June 14, 2017

Why didn't Senator Cornyn close this circle?

When James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week — here's the transcript — Senator Cornyn questioned him about how he handled the Clinton e-mail matter after the disclosure of Loretta Lynch's meeting on the tarmac with Bill Clinton:
CORNYN: [Y]ou clearly were troubled by the conduct of the sitting attorney general, Loretta Lynch.... And, under Department of Justice and FBI norms, wouldn’t it have been appropriate for the attorney general, or, if she had recused herself — which she did not do — for the deputy attorney general to appoint a special counsel? That’s essentially what’s happened now with Director Mueller. Would that have been an appropriate step in the Clinton e-mail investigation, in your opinion?
Comey answers that it was "a possible step." Cornyn says that "on multiple occasions," he had asked Lynch to appoint special counsel for the Clinton matter, and Comey says that he knew "members of Congress had repeatedly asked" her to do so. If everyone knew at the time that appointing special counsel was a way to deal with Lynch's problem handling the Clinton matter, why did Comey decide that he needed to take on the role that Lynch couldn't credibly perform?
COMEY: Yes, sir. I can — after the — President Clinton — former President Clinton met on the plane with the attorney general, I considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel, and had decided that that would be an unfair thing to do, because I knew there was no case there. We had investigated very, very thoroughly. I know this is a subject of passionate disagreement, but I knew there was no case there. And calling for the appointment of special counsel would be brutally unfair because it would send the message, aha (ph), there’s something here. That was my judgment. Again, lots of people have different views of it. But that’s how I thought about it.

CORNYN: Well, if the special counsel had been appointed, they could’ve made that determination that there was nothing there and declined to pursue it, right?

COMEY: Sure, but it would’ve been many months later, or a year later.
The timing would have been inconvenient — that's how Comey explained his decision to take on the role himself.

Now, yesterday, when talking to Jeff Sessions — transcript — Cornyn brought up a "written policy from the Department of Justice... entitled Election Year Sensitivities... the prohibition of the Justice Department making announcements or taking other actions that might interfere with the normal elections." This was in the context of asking about the memo from Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, detailing the reasons why Trump should fire Comey:
CORNYN: Well, let me [read] just an excerpt from a memo from the attorney general... It says "Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party. Such a purpose is inconsistent with the department's mission and with the Principles of Federal Prosecution." Do you agree with that?

SESSIONS: Essentially, yes.

CORNYN: So what essentially the deputy attorney general said is that former director Comey violated Department of Justice directives when he held a press conference on July the 5th, 2016. He announced that Secretary Clinton was extremely careless with classified e-mail and went on to release other derogatory information, including his conclusion that she was extremely careless but yet went on to say that no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute her. That is not the role of the FBI director, is it? That is a job for the prosecutors at the Department of Justice. That's what was meant by deputy attorney general Rosenstein when he said that director Comey usurped the role of the Department of Justice prosecutors. Is that right?

SESSIONS: That is correct, and former attorney general Bill Barr wrote an op-ed recently in which he said he had assumed that Attorney General Lynch had urged Mr. Comey to make this announcement so she wouldn't have to do it, but in fact it appears he did it without her approval totally and that is a pretty stunning thing....
Yes, I agree, stunning. But there's one more stunning thing, and I was sure Cornyn was going to say it. Wasn't the rejection of a special prosecutor in the Clinton investigation a matter of timing inconsistent with the Principles of Federal Prosecution described in the Election Year Sensitivities policy? Cornyn thinks Comey "usurped the role of the Department of Justice prosecutors." Comey seemed to think he had to step into the role because there wasn't time to bring in special counsel, but timing wasn't supposed to be taken into account under the Principles. We should have had a special counsel! The argument against it is an argument for violating the Election Year Sensitivities policy.

I was sure that's where Cornyn was going. Did he run out of time or am I missing something? I'd like to hear from Loretta Lynch. Is it true that she didn't ask Comey to take over the announcement, and why didn't she appoint a special counsel in the Clinton matter? Was it because it would take too long and absolving Clinton needed to be timed to the election? Doesn't that violate the Election Year Sensitivities policy?

72 comments:

Kevin said...

