Trump and Pence: The Unraveling Begins

Donald Trump tells NBC's Lester Holt he decided to fire Comey before asking for Rosenstein's report.

"I was going to fire Comey-- my decision. There is no good time to do it, by the way," Trump told NBC News’s Lester Holt. “I was going to fire regardless of recommendation."

This contradicts Trump's firing letter which said he was acting at the recommendation of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions and Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod J. Rosenstein in firing Comey.

His staff said several times he talked to Sessions and Rosenstein about Comey on Monday and decided to fire him Tuesday based on their recommendation. [More...]

Trump's Deputy Communications Director, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, subbing for Sean Spicer (who apparently hid in the bushes on Tuesday to avoid talking to the media and then left to fulfill a week of naval reserve duty) has been contradicted on several of her statements regarding Comey's firing.

She said, "the rest of the FBI" had lost confidence in Comey. She said the White House had heard from "countless" members of the FBI to that effect." (Any bets that Rudy Giuliani is the source of her information, relaying what former FBI agents told him?)

Testifying today, Acting FBI Director Adam McCabe flatly contradicted her:

"I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity," McCabe told members of the Senate intelligence committee.

He said Comey... enjoyed "broad support within the FBI and still does to this day." He added, "The majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey."

She also claimed that the FBI's Russia investigation was "probably one of the smallest things" on the FBI's plate."

According to McCabe's testimony today:

"We consider it to be a highly significant investigation," McCabe said,

Trump was asked by Lester Holt how Comey has assured him he is not under investigation:

"I said, if it's possible would you let me know, 'Am I under investigation?"

"He said, 'You are not under investigation'," Trump said.

No contradiction on that yet, but it's only noon. Trump is doubling down on this one, saying Comey told him this "once in person, at dinner, and twice over the phone." Trump said he called Comey once and Comey called him in another instance.

Mike Pence got thrown to the wolves again. He initially stated Trump acted after receiving the recommendation of Rosenstein and Sessions. Trump now says he had decided before their recommendations came in. The Washington Post says Pence knew exactly what Trump was thinking and going to do. Trump returned from his golf club in New Jersey Sunday night:

Back at work Monday morning in Washington, Trump told Vice President Pence and several senior aides — Reince Priebus, Stephen K. Bannon and Donald McGahn, among others — that he was ready to move on Comey. First, though, he wanted to talk with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his trusted confidant, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, to whom Comey reported directly. Trump summoned the two of them to the White House for a meeting, according to a person close to the White House.

The president already had decided to fire Comey, according to this person. But in the meeting, several White House officials said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey.

Oliver Willis has more on Pence here. Others say Pence is not just a deer caught in Trump's headlights, he intentionally is lying to cover Trump. There are also reports Pence was in the room when Trump asked Rosenstein (in the presence of Sessions) to write a recommendation.

Finally, there are reports Rosenstein wanted to resign after Trump said his recommendation resulted in the firing. The Washington Post reports:

Rosenstein threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Justice Department officials declined to comment.

According to a more recent report this afternoon, a reporter asked him if he threatened to resign and he denied it.

What it sounds like from this article is Rosenstein demanded Trump make it clear that his letter was not the catalyst for Comey's firing (or else he'd resign.) Maybe that's why Trump did the interview with Lester Holt saying he had already decided to fire him before getting Rosenstein's memo.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What do liars do? (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Peter G on Thu May 11, 2017 at 04:42:57 PM EST
    They lie. What else is new?

    Gotta get a new director quick (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 05:56:33 PM EST
    That McCabe holding Comey in the absolute highest regard and having the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity cannot stand. That's like throwing water on the Wicked Witch of the West.

    In the immediate aftermath of .. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 10:36:45 PM EST
    ... the infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" in October 1973, a Texas good ol' boy named Leon Jaworski was appointed as former Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox's replacement. Despite the huge public uproar over those DOJ firings, I remember many people at the time opining that the fix was in and it was over. After all, Jaworski had freely admitted to reporters that he had voted for Richard Nixon for president, not just once but twice.

    Well, those people thought wrong. The jovial and good-natured Jaworski, who enjoyed the sort of comfortable rapport with journalists that the straight-laced Cox was never quite able to establish, turned out to be Richard Nixon's worst nightmare as a legal adversary.

    Once he had corralled public opinion to his side, Jaworski subpoenaed sixty-four recorded Oval Office conversations from Nixon's White House tapes. When Nixon objected to the motion and filed an appeal, Jaworski outflanked him by instead prevailing directly upon the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to take the case, citing critical and major constitutional grounds. There, on July 24, 1974, he won a unanimous 9-0 decision which compelled Nixon to turn the tapes over to Jaworski's office. 16 days later, the president resigned in discgrace.

