Comey, Trump, Sessions and Rosenstein

The firing of James Comey is still big in the news. Here's some things reported today.

The New York Times reports just days ago Comey sought more money to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election. The request was made to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. A DOJ spokesperson denies it.

The new acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, according to this March 28, 2017 letter from Republican Senator Charles Grassley to Comey says McCabe is the subject of an OIG investigation. [More...]

Look who's back after Comey's firing, none other than Rudy Giuliani, who has been laying in the weeds for months, ever since he was passed over for Attorney General (Photo taken at Trump's hotel in D.C. last night -- after Comey's firing. Account seems to be by a Trump media groupie, don't bother scrolling down, you'll want to take a shower afterwards.) Is Trump going to ask Giuliani to take over the FBI? Or to help with the search for the new director? Giuliani certainly has a checkered history of recommending people for sensitive positions involving matters of security -- remember Bernie Kerik, who he recommended for head of Homeland Security?

The FBI has written a letter of "clarification" on James Comey's most recent testimony to Congress regarding Huma Abedin's emails in this letter to Congress.

Director Comey appeared before your Committee on May 3, 2017 and answered several questions regarding the review of e-mails found on a laptop computer belonging to former Congressman Anthony Weiner. This letter is intended to supplement that testimony to ensure that the Committee has the full context of what was reviewed and found on the laptop. This letter further seeks to clarify reporting concerning the Director's testimony concerning certain counterterrorism investigations.

More Democrats are calling for a special investigator or an independent commission to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia and its influence on the election.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the firing “raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter.”

Why aren't they calling for a special prosecutor to criminally investigate whether Trump and Sessions obstructed a federal grand jury investigation by firing the head of the investigation agency? Or the launch of an impeachment inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee?

Sessions has already recused himself from any investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia after he inaccurately testified during his confirmation hearing he had had no contact with Russian officials, failing to mention his meetings with Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. (Who Donald Trump held a meet and greet with at the White House today.) Sen. Patrick Leahy castigated Sessions in March and highlighted the need for an independent investigation.

You knew Trump was in trouble yesterday when he sent out Ms. Most Unimportant Person in the World to control the message.

The New York Times editorial for Wednesday:

Mr. Comey was fired because he was leading an active investigation that could bring down a president.

That's it in a nutshell. I agree the firing has nothing to do with the FBI email investigation and everything to do with Trump seething at his inability to prevent the deepening investigation into his aides' Russian ties and Russia's influence on the election. I think he's haunted by the the images he sees of Russia outside his lonely White House bedroom window. More from the Times:

We have said that Mr. Comey’s atrocious handling of the Clinton email investigation, which arguably tipped the election to Mr. Trump, proved that he could not be trusted to be neutral, and that the only credible course of action would be the appointment of a special prosecutor. Given all that has happened ...the need for such a prosecutor is plainer than ever. Because Mr. Sessions is recused, the decision to name a special prosecutor falls to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose memo, along with a separate one by Mr. Sessions, provided Mr. Trump with the pretense to fire Mr. Comey. (my emphasis.)

I see two different issues here. One is the need for an independent prosecutor or counsel or commission to continue the investigation into Trump campaign aides' ties to Russia and Russia's meddling in the presidential election.

The second, and more urgent in my view, is the need for the Deputy Attorney General to appoint a special counsel to open an investigation into whether Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing James Comey and whether Jefferson Sessions aided and abetted Trump's obstruction.

Why that's unlikely to happen: Congress, at the urging of the Department of Justice, allowed the Independent Counsel Act to expire in 1999. (Here is Janet Reno's statement to Congress asking it be abolished and Arlen Spector's plea to Congress to pass his revised version instead. The law was replaced with the regulations authorizing the AG in its discretion to appoint a special counsel. (28 CFR 600, see here.) Normally that would be Sessions, but since he has recused himself as to all matters related to the Trump campaign and Russia, that decision falls to the newly minted Deputy AG Rosenstein, who wrote the memo supporting the firing of Comey.

Here is an easy to read primer by the Congressional Research Service on what it takes to appoint a special prosecutor.

One line from 1973 strikes me as particularly apt for Trump: "There is a cancer on the presidency."

