More Ethics Observations On The Firing of FBI Director James Comey

It’s all this guy’s fault…

I have read the initial comments on the original post-–which I interrupted my viewing of a Red Sox game to write, just so you know how dedicated I am—had some additional thoughts and processed some new data. Here are some more observations:

1. The New York Times biased reporting is even worse than I thought. Today’s print edition has a “Saturday Night Massacre” size headline screaming:

TRUMP FIRES COMEY AMID RUSSIA INQUIRY

This is deceit, and, as I noted before, yellow journalism. It is technically accurate, but misleading and false anyway. Trump also fired Comey in May,  “amid” the North Korea crisis, and while the Orioles were playing the Nationals. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Comey’s firing had anything to do with the Russia investigation except this: Comey thoroughly botched the last major investigation the FBI was engaged in.

The Times goes further, adding another above the fold story headlined, “The President Lands a Punch, and Many Hear Echoes of Watergate.” Ah, the old “many say/many hear/many think” ploy—an unethical journalism classic. Let’s seed the unfair suspicion without taking responsibility for it! Hey, we didn’t say we thought that, just that others do!

2. Many have noted that President Hillary would have fired Comey within seconds of taking office, or as close to that as possible. This is doubtlessly true. It is also true that Republicans would probably be attacking her with as much fury and blatant hypocrisy as Democrats are attacking the firing now.

But doing something unethical in an alternate universe is still not as damning is doing it in this one.

3. I have been working on a “100 Days” overview of the ethics score since President Trump took office. In general, it is both remarkable and disturbing how closely the President’s actual performance tracks with my expectations, as explained over the last two years. One aspect of this mostly negative assessment that is undeniably positive, however is that President Trump, unlike his predecessor, does not fear making decisions, and makes them despite the amount of criticism he knows will be coming, especially from the news media. (The previous President knew that he had nothing to fear from the news media, since it was invested in making him seem successful and wise even when he wasn’t.)

The firing of Comey is a perfect example, as was the decision to enforce, belatedly, Obama’s “red line” in Syria.

4. Nowhere near enough focus has landed on Rod Rosenstein (left) , the  deputy attorney general who was only confirmed a couple of weeks ago ( April 25, 2017). Rosenstein is an impressive lawyer with a long, distinguished  record in both Democratic and Republican administrations, and authored  the  “Memorandum to the Attorney General” on the subject of “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.” This articulates the best reasons for firing Comey, and any critic who argues that it made sense to keep him on is tasked with rebutting Rosenstein’s brief. Good luck with that.

5. Rosenstein’s memo is remarkable in that it examines Comey from a decidedly non-partisan viewpoint, criticizing, for example, his public statement regarding the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton, a statement that Democrats hated and the the GOP mostly loved, even though it did not love the decision itself. Rosenstein wrote,

The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016 and announce his conclusion that the [Clinton email] case should be closed without prosecution.  It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement.  At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.  There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General.  On July 5, however, the Director announced his views on the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

5. There is speculation that the next FBI director will be tasked with re-opening an investigation of Hillary. That would be terrible. Yes, I know the arguments: if laws are to apply equally to all, then Clintons should not constantly escape accountability.  This consideration is far, far outbalanced by the importance of avoiding an endless cycle of political trials of vengeance aimed at slaking the blood-lust of either party’s most radical base. Once we start that process, it never ends, except perhaps with the Guillotine and a reign of terror.

6. Now Democrats are in a hard-fought contest to see who can go the farthest in hysterical fear-mongering and dishonesty. Some of the early favorites were noted in the last post, but I don’t know how anyone will beat Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Ha), who tweeted,

Lots of justified confusion and outrage. We need to be prepared to come back together, regardless of party, and take our democracy back…We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.

What an irresponsible fool. He’s an idiot if he believes this, and cynically encouraging civil unrest if he doesn’t.

7. Well this was inconvenient:

CNN exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI’s Russia investigation:

Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people familiar with the matter. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey. The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

Boy, if firing Comey was supposed to kill the investigation, it sure didn’t work.