    And so, remembering that, I'm at least willing to give Acting Director Andrew McCabe a chance to surprise me like the late Leon Jaworski.



    no kidding (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:45:14 PM EST
    like being surprised a plague virus does bad thing because you were sure you saw good in it.

    i think you nailed it (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:39:56 PM EST
    the unraveling has begun.  it sure feels like we have had a tipping point.

    also i am so fu@king tired of the question "when will Trump supporters turn on him?"

    who the fu@k cares.  seriously.  who cares what it would take to make the brain dead mouth breathers finally unable to cover their dirty parts with some imaginary fig leaf.  they, the worst of them for sure, are exactly like him.  facts dont matter.  never did never will.  in five years it will be impossible to find one who admits they supported him.

    I'm with you on the (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:28:03 PM EST
    Trump supporters. They are 40% of the voters or even less. I'll take a 60/40 win in an election any day of the week.

    Not 40 (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:50:59 PM EST
    Any more

    and gotta say (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:43:18 PM EST
    Huckelberry Sanders (no relation) is a lot better at this than the poor hapless Spicer.  and no surprise that would be for those of us who remember all to well her evil fu@king Howdy Dooty daddy.  she learned from the best.

    I dunno (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:51:32 PM EST
    Followed Armando on Twitter today. It was all I could really do. He said she was full of $hit in 2 different tweets. Are you fact checking her? Or gauging her SNL value?

    Of course she is full of it (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:01:27 PM EST
    She is a lot better at the presentation than Spicer.  Which is honestly pretty faint praise.

    Reaction of press in the room (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Towanda on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:42:08 PM EST
    And colleagues In talking on Twitter about her vs. Sanders changed a lot since yesterday.  Then, they talkd about lowered tension in the room.

    But she was so nasty todsy that she has lost them.  I did not watch today, but it sounds like that was wise for my blood pressure.

    The upside is that Melissa McCarthy could be perfect for Huckabee Sanders, too.  For now, the promos for SNL this weeknd promise a return of her Spicey, hurray.


    I was thinking that too (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:52:26 PM EST
    Then wondered if they will juxtapose spicy Melissa with huckleberry Melissa? She is so talented.

    The only other person who has made me belly laugh recently was Will Ferrell showing up at Samantha Bee's event as the prodigal son :)

    Humor is the only way to stay sane. I've noticed Lewis Black is live on Facebook practically every night trying to keep everyone sane too, a free show.


    Confessing (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:01:46 PM EST
    to obstruction of justice
    "We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity," said deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders, referring to the FBI's probe into Moscow's interference in last year's election. "And we think that we've actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen."
    is a hell of a start, the honesty is refreshing.

    Unlike Spicer (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:03:54 PM EST
    She lies effortlessly.  She was raised that way.

    How about in three years (none / 0) (#29)
    by McBain on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:32:05 PM EST
    the DNC nominates someone who excites voters?

    I doubt Hillary would want it (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Yman on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:41:01 PM EST
    Besides, the DNC doesn't "nominate" anyone.  The Democratic voters decide.  They overwhelmingly chose her, as did 3 million more people than your Orange Julius.

    His imaginary fig leaf (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:50:13 PM EST
    Is getting really tiny.  Let that mental image cook for a minute.

    How about in three years ... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 10:01:05 PM EST
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
    - The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love (1963)

    ... those same voters finally wise up and take to heart a valuable lesson, which is that politics isn't a fckn game show like "Wheel of Fortune"?



    please stay on topic (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:49:43 AM EST
    it['s not candidates for past or future elections, it's Donald Trump's his evolving tales about firing James Comey.

    It's all good (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Yman on Fri May 12, 2017 at 09:49:42 AM EST
    Trump says he has a letter from a law firm to prove he has no ties to Russia.

    I kid you not.

    Not just any old letter... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by kdog on Fri May 12, 2017 at 11:40:40 AM EST
    a CERTIFIED letter, a document so bigly a 49 cent stamp just wouldn't do, it's profound contents demanded the extra 3 bucks for certified letter status.  

    More certifiable than certified. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:22:13 PM EST
    The law firm was named Russian Law Firm of the Year 2016, and Sheri, who signed this opus, was the woman standing next to the piles and piles of empty folders attesting to the goodness of everything earlier this year.

    It is, as if, Dr. Harold Bornstein has, without detection, attended law school and has recently (at least by March 8, 2017) joined the tax department of this firm.  

    The letter will soon have even more gravitas when signed as rec'd by Lindsey Graham of the US Senate, giving, of course, senatorial seal of approval.

    No Russia, no Russia, you are the Russian--since Trump's income is from the collective 500 entities that make up The Trump Organization (TTO).

      Of course, the income from the TTO could be from a Russian source, listed as an LLC incorporated in the Caymans.  And, there is no Russian money, except for the exceptions, such as sale of condos/rents, and that deal of selling the $4l million Florida place to a Russian for $95 million.

    These cautions aside, I believe it really looks good.  I put it right up there with firing Comey because he was mean to Hillary.


    Too much K.D.... (none / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    his other lawyer is named Willie Nelson...now the Willie Nelson I know might smoke that letter, but he damn well would never have it certified;)

    honest to god (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 11:59:32 AM EST
    it would be funny if it wasnt.

    i say this is spiraling out of control and down the toilet.  even the spinless soulless craven criminally negligent repiblicans in congress simply cannot continue to ignore this.

    just watching Clapper destroy the Trump BS about his statement "clearing" him.

    this most recent tweet threatening Comey with possible "tapes" of their conversations is outrageous.  and not being a lawyer sure seems close to criminal.

