Trump Fires James Comey

I'm a little late to the news but Donald Trump fired James Comey.

How did it happen? Apparently

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein made the case for it, Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed, and President Trump ultimately pulled the trigger.

Here are the termination letters.

< Tuesday Open Thread | Comey, Trump, Sessions and Rosenstein >
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    being reported (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:03:58 PM EST
    Comey was in the middle of addressing an audience when the news of his firing flashed on the monitor behind.

    he laughed thinking it was a prank.


    Good illustration of your enemy's enemy ... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Erehwon on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:43:27 AM EST
    ... not being your friend!

    Of course, Comey deserved every bit of it but Obama should have done it!


    Realistically, Obama Couldn't (none / 0) (#40)
    by KD on Wed May 10, 2017 at 02:48:16 PM EST
    We saw with the Supreme Court, Republicans wouldn't let Obama appoint anybody. If Obama had fired Comey, Republicans would have crucified him in the press and then left the seat open for Trump to fill.

    Also, and that would have had some credibility to it too. Not that having a good accusation against a President means doodle, but the ethical ones make an effort to uphold ethics to the best of their ability.

    I sometimes enjoy the opinions of (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by desertswine on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:05:19 PM EST
    the Rude Pundit on matters like this.  Careful, crude language.  "The Dark Timeline Gets Darker; Brief Thoughts on the Comey Firing"

    F*ckery has almost a Chaucerian ring to it.. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jondee on Tue May 09, 2017 at 10:05:35 PM EST
    That Bizarre Second Paragraph (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by RickyJim on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:13:14 PM EST
    While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions,
    that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.
    Among the myriad questions this raises: Does this contradict Comey's statement that the whole Russian affair is still under investigation?  Why would Trump reveal this?  Is Trump implying that Comey telling him he wasn't being investigated the only good thing he could say in the director's behalf?
    Why would Comey tell Trump this at all, let alone three times?

    Speculation is (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:16:15 PM EST
    He never said it.  But as with the IRS Comey can't correct him.  We will see if that's true.

    Truly that is the weird cherry on top of this weirdness.


    Every time I start to think that ... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 10, 2017 at 05:34:35 AM EST
    ... perhaps we might be overstating the extent of Trump's Russia connection, he proves me wrong. As Jeralyn, Peter and other competent criminal attorneys can tell us, there are some actions which, when undertaken, infer guilt. Engaging in a cover-up is likely one of them.

    Likewise, another "tell" is (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by Peter G on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:42:05 AM EST
    the gratuitous volunteering of the self-defensive assurance -- in response to nothing in particular -- of not being a subject of the investigation. Shades of Nixon's "I am not a crook." I suspect that Tr*mp himself inserted that phrase into a proposed draft of the dismissal letter. It actually doesn't fit that well into the sentence where it appears.

    Yes, that line is pure Trump (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:03:01 PM EST
    It would be funny if not for the clear obstruction of justice.

    Oh, who am I kidding. It is laughable.


    Associates of Comey (none / 0) (#49)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 09:18:05 PM EST
    Call that line 'literally farcical'.

    Yes, I think so too. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:48:35 AM EST
    It seemed really strange in that letter. Of course if Comey can answer that question I hope he will.

    Dear Director Comey, (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by mm on Wed May 10, 2017 at 10:07:00 AM EST
    Thank you so much for secretly, unethically and illegally discussing with me your investigation of me, confirming on 3 separate occasions that you're not investigating me.


    Epstein's Mother


    Kevin Drum at MoJo has more on guilty optics: (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 10, 2017 at 03:32:48 PM EST
    "Donald Trump is embroiled in a scandal over his ties to Russia. He just fired his FBI director over this, a move widely viewed as Nixonian. So who does Trump meet with today at the White House?

    "First, the Russian ambassador and foreign minister. Then Henry Kissinger. And no U.S. photographers are allowed in the room for the meeting with the Russians. Only Russian agency photographers. Because of course.

    "This is what happens to a TV show when it feels like it has to top itself every season. It's time to cancel this one."



    Pretty sure the word you want... (none / 0) (#50)
    by unitron on Wed May 10, 2017 at 10:31:00 PM EST
    ...is "imply", and not "infer", in that particular sentence construction.