I see speculation on Twitter that Rosenstein's memo was a ghost job as it appears to be sourced by Google rather than Westlaw. (The comments in the thread are funny: "Did all DJT lawyers get their license from Trump Univ?", "It's as as if Trump's personal physician wrote it"..."It looks like a 2nd. Grader wrote it. Home School Choice", "Westlaw actually requires a well thought out search query." and "Yep Pres Bannon wrote #JamesComey firing letter!"

Who is Rosenstein? According to his written answers at his confirmation hearing a few weeks ago, he is a specialist in criminal appeals (as a prosecutor, representing the U.S.). He specifically touts his expertise in writing legal briefs. It hardly seems like someone with his background in brief writing would write such a pedestrian memo consisting of a rehash of news articles and comments by former prosecutors. Or may it's to be expected, given his slippery testimony at his confirmation hearing when he repeatedly refused to answer whether he would appoint a special prosecutor on Russia and insisted a dozen times he had not read any reports and didn't know what happened. As if Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions would appoint someone they knew would be taking charge of any Russia investigation before knowing his views on it.

Also interesting about Rosenstein: He worked under Ken Starr when he was independent counsel investigating Whitewater, the company formed by the Clintons when they purchased 220 acres of land with some partners in Arkansas in 1978. Rosenstein, in his written answers to the Senators' questions, touts his work prosecuting James and Susan McDougal and Guy Tucker, both at the trial and appellate levels, as one of his most important cases he's most proud of.

From 1995 to 1997, I served as an Associate Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigation. From 1995 to 1996, I was based in Little Rock, Arkansas, where I conducted grand jury investigations and was a member of the trial team that prosecuted Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, James McDougal and Susan McDougal. I also wrote all or part of briefs defending their convictions on appeal.

James McDougal, you may recall, died in prison. Susan McDougal refused to cooperate and testify against the Clintons and went to jail for contempt.

Mrs. McDougal accused prosecutors of twisting the truth throughout the Whitewater inquiry and said one of Mr. Starr's associates had promised to take steps to have her prison sentence reduced and to have charges against her in an unrelated case in California dropped, in return for incriminating evidence against the President or the First Lady.

Interesting that Rosenstein, at his confirmation hearing, also praised long mandatory mandatory minimum drug sentences, saying they made people give up the "no snitching" code. (Transcript here.) (Sessions has announced he's planning on making full use of the draconian mandatory minimum statutes.)

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee seem to be on the right path. They sent a letter last night to the White House asking that all documents regarding James Comey's firing and the Russia investigation be preserved.

Back to Jefferson Sessions: He didn't just recuse himself from an investigation into Russia. He recused himself from any investigation, pending or in the future, on any matter related to the Trump campaign for President. You can watch him say it here. It is also posted on the DOJ website.

Here is Jeff Sessions in October saying Comey had no choice but to disclose the Clinton email investigation to the public 11 days before the election. Here he is again in November, justifying Comey's actions.

Via Think Progress: Constitutional law experts say Trump's firing of Comey could be an impeachable offense .

I don't think there will be a special prosecutor for Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions. The system is stacked against it. Even if one was appointed, he or she would hardly be independent from the Justice Department. Nor do I think anyone will open an impeachment inquiry with teeth. Republicans control the House -- at least until 2018.

After that, all bets are off. I am confident, over time, Trump and Sessions will so abuse their power that they will become more hated than Richard Nixon and John Mitchell. Here is Hunter Thompson's epic obituary of Richard Nixon, "He Was a Crook."

[He was] a hubris-crazed monster from the bowels of the American dream with .... an overweening lust to be President. ....[He] stomped like a Nazi on all of his enemies and even some of his friends....He was not only a crook but a fool. ...Nixon's spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives --This is not a generational thing....He has poisoned our water forever.

Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man sh*tting in his own nest. But he also sh*t in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.

I can only imagine what Hunter would have to say about Donald Trump, who evokes so much contempt and loathing in tens of millions of Americans.

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    ... at our present predicament, and wondering where this particularly craven breed of Republican congresscritter was 43 years ago, when he really needed them.

