Prole

I got the reference. But when all the dogs except one do not bark, it is you who has the thing backward.

Dip shit.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Well Birkel, maybe if you had any self-respect, that wouldn't be an issue for you.

But it was obvious you didn't have any principles.

Matthew Sablan said...

... Uh... you admitted to hearing that Lynch wanted Comey to not call the investigation an investigation. Are you deliberately obscuring this?

Brookzene said...

"Comey is very impressive, face-wise, audio-wise, and word-wise. That's good enough for some people."

Well, it actually might even be better than an lie-detector test for some of us, but if you're making a point that you can still never really know for sure, you are right.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Trust me. Who was it that convinced Trump to run? Clinton. Trump is Clinton's protege. (Well, and Nixon's to a lesser extent).

Trump will sell you guys out the way Clinton sold out the left. It will be interesting to watch.

MaxedOutMama said...

Emyrt - thanks for link. That seems to be somewhat borne out by the revelations today.

I do appreciate it.

William said...

I don't think future generations will revere Donald Trump for his exemplary moral character. I think you can fairly argue that he's less of a horndog than Bill Clinton and that, unlike Ted Kennedy, he's never been guilty of criminally negligent homicide, but that's a low bar.....Donald Trump will never inspire me to be a better human being, but, that said, there's zero evidence that he's some kind of Russian agent or some Machiavellian plotter against the true course of justice. He's our elected President and deserves a great deal more respect, especially as regards the presumption of innocence, than our media seem willing to grant him.

Brookzene said...

"... Uh... you admitted to hearing that Lynch wanted Comey to not call the investigation an investigation."

Oh, I see, I was right that's what you were talking about. And that's why you are wrong. Because Lynch did want Comey to call the investigation a "matter" rather than an "investigation", which isn't great imo, but it isn't a lie. It may be an investigation but it also IS a matter. I don't like Lynch playing those kind of word games but it has nothing to do with "lying". As Comey said, he went out and everyone - the news media, and presumably other players - immediately called it an investigation anyway. They knew what it was. Lynch wasn't lying but she wasn't fooling anyone either.

You're a little loose with the facts and interpretations sometimes yourself, Matthew.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"And like Democrats and Clinton, they will defend him to their last breath."
I suppose what you meant to say, R&B, is that Trump is being treated by the GOP like the Dems treated Clinton, if the Dems had hated Clinton.

Matthew Sablan said...

Ah, yes.

When Lynch wants Comey to lie about the investigation by downplaying it and pretending there isn't an ongoing investigation, it is just "word games," not instructing him to lie about whether there is an ongoing investigation.

How could I be so silly to think that, even with Comey agreeing that what she did was concerning, that maybe asking someone to lie asking someone to lie.

Just a crazy world I live in where A = A.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Republicans really are quite obsessed with Ted Kennedy - who left the scene of an accident but I don't believe was charged with "criminally negligent homicide." Nevertheless, what matters is the ample evidence of Trump having no moral independence of the Russians, who merely need to flatter him to give away any national priorities. And his son sure does think he has no financial independence of them. But I guess we won't find out if that's accurate or not because the Republicans are dead-set on keeping that bit of secrecy of his hidden.

Good job! What moral independence! Trump is not only uninspiring himself, he's keeping Republicans uninspired at the prospect of being more decent human beings on their own accord.

J. Farmer said...

OT, but holy shit did the Tories screw the pooch in UK's snap election today.

Theresa May in Danger of Losing Her Majority in U.K. Parliament

Theresa May can kiss her party leadership goodbye. She was a spectacularly overconfident prime minister who thought she could run on party popularity and the perceived haplessness of her opponent. Sound familiar?

This is going to be a catastrophe for the UK, since such obvious domestic weakness is going to give Europe an upper hand during the upcoming Article 50 negotiations. Disheartening to see the Tories of Great Britain, who once at least stood for good governance, are as feckless and supine as the members of Conservatism Inc. who dominate our parliamentary institutions.

Birkel said...