Ann, it's thoughtful posts like these that keep us coming back.

Kevin said...

"I'd like to hear from Loretta Lynch."

I would too. There is more evidence the Democrats hacked the election than there is of Russia's involvement at this time.

glenn said...

By Jove, I think you've got it.

Meade said...

"Ann, it's thoughtful posts like these that keep us coming back."

Yes, well, I hope you all can see yourselves clear to defending her when the winds of political hypocrisy shift but her cruel neutrality does not. Thank you.

The Bergall said...

Attorney General Sessions. Is it true that Vladimir Putin may have ties to Russia?

Bay Area Guy said...

We all knew Lynch was a Dem flunkie simply due to the Tarmac meet with Billy Jeff.

The rest was unnecessary -- particularly since Trump won the election (I still like saying that).

However, to the extent that bludgeoning up Lynch a bit will help call off the dogs against Trump, Hey, I'm for it.

Kansas City said...

Lynch would not give straight answer to anything.

I'm sure Lynch wanted to absolve Hillary prior to the election. But it is not clear, and would not have been clear to Lynch at the time, that a special prosecutor and delay would have hurt Hillary. If she would have been indicted without the special prosecutor, then the appointment and delay would have helped her.

I think Comey is relatively smart and relatively honest, but he has bad judgment that gets him and the country in trouble. He should not have made that presentation about Hillary, he did not provide a good explanation of why she should not be indicted or why he was making the presentation, the clumsy leak of his memo. and various other aspects of his conduct and testimony.

Virgil Hilts said...

Yeah, that's pretty obvious. Ann have you been reading the leaked stuff about what Comey supposedly said (at the non-public portion of the hearings) re another meeting with Lynch in which he presented evidence of a cover up agreement?
"During the conversation, Comey told lawmakers he confronted Lynch with a highly sensitive piece of evidence, a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton.
Comey said “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office. . .”
This seems like a bombshell that only a portion of the press is even covering.

rehajm said...

It does not serve Deep State to go there.

Edmund said...

As someone that has had a security clearance, I found Comey's "lack of intent" out for Clinton to be patently unfair. It was made clear to me, by the security office and in annual briefings by the FBI, that intent only mattered in the case of espionage or treason charges. Mishandling of classified data was inherently a violation of the law. No "mens rea", if that is the correct legal term, is required.

The Godfather said...

I remember very clearly that I read/heard in the MSM at the time that Lynch said that because of appearances due to her meeting with Bill Clinton, she had deferred to Comey the prosecute/not prosecute decision about Hillary's misconduct regarding her email system. Did we learn for the first time, through the support for firing Comey, that this wasn't the case, and that Comey preempted Lynch? Or was this information released on the 47th page of NYT and WaPo months ago and somehow I missed it?

khesanh0802 said...

@Ann Comey is now going to testify before the Judiciary Committee. The WSJ reports the following from Charles Grassley, the Chairman: "Mr. Grassley said actions taken under the Obama administration would be examined by the committee as well, specifically whether former Attorney General Loretta Lynch acted improperly in a continuing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while in government." I don't want to claim the chickens are coming home to roost, but they are certainly in the yard.

Grassley has been very unhappy with the FBI's performance for the last year or so. Comey initially refused to testify before the Judiciary Committee.

Ann Althouse said...

@Virgil

I've seen the "steely silence" stories. Seemed too fake-news-y to run with. Am I wrong? There's so much completely made up stuff out there.

Mattman26 said...

I guess the question is, does a policy forbidding you from timing something for "the purpose of affecting [an] election" also forbid you from declining to do something because you're hoping NOT to affect the election? Which, I presume, is what Comey would say he was trying to do.

etbass said...

Comey said it was clear to him that there was no case there. Of course, no one should expect either Lynch or Clinton to admit anything nefarious. And barring any other witnesses or a recording, there wouldn't have been any evidence as to the conversation. But why not an investigation of how the two just happened to meet there? There would have been numerous witnesses who were involved in the trips who might have been forced to testify about how the trip came about. What about NSA recordings of telephone conversations, e-mail, etc.?

Kevin said...

Yes, well, I hope you all can see yourselves clear to defending her when the winds of political hypocrisy shift but her cruel neutrality does not. Thank you.