    I had no trouble understanding what DfH meant (none / 0) (#54)
    by Peter G on Thu May 11, 2017 at 02:20:19 PM EST
    which was "actions from which guilt may be inferred." Neither "actions which infer guilt" nor "actions which imply guilt" is quite right. Frankly, not a very helpful comment.

    Thank you, Peter, ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 12, 2017 at 10:32:53 PM EST
    ... for that clarification. I don't want to inadvertently mislead anyone if I can help it.

    From what I've read (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by smott on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:50:50 AM EST
    Trump tasked Sessions w coming up w reason to fire Comey perhaps a week ago.
    Sessions came up with the Clinton Emails, which conveniently was NOT related to RussiaGate, thus avoiding an obvious obstruction of justice issue given he had to recuse himself from all matters Russia.

    Rosenstein writes up the letter justifying it all, no mention of Russia, but

    Trump steps on everyone's dick including his own by mentioning Russia in his bizarre short note firing Comey.

    Now Trumo gets to appoint a lackey to head FBI
    GOP falls in line almost to a man and confirms
    Lackey closes all RussiaGate investigations
    Sessions kills all Grand Juries ongoing (I believe there are 2?)
    Trump pardons anyone who may be thus far indicted

    All we have left is Schneidermann and the RICO thing.

    But any hopes for a SP never mind impeachment is just fantasy. And headline starting w "Dems say..." Can be ignored as the Dems are powerless. Can't stop this. Only GOP can, and I think we can all agree enough of them are compromised that they won't.

    Full banana republic peeps.

    And is this basically the first coup in US History?

    There are (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 10:36:13 AM EST
    a few things missing in your theory. First of all while a new FBI director may attempt to shut things down I'm not sure he can do it without the entire country finding out. It's really too late to stop anything. Apparently subpoenas and sealed indictments are waiting and ready. The press smells blood and they're a pack of wolves. What Trump did is actually increase the intensity of the Russian connection instead of defusing it.

    I mostly agree, GA6, but from experience (none / 0) (#25)
    by Peter G on Wed May 10, 2017 at 11:30:45 AM EST
    there is nothing "apparent" about there being any "sealed indictments ... waiting and ready." If a sealed indictment existed, you would not know about it, and anyone who says otherwise is ... how shall I put this? ... "fake news."  Leaks of sealed indictments are rare indeed; significant violations of grand jury secrecy are treated with the utmost seriousness (criminal contempt) by the federal courts.

    Trump apparently (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:03:21 PM EST
    believed his pretense for firing Comey would bring cheers from Democrats. On Tuesday afternoon he received this memo from the un-recused Sessions and straight-shooter Rosenstein that Comey was mean to his Blessed Hillary, a finding that unlike that of Flynn whose demise took 18 days, took not even 18 minutes to summarily fire Comey. He was not having it!

      Comey could get away with a lot: destroying Trump's claim that Obama committed a felony by putting "tapps" on his wires and stating in open hearings that the FBI was investigating Russian election interference as a part of its counterintelligence investigation and collusion with Trump campaign officials, including possible criminal acts.   However, Trump will not let Comey be nasty to Hillary Clinton.

    Trump must believe that Democrats have the IQ of his base and are among his favorites, the poorly educated or the richly bamboozled, Trump University graduates. Actually, the smartest person in this White House is Sean Spicer, who has the good judgment to hid in the bushes.

    Really amazing he thought that would fly (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:08:53 PM EST
    Did he not see just a week ago half the Dems were berating Hillary for not apologizing enough and the other half were dancing on the pinhead of how much to blame Comey?

    He does think Dems are as dumb he is.


    Of ocurse, last week did make the Dems look (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:10:36 PM EST
    really dumb - just not in the way he assumed.

    Trump is just craven. (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:19:09 PM EST
    He spent the morning with Russian Ambassador Kisylak, and did not permit any US media presence.  However, he did permit media photographers from the Russian-state operated media.  Photos are provided by graciousness of the Russians.

     Trump is clearly flipping the country the bird.  We can't be surprised if his nominee for FBI Director is Giuliani.  Or, perhaps, the morning meeting was an interview with Kisylak for the job; the media blackout would then be understandable, given the privacy accorded job interviews...where do you see yourself in five years, Kisylak?  


    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:20:51 PM EST
    with the assistance of the entire GOP, "troubled" as they are.

    SF GATE: The Latest: (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:09:11 PM EST
    Comey asked for more resources for Russia probe

    12:25 p.m.