    J is right, this is unraveling.  its said the death of democracies happens slowly and then all at once.  i believe the same is true here.  there are ducks that need to be aligned but this is coming to a nadir.  and i dont think it will be long.


    From your lips (none / 0) (#54)
    by Yman on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:02:03 PM EST
    Although I wouldn't underestimate the ability of GOP Reps (and Trump supporters) to deny reality and justify the unjustifiable.  They've had a lot of practice.

    This is too much too far too nuts (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:10:58 PM EST
    On the heels of cray cray. He fired the FBI director by television. Now he's threatening a witness on Twitter. This is beyond

    I don't know (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:09:09 PM EST
    The turtle and Ryan are clinging to Trump. Read Paul Krugman today. He more or less puts it all out there for you to see.

    The turtle.. (none / 0) (#76)
    by jondee on Fri May 12, 2017 at 03:36:28 PM EST
    I've pulled turtles out of the road to keep them from getting run over, but for that one I'd make an exception.

    No it's still funny... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:51:48 PM EST
    It's too funny not to be funny, despite the seriousness and sadness of the matter...I mean it really is that f*cking funny.  

    If there was a shred of decency in the man, I'd feel sorry for him.  This is like watching Britney Spears shaving her head all over again.  


    You know (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 12, 2017 at 02:25:07 PM EST
    Kdog I seem to recall you thinking it would be fun to blow everything up. Well, you're finally seeing it play out in real time.

    Never thought it fun... (none / 0) (#75)
    by kdog on Fri May 12, 2017 at 02:50:31 PM EST
    perhaps necessary...like razing a house whose foundation is too rotted for a restoration, to rebuild from scratch.  But never "fun".

    As for finding the Lester Holt interview f*cking hilarious...certified guilty there Pal! I don't know how anyone could watch it and not laugh out loud.


    I find it rather hard to imagine ... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 12, 2017 at 05:25:22 PM EST
    kdog: "Never thought it fun[.] Perhaps necessary ... like razing a house whose foundation is too rotted for restoration, to rebuild from scratch. But never 'fun'."

    ... you rebuilding that house from scratch:

    • Particularly since you've taken a perverse pride in avoiding the minimum maintenance that was necessary to avoid the structure's dilapidation in the first place; and
    • Especially if you and your neighbors were then consumed by the resultant inferno.

    Just sayin'.

    Well, you can (none / 0) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 12, 2017 at 04:09:05 PM EST
    see the house being razed now.

    I'm waiting for him to say (none / 0) (#52)
    by jondee on Fri May 12, 2017 at 12:46:31 PM EST
    he's been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Fabulous people..

    A 100+ years ago, this guy would've made a bundle hawking bottles of Dr Kilmer's Swamproot Remedy For Man or Beast.


    Wasn't Dr. Kilmer's (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:53:40 PM EST
    the only Swamproot Remedy certified by the United States Postal Service?

    Fallows in the Atlantic on the crisis (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Coral on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:18:02 PM EST
    He says it's worse than Watergate and clearly and succinctly lays out the reasons why. Fallows

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 12, 2017 at 02:00:09 PM EST
    we need a steely resolve and persistence and do everything we can in 18 months to win for America and our institutions.

    I think Trump thinks that what he is doing is demoralizing people. IMO I think it just makes us more determined to get him and the Russians and any Republicans associated with this booted out of office.


    I don't know... (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Lora on Sat May 13, 2017 at 10:02:46 AM EST
    This president seems remarkably impervious to any and all strikes against him, no matter how serious they are.

    If actual hard facts come to light, I would be seriously unsurprised at a dramatic Wag-the-dog type crisis that might require unprecedented restrictions on civil liberties, including free speech and news media, of course, in the interest of national security.

    I hope and pray that those who are hoping to end this reckless and runaway administration are taking all due caution and preparing for the considerable possibility of such an event.

    He (none / 0) (#2)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 11, 2017 at 04:44:00 PM EST
    also called Comey a "showboater" and "grandstander".

    Admitted that he directly asked Comey if he was under investigation.
    He just tweeted

    Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democrat EXCUSE for losing the election.
    ...... now we know what they were yucking it up abouton the oval office.


    All I can say here is that ... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 05:02:09 PM EST
    ... one of the primary lessons drummed into tank commanders in both the Army's and Marine Corps' armored divisions is that ranking officers should always try to remain at least 20 yards ahead of their unit's dust cloud.

    And on that note, Republican congresscritters best figure out and understand pretty quick that Trump is inherently unfit to be president, and do so before a majority of their own constituents arrive at that conclusion themselves. Otherwise, the resultant carnage of the 2018 midterms is likely to be both extensive and long-term.



    As long as Ryan and McConnel think (none / 0) (#15)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:42:24 PM EST
    they can push through their agenda of massive tax cuts for the rich and the end of environmental and financial regulations, they will do nothing about Trump. They are not honorable men. They care nothing for the country and its future.