I have always known Ann was politically to the left of me - I suspect we agreed on one president out of three or four. But isn't having people whose intellect you respect and with whom you don't always agree one of life's treasures?

I think so. If we happen to temporarily align, I consider it just that, temporary. If we don't eventually part company it's because the left never corrected from its self-destructive path.

No sane person wants that.

Bob Ellison said...

Lynch and Clinton met on the tarmac, a secure area that we mortals can't even walk on, guarded by armed officials, at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, one of the busiest airports in the world, and they talked about grandchildren. Clinton was the husband of a target of investigation and the expected winner of the next presidential election.

This is so easy to believe.

Mike Sylwester said...

I think I have figured why "Crazy Comey the Leaker" told the Senate Committee that he leaked his memos through his friend Benjamin Wittes.

In fact, Comey had been leaking his thoughts and feelings directly -- not indirectly through Wittes -- to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt. Other top FBI officials had figured out that Comey had been doing so, and Trump was informed. Comey found out that he himself was being investigated, and he feared that our President Trump was about to expose and fire Comey for leaking.

Therefore Comey persuaded Wittes to help him concoct a fiction that Comey had been talking innocently with Wittes, who then on his own initiative informed Schmidt. The fiction was that Schmidt's source was not Comey, but rather Wittes.

Because Wittes was willing to take all the blame onto himself, Trump would have more difficulty convincing the public that Comey had been leaking directly to Schmidt. To make the fiction work, Comey had to compromise himself as leaking indirectly -- but only indirectly -- through Witte.

------

Thus ended Comey's dream of using leaks of FBI secret information to remove a President from office, as his illustrious predecessor, FBI Assistant Director Mark ("Deep Throat") Felt had done.

-----

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will cover all this up. Mueller has three top goals:

1) Whitewash the FBI

2) Whitewash his BFF, the recent FBI Director, "Crazy Comey the Leaker"

3) Imprison a scapegoat in order to demonstrate to the public that the FBI's bogus and never-ending Russiagate "investigation" has been valid and worthwhile.

Fen said...

Yup, the only reason I started coming here was because Althouse was a lefty who argued in good faith and championed free speech

Keeps your arguments sharp and prevents you from being blindsided over positions you assumed were valid but were not.

She makes you think.

Meade said...

Thanks, Fen.

Hagar said...

I think Comey's famous statements to the House committee were coordinated with the White House, not Loretta Lynch, who by that time was pretty well pissed off and not considered reliable.

Yancey Ward said...

Well, Comey couldn't appoint an independent counsel and couldn't call for one publicly as the Director of the FBI without resigning first. Cornyn had him cornered last week, and I thought Comey's answer was ridiculous. Note how Comey goes back to the "nothing there" defense for thinking an independent counsel would be prejudicial, but that isn't what he actually said on July 5th, 2016. He outlined plenty of "something there", but then gave it all a pass because "no reasonable prosecutor" would take this to court because of a lack of intent, which clearly isn't required to find violations of many of the data handling laws Clinton was sworn to follow and didn't.

The persons who really need to be questioned in this matter are Lynch and whoever the deputy attorney general were on July 5th. Remember, Lynch recused herself prior to to Comey's press conference, so the decision of what to do about the Clinton case would have fallen to the deputy. I am sure both would testify that there was no need for a special counsel, but saying that necessarily implies that the decision not only could be made by the DoJ hiarchy at that time, but should be made by it. That it wasn't is highly suspicious to me even though I have given Comey benefit of the doubt as to why he did it. His answer to Cornyn greatly undermines that benefit of the doubt I gave him at the time, and makes me lean towards the idea that it was all a charade after Lynch got caught meeting Bill Clinton on the downlow- after that the DoJ was caught between a rock and hard place- it would be hard to justify letting Lynch make the decision on how to proceed or her deputy, which does argue implicitly for an independent counsel at that point, even if "there is nothing there", but they knew that would damage Clinton's chances. So Comey was sent out to do the dirty deed with just enough critique of Clinton to fool people like me into giving Comey that benefit of the doubt.

Virgil Hilts said...