This illustrates the contrived nature of the news media’s Watergate narrative. Nixon fired the special prosecutor, Archie Cox, whose integrity and competence were beyond reproach. It took about ten days to appoint a new one, buying Nixon time: teh Watergate hearings were going on, and John Dean had alreday testified. There was substantive evidence of a scandal.  Firing Comey, in contrast, has no practical effect on the investigation at all (which is about Russia, not Trump, as much as the anti-Trump media pretends otherwise) except that Comey’s exit increases the (slight) likelihood that the findings won’t be attacked as partisan once the investigation is concluded.

8. Finally, here’s the almost always sensible Ann Althouse’s critique (in part) of the 538 essay, by Perry Bacon Jr, which asks, “Did the president dump Comey for mishandling the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email, as Trump and his team have said?…Or was Comey’s handling of the investigation simply a pretense to fire an independent-minded director who was investigating ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russians?”

…Perry Bacon Jr…. sees plenty of evidence that Comey indeed mishandled the Clinton email investigation. But if that were the real reason, why didn’t the firing occur months ago? Trump had the basis for firing Comey, but he didn’t pull the trigger. He just kept it in reserve, so doesn’t that mean that he knew he could justify firing Comey and he waited until something else, something about him, not Clinton, made him want to be rid of the man?

The best answer to that is: Comey made a big mistake last week testifying before Congress (when he said that Huma Abedin forwarded 1,000s of Hillary emails to Anthony Weiner). Bacon’s response to that is hard to find. He switches to talking about how Democrats are criticizing Trump for firing Comey. But, of course, Democrats reflexively criticize Trump. They’re calling him “Nixonian.” A Republican Senator said he was “troubled” and another said there were “questions.”

Bacon speculates that “the American people” might not believe Trump, but that’s why I’m reading this article, Mr. Bacon. I thought you were going to answer the question why Trump did what he did, but now it seems you’re only talking about whether people will believe Trump’s assertion.

Ann is right: the blogosphere and news media are bending over backwards to avoid admitting that the President had plenty of good reasons to fire Comey, and while working hard to keep suspicions flaming that the real reason was a sinister one.

9. Comey was apparently ambushed by the news he had been fired, which appeared on a screen behind him while he was addressing FBI employees. He has been a loyal public servant, and did not deserve to be embarrassed like that.

You would think Donald Trump, of all people, would know the right way to fire someone.

88 Comments

Filed under Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Workplace

88 responses to “More Ethics Observations On The Firing of FBI Director James Comey

  1. Jack wrote, “Comey was apparently ambushed by the news he had been fired, which appeared on a screen behind him while he was addressing FBI employees.”

    It was unethical and unprofessional for anyone to release the information beyond the White House inner circle of knowledge before Comey knew it himself. The regular unprofessional manner in which this Presidential Administration deals with things blows my mind.

    I’m glad Comey was fired, In my opinion, should have been done during the Obama Administration regardless of the political implications. They never should have left Comey in that position.

    • Chris

      Jack wrote, You would think Donald Trump, of all people, would know the right way to fire someone.

      Oh, he knew exactly what he was doing. This wasn’t just a firing. This was a public humiliation. This was dominance. That’s how Trump thinks. That’s what he does.

      The message is clear: “I liked you when you were helping me. Now that you’ve crossed me, you’re finished, and I’m going to finish you in the most embarrassing way possible.”

      This is not cynicism. This is not bias. This is reality.

      “No evidence whatsoever that Comey’s firing had anything to do with the Russia investigation,” my ass.

      • Wow, what a substantive, persuasive argument. I’m convinced.

        • Chris

          Which part do you find unconvincing? Do you deny that Trump is obsessed with dominating and publicly humiliating his adversaries? You can’t; you acknowledged that this was his strategy multiple times during the campaign. For some reason, you now believe that anyone who notices this tendency and applies it to this case is a biased-driven moron.

          Reconcile these positions, please.