    Now, once they get what they want, and they no longer need Trump as their useful idiot, they may line up for impeachment, may, but not before they get what they want.


    I think that may be (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 07:45:41 PM EST
    What finally does it.  When they realize they can't stop this and as long as it goes on nothing else will happen.

    Pence can sign too (none / 0) (#27)
    by MKS on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:11:26 PM EST
    So, they could theoretically jettison Trump.  

    Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) has learned ... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon May 15, 2017 at 09:15:57 PM EST
    ... his lesson in the wake of a recent series of confrontational town hall meetings in his suburban Sacramento district. He's now on record calling for the appointment of a special counsel to conduct DOJ's Russia inquiry.

    It is totally consistent with past behavior (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Peter G on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:14:26 PM EST
    that Tr*mp would call Comey names that perfectly describe Tr*mp himself. It's a pattern.

    The Holt interview (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:18:26 PM EST
    Is rather remarkable.  Trump literally says he fired Comey to end the "Russia thing"

    He cannot abide anyone but himself (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:00:40 PM EST
    Being held in any esteem by anyone. Funny how he thought Democrats were such idiots that we would flock to him for firing Comey. Sorry Donald, we were waiting for Comey to square you by the Comey standards. That was all we wanted out of what was left of that equation.

    The irony (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:07:23 PM EST
    is that he could have earned some goodwill firing Comey in January.

    He had botched that for me (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:14:24 PM EST
    By praising Comey initially. Perhaps if he could have expressed the following day that he was wrong, and that what Comey had done was unethical and Donald had not thought the rule of law we all equally live under through. I think then I could have had some good will for him if he'd fired Comey in January. But he hasn't said he was wrong yet has he?

    Honestly (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:38:26 PM EST
    Trump says something different every day. Yeah, he was all praises for Comey and even blew him a kiss regarding the email mess until he decided to use it as an excuse to fire Comey. Trump has never done anything wrong he says. He's a legend in his own mind. So I'm sure he never has said anything about the rule of law.

    Kamala Harris commented today that if someone had given her that memo she would have sent it back saying start over. You need to quote exactly what part of the DOJ rules Comey violated etc. This kind of backs up the people that are saying Rosenstein got rolled in that or used in that instance. The real snake in the grass is Sessions but then he's trying to save his own hide in all this.


    "Easy Tells" (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 11, 2017 at 05:43:13 PM EST
    Bret Stephens, the new, conservative columnist at the NYTimes, reveals his take on Trump's easy tells.  Essentially, be guided by the opposite of what Trump says.  Stephens concludes with "Trump is afraid.  A president who seeks to hide a scandal may be willing to risk an uproar."  

     And, I might add, hope to change the subject, such as taking time from his busy schedule honoring Putin's request to visit with Russians to "evaluate" TV personalities, such as CNN's Don Lemon who he says is the "dumbest person in broadcasting"; Chris Cuomo looks like a "chained lunatic:" and, Stephen Colbert "is a no talent guy who talks filthy."   I thought Trump would surely understand, Colbert's language was just locker room talk.

    More Cheeto buffoonery (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MKS on Thu May 11, 2017 at 06:34:36 PM EST
    Lord save us all.

    Yesterday (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:59:33 PM EST
    I was reading about pathological liars.  Pretty interesting in the shadow of current events.  I recommend a web search. (I decided to stop using the term "Google").

    They don't have the same "tells" as normal people.  They don't touch their face or twitch and squirm or look away or any of that.

    Commonly, it said, they lie with piercing eye contact.  Watch Trump.  That's exactly what he does.  Every bald face lie is done with solid eye contact.

    I've noticed that before and thought it might be something he had trained himself to do.  According to the experts it's pure instinct.


    I think it's a kind of bizarre charisma (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 10:06:18 PM EST
    That some people fall hard for. They just eat it up with a spoon.

    Not most of us here. That whole "Let me tell you" or "Believe me", when he says those phrases my inner child whispers to me that the guy in the white panel van offering free candy is cruising the neighborhood again. It's really the kid in me that knows this guy is 100% a lying psychotic :)


    I've thought a lot about (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 10:15:44 PM EST
    What "it" is.  Especially since I am surrounded by them far to often.

    I think a crucial part, as it was with Dubya, is he has this weird ability to make the rubes think he is "one of them".  Which is incredible when you think about.  In both cases. Pampered  millionaire ivy league poodle boys who get the rubes to believe they are just as stupid and common as they are.

    Credit where it's due, it really is brilliant.


    YES, the spoon eaters (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 10:26:53 PM EST
    Want to believe these guys are one of them :) Manufactured drawls, a $5 red canvas hat that the embroidery machine lady does up for you. And they are coming down to our level. They believe it's a kind of benevolence to go slumming with us. And some of us are so grateful to be considered :)

    Tells--Cheeto's sniffing? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by MKS on Fri May 12, 2017 at 10:29:07 AM EST
    Philip Mudd says we are 10 Mos into this (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 08:19:41 PM EST
    Investigation. Remember Deep Throat was deputy director of the FBI. Hundreds of people know specific truths about Trump and Russia. It's too late. Firing Comey will not stop the truth from coming out and many at the FBI are very upset now.

