James Comey’s Big Day Will Lead To Many Bad Days For Donald Trump

What an amazing day.

The most important piece of evidence in the obstruction case against Trump is actually never mentioned in Comey’s opening statement. That evidence is what occurred on May 9th. Comey had not acceded to the President’s request that he cease the investigation of Flynn and the connection to Russia, and he paid the price with his job. Later, Trump all but confessed that he had rid himself of this meddlesome director because of Russia. He told NBC’s Lester Holt, “When I decided to just do it”—to fire Comey—“I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.’ “ The day after the firing, the President boasted to the visiting Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

There is, of course, much more to know about this story. Did Trump use other government officials to try to stymie the Russia investigation? During an Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday, senators pressed Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, and Admiral Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, about their contacts with Trump on the issue; they refused to answer. They may eventually tell what they know—as, surely, will others. But the story is now complete in its outline, if not its details, and Trump’s culpability is clear to anyone who cares to look.

Five Reasons Comey Affair Worse Than Watergate

With my love of reading about Richard Nixon I found this simply a wonderful article.  I post a snippet.

At some point in the coverage of every scandal you’ll hear the chestnut “It’s always the cover-up, never the crime.” This refers of course to the historical reality that scandal-bound figures make more problems by denying or lying about their misdeeds than they would if they had come clean from the start.

This saying first became really popular in the Watergate era—which is significant for what it suggests about the gravity of the underlying crime in that case. Richard Nixon’s beleaguered press secretary Ron Ziegler, a Sean Spicer–like figure of that era, oversold the point when he dismissed the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters as a “third-rate burglary.” But the worst version of what Nixon and his allies were attempting to do—namely, to find incriminating or embarrassing information about political adversaries ranging from Democratic Party Chairman Lawrence O’Brien to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg—was not as bad as what came afterward. Those later efforts included attempts to derail investigations by the FBI, the police, and various grand juries and congressional committees, which collectively amounted to obstruction of justice.  

And what is alleged this time? Nothing less than attacks by an authoritarian foreign government on the fundamentals of American democracy, by interfering with an election—and doing so as part of a larger strategy that included parallel interference in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and elsewhere. At worst, such efforts might actually have changed the election results. At least, they were meant to destroy trust in democracy. Not much of this is fully understood or proven, but the potential stakes are incomparably greater than what happened during Watergate, crime and cover-up alike.

The New Yorker Cover Regarding Comey Firing

The New Yorker always nails it.

Could The Russians Have Succeeded More Fully?

Oh, when one first starts to deceive… as President Trump has done.

In the wake of James Comey’s firing by Trump there has been accusations, recriminations and even threats of resignations.  Meanwhile the Russian foreign minister and ambassador were giddy and all smiles in the Oval Office–where no U.S. press were invited but the Russian press was allowed.  One can not make this stuff up!   Let us not forget what the firing of Comey all about.  This is about the Russians and their attempts to influence U.S. politics.   I ask my readers to ponder one question today.

Could the Russians possibly have succeeded more fully?  Trump is at war with his own agencies and own Congress that I view as a constitutional crisis. Putin finds himself winning.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee that his fired predecessor, James Comey, had not lost the confidence of rank-and-file FBI agents, contradicting a claim by the White House. “Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” McCabe said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has requested to meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee, including committee chairman Richard Burr and vice-chairman Mark Warner.  Rosenstein was seen walking into the Senate Intelligence Committee space as the panel was holding a hearing on worldwide threats.

The request came after President Donald Trump unceremoniously fired FBI Director James Comey, citing a three-page letter from Rosenstein questioning the director’s fitness to serve. It also came amid reports that Rosenstein, a well-regarded federal prosecutor, was furious over the White House’s characterization of his apparent recommendation and even threatened to quit.

Cover-Up Attempt By Trump In Firing FBI Director Comey Means Special Prosecutor Needed For Russia Investigation!

I suspect that some readers think there are too many references made to Richard Nixon on my blog.  It is not only that Nixon was a most interesting man or complicated president that he is often mentioned.  Too often, and sadly, some of Nixon’s darker instincts surface with the mimicking of his actions by current leaders in our nation.  Such as today.

It was as if President Trump stole an entire chapter from Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre this afternoon by firing FBI Director James Comey.  The now former director had been overseeing the investigation of ties between Russia and people close to Trump.

Let me make a very valid point and state that while this type of underhanded action might be acceptable in places where democracy has not yet been planted what happened today is not normal to our country.  It is most shameful.