    Three U.S. officials say fired FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that he asked the Justice Department for more money for the bureau's investigation into Russia's election meddling.

    President Donald Trump fired Comey Tuesday.

    The officials say Comey told lawmakers he had made the request to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

    If Rosenstein was (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:40:22 PM EST
    naive or tricked into providing cause for firing, it would explain the abandonment of recusal by Sessions--Jeff was needed.   It would also explain the quality of the DOJ document--light on legal rigor and heavy on op eds and the like.  In any event, it does not sound all that reassuring that Rosenstein is the straight arrow as advertised.

    I need a cigarette. (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 10, 2017 at 04:01:24 PM EST
    And I quit back in October 1998.

    With Rosenstein (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 12:57:45 PM EST
    it's all guesswork at this point. He could do something tomorrow or the next day or the next to be seen as a straight arrow.

    Rosenstein could (none / 0) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 10, 2017 at 01:12:18 PM EST
    become a Supreme Court nominee as a favorite of Trump, or he could be fired by Trump for improperly firing Comey.  

    You certainly (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 01:18:22 PM EST
    never know from one day to the next.

    Yup. that's how it is with autocrats (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 04:26:01 PM EST
    FYI, while testifying last week ... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 10, 2017 at 03:14:38 PM EST
    ... before Congress, Comey revealed that the FBI is "coordinating" with two sets of federal prosecutors. One is likely in Hartford, CT because that's where Russian hacker Pyotr Levashov was indicted by a federal grand jury in March on multiple counts. (He was arrested by Spanish authorities in Barcelona last month per request of DOJ.) Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean speculated that the other is the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of Virginia.

    Blogger / investigator Claude Taylor, who like fellow investigator Louise Mensch has managed to scoop mainstream media repeatedly on this stuff, sometimes by several months, reported on May 6 that two different sources have confirmed to him that two sealed indictments have been issued. While he stipulated that the targets are not indicated by his sources, he guessed that the two targets were Paul Manafort and Gen. Mike Flynn.

    Now, too be sure, mainstream media is not reporting this, so you can take it for what it's worth. But it IS out there and also, its source is someone who's proved himself to be fairly reliable or prescient about such things in the past. Further, the MSM hasn't necessarily been all that accurate in its reporting. After all, it was Ellen Nakashima's Jan. 23 article in the Washington Post, misreporting that the FBI had cleared Flynn in the Russia probe, which sent then-Acting AG Sally Yates scurrying over to the White House in the first place.

    While I understand and appreciate Peter's skepticism given his knowledge of federal grand juries and how they're supposed to function, since these are clearly extraordinary times, I wouldn't put it past someone in the federal court system or U.S. Attorney's office to resort to taking extraordinary personal risks to get the word out to the public. We've certainly seen such leaks happen in the last and indeed, Republican senators were griping about them this past Monday in the Yates / Clapper hearing.


    Why would the indictments be sealed? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Peter G on Wed May 10, 2017 at 04:30:23 PM EST
    Normally, an indictment is sealed while the FBI or US Marshals are out trying to execute the arrest warrant on the indictment, the prevent someone from becoming a fugitive upon learning of the indictment before being arrested.  But Levashov has been arrested, so his indictment is presumably unsealed by now, and I find it hard to imagine, if Flynn is indicted, that he would not be granted the privilege of turning himself in for "processing" and immediate bail; I cannot see him being arrested at all, even if it is true that he will be charged. So, all in all, the "sealed indictment" thing is still not making sense to me. What am I missing?

    Your guess is as good as mine, at this point. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 10, 2017 at 06:53:09 PM EST
    These last four months have been so outlandish in their unfolding that I can no longer rule out the possibility on anything anymore. We're trapped in a Fellini film, Peter.

    And as long as we're envisioning Fellini-esque scenarios, if Gen. Flynn is indeed indicted, I want to see that white-wing weasel perp-walked publicly in handcuffs and shackles in front of a national TV audience, just on principle.

    "Lock her up," my a$$!


    couple of things (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 09, 2017 at 08:50:18 PM EST
    just mentioned in the other thread Sessions is supposed to be recused from any matter related to the Clinton emails.

    how does that work.

    and senator Whitehouse was just on Rachel making a pretty good case that in his opinion Rosenstein was entiely sincere at least for his part.  he said that getting rid of Comey and trying to clean up after him was a good thing even if the rest of this stinks to high heaven.