      • Chris wrote, ” “No evidence whatsoever that Comey’s firing had anything to do with the Russia investigation,” my ass.”

        Interesting that you you would say that but yet you haven’t produced a single shred of evidence to support it, all you’ve got is partisan assumptions and innuendo. How about your produce some evidence.

        • Chris

          Objective observations about Trump’s past behavior–observations which have been made by Jack himself–are not “partisan assumptions and innuendo.” Applying those observations to Trump’s decision in this case is called logic. Recognizing that the explanations provided in the memo do not match up with Trump’s behavior towards Comey is also called logic.

          You are refusing to notice the obvious so that you can appear more objective than those mean, evil liberals (and conservatives) criticizing Trump on this matter. Good for you. I am not impressed.

          • Chris,
            I don’t want to hear another word from you until you provide specific fact based verifiable hard evidence that Trump fired Comey because of the Russia investigation and “it became clear Comey was a threat to his [Trump’s] power”. I’m completely serious, not another word until you PROVE that your claims are not partisan bull shit.

            I’ll put up cold cash, a crisp hundred dollar bill that I’ll gladly send to Jack so he can send it to you if you can actually prove your bull shit; cold cash for providing hard evidence and proving that you’re correct. I’m a man of my word, $100 for hard evidence; you’ve got until 12:00 midnight (CST) today to complete this task or you can kiss the $100 goodbye. Easy cash and make Zoltar look like a fool at the same time; what more could you ask for.

            I’ll let Jack be the official judge; I trust him to be fair and impartial.

            The clock is ticking………………

            • P.S. Chris, You owe me nothing if you cannot produce the hard evidence. This is an entirely one sided bet, I bet you can’t do it, and I’m willing to eat crow and pay if you are able to do it. You have absolutely nothing to loose, money wise.

            • Chris

              I never claimed to have “proof” or “hard evidence.” I claimed it was a logical conclusion from the available evidence, and I’ve given you the reasons why I have come to this conclusion. You are free to come to a different conclusion. But your position and Jack’s position has been that mine is irrational, hysterical, and motivated purely by bias and partisan hatred; this is an unjustifiable smear, for the reasons I have already presented. If you find those reasons illogical, explain why or ignore my comments. But continuing to respond while ignoring every point I have raised just to say that my points aren’t even worth addressing is rude and unpersuasive.

              • Chris,
                Your delusion has consumed you.

                Get help.

                • Chris

                  Zoltar,

                  Be specific. Is it “delusional” to believe that Trump is petty, and likes to go after people he believes threaten him? Is it “delusional” to believe he is obsessed with dominance? Is it “delusional” to believe he turns on people as soon as they start criticizing him?

                  All of these are verifiable character traits of the president that have been noted by both conservative and liberal commenters here, as well as by the blogmaster.

                  I am merely saying that I find it likely that these are the traits that led Trump to fire Comey. I am aware there were legitimate reasons for a sensible person to fire him. I have also explained that none of those reasons can plausibly account for Trump’s decision, for various reasons.

                  My theory does not require Trump to be guilty of any specific crime related to the Russia investigation. It is of course possible that Trump is innocent of any wrongdoing in that case, but still decided to fire Comey because he believes the investigation is making him look bad. (Comments made by sources inside the White House, which I linked to below, also strongly suggest this is the case.)

                  So again, I ask you to explain to me what part of my comments you see as being not just wrong, but “delusional.”

                  • Chris wrote, “Be specific.”

                    If you want specific, I’ll give you specific.

                    Delusional
                    An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument.

                    Logic
                    1. A particular way of thinking, esp. one that is reasonable and based on good judgment. 2. A formal, scientific method of examining or thinking about ideas.

                    Obsess
                    Preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually, intrusively, and to a troubling extent.