@ TTR

Have you ever heard of a boss requiring disloyalty? I know you prefer not to engage the obvious fact that in a world with ambivalence, loyalty and disloyalty as the options, disloyalty is off the table. Given what is left are you arguing for ambivalence?

Give that a stab. Make the case. But make the argument in a way that it applied to more than 1/6500000000 th of the human population.

madAsHell said...

Holy Shit!!

Someone should take McCain to the rest home. The guy can't keep his oars in the water.

Birkel said...

@ J Farmer

Actual vote rallies appear to diverge from the exit polling. Keep your powder dry.

Birkel said...

tallies

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"tallies"

The NYT thing-y w/ cons being blue/ libs are red is hard to get used to (for my pea brain):

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/08/world/europe/british-general-election-results-analysis.html?_r=0

Brookzene said...

@Matthew: Comey testified that Lynch wanted him to call an investigation a "matter" rather than an "investigation". That confused him, presumably made him uncomfortable and inspired him to keep written memorial of his meeting with Trump (I recall that was the reason he brought it up). Comey said even though he/the JD called it a "matter" everyone in media called it an investigation anyways.

Here's how you characterize that: "Lynch wants Comey to lie about the investigation by downplaying it and pretending there isn't an ongoing investigation" and Lynch "is instructing him to lie about whether there is an ongoing investigation."

That's putting way too much on Comey's limited but very specific testimony. I'd say our little discussion here isn't really about whether Lynch or Comey lied (they didn't), it's more about how comfortable you are judging and interpreting people who don't agree with you politically.

Try not to forget the context of discussion either. This is about Comey's testimony against Donald Trump, who is a pathetically persistent liar, practically daily and for sure Trump doesn't really even care when he gets caught lying. But you're comfortable making this "Comey's a liar."

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Spiros Pappas,

I, too, am perplexed at the notion that Russians (the very same Russians that HRC wanted to "Reset" with, lest we forget) "hacked" the election. They may have hacked the DNC files, which isn't the same thing. But surely that was to harm Hillary, not to help Trump. I doubt very much that Putin ever thought Trump would actually win, but he could ensure that Hillary entered office crippled. (I'm leaving to one side Podesta's "hack," which was a phishing scheme that any 10-year-old would have spotted.) At worst, the Russians (if they were Russians) made the "most transparent administration in history" live up to its own billing, by (say) revealing how the DNC was going to use Bernie Sanders' Jewishness against him. Because all the anti-Semites aren't on the Right, you know. Not by a long chalk.

The latest claims that Russians actually hacked into voting machines ... well, show me, as they don't say in Oregon.

MayBee said...

McCain sounded bad, but the point he made was a great one.

If the issue was Russian intervention in our poitical process, why are we only hearing about Trump's people and not Clinton's people? Why would the FBI assume one campaign and not the other was affected?
Hillary Clinton had a server out there that had emails from her tenure at SoS and we'll never know what they said. But maybe the Russians did. Why would the FBI not be investigating that as part of the whole "Russian interference"?

Birkel said...

@ PB&J

Projections between 315 and 330. Time will tell.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm completely lost as to how you can understand the nuance of Trump asking Comey to go easy, but can't grasp the equally nuanced Lynch telling Comey that there's no investigation happening here. It's willful ignorance at this point.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

TTR,

The thing about Ted Kennedy isn't that he "left the scene of an accident," but that he waited until he was sure Mary Jo Kopechne was dead, the next morning, before he called the police. He might have tried to fish her out then and there; he might have called as soon as he got home. Instead he waited until the next day.

That the man had any sort of career at all in politics after that floors me. That he was then "The Lion of the Senate" ... well, words fail.

Birkel said...

@ Brookzene

Comey is so wildly honest he had a friend do his dirty work leaking half-truths to the NYT.

Can we agree on that?

Drago said...

Anonymous sources tell CNN that Trump has, on more than one occasion, not only had bowls of ice cream delivered for his consumption in numbers of scoops greater than 1, but that those scoops have been found to be borscht flavored!

What more evidence do you need to remove this despicable consumer of beetroot flavored desserts?

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