Re "steely silence." Ann, you may be right. Fox news is now running with it (though relying on Circa), but after the Seth Rich fiasco I no longer consider Fox reliable when a story is based on undisclosed sources.

Mike Sylwester said...

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt has been well informed about the thoughts and feelings of "Crazy Comey the Leaker".

-----

On April 22, 2017, the NYT published Schmidt's article "Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics".

Schmidt reports approvingly about an exclusive meeting in Comey's conference room, where Comey heroically promised that "he would not let politics affect his decision".

"For Mr. Comey, keeping the FBI out of politics is such a preoccupation that he once said he would never play basketball with President Barack Obama because of the appearance of being chummy ..."

Schmidt gushes that "partisanship was not a factor in Mr. Comey's approach to the two investigations ... In the case of Mr. Trump, he conducted the investigation by the book, with the FBI's traditional secrecy ..."

Schmidt gushes further about his source that "Mr. Comey made those decisions with the supreme self-confidence of a former prosecutor who, in a distinguished career, has cultivated a reputation for what supporters see as fierce independence ..."

"The Times [i.e. Michael Schmidt] found that this go-in-alone strategy was shaped by his distrust of senior officials at the Justice Department ... The distrust extended to his boss, Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general ....

Schmidt concludes knowingly:

"Circumstances landed him [Comey] in uncharted and perhaps unwanted territory, as he made what he thought were the least damaging choices from even less desirable alternatives."

-----

Of course, other top FBI officials who read Schmidt's glorifying article realized immediately that his source was "Crazy Comey the Leaker" himself.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/us/politics/james-comey-election.html

MadisonMan said...

Again, major kudos to the Phoenix TV Reporter who broke this story.

I would also like to hear from Loretta Lynch. That's been a wish of mine for quite a while.

Is she at least writing a book?

gregq said...

Mattman26 said...
I guess the question is, does a policy forbidding you from timing something for "the purpose of affecting [an] election" also forbid you from declining to do something because you're hoping NOT to affect the election? Which, I presume, is what Comey would say he was trying to do.

"[Y]ou're hoping NOT to affect the election" == "you're hoping not to hurt candidate X" == "you're hoping not to help candidate Y" == "you're trying to affect the election".

If you change your behavior because of an upcoming election, then you're violating the rule.

Mike Sylwester said...

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt has been well informed about the thoughts and feelings of "Crazy Comey the Leaker".

On May 12, 2017, NPR published an interview of well-informed Schmidt, titled "NYT Reporter Offers Different Account of Trump-Comey Dinner".

Excerpts from Schmidt's well-informed statements follow:

Seven days after Mr. Trump was sworn in, Mr. Comey was summoned to the White House. He didn't want to go, because he's long been wary of appearing too chummy with the President, but he did go. The two men started eating, it was just them in the room ....

In the aftermath of the meal, Comey told friends and associates about this meeting, because it concerned him. ... Comey was concerned that the president would want his loyalty. ... That is something that ... would make Comey feel queasy.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/12/528170383/new-york-times-reporter-offers-different-account-of-trump-comey-dinner

=============

On May 16, 2017, the NYT published Schmidt's article "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation". Excerpts follow:

President Trump asked the FBI director ... to shut down the federal investigation into ... Michael T. Flynn in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote ...

It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president's improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation....

Mr. Comey created similar memos -- including some that are classified -- about every phone call and meeting he had with the president ...

The investigation of Mr. Flynn has proceeded ... a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in recent weeks for records ...

Mr. Comey was uncomfortable at times with his relationship with Mr. Trump.

On January 26, the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, told the White House counsel [that] ... Mr. Flynn could be subject to BLACKMAIL BY THE RUSSIANS ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/politics/james-comey-trump-flynn-russia-investigation.html

============

Someone in the FBI elite was leaking Comey's thoughts and feelings to Schmidt. Comey's lack of concern about such leaks indicated to his colleagues that he himself was the leaker.

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, it is almost certain that all of Schmidt's stories had Comey himself as the ultimate source. Indeed, it is highly likely that it was all sent through the same cutout, the Columbia professor- he should also be called before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mike Sylwester said...

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt has been well informed about the thoughts and feelings of "Crazy Comey the Leaker".