    Yeah, that's the (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:09:36 PM EST
    gist I get. Things were already in motion. Trump is obviously going to do his best to stop the Russia investigation but it was farmed out to three field offices that we know of, none in the NY field office. So the wheels of justice are going to continue and it seems the minute Trump tries to stomp on something going on in the FBI they are running to the press.

    It will be painful for the nation (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:29:55 PM EST
    I was a child during Watergate, but my family stayed very abreast. This is at the start of a presidency though. I expect journalists to lead now. It is our best hope at this point.

    I bet Trump IS upset that Comey wasn't finding these leakers. All he has done though is force them further underground and deeper into the shadows. Journalists will probably go to jail before it's finally over.


    I guess you could (none / 0) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 12, 2017 at 06:42:04 AM EST
    say no pain no gain. It's like we are going to finally have to deal with decades of toxicity injected into our national politics in a few short years.

    From conservative pundit Rick Wilson: (none / 0) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 11, 2017 at 09:47:55 PM EST
    "What furies and dark winds propel
    The helmsman of our ship of state?
    Tie to the mast, my lads!
    A madman steers our nation's fate."

    Whazzzzup???? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 12:50:05 PM EST
    Donald J Trump threatened James Comey on Twitter in front of God and everyone at 7:26 a.m. ET this morning. I just found out about it, and not one comment here? With all these lawyers round here, no comments? Are we all so maxed out on the insanity we're just staring at the wall?

    I am (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Yman on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:09:03 PM EST
    Personally, when coupled with his other statements and his firing of Comey, I think it could justify an obstruction charge/impeachment.  Whether a sitting POTUS can be criminally charged is an open issue, and impeachment proceedings would require actin by the GOP House, so I don't think it goes anywhere for now.

    I am too (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:16:17 PM EST
    Then I remember I have to move :) And Josh will have a surgery before I even get boxes unpacked. Holy fushmoli, I can't cuss. J has to delete it. Our family stress has redlined though.  What the Kung Fu Fighting is going to happen here? I've reached the outer limits.

    Given that President Nixon was ... (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:49:47 PM EST
    Yman: "Whether a sitting POTUS can be criminally charged is an open issue[.]"

    ... formally named an unindicted co-conspirator by DOJ prosecutors in court proceedings during the Watergate scandal, which implies that he could've been indicted while in office but wasn't, I don't see why not.

    Further, I would think that the cases of United States v. Nixon, argued before the U.S. Supreme Court by Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski in July of 1974, and the more recent Paula Jones v. Clinton argued before that same body 20 years later, pretty much established that the president is not above the rule of law.

    That said, yours is a good question. Not being a lawyer, and my own opinion above notwithstanding, I'm not at all rock-ribbed certain that a sitting president can actually be criminally charged. Among the commentariat here at TL, Jeralyn and Peter are likely best qualified to address that particular issue themselves.



    Obstruction of justice, or (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:40:28 PM EST
    suborning obstruction of justice--depending on which version of the dinner party shakedown prevails, Trump's or Comey's.  But, need intent (not mixed up with Trump's other wild statements).

     More likely charge/conviction is the political: impeachment (the first article in Nixon/Clinton)--the "proof" is what the House says (a simple majority) and conviction by what the senate says (2/3).

     Don't see the Republican House voting for impeachment, they want their tax cuts, religious stuff, and end to regulations. Plus, all there other long term goals to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

     And, being tribal, they will defend Trump to the end.  In Nixon's case, it took a couple of years and smoking gun tapes.  Daddy Bush, for example, stuck with Nixon almost until he boarded the helicopter for his final trip to San Clemente.


    I forget that Barbara Bush sobbed (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 02:02:17 PM EST
    As Nixon departed the White House.

    It's going to be a really long 2 yrs. And now Trump has a commission on election integrity.


    The Commission's charge: (none / 0) (#72)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 12, 2017 at 02:14:30 PM EST
    find the problem to fit our solution, after all how else can Republicans win elections, they do see the demographics.  But, we can rest assured, the Commission is in the hands of Mike Pence and Kris Kobach. Surprised if they do not announce the completion of their study latter this afternoon.

    maxed (none / 0) (#58)
    by FlJoe on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:12:05 PM EST
    out if you ask me.

    I have to keep moving (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:18:53 PM EST
    Because we're moving. To be closer to the White House. Where I'll sit in a corner and babble to myself.

    oculus said it might not be a good idea to move to DC during Trump. I scoffed ;) What a call!


    And yeah, at some point, not sure exactly when, this sort of outrageous behavior ceased being shocking to a lot of people. That shock has been replaced in many of us with a quiet but firm desire to seek the man's removal from public office. For others not so inclined, if "Grab 'em by the pu$$y" didn't shake their faith in the guy, this morning's tweet sure won't.

    I guess if you don't understand that (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 01:31:13 PM EST
    The balance of power and the rule of law is how we became the leader of the free world.