    You know, (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MKS on Wed May 10, 2017 at 07:43:20 PM EST
    it just occurred to me that Trump was just fishing when he accused Obama of wiretapping him--Cheeto was worried that his conversations regarding Russia were recorded, and he made the accusation to see if that was the case.

    I think once (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 09:40:28 PM EST
    Trump found out that Flynn had been wiretapped Trump knew he was on tape due to the fact that he found out at the same time that the Russians were being tapped. He knew he had spoken to the Russians also therefore he knew he was tapped.

    Yes, and I'm on the road today (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:20:30 AM EST
    Missing everything

    But NPR noted Trump decides Comey must go after the Flynn subpoenas go out. I'd wager he's terrified about what Flynngate reveals.


    Things (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:00:59 PM EST
    seem to be moving along at quite a clip today. The FBI is searching a GOP fundraiser and data firm in Annapolis today. Apparently a lot of search warrants have been approved out of the Eastern Judicial distict of Virginia. I guess we shall see what or who else is on the receiving end of a search warrant the next couple of days.

    Please see my update regarding ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 05:07:02 PM EST
    ... the FBI's Annapolis raid. It apparently has to do with an unrelated political corruption probe involving the 2013 governor's race in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Hold on (none / 0) (#52)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:35:58 PM EST
    it appears that this outfit is only a couple of degrees of separation from the big fish
    Thursday the FBI raided the Annapolis offices of a Republican fundraising consultancy run by Kelley Rogers that has ties to the Trump Taj Mahal through Penn National Gaming. However, the Senate Intelligence Committee has been looking into possible money laundering fines issued on the Taj in 2015.

    According to Newsweek Dennis Whitfield, one of the senior advisors to Rogers' firm, the Strategic Campaign Group, is also a director in a political consulting firm with Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Both Stone and Manafort were top campaign advisors to President Donald Trump during the 2016 election and are reportedly under investigation for their ties to Russia.

    But today's FBI raid has nothing to do ... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:38:15 PM EST
    ... with Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Rather, SCG has long been under suspicion by state and federal authorities for forming sketchy PACs which raise money in ostensible support of GOP candidates.

    In this case, back in 2013 GOP donors thought they were supporting VA gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli by donating to Conservative StrikeForce PAC, which raised $2 million for that supposed effort.

    Instead, funds from that PAC were siphoned off for other uses, most of which apparently lined the pockets of numerous "political consultants" who are affiliated personally with the PAC's directors, Dennis Whitfield and Scott MacKenzie, who are in turn also affiliated with SCG. Basically, Conservative StrikeForce appears to be less a PAC, than a private slush fund.

    Now, I'm not at all ruling out the possibility that Whitfield and SCG may eventually be tied to Manafort, Stone and Russia. All I'm noting here is that today's raid in Annapolis had to do with an entirely unrelated corruption probe that's focused on the alleged fleecing of GOP donors to local MD and VA races by operators like Dennis Whitfield.



    Nobody (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:15:50 PM EST
    seems to be better at fleecing the rubes than the GOP. They've got that evangelical 700 club model down for politics for sure.

    How (none / 0) (#55)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 12, 2017 at 06:41:15 AM EST
    are you privy to the FBI's reasons for this raid? My reading has indicated that the "it's all about 2013" is thinly sourced

    Admittedly, my speculation is very thinly based, for all I know there is probably only one or two degrees of separation between every lobbying/consulting firm within a thousand miles of DC.

    However the timing of this raid speaks volumes to me, I see no reason that the FBI would suddenly be interested in the 2013 case especially since it was all litigated and settled two years ago in civil court.

    Coincidence maybe, but dealing with a "political slush fund" is exactly the type of behaviour you would expect from Manafort et al.


    I hunted it down when I realized ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 12, 2017 at 07:36:39 AM EST
    ... the my initial post and instincts were wrong. SCG has been suspected of using PACs to scam GOP donors for some time now. That there's a couple degrees of separation between SCG and Manafort is exactly that, and nothing more. As I said before, I'm not ruling out the possibility that there's a more substantive relationship between the two, but it's not this particular case.