On May 18, 2017, the NYT published Schmidt's article titled "Comey, Unsettled by Trump, Is Said to Have Wanted Him Kept at a Distance". Excerpts follow:

After explaining to Mr. Trump how communications with the FBI should work, Mr. Comey believed he had effectively drawn the line after a series of encounters .... he felt jeopardized the FBI's independence ...

[Comey's] memos ... provide snapshots of a fraught relationship ... a president trying to win over and influence an FBI director ... who has built his reputation on asserting his independence, sometimes in a dramatic way. ...

In the modern FBI, directors have sought an arm's length relationship with the presidents ... and have followed Justice Department's guidelines ....

Mr. Comey has spoken privately of his concerns that contacts from Mr. Trump and his aides were inappropriate, and how he felt compelled to resist them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/us/politics/james-comey-memo-fbi-trump.html?_r=0

======

Comey's colleagues in the FBI now had no doubt. One or several of them informed Attorney General Jeff Sessions. An investigation was initiated against Comey, who soon realized he was in danger of being exposed, disgraced and fired.

Murph said...

"However, to the extent that bludgeoning up Lynch a bit will help call off the dogs against Trump, Hey, I'm for it."

Even beyond relieving Trump of some of the diversionary tactics of the Left, Lynch, Rice, Rhodes, and the rest of the Obama team who believed that they wore Teflon(R) jackets need to be held accountable for any and all of their actions that may be found to have exceeded their authority(ies) or that were impermissible under the law. However long it takes; whatever [legal] measures must be undertaken.

I hate the "send a message" justification for action, but in this case, and in the case of all federal employees who somehow have been led to believe that they are "above the law," we do need to send a message that, yes, they WILL be held accountable. They, and any future employees, need to understand that, to paraphrase: "the mills of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small."

Unfortunately, it is most unlikely that Hillary Clinton, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and whoever else may have enabled the email mess, the home server, the release of classified information, the "rigged" DNC primary, etc., etc., will ever suffer any consequences for their perfidy.

Yancey Ward said...

I am also more certain than ever that Comey was forced to out himself last week as the leaker of the memo because he had the only copies of them that existed. When faced with that, he either had to deny they were authentic or cop to leaking them.

David Begley said...

Andy McCarthy at NRO has written about this. In essence the entire Hillary email investigation was not serious and was a scam. Comey sandbagged the thing. How Cheryl Mills was able to get immunity and get her laptop destroyed by the FBI is an outrage. DNC computers were never examined by the FBI. Many other things like this.

Mike Sylwester said...

On May 19, 2017, Benjamin Wittes -- a personal friend of "Crazy Comey the Leaker" -- published on his blog an article titled "What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump".

The article's purpose was to deflect any suspicions that Comey regularly leaked information directly to Schmidt. Wittes said that he himself -- not Comey -- informed Schmidt.

Excerpts from Wittes' article follow:

The principal source ... is, well, me — specifically a long interview I gave to reporter Michael Schmidt on Friday about my conversations with FBI Director James Comey ....

I called Schmidt ... I immediately understood certain things Comey had said to me over the previous few months in a different, and frankly more menacing, light. While I am not in the habit of discussing with reporters my confidential communications with friends, I decided that the things Comey had told me needed to be made public.

As I told Schmidt, I did not act in any sense at Comey’s request. The information I provided, however, dovetails neatly with the Times's subsequent discovery ...

... the President that morning was already issuing threatening tweets suggesting that Comey was leaking things, and I didn’t want any room for misunderstanding that any kind of leak had taken place with respect to the information I was providing. There was no leak from Comey ... — just conversations between friends ... We are friends ....

People have developed this idea that Comey and I are especially close. Some people have even started following me on Twitter because they think I’m channeling Comey or am some secret line into his thinking. The truth is rather more pedestrian: We’re friends. We communicate regularly ...

Sometimes, as friends do, we have lunch, and when we do so, we talk about things of mutual interest, like ... how life running the FBI is going. And those latter conversations necessarily involve President Trump ... I was not interviewing Comey. ...