    What if Obama Tweet threatened James Comey for leaking? What if the black man did that?

    Thank you for telling me that Comey is his calm sober usual self while the most powerful person in our nation threatens him on social media. That does speak volumes alongside the 144 characters.


    Cartoonist / editorialist David Horsey ... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 12, 2017 at 02:18:52 PM EST
    ... of the Los Angeles Times has a pretty good take on the national impass and Trump's present quandary:

    "The firing of FBI Director James Comey is unlikely to put even a dent in Donald Trump's support among his coalition of supporters. And what a diverse coalition it is: Wealthy golf cart jockeys with warm-weather homes along America's greenest fairways; high-school-dropout meth dealers in Appalachia; middle-aged white women who appreciate an occasional slap on the butt from their bosses; guys who wear cammo and cowboy hats and stockpile assault rifles in their suburban cul-de-sacs; Internet trolls with Wehrmacht haircuts; people who think 'The Apprentice' was a documentary; Gary Busey, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin and other third-tier celebrities -- and so many more.


    "Unfortunately for Trump, his rock-solid base is significantly less than 40% of the electorate. And that cohort does not include all that many Republican senators or members of Congress. Trump's messengers are trying to convince skeptics that Comey's dismissal was unrelated to the FBI investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian intelligence agents, even though Trump has gone ballistic whenever Comey appeared on television to talk about that investigation. But, no matter how Huckabee's daughter spins the tale, no one but die-hard Trump lovers believe Kremlingate did not lead to Comeygate.

    "Trump desperately needs to convince restive Capitol Hill Republicans that his colossally chaotic presidency won't lead to disastrous results for them in the 2018 election. The first step Trump must take to calm fears among party elected officials is naming a new FBI director who is universally acceptable -- and that will leave out all the featured speakers at last summer's alt-right-tinged GOP national convention. Trump buddies, such as Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, should not be on the shortlist because, if the nominee is seen as a Trump stooge, the Senate confirmation hearing will become a celebrity roast gone nuclear and nobody will be laughing but the Democrats." (Emphasis is mine.)

    It's a pretty good read.


    Yep, it's all about the 2018 midterms (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Towanda on Fri May 12, 2017 at 08:55:18 PM EST
    as it was all about the 1974 midterms, when polling showed Republican leadership the impact of Watergate, if they did not take out Nixon.

    That's why I've said that we won't see movement from Ryan, McConnell, et al., until 2018 . . . unless, of course, current practices of polling farther ahead of elections than we did then might move the clock forward.  


    My husband thinks if Ryan gets (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 09:11:36 PM EST
    Real goods on Trump, and Pence is implicated, Ryan will try to roll over on them in order to take the White House and Right the ship :). Two yrs isn't much time when you consider educating the nation of the goods and then whipping the votes. The political time is short.

    It's questionable (none / 0) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 12, 2017 at 09:24:13 PM EST
    whether Ryan can even take office because of his ties to Russia.

    ... that the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and GOP-related PACs graced Republican House candidates with laundered Russian funds, then Speaker Ryan will be burnt toast rather than the mere political milquetoast he is right now, and the GOP itself would be a potential target for a RICO prosecution.

    But to be perfectly honest, I think we should be very circumspect about what to believe here, even if Ms. Mensch has often been ahead of the curve in this unfolding scandal. Speaking for myself, I prefer to maintain a healthy sobriety and skepticism regarding such serious allegations. But in this case, I'm certainly open to being surprised.

    And speaking of alleged RICO violations, on a related note the law firm of Morgan Lewis, which issued a clean bill of health to Trump last year saying the he had no conflicts of interest with Russia, was named "Russia Law Firm of the Year" in May 2016. I swear, we couldn't make this schitt up if we tried.



    Well (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 13, 2017 at 07:23:53 AM EST
    Salon did an article back in December with Ryan's problems with Russian money. So it's not just Louise in that case. If it's proven that Trump took Russian money then I'm sure that Ryan is tied up in all that. In fact a lot of Republicans are gonna be tied up in all that.

    I read her on Twitter too (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 12, 2017 at 10:31:05 PM EST
    She seems to have some sources. I don't consider her someone I don't have to double or triple check though. She tweets some things that just hang out there in nowhere space. But she does seem to have some sources.

    Agreed. Sometimes when reading Ms. Mensch ... (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat May 13, 2017 at 06:14:30 AM EST
    ... on Twitter, I get the feeling that she simply tweets her random thought stream, basically whatever pops into her head. When she flits about from topic to topic, it's like seeing an online case of ADD. She and her cohorts appear to be very good at unraveling online "fake news" message chains through the practice of pinging, which shows how much misinformation actually originates outside the country.

    Lately (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by FlJoe on Sat May 13, 2017 at 07:31:48 AM EST
    my favorite rumor monger is the Palmer report, pure BS speculation and throwing everything against the wall of course, but interesting.

    There seems to be an echo chamber of Joseph  Cannon, Palmer, Mensch, Claude Taylor and others who seem to jump on any minor perturbation in the information matrix as some kind of smoking gun.