    As far as the timing of the raid is concerned, the FBI can certainly run more than one public corruption investigation simultaneously. In any event, nailing SCG for the GOP PAC / slush fund scam is a good thing. Let's appreciate that accomplishment, and not be disappointed because the thread doesn't lead to D.C. and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave -- at least, not yet.



    great post (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:13:33 PM EST

    just heard some interesting speculation (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:20:29 PM EST
    that Trump may have put his priviledge as far a Comey is concerned at risk with that bizarre paragraph saying he told him three times he was not being investigated.  as they say in tv court, "he opened the door".

    love to hear the lawyers opinion of that.

    Executive privilege covers (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Peter G on Wed May 10, 2017 at 09:08:50 PM EST
    the President's ability to receive advice from aides and officials within the Executive Branch and to discuss that advice with them in confidence. If that's the nature of the communication, then the entire conversation or exchange of memos is protected against compulsory disclosure in response to inquiry from the courts or the Congress. It seems correct to me that the President can waive the privilege by disclosing selectively his self-serving version of part of an exchange. But since I don't have any idea what the exchange between Tr*mp and Comey may have been about (if, indeed, it occurred at all), in which the Comey gave Tr*mp the supposed personal reassurances, I can't say if the privilege applied in the first place. I don't think Executive Privilege would apply, for example, to a courtesy update given by the FBI Director to the President about an important criminal investigation, where the President has no decision to make based on advice received.

    ... apply in this matter, were it to be demonstrated that Comey was summarily fired in an attempt to derail the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign's purported relationship with the Russian government, rather than for the reasons officially specified in Mr. Rosenstein's memo?

    I hate to get ahead of myself here but I'm sorry, the notion of Trump firing Comey for having maligned Hillary Clinton last summer and fall is just too big a pile of BS to accept with a straight face, given Trump's numerous statements to the contrary which are now part of the public record.

    At this point in time, I'm operating under the assumption that Trump and his associates have something extraordinarily serious to hide here, as I'm sure many others are now doing likewise as well.



    im gonna guess (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 10, 2017 at 10:10:11 PM EST
    obstruction of justice for one.

    The federal obstruction of justice law (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Peter G on Wed May 10, 2017 at 10:43:57 PM EST
    is very broadly worded:  Whoever "corruptly ... endeavors" to "influence, obstruct or impede the due administration of justice" in any federal court or grand jury could face up to ten years in prison. There is a similar provision for corrupt endeavors to obstruct a Congressional investigation. The statute against obstruction of an FBI investigation only covers endeavors by bribery, however. (No idea why.) There is, in addition, a serious federal criminal law against retaliating against a person by interfering with their lawful employment or livelihood for communicating truthful information about the commission of a federal crime. 18 USC 1513(e) -- or conspiring to do so, 18 USC 1513(f); that's an interesting one.

    I should perhaps also have mentioned (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Peter G on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:20:16 AM EST
    that is a federal crime to "falsify, conceal or cover up" by any "scheme" a "material fact" or to "make any materially false ... or fraudulent statement or representation" "in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive [or] legislative ... branch of the Government of the United States." Lying to an FBI agent during an investigation can result in that charge, and I can imagine that it might apply to the dismissal letter.

    ... issued on official White House letterhead, I'd think Trump's claim, if subsequently proved false, might will be subject to that charge, too.

    Thank you again.


    Thank you, Peter. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:30:27 AM EST
    I'm just curious if there are other related charges which might apply here.

    just one more (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 10, 2017 at 09:00:05 PM EST
    for those who think this will end anything this new piece in the Post suggests that does not seem likely
    One intelligence official who works on Russian espionage matters said they were more determined than ever to pursue such cases. Another said Comey's firing and the subsequent comments from the White House are attacks that won't soon be forgotten. Trump had "essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI," one official said. "I think there will be a concerted effort to respond over time in kind."

    being reported (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 10, 2017 at 11:18:48 PM EST
    Rosenstein has threatened to resign because of being used as a sheild and excuse for this.  making it clear his memo was in his opinion misused.

    i think thats pretty interesting.