To confuse and send up smoke Trump released a package of memos indicating that he dumped Comey over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.  But this makes no sense. Recall that Trump had praised Comey, saying “it took a lot of guts” for him to raise new questions about Clinton in the campaign’s October home stretch. Clinton has blamed Comey for her loss, and there is no way for Trump to think that move by Comey did not aid his election victory.  Had there been a need to fire Comey over such actions it would have happened much sooner.

As Caffeinated Politics has stressed before–and certainly can claim with much foundation in light of this news today–there is no question now about the need for a special prosecutor to look into Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

As I watched as the news exploded today it was noted that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommended Comey’s firing, even though Sessions recused himself from matters related to the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.  So exactly what are all the players doing in the trenches of the White House to make sure that the Russian investigation is slowed or throttled?  The timing of all this is most troubling–and telling!

Is Trump trying to protect himself and his friends and cronies from criminal charges?  It was only yesterday that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates gave what can only be described as devastating testimony when she told of her warning to Trump’s transition team that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s connections to Russians were highly problematic. Let me state that I have every reason to suspect that what happened today was, in part, an attempt to remove that story being the narrative of the week.

But what they have created is far worse.  What has happened now will force many a Republican to want a special prosecutor, too.

I get it that any president can fire an FBI director. This is not the first time such a thing has happened–but it is a most rare occurrence.  An FBI director is appointed for 10-year terms to insulate that person from politics of the kind that played out today. They should not be fired for anything less than gross incompetence or malfeasance. And they certainly should not be dumped by a president whose aides are the focus of an investigation!

Donald Trump Lied To Nation, Undermined Credibility, Rebuked By FBI, Is National Ass-Hat

This morning was one of those weekdays when must-see events unfolded for people at home in front of the television, drivers listening on Sirius radio, or office workers paying attention via tablets.  What happened this morning was simply unprecedented. .

FBI Director James Comey delivered an implicit rebuke to Donald Trump, telling the House Intelligence Committee that he had “no information” to support claims by Trump that he was wiretapped on the orders of predecessor President Barack Obama.

Most dramatic was the news that, yes, the US government is undertaking a counterintelligence investigation of the presidential election. Investigators are not simply looking into whether Russia interfered with the election — by now that is a fact confirmed by 17 of the country’s intelligence agencies. Now the FBI is looking into who from Trump’s campaign might have helped the Russians. This might include Trump himself.  Seriously.  That is where we are in this nation tonight.

It was dramatic and riveting as Comey also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a clear preference for whom he wanted to see as the next US President — and it was not Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump, the national ass-hat then used his media operation at the White House to launch a political offensive even as the hearing continued.   It was something that not even Aaron Sorkin could have dreamed up.  Press spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump would not apologize to Obama for the wiretapping accusations, adding that questions remain about possible surveillance.  It all simply underscores the fact Trump is not only divorced from a number of wives but also from reality.

In the hearing that gripped the nation Comey publicly confirmed for the first time that his agency is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.   Not just Russian interference or political coordination but collusion.  That was a major statement that rattled the Trump White House–though there is no way they did not already know it.  But the mere public statement sent bowels quaking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

That the Republicans Party, once seen as the party of law and order, has now in just a couple of months of Trump in the White House become connected to sinister moves to destabilize our democracy with Russian assistance is nothing short of stunning.

The undereducated provincial angry white men who created this national embarrassment with their votes are likely not able to comprehend what they did to our country.  Those who do understand history, civics, law–in other words those ‘elitists’ who dare read and think–will never forgive the bastards.

Today was a sad and despicable entry into our national story.  And it never need to have happened.  That is what pisses smart people off more than anything else.

James Comey Review Totally Warranted

I find it most appropriate that the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General will launch a review of the actions taken by the FBI and DOJ ahead of November’s election in connection to the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

It was simply stunning in the manner which played out prior to the election with FBI Director James Comey’s press conference and notifications to Congress on matters that clearly were not required or needed to be spoken about publically.  The inappropriate nature of what transpired requires a complete review.

Specifically, the watchdog will look into allegations that DOJ or FBI “policies or procedures were not followed” in connection with Comey’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and his letters to Congress on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6, 2016. The review will also look at whether certain underlying investigative decisions “were based on improper considerations.”

I understand that Comey thinks of himself as a stand-up guy and might have actually felt the actions he took were the best for the agency and himself.   But the facts of what were allowed under the guidelines will possibly show that his actions were not at all in accordance with proper procedures.    To make sure nothing of this type happens in the future a full review is warranted.

James Comey Political Cartoons

The FBI Director, James Comey, deserves some print with cartoonists.

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