Comey was preoccupied throughout this period with the need to protect the FBI from these inquiries on investigative matters from the White House. .... Comey spent a great deal of energy doing what he alternately described as “training” the White House that officials had to go through the Justice Department and “reestablishing” normal hands-off White House-Bureau relations. ...

Comey understood Trump’s people as having neither knowledge of nor respect for the independence of the law enforcement function. And he saw it as an ongoing task on his part to protect the rest of the Bureau from improper contacts and interferences from a group of people he did not regard as honorable. ...

... these incidents tell a story about Comey’s thinking over the months that he and Trump were in office together. ....

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/43652-what-james-comey-told-me-about-donald-trump

=============

Because of Witte's out-of-the-blue public declaration that Witte himself had leaked Comey's thoughts and feelings to Schmidt, there should no longer be any suspicions that Schmidt's source was "Crazy Comey the Leaker".

Chuck said...

Exquisite analysis, by Althouse.

But does any of this make anyone want these investigations to stop?

I am very much open to exposing the wrongdoings of the Obama-era DoJ. And I actually think that the ongoing investigation of the Trump Campaign / Russia, may be serving a purpose of exposing the incorrect media narrative about some things with that campaign, and it may point out what was done in the previous administration.

David Begley said...

" I'd like to hear from Loretta Lynch."

That will never happen.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Fen said...
Yup, the only reason I started coming here was because Althouse was a lefty who argued in good faith and championed free speech

Keeps your arguments sharp and prevents you from being blindsided over positions you assumed were valid but were not.

She makes you think.


Ann is a dying breed of liberal in the same sense I consider myself and most people on this website liberals of the classic sense.

I am not going to qualify the statement about dying because everyone here in good faith knows what I mean.

Mike Sylwester said...

Benjamin Wittes was willing to tell his yarn in a blog article, but his conscience might prevent him from to repeating his yarn under oath and in public.

In that regard, Wittes might not be made of the same stuff as, for example, Sally Yates, who testified under oath in public that she had not leaked information from wiretaps of telephone conversations of Michael Flynn. Yates had testified even that she really was worried that Flynn might be vulnerable to RUSSIAN BLACKMAIL because he had violated THE LOGAN ACT.

Wittes' conscience might not allow him to testify in such a manner.

Wittes probably is counting on the protection of another friend of "Crazy Comey the Leaker". That protecting friend is, of course, Robert Mueller, who will arrange for Wittes to tell his yarn for the record privately and unsworn. Mueller will make sure that his own BFF Comey never will be exposed for leaking directly to Schmidt.

Bob Boyd said...

"Yes, well, I hope you all can see yourselves clear to defending her when the winds of political hypocrisy shift but her cruel neutrality does not. Thank you."

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Achilles said...

It would be nice if Comey and Lynch and a sizable chunk of the population of DC were rightly put in jail. If the law was actually followed the citizens might not have to take matters into our own hands.

rhhardin said...

A policy isn't a law. It can, for example, be taken as badly worded or as not having taken everything into account in the case in question.

In this case it would have made Hillary's battle more uphill than it should be. Her problem for the voters to decide is what Comey gave them; to let the policy decide it in addition takes power away from the voters in favor of a legally non-binding and optional policy.

It still can be cause for firing; that's how a policy is enforced.

Michael K said...

I think Comey is relatively smart and relatively honest,

I don;t.

I think Mike Sylvester is posting good info and is one the right track.

I also come here because Ann does a good job of being balanced and fair.

I am also going to be pleased if Meade starts to enforce the non-personal attack stuff on Ritmo. I have cut way back on my commenting here to avoid personal slime from him.

J said...

"I could see two doors and they were both actions. One was labeled speak, the other was labeled conceal."

James Comey, May 3, 2017

Rabel said...

Mueller's office is already leaking like a sieve.

Shut him down.

steve uhr said...

Wonder how Comey would have handled it if he concluded that the facts warranted a prosecution of Clinton, or if he determined that a reasonable prosecutor may have concluded that a prosecution was warranted. Who would he have brought that information to?

I always thought the investigation of Clinton was rigged/incompetent. She wasn't interviewed until the very end, when she knew what everyone else had said. She should have been talked to at the beginning -middle -end Like in Colombo. Want her to commit to a story.

Ken B said...