    Better than (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:28:12 AM EST
    resigning would be appointing a special prosecutor.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:27:40 AM EST
    because I think it was Bill Kristol that was onto that kind of thing earlier. He said the letter read like a review of Comey's mishandling of the email situation not a letting requesting Comey be fired.

    the most alarming thing about this for me (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:04:07 AM EST
    is the hubris.  the in your face absurdity of this thing.  it honestly sounds like, as some one said, it should be happening in Nicauagua or some other bananna republic.   Trump honest to god thinks he is Fidel Castro.  do something outrageous and then give an "explanation" that is litterally so laughably ridiculous it actually seems intended only to to mock those he is explaining to.  

    the thing is, he is not Castro.  or Kim.  and this is not Cuba or North Korea. the press, accused here recently of being timid, has IMO been amazing.  this has been, which has also been said, like the Print Journalism Full Employment Act of 2017.  the timid press has started, if belatedly, calling what Trump, Pence and all the flying monkeys are doing lying.  without hesitation or qualification.
    which may seem overdue to us but IMO is a thing, in these tribally partisan times, that should be done only with great reserve.  otherwise we just sound like the a-holes yelling "YOU LIE" at the president.

    heres the thing tho.  IF Trump believes this, and he clearly does, the reconing is going to be amazing.  when the sh!t comes down like rain he is going to be just as unprepared as he was for the backlash to this stupid ham handed firing as it has been reported. Kelly Ann snifing like Cromwell the questions were "simply inappropriate and he will do what he wants when he wants".

     the man obviously understands absolutely nothing of how the government works.  which means his ultimate humiliation is going to be epic and delicious beyond words.  when the time comes i fully expect him to have to be dragged from White House literally kicking and screaming.  mondo comb over flapping and flying.

    on a related subject (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:25:21 AM EST
    new Q-poll has him at 36% with 58% swimming for shore.  29% of independents.  33% think he is honest.

    and this is the killer IMO

    who do you trust to tell the truth-
    news media 57%
    Agent Orange 31%

    literally every number is down in every demo.


    From the same poll (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:55:48 AM EST
    9. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times.)
    idiot         39
    incompetent   31
    liar          30
    leader        25
    unqualified   25
    president     22
    strong        21
    businessman   18
    ignorant      16
    egotistical   15
    asshole       13
    stupid        13
    arrogant      12
    trying        12
    bully         11
    business      11
    narcissist    11
    successful    11
    disgusting    10
    great         10
    clown          9
    dishonest      9
    racist         9
    American       8
    bigot          8
    good           8
    money          8
    smart          8
    buffoon        7
    con-man        7
    crazy          7
    different      7
    disaster       7
    rich           7
    despicable     6
    dictator       6
    aggressive     5
    blowhard       5
    decisive       5
    embarrassment  5
    evil           5
    greedy         5
    inexperienced  5
    mental         5
    negotiator     5
    patriotism     5

    and this is before Comey (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:29:44 AM EST
    Not to change the subject (none / 0) (#24)
    by vicndabx on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:32:34 AM EST
    but my tinfoil hat is telling me this was the plan by the press all along. Clinton=boring same controversies vs Trump=Holy $hit WTF!

    Sell more papers keep folks employed.


    i really dont think (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:42:14 AM EST
    they are that smart.

    The 2 people I most wish were alive today (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:25:29 AM EST
    to bear witness and give commentary on the US's current predicament are Hunter Thompson and Frank Zappa.

    and (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by leap on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:34:25 AM EST
    George Carlin.

    OMG (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:46:20 AM EST
    yes.  on both.

    and mybe George Carlin (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:50:32 AM EST
    George Carlin tended to (none / 0) (#34)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 11, 2017 at 12:07:34 PM EST
    avoid directly commenting on politics. His observations of the absurdity of everything were more general in nature. He did not believe in elections and believed the entire government was a corruption in general. Hunter and Frank, on the other hand, would have both actively savaged the current clown in the White House.

    I'm starting to think (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by jondee on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:36:05 PM EST
    all those guys took the easy way out.

    What would Vonnegut say? (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Thu May 11, 2017 at 03:04:54 PM EST
    "Here's the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, manufacturers of Pall Mall cigarettes, for a billion bucks! Starting when I was only twelve years old, I have never chain-smoked anything but unfiltered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the package, Brown & Williamson have promised to kill me.
    But I am eighty-two. Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when..."