                    That which you call logic, logical people call delusional conspiracy theories. Your arguments trying to support your theory are shifting all over the map, which is a trait of a troll. You have completely fallen off the reality bandwagon with your conspiracy theories and it appears that you are obsessed when you use poor judgement to unreasonably elevate that which is clearly theory over that which is fact. You started with a conclusion that only a partisan hack would dream up (lots of partisan hacks out there like you) and you’re wasting valuable character capital with your obsession to support that which cannot be reasonably supported with facts. You are not using logic; in fact you are illogically ignoring actual facts, you are illogically favoring conspiracy theories over actual fact, you are illogically trying to support theory over fact which weakens your character; none of what you are doing is logical, it shows an irrational obsessed adherence to a delusion constructed in a conspiracy theory; in other words, your delusion has consumed you.

                    After our history of debating; it was terribly foolish of you to ask me to be specific about how your delusion has consumed you.

                    Seek help.

                    • Chris

                      Dear god; that’s what you think being specific is? I even gave you hints!

                      You have had multiple opportunities to address my specific claims and have failed every single one.

                      It is not true that my conclusion about the Comey firing “An idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument.” Perhaps your own echo chamber is making you see it as such, but in fact my conclusion is shared by prominent conservative and libertarian writers such as Ken White (Popehat), Cathy Young, Jennifer Rubin and David French. Are these people “Democrat partisan hacks?” They’ll be surprised to find that out.

                      You’ve offered nothing but name-calling and emotionalism in these threads, Zoltar. Do better.

  2. Chris

    1. The New York Times biased reporting is even worse than I thought. Today’s print edition has a “Saturday Night Massacre” size headline screaming:

    TRUMP FIRES COMEY AMID RUSSIA INQUIRY
    This is deceit, and, as I noted before, yellow journalism. It is technically accurate, but misleading and false anyway. Trump also fired Comey in May, “amid” the North Korea crisis, and while the Orioles were playing the Nationals. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Comey’s firing had anything to do with the Russia investigation except this: Comey thoroughly botched the last major investigation the FBI was engaged in.

    This is denial, Jack, on a level I cannot comprehend.

    Let’s say for a moment that you are right that Trump did not fire Comey because Comey was investigating him. This requires abandoning every single thing we know about who Donald Trump is as a person, but fine. The headline “TRUMP FIRES COMEY AMID RUSSIA INQUIRY” would still be accurate and fair, just as the headline “CLINTON FIRES COMEY AMID EMAIL INVESTIGATION” would be in the alternate universe where Clinton won and fired Comey. The fact that the president fired the person in charge of investigating his campaign’s ties with Russia is relevant and significant even if that was not the reason for the firing. This is so obvious I can’t believe I’m being forced to explain it.

    2. Many have noted that President Hillary would have fired Comey within seconds of taking office, or as close to that as possible. This is doubtlessly true. It is also true that Republicans would probably be attacking her with as much fury and blatant hypocrisy as Democrats are attacking the firing now.

    It is not doubtlessly true, as charles already explained on the other thread.

    3. I have been working on a “100 Days” overview of the ethics score since President Trump took office. In general, it is both remarkable and disturbing how closely the President’s actual performance tracks with my expectations, as explained over the last two years. One aspect of this mostly negative assessment that is undeniably positive, however is that President Trump, unlike his predecessor, does not fear making decisions, and makes them despite the amount of criticism he knows will be coming, especially from the news media. (The previous President knew that he had nothing to fear from the news media, since it was invested in making him seem successful and wise even when he wasn’t.)

    My god. According to the several WH sources, the Trump team was stunned by the criticism they’re receiving; Trump apparently thought everyone would be happy by this firing. He was similarly stunned by the reaction to many of his other actions. This is not a man who ” does not fear making decisions, and makes them despite the amount of criticism he knows will be coming, especially from the news media,” which makes him sound far more noble and principled than you know he is; this is a man who literally can’t fathom why anyone would like him, and throws a pity party any time he’s criticized.

    5. Rosenstein’s memo is remarkable in that it examines Comey from a decidedly non-partisan viewpoint, criticizing, for example, his public statement regarding the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton, a statement that Democrats hated and the the GOP mostly loved, even though it did not love the decision itself.,

    I want you to tell us, Jack, whether or not you think the reasons Rosenstein outlined are the actual reasons Trump decided to fire him. You have avoided this point completely, as if it doesn’t matter. Tell us: do you seriously believe that Trump fired Comey because he was unfair to Hillary Clinton?