"Leaks" is a misleading term, since it implies something real escaping. Much maybe even most of what has been reported as a "leak" has been false.

Angel-Dyne said...

Achilles: It would be nice if Comey and Lynch and a sizable chunk of the population of DC were rightly put in jail. If the law was actually followed the citizens might not have to take matters into our own hands.

Jail? Unimaginative. My husband is a catapult enthusiast. Catapult 'em into the Potomac or Chesapeake Bay, he says. Feh, I say. A trebuchet would have that extra little satisfying bit of swing.

A jail term, and they'd just worm their way back into D.C. power (or a stint in a hedge fund), just like their counterparts after the Soviets "fell". A trebuchet, on the other hand...

Sebastian said...

"Was it because it would take too long and absolving Clinton needed to be timed to the election? Doesn't that violate the Election Year Sensitivities policy?" Yes, yes, and yes. Of course, the Clinton fiasco also shows Trump should have fired Comey on day one. That he didn't is his first major error.

Mark said...

COMEY: Yes, sir. I can — after the — President Clinton — former President Clinton met on the plane with the attorney general, I considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel, and had decided that that would be an unfair thing to do, because I knew there was no case there.
__________________________________

So, Comey and many others repeatedly say there is no evidence of any collusion or wrongdoing involving Trump and his campaign and the Russians -- i.e., there is no case there -- but in that instance a special counsel is needed.

Sebastian said...

"Andy McCarthy at NRO has written about this. In essence the entire Hillary email investigation was not serious and was a scam. Comey sandbagged the thing. How Cheryl Mills was able to get immunity and get her laptop destroyed by the FBI is an outrage. DNC computers were never examined by the FBI. Many other things like this." The sequence of events made me realize I am not cynical enough. It really is astonishing--people under investigation allowed to serve as lawyers for the prime suspect and claim privilege: any other cases that happened?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It'd be talking out of both sides of the mouth for Republicans to be insisting that Hillary should have gotten the special counsel treatment when they are trying to shut down the special counsel investigating Donald. That's why Cornyn dropped his line of questioning where he did.

That's why the Sessions/Rodenstein rationale for firing Comey was so good. It was consistent with shutting down the Russia investigation. It was true. But somehow the idea of firing Comey for what Comey did to Hillary just didn't sit well with Donald. He needed Comey to be fired for what Comey was doing to him. Just had to gab the Comey firing by the pussy. Couldn't keep his mouth shut and let his AG and Deputy AG do their jobs.

Will he now fire Mueller? Good luck talking him out of it.

cubanbob said...

Time to appoint special prosecutors to investigate the FBI and the intelligence agencies, the IRS and Barack Obama and the Clinton's. Time to go all the way to root out the criminality in DC.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Comey said that he knew w/ metaphysical certitude that there was no there there re locking up HRC. Now the DJT administration has confirmed this. They proved that all the R bluster re going after HRC was purely political hackery, hence it all ended as soon as DJT became POTUS.

If Comey had recommended a special councilor w/ no merit for such he would have been timing a sham investigation for the purpose of affecting the election, as the Rs wanted.

Althouse completely ignores Comey's clear statement that there was no reason re the facts for having a special councilor.

If only the DJT administration wasn't backing up Comey by letting us know that there's nothing to pursue re investigating HRC, then Althouse's lameness re this theory wouldn't be laughably obvious, instead it'd just be normal obvious.

Funny gal.

Bob Ellison said...

Cubanbob is correct. Investigate the FBI.

William said...

"I'd like to hear from Loretta Lynch." Heh!

She will lie, take the fifth, claim Executive Privilege, or all of the above.

MayBee said...

It struck me when Comey said he already knew there was no case, because he had not yet interviewed Hillary Clinton at the time Bill and Loretta met.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I couldn't help but notice the FBI bent over backwards for Hillary during the entire event. Any interviews were scheduled on a weekend, if possible, a holiday weekend to gain as little notice as possible. Decisions were speeded up so she could waddle along on her way to destiny. No oaths were required. Witnesses were granted immunity in advance. All very neat, tidy and timely.

Meanwhile, six months into Trump, the FBI couldn't bring themselves to announce the President isn't even being investigated. Shameless.