    Senator Mark Warner, vice chair (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 09, 2017 at 11:43:11 PM EST
    of the Senate Intel Committee was not having it, despite his agreement with Comey's conduct.  Would like to take his vote back on Rosenstein.

      All the dates of the letters, Deputy AG, AG (who was to recuse himself), and President, were today, suggesting the workup of the Deputy AG was not up to snuff with process of DOJ. A real rush job, apparently, at the behest of the president.  Come up with a cause for firing, fast, it seems. Hard to fathom that Trump would fire Comey for saying unkind and disrespectful things about "crooked Hillary."  Time for all this Russian stuff to go away, says Huckabee's daughter, a Spicer stand in.


    Recusal seems to be just words - (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 11:52:55 AM EST
    I don't see any enforcement mechanism for it. Sessions is the ultimate weasel so you know his word means nothing.

    He became entangled after it turned out that he had not been truthful during his confirmation hearing, when Sen. Franken asked him about the Trump campaign's connections to the Russian government and he volunteered without prompting that he had personally had never met with any Russians. In fact, Sessions had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the campaign. Those are the two times that we know of, anyway.

    He also recused himself (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:08:54 PM EST
    Fresh Clinton email matters

    Stupid spell correct (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:09:41 PM EST
    Heres (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 09, 2017 at 09:11:24 PM EST
    Thanks. (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 10, 2017 at 05:26:43 AM EST
    Too bad he didn't recuse himself from Washington.

    Worrisome (none / 0) (#11)
    by Towanda on Tue May 09, 2017 at 11:13:59 PM EST
    that the large orange lout waited until Comy was on the othe coast . . . Far from his files, which could be gutted by now.

    Those would be the files with the evidence that convincd a court to issue subpoenas re Russian connections to the large orange lout -- but hours before he fired Comey.

    Hard to get rid of evidence (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by MKS on Wed May 10, 2017 at 06:56:27 AM EST
    in the Digital Age.

    This operation (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 06:38:26 AM EST
    was farmed out to at least three field offices IIRC.

    From (none / 0) (#21)
    by FlJoe on Wed May 10, 2017 at 08:51:04 AM EST
    Nixon talking to portraits to tRump raging at the TV
    He had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn't disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe, one adviser said.
    and Roger Stone slithers out again
    Roger Stone was among those who recommended President Trump fire Comey, according to a source familiar with the conversation. Stone, who himself is being scrutinized by the FBI as part of its Russia investigation, spoke to Trump after Comey appeared at a hearing last week on Capitol Hill, according to the source.

    You remember Trump (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 10, 2017 at 10:38:48 AM EST
    talking about the 400 pound hacker sitting on his bed in his underwear? Well, Trump is the 400 pound tweeter sitting on his bed in his robe tweeting.

    Rosenstein's letter stops short of (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Wed May 10, 2017 at 11:55:52 AM EST
    recommending firing. I suspect he was asked to write up his thoughts on just what the title implies - restoring faith in the FBI and was not told until yesterday that it would be used for this purpose.

    If there's not enough pushback (none / 0) (#46)
    by smott on Wed May 10, 2017 at 05:49:48 PM EST
    For Special Prosecutor, RussiaGate is over.

    Only thing left is Scheiderman/RICO.

    Meanwhile we are a banana republic.

    What's to stop Trump declaring Martial Law and stopping elections?

    Yes I'm sure the GOP and that straight talking Maverick John McCain would stop that.

    I do not see a way out of this.

    Liz Cheney: Best. Termination. Letter. Ever. (none / 0) (#48)
    by RickyJim on Wed May 10, 2017 at 07:16:03 PM EST
    Proud rodeo mom, soccer mom, baseball mom, hockey mom, constitutional conservative. Honored to serve the people of Wyoming in Congress.

    Liz Cheney (none / 0) (#51)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:38:39 AM EST
    is miserable ..., well, it's a four letter word that starts with 'c'.

    Dear Liz (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:52:26 AM EST
    if i wanted an opinion from an a$$hole, i would ask my own.

    via FARGO (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 11, 2017 at 11:52:44 AM EST
    Rodeo mom (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by jondee on Thu May 11, 2017 at 04:34:11 PM EST
    sounds like a euphemism for an oil field hooker.