    • Chris

      *this is a man who literally can’t fathom why anyone would NOT like him.

    • 1. “My god. According to the several WH sources, the Trump team was stunned by the criticism they’re receiving; Trump apparently thought everyone would be happy by this firing. He was similarly stunned by the reaction to many of his other actions. This is not a man who ” does not fear making decisions, and makes them despite the amount of criticism he knows will be coming, especially from the news media,” which makes him sound far more noble and principled than you know he is; this is a man who literally can’t fathom why anyone would like him, and throws a pity party any time he’s criticized.”

      You really are deluded. Trump constantly complains that he is unfairly criticized no matter what he does, and now you say he expects everything to be cheered? What color is the sky on your planet?

      2. “Tell us: do you seriously believe that Trump fired Comey because he was unfair to Hillary Clinton?”

      If anyone I didn’t know better wrote that sentence, I would assume he was a moron. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, is that thought evident or hinted at in what I wrote, or anything even close.

      Tell you what: I’m going to repost that sentence to every post you make on that topic, because it is signature significance for someone so biased that they can’t see straight regarding anything Trump. Kind of like the plague warnings on houses during the Black Death. Nothing personal.

      • Chris

        You really are deluded. Trump constantly complains that he is unfairly criticized no matter what he does, and now you say he expects everything to be cheered? What color is the sky on your planet?

        I am saying that because Trump’s advisers said it. He expects everything to be cheered, and then when it isn’t, he complains. How was that a hard argument to follow?

        If anyone I didn’t know better wrote that sentence, I would assume he was a moron. Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, is that thought evident or hinted at in what I wrote, or anything even close.

        That’s what it said in the Rosenstein memo, and Roger Stone also repeated it on Twitter. Again, you are condemning me for giving you the Trump team’s own explanations for his behavior.

        Tell you what: I’m going to repost that sentence to every post you make on that topic,

        Please do; it will serve as a reminder of how you defended the Trump administration’s justifications without even knowing what they were.

  3. Wayne

    I just knew that the Demos would just have to make political capital on Comey’s firing and couple it to Watergate. Thank you Chuckie Schumer and your partisan buddies in the media.

  4. Other Bill

    I know you can’t include everything everyone says or does on a matter Jack, but I really think Robby Mook deserves to be included in this cast of characters:

    “Surprised I’m saying this, but I don’t see how this bodes well for the Russia investigation,” Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook tweeted Tuesday, following news that Comey had been removed form office. “Twilight zone. I was as disappointed and frustrated as anyone at how the email investigation was handled. But this terrifies me.”

    http://time.com/4773321/james-comey-fired-hillary-clinton-robby-mook-john-podesta/

    What are all these people so afraid of? They’re over using “fear” and its synonyms. I suppose this is truly fear mongering. And here the Dems have been selling themselves as the rational adults in the room, as opposed to the lunatic Republicans and Evangelicals.

  5. A definitive question for those desperately and ineffectively arguing that it was somehow wrong for Trump to fire Comey:

    Are you arguing that a President Of The United States, having concluded that a key, powerful official in a critical law enforcement capacity is no longer trusted by the public and cannot do his job properly, should nonetheless NOT fire that official if he knows his critics will use it to attack him?

    • If Trump hadn’t fired Comey, I wonder what the Dems would be foaming at the mouth saying about his attitude towards the man.

    • Rusty Rebar

      I think they are saying”

      “a President Of The United States, having concluded that a key, powerful official in a critical law enforcement capacity is no longer trusted by the public and cannot do his job properly, should nonetheless NOT fire that official if he knows his critics will use it to attack him? But this only applies if they are named Donald Trump.

    • Chris

      Are you arguing that a President Of The United States, having concluded that a key, powerful official in a critical law enforcement capacity is no longer trusted by the public and cannot do his job properly, should nonetheless NOT fire that official if he knows his critics will use it to attack him?