    That being said, being alerted to minor or even imaginary details(see curveball) is important in deep intelligence analysis. Poking through "garbage" is a tried and true investigative tool and besides it's a lot of fun for us amateurs.

    For instance I kept seeing the name Cambridge Analytica popping up in this particular fever swamp and lo and behold there maybe some there there

    In June 2013, a young American postgraduate called Sophie was passing through London when she called up the boss of a firm where she'd previously interned. The company, SCL Elections, went on to be bought by Robert Mercer, a secretive hedge fund billionaire, renamed Cambridge Analytica, and achieved a certain notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a role in both Trump and Brexit campaigns. But all of this was still to come. London in 2013 was still basking in the afterglow of the Olympics. Britain had not yet Brexited. The world had not yet turned.

    "That was before we became this dark, dystopian data company that gave the world Trump," a former Cambridge Analytica employee who I'll call Paul tells me. "It was back when we were still just a psychological warfare firm."

     I for one cannot wave away dark and dystopian as hyperbole nor have confidence that the good guys will win in the end.

    Cambridge Analytica will be important ... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat May 13, 2017 at 03:33:35 PM EST
    ... in understanding what happened here. I first wrote about CA a few months ago when I ran across this article about them in Motherboard.

    I have started following (none / 0) (#90)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 13, 2017 at 11:33:29 AM EST
    Claude Taylor too now. He claims McCabe is solid, Rosenstein is solid...inspite of our fears. And 25 indictments are under seal.

    He also claims the only one who isn't dirty or compromised by Russian racketeering and money laundering in the line of succession to the White House is Hatch.


    She does (none / 0) (#87)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 13, 2017 at 07:25:15 AM EST
    tweet her random thought stream and it's why I don't follow her. You have to spend a lot of time sifting through theories and facts even though she names them as such.

    paul ryan (none / 0) (#82)
    by linea on Fri May 12, 2017 at 09:35:33 PM EST
    is a libertarian and ayn rand devotee. people like paul ryan and ted cruz exist outside any rational framework and are intent on destroying the country to create their utopianist fetish. i would rather have president donald trump bumbling about than have paul ryam in the office enacting his policies to create the distopia he longingly fantasizes over.

    but that's just my opinion.


    YOU CANT MAKE THIS SH!T UP (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 08:15:17 AM EST

    remember the "certified letter"?

    the law firm, which Trump uses for his tax matters and who wrote the letter, the certified letter, recieved the Russian Law firm of the Year 2016.  Morgan/Lewis brag on their website not only about the award but about having 40+ in their Moscow offices and having deep ties to Russia and its government.

    The lawyers who claim Trump received no income from Russia work at the 2016 Russia Law Firm of the Year
    May 12, 2017

    I know, I read this too (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 08:41:40 AM EST
    Every day it's a new craven something.

    And our lawyer friends have grown quieter here and everywhere else. They are all in a sort of professional observative mode.

    Trump may never go to jail, but I wonder who he has sunk already? Only he is the President. Has he destroyed most of his children? Who in the Trump campaign or  administration is going to go down?


    I guess we should have watched (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 09:11:20 AM EST
    Morning Joe too today Captain. Joe claims his FBI sources are telling him they have some stuff on Trump.

    im tellin ya (none / 0) (#98)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 01:03:44 PM EST
    they have been goin after the whole cartel hammer and tongs.  and the republican party as well for their supine response.

    they have been tougher and more brutal than any broadcast source i am aware of.

    maybe they feel guilty.  they should.


    It should be good (none / 0) (#113)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 08:45:23 PM EST

    How was it? (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 16, 2017 at 10:34:00 AM EST
    Still didn't watch :)

    serious (none / 0) (#118)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 16, 2017 at 03:46:59 PM EST
    The "Russia Law" firm of the year (none / 0) (#95)
    by Peter G on Mon May 15, 2017 at 09:47:05 AM EST
    is not the "Russian law firm" of the year. It means that Morgan Lewis has expertise in dealing with issues of Russian law, presumably meaning the issues that arise when U.S. entities try to do business in Russia. It's a big firm (based in Philly, interestingly, not in NYC or DC) with expertise in many areas. Maybe a minor humorous detail, but of no real significance. Take a deep breath.

    they did in fact (2.00 / 1) (#97)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 12:57:04 PM EST
    receive an award as "Russian Law Firm of the year"

    Yes, the Moscow office (3.50 / 2) (#99)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 15, 2017 at 02:02:14 PM EST
    of the firm Morgan Lewis was recognized as the Russian Law Firm of the Year in 2016.  The award was granted by Chambers and Partners, which identifies and ranks the most outstanding law firms and lawyers over 180 jurisdictions.

    Noted that over the past weekend, there were major protests in Moscow streets over the Mayor's (and friend of Putin's) plan to demolish the Khrushovki, Soviet-era apartment blocks.  About 500, low-rise apartment buildings are to be razed, displacing over 1 million Moscovites (almost 10 percent of the population of the city).