MayBee said...

Good stuff, Mike Sylvester.

openidname said...

"I'd like to hear from Loretta Lynch."

Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

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Unknown said...

As usual for a pro-Trump site, barking up the wrong tree.

Special "PROSECUTOR" Mueller is investigating Trump for OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE (see latest in the Washington Post) and FINANCIAL misdeeds.

Nixon resigned before he could be impeached and it took almost 2 years from start to finish. Mueller has been on the case for a month or so. Drip, drip, drip ... Trump is going down, down, down.

Curious George said...

"Nixon resigned before he could be impeached and it took almost 2 years from start to finish. Mueller has been on the case for a month or so. Drip, drip, drip ... Trump is going down, down, down.

Kevin said...

Special "PROSECUTOR" Mueller is investigating Trump for OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE (see latest in the Washington Post) and FINANCIAL misdeeds.

Oh calm down. Mueller is there to end the matter, with a conviction or an outright acquittal. Of course he has to include claims of obstruction which arose from Comey's firing. Those are going nowhere, but they will be included when Mueller tells the word what did not happen. Comey himself already testified justice was not obstructed under his watch. And Rosenstein's immediate appointment of Mueller not only ensured continuity in the investigation after the firing, but also that it would not be in the hands of Comey's successor picked by Trump.

As for financial misdeeds, there is no evidence of Trump's financial misdealing. Apparently Mueller is going straight to the heart of the matter - that if collusion occurred there must have been a payoff. So he's looking for evidence of improper payments and money laundering. Dershowitz already pointed out collusion is not a crime. So the only crime they can look into is illegal payments and money laundering. If they don't find evidence of that, it's game, set, and match. Mueller can get back to his day job.

Kevin said...

Curious, I think Morning Joe should use that as the music to open their show.

Virtually Unknown said...

Comey said that he knew w/ metaphysical certitude that there was no there there re locking up HRC. Now the DJT administration has confirmed this.

Even allowing for hyperbole, whatever you are smoking, you might want to dial it back a tad.

Kevin said...

I was sure that's where Cornyn was going. Did he run out of time or am I missing something?

I think we're all still missing something. Comey was trying to clear her when Lynch met with Bill, and this clouded his investigation so he had to announce the findings himself to limit claims the investigation was tainted. In doing so, he "inserted himself" into the election and had to do so again when the Weiner laptop was found.

But the real issue is how the investigation was conducted. There was no grand jury. There were endless immunity agreements handed out early. Clinton was not questioned until the end. The whole thing was sloppy from the get-go.

The story that better fits the data is that she was never going to be indicted. And then Lynch met with Bill. And Comey didn't want a Special Prosecutor, who would have the power to do things that Comey did not. And so his only option to avoid a "tainted" investigation as well as a Special Prosecutor was to publicly end the investigation himself.

That connects ALL the dots. But it still leaves us with the question of why they agreed she would never be indicted. I think that's the real missing piece in all of this.

Kevin said...

Althouse completely ignores Comey's clear statement that there was no reason re the facts for having a special councilor.

The need for the Special Prosecutor was that Lynch was compromised and through her actions so was the DOJ. Comey can't decide whether to bring charges himself, he can only hand over evidence to the Prosecutor's Office for them to decide whether to bring charges or not.

He had no one at the DOJ to hand the evidence. So he made and announced the decision himself. Which was outside of his power to do.

As usual, Althouse "completely ignores" nothing.

BrianE said...

"Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, conceding that her airport meeting with former President Bill Clinton this week had cast a shadow over the federal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email account, said Friday that she would accept whatever recommendations career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director made about whether to bring charges in the case." - NY Times story

I always thought this was the reason why Comey took the extra step of announcing no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.

It was another chit Comey could bank until Hillary was elected President. It had the double benefit of pleasing Obama.

Meade said...

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. "

lol

EMyrt said...

I wasn't cynical enough either, until I read the Pournelle analysis linked by one of you.

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

If one thinks of Comey as a creature of the Clintons for decades and the honest defender of the FBI as a persona (because being an obvious creature of the Clintons wouldn't permit him to be a successful runner of legal interference for the Clintons), it all makes perfect, perfidious sense.