      If there is evidence that these are not the reasons he fired him, and if the complaints of his critics are legitimate, then yes.

      • Glenn Logan

        There is no such evidence. None. Only fever dreams, speculation, and desperate hopes against reason.

        Chris, you have jumped not only the shark (along with most of the Left), but the entire lake and landed on the moon. You can drop the rope now.

        Sorry for the loss of your sanity. In your current state, though, I doubt you’ll miss it.

        • Chris

          I’ve presented the evidence, piece by piece. I’ve shown why every single reason presented in the Rosenstein memo is unconvincing as a reason for Trump to fire him. So far, no one has actually engaged my points–you’ve all just called me a deranged liberal, even though my position is identical to notable conservative writers such as Cathy Young, Ken White (Popehat), and David French. If you would like to address my specific pieces of evidence and explain why they’re unconvincing, you can do so in reply to several of my comments on this post and the prior one.

          • This is so silly, Chris. You haven’t proved a thing. Did you read the post about the FBI notes on Hillary’s testimony? Gross incompetence AND the appearance of impropriety. That alone justified firing Comey, as did his testimony this week, as does, all by itself, the polls that show that nobody trusts him. That’s enough.

            He should have resigned.

            • Chris

              I never said I proved anything, and you are still using the passive voice:

              “That alone justified firing Comey”

              I already acknowledged there were valid reasons to fire Comey; you refuse to address whether those reasons were Trump’s reasons, because you cannot make the case that they were. It’s been a day and I’ve given you multiple opportunities, and you still can’t bring yourself to say “Trump fired Comey because __________.” Again, I suspect it’s because you know Rosenstein’s reasons were not Trump’s reasons. Some of them–such as his false claims which made Clinton look worse in last week’s congressional hearings–could not *possibly* be Trump’s reasons.

              I think you know this.

              • Chris wrote, “I already acknowledged there were valid reasons to fire Comey”

                Charles wrote, “The truth behind Comey’s firing is that Trump thinks he’s a mob boss, and the government exists to do his personal bidding. That’s the only valid explanation…” My bold emphasis.

                You and Charles need to get your story straight.

                • Chris

                  Aside from the fact that you’ve neglected the possibility charles and I disagree on something, those two statements don’t even contradict each other. In context, that’s even clearer:

                  “I already acknowledged there were valid reasons to fire Comey; you refuse to address whether those reasons were Trump’s reasons, because you cannot make the case that they were.”

                  It’s clear I was drawing a distinction between “valid reasons to fire Comey” and “Trump’s reasons for firing Comey.” It’s also clear Charles was referring to Trump’s decision to fire Comey when he said his personal vendetta was the only valid explanation for why Trump fired him.

                  Read better.

                • charlesgreen

                  The story’s very straight: and now it’s confirmed by Trump itself. The decision he made had nothing to do with the document he sent out, prepared by Rosenstein. He said, basically, “I had made up my mind to fire him regardless of what that memo said.”

                  I think the best way to determine the “real” reason Trump fired him is, first, to discount every reason he or his people actually. He said, then denied, that it was based on Rosenstein’s memo. They said it was based on bad morale at the FBI: turns out that’s not true. He said in his letter it was because Comey was unfair to Hillary in his treatment of her emails (I mean really, that one never made it past the laugh test).

                  If you look at all the reporting coming out from people in the White House, it was because a) Trump couldn’t control Comey, b) he was outraged at the continuous coverage of the Russia investigation. Pretty much that. And he figured he could just fire the guy on his own because he wanted to.

                  Everyone agrees he’s quite within his legal rights to do that, even Comey. The real question is did he have any reasonable, sensible, decent reason for doing so? And the answer appears to be no.

                  • “The decision he made had nothing to do with the document he sent out, prepared by Rosenstein.”

                    That’s a bit misleading, no? The reasons listed in the document all may have played a part in Trump deciding he didn’t want the guy. The DOCUMENT didn’t have to convince him. The DOCUMENT just memorialized the fact that the firing was justifiable.