    The Mayor claims the reason to be the aging buildings and need for updating; the protesters are skeptical, believing it is a ruse to enable Putin=favorite developers to build expensive high rise apartment towers, in what is now, a desirable and leafy part of the city. Looks like a good real estate-related opportunity for some developers.


    If it matters, the correct title (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Towanda on Mon May 15, 2017 at 02:45:41 PM EST
    of the award (since some here have it as a noun, others as an adjective) is as Peter has it:  Russia (without the n) law firm of the year -- per the announcement from the awarding entity.

    Thanks, Towanda. Careful reading never hurts (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Peter G on Mon May 15, 2017 at 03:17:38 PM EST
    It is as if, when I won the Chambers designation of appellate lawyer of the year (as I did a few years ago), someone had claimed I was named by them as the "most appealing lawyer" of the year. ;)

    Which would you prefer? (none / 0) (#103)
    by MKS on Mon May 15, 2017 at 03:30:19 PM EST
    Maybe the latter designation was the better, more appealing (sorry) one?

    Actually, Towanda, your link appears (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Peter G on Mon May 15, 2017 at 03:47:35 PM EST
    to be for an announcement by the "awarded entity" not by the "awarding entity."

    Yes, thanks (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Towanda on Mon May 15, 2017 at 06:46:17 PM EST
    . . . Peter, re the further error of awarded vs. awarding.

    @#$%^^!! autocorrect.

    It's disabled on all computers, but for one.  I get it off my mini IPad, over and over, but every time . . . it comes back like a bad meal.  


    Russian/Russia (none / 0) (#105)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 04:24:03 PM EST
    IMO it hardly matters as far as "You Cant Make This Sh!t Up"

    but whatever


    I am as harsh on Tr*mp as anyone, but (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Peter G on Mon May 15, 2017 at 05:12:52 PM EST
    when you attack his lawyers for giving legal advice, you're heading off the rails. There is a world of difference between a "Russian law firm," that is, a law firm based in and licensed by Russia, and a "Russia law firm," that is, a U.S. law firm with expertise in the body of U.S. and international law needed to advise U.S. clients in connection with their dealings with Russian entities and the Russian government, and which may have a branch office in Moscow. Sorry, but as a criminal defense lawyer, I don't have a sense of humor about this particular distinction: same as the difference between a "criminal [defense] lawyer" and a lawyer who is a criminal.

    i am not a lawyer (4.00 / 1) (#107)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 05:38:43 PM EST
    and i dont play one on this blog.  i appreciate you are and i love that.

    that said

     i am not "attacking" anyone.  i am reporting the FACT the law firm that represents the president of the US, who is in the midst of a broad investigation of the extent of the possible reach of Putin and Russia into to highest levels of our government, just received the RUSSIA LAW FIRM OF THE freakin YEAR award.  which is a FACT

    and while i understand the lawyerly inclination to split hairs.  understand this.

    to most normal people this is firmly in the "you cant make this sh!t up category"

    for what its worth

    the website also says, or said it may have been scrubbed, they specialize in the area of SANCTIONS.

    once more

    you cant make this shIt up


    Yes, Peter G is correct, (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 15, 2017 at 05:38:51 PM EST
    Morgan Lewis is not a Russian law firm, which might be incorrectly inferred from my reporting of the award.  Morgan Lewis is an American-based global firm whose Moscow office was recognized by Chambers & Partners as the Russia Law Firm of the Year, in 2016.  

    And, Peter G is also on top of it with the announcement cited coming from the recipient of the award, Morgan Lewis, as the awarded entity. The awarding entity would be Chambera & Partners.

    And, Captain Howdy is right when he says you can't make this stuff up....with the late breaking news that Trump revealed highly classified information (intel not given to our allies) to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Kislyak during that curious meeting in the Oval Office, the day after giving Comey the boot. As a newly minted Doctor of Laws (hon), maybe Chambers & Partners will give Trump an award as the best Russia/Russian lawyer of the year, DC office.


    republican senators are "troubled" (none / 0) (#109)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 05:58:28 PM EST
    kill me

    Well, the Republican (none / 0) (#110)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 15, 2017 at 06:26:55 PM EST
    Senators need to check with their enthusiastic cultists, aka the base, to see how troubled they should be.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#112)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 15, 2017 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    that must be what Frank Luntz told them to say because I have a mutual friend with Jeff Duncan who represents SC's 3rd district and that is what he said. Oh, it's troubling. Furrow the brow a little and then go back to tax cuts for millionaires.

    Surely, such critically perilous times for our country as these should serve as a clarion call to someone like Speaker Paul Ryan, who should write Trump a sternly worded letter that begins:

    "Oh, for crying out loud! C'MON, dude! You promised us last summer that everything was totally legit. Now what do we do?"



    "He feeds me dog food" (none / 0) (#115)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 09:12:12 PM EST
    Ryan speaking of his master on SNL

    you cant (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 15, 2017 at 02:18:36 PM EST
    make this sh!t up



    Given the general worthlessness ... (none / 0) (#96)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon May 15, 2017 at 10:29:47 AM EST
    ... of that "certified letter," that "Russia Firm of the Year" award pretty much sums up the sheer absurdity of the present situation.