    I deeply feel the absence... (none / 0) (#57)
    by unitron on Fri May 12, 2017 at 08:30:42 AM EST
    ...and have ever since W ran in 2000,


                    Molly Ivins


    amen (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 08:36:57 AM EST
    Anyone else (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:41:37 PM EST
    noticed how our emails are the end of the world and there is nothing to this Trump Russia thing have all of a sudden disappeared? And no, I don't want them to come back. Maybe Putin quit paying them or something.

    Comey, Sessions, Rosenstein, Trump and Nixon (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:32:33 PM EST
    i was rather impressed with this wrap of the Comey thing through the lens of Nixon

    by our favorite tee vee person Banjo Boy Scarborough

    This is the best thing that could have (none / 0) (#8)
    by McBain on Wed May 10, 2017 at 09:27:49 PM EST
    happened to James Comey.  A few days ago he was hated.  Now he's a sympathetic figure.  He'll be able to get a new job, write a book, be a TV pundit.  He went from the hot seat to being set free.  

    Hated by who? (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:23:56 AM EST
    Liberals were pissed but we counted on him being an unbiased pr#ck, and he seemed well on his way. So pissed off at him, but not hated...there is a difference for Libs. I understand how right leaning might not have or understand such a distinction though.

    I agree, but (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Repack Rider on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:27:08 AM EST
    ...for a different reason.

    Comey has made it clear already that he thinks Tr*mp is insane.  Now he is free to say it in public, very loudly, in front of Senate committees, etc.  Finding out about being fired from a TV monitor while giving a speech is an insult that he is not going to forget.

    Inside tent pi$$ing out v. outside pi$$ing in.  Yuuuge difference.

    The shifting explanations and blame assignations do not help the administration.


    I doubt he sees it that way (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:35:52 AM EST
    Like him or not, he seems to be a serious person who likes to do real work, not be a tv pundit. Probably will go back to being a corporate lawyer.

    Why is it (none / 0) (#46)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 11, 2017 at 03:20:01 PM EST
    that you seem measure the success of outcomes by the financial rewards involved. Victims of police abuse, airline abuse, et al, are going to be OK cause gee, they're going to get a lot of money from it.

    Open Letter to Rod Rosenstein, (none / 0) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 11, 2017 at 12:35:57 PM EST
    NYTimes editorial, May 10, 2017: "...the memo (Comey being mean to Hillary as cause to fire) is yours and that has compromised your ability to oversee any investigation into Russian meddling..."   ".. Americans can have little faith that the DOJ, or an FBI run by Trump's handpicked replacement, will get to the bottom of whether and how Russia helped steal the presidency for Trump."

    "You have one choice: Appoint a Special Counsel."

    Rod Rosenstein's bio includes his nomination to the US Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit by President George W. Bush. His nomination was not supported by Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin--the nomination died with the end of that Congress.

    My nomination for Special Counsel would be Richard Posner, Appellate Judge, 7th Circuit. Judge Posner is a conservative, but somewhat unorthodox, legal scholar, (age 78) who is known as brilliant and of great integrity.

    Another vote against Rosenstein (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Towanda on Thu May 11, 2017 at 03:13:54 PM EST
    as DAG was Corey Booker, who was quite intriguing in a tv interview last night about this.  Booker said that he just did not trust Rosenstein, specifically his reply re being able to truly be independent and stand up to the president. . . .

    Also revealing is that Rosenstein boasted that the career accomplishment of which he was most proud was working in the Whitewater investigation.  His anti-Clintonism is self-evident.

    That said, I frankly would not be surprised to find out that Rosenstein was told to write not only the memo criticizing Comey's actions toward Clinton but also a memo with evidence arguing for the opposite, so that his superiors could pick 'n' choose the one that fits the occasion.

    After all, from what I have read, the memos -- plural, if he did do more than the one we have seen, but based on that one -- these hardly were legal briefs requiring extensive research.  Rosenstein cited the sorts of sources that I (and colleagues) do not allow students to use . . . unless they want to fail.


    It reads like something I might've written for a boss of mine as an op-ed for publication, were I still employed directly in the political realm, in which we denounce the FBI director's conduct.

    Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who obviously has extensive experience in this field, having served successively as a local prosecutor, San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General, explained it earlier today to CNN's Jake Tapper:

    "I read that memo. Well, let me tell you, when I was [California] Attorney General and someone gave me that memo as a basis for firing the chief investigator of a case, I would send it back and say, 'Start again.' If that's going to provide the basis for the President of the United States t fire the director of the FBI, then it should be much more substantial. It should cite law. It should cite DOJ regulations. It should cite professional codes of conduct. It should cite facts that are not double-hearsay based on some newspaper article. It should cite some authority, in terms of procedural authority, as a basis for the action that's being recommended. None of that was present in that memo."
    - Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), "The Lead with Jake Tapper," CNN (May 11, 2017)

    That's what makes me question its actual authorship. And if Deputy AG Rosenstein actually wrote it himself, shame on him.



    I figure if Trump is terrified about (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 05:50:28 PM EST
    "Investigations", Rudy will be our next head of the FBI.

    I don't think Trump's personality disorder would allow Guiliani or Christie to have a space to shine in his administration. They are established political personalities and would get a lot of airtime. They would have their face on cable news too much.

    The person I know with what I think is a very similar personality disorder to Trump's shuns anyone who could outshine them in any way, always picking people from the bottom of the barrel to befriend, unless they are in trouble. Then they tolerate someone who may be able to help them until trouble has passed...then kicks their equals or betters to the curb when crisis is over.


    Rudy Giuliani may be an FBI target himself. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 12, 2017 at 07:51:36 PM EST
    Nominating him as head of that agency would only result in yet another self-inflicted public relations nightmare for the administration and the Republican Party in general, the equivalent of facing the cameras, extending both hands outward and middle fingers upward, and double-flipping the bird to the entire country.

    And like Archibald Cox, first Watergate s/p (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Thu May 11, 2017 at 12:51:42 PM EST
    Judge Posner has no prosecutorial or investigative experience, and little management experience. And (unlike Cox) is a self-assessed know-it-all. So many better choices out there .... Perhaps someone like Mark Filip?

    Judge Filip (none / 0) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 11, 2017 at 01:09:59 PM EST
    would certainly be great.  Some are suggesting Preet Bharara, but he has as much of a chance as Sally Yates.  

     Mike Lee (R. UT) has suggested Merrick Garland for FBI Director---seemingly up to no good since Judge Garland would surely be subject to intense attack by Republicans as an Obama man.

     However, Senator Amy Klobucher (D.MN) picked up on this as a thing.  But, she is being criticized for not taking into account the ramifications, including the loss of Judge Garland on the DC. Circuit Court, and worse, his replacement with a Trumpist.

    Probably getting ahead of myself at this point, on a Special Prosecutor.  My thinking on Judge Posner was that he was like Professor Cox, with the added arrogance to deal with those he would be dealing with.


    Intresting (none / 0) (#38)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 11, 2017 at 01:46:55 PM EST
    The FBI confirms agents are executing a search warrant at an office of a GOP fundraiser/consulting firm in Annapolis, the 11 News I-Team has learned.The investigation is being run out of Washington, not locally, the I-Team has learned.

    The firm is touted for pioneering the use of technology in political campaigns, and it represents GOP candidates nationwide.

    seriously (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:18:55 PM EST
    time to stockpile popcorn

    Apparently (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:34:39 PM EST
    they were a big funder of tea party candidates.

    Please see my update in a related thread ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 05:59:20 PM EST
    ... regarding the FBI's Annapolis raid, which apparently has to do with an unrelated political corruption probe involving the 2013 governor's race in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In that post, I similarly linked an earlier WBAL-TV News report, but have since walked back my initial comment that the raid was related to the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation. It's not. The only tangential link here is that that one of the firm's principals was formerly associated professionally with Paul Manafort.



    Maxine Waters tweeted (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Sun May 14, 2017 at 07:30:59 PM EST
    Since Sessions & Trump want to get tough on crime, they should look in the mirror & start w/ perjury & obstruction of justice #TrumpRussia

    I will always remember SHE DID attend classified briefings on Trump Russia collusion.