                  • Phenomenal…

                    You have plenty of dealings in the business world and know how management and decisions work.

                    If a superior, capable of observing a situation on his own comes to a conclusion that there is a dozen reasons to make a certain choice, receives from a subordinate a solid justification to make that decision based on those reasons, if the superior decides on his own judgment independent of the subordinate’s recommendation to go with his choice and THEN states that his subordinates’ input didn’t sway him, does not mean he still didn’t use the same reasons his subordinate outlined.

                    Your dismissal of the valid reasons borders on desperation.

                    Please, you and Chris are really allowing hate to cloud your objectivity.

                    • Chris

                      Then we’re still left with the anonymous sources from the WH saying that Trump was fired for the exact same reasons we claimed. We are also left with basic logic and observation of Trump’s behavior indicating that these are the reasons he was fired. One does not have to hate Trump to conclude that he is petty and vindictive; you and Jack both know this to be the case, so why are you denying they could have played a role in this case? Your “objectivity” is really just pretentiousness and contrarianism. You want to stick it to the Trump haters. Your bias is clouding your judgment.

  6. Thomas W

    Could Trump appoint Hillary to replace Comey? Because that would be hilarious.

    But on a more serious note, does anyone believe this will actually stop or neuter the investigation? If it won’t, then while I can understand being annoyed surely there’s no reason to get so hyped up, since it will find the [apparently obvious] evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia, and he’ll be impeached and removed anyway, right?

    And if it does kill the investigation, well maybe Trump isn’t completely incompetent like everyone says! Ho ho!

    Ahem, sorry for the levity.

    • since it will find the [apparently obvious] evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia, and he’ll be impeached and removed anyway, right?

      I couldn’t tell whether this was levity or stupidity…

      • Thomas W

        Well, those saying Trump is obviously attempting to defuse the investigation, also appear to be those who believe Trump is obviously guilty of collusion. Since they can be so certain means the evidence must be solid right? Putting “apparently obvious” in square brackets was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to that. Feel free to edit for clarity. Levity fail I guess.

  7. Ash

    If I were President Francis Underwood, I would offer the role of FBI Director to the one person unique qualified: Secretary Hillary Clinton.

    That would kill all the birds with one stone.

    And worse, my guess is she would accept the position.

    • Ash

      I guess Thomas W got there first… But I think should Secretary Clinton accept, we would find that careerist Clinton ever the opportunist would find the Russian stuff was just misunderstanding.

  8. DC Guy

    Here are the two difficulties I’m having with this. (And let me say, right off the bat, that I have read the Rosenstein memo and find it, standing alone, entirely convincing.)

    1. Timing. Rosenstein was sworn in on April 26, and it’s of course entirely reasonable for an important but time-sensitive decision such as this to take two weeks. The FBI director reports to the deputy AG, so all things being equal it would be reasonable to wait for Rosenstein to get sworn in to conduct the review. But this is about the ability of the entire department to function. The name of the memo is “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.” Why was Comey left in his position for four months? Why did Trump make public statements in support of Comey as recently as a week ago? If the Trump administration truly believed Comey had committed these serious transgressions, but wanted to wait for Rosenstein to get sworn in, why not put Comey on a leave of absence? Their actions reasonably, although not definitively, lead to the conclusion that the administration’s issues with Comey are recent, not longstanding.

    2. Propriety. I do not dispute the notion that Comey’s actions, as laid out in the Rosenstein memo, warrant termination. But given the existence of the Russia investigation, this strikes me as an improper way to carry out the termination. It certainly raises the appearance of impropriety, which in and of itself is bad. A clear plan to maintain the independence and reliability of the investigation should have been formulated and disclosed by the administration prior to the termination. And it’s correct for the President’s political opponents to point this out — merely because they wanted Comey terminated for the reasons laid out in the Rosenstein memo, does not mean they must automatically agree with the method chosen for the termination (i.e., sudden and without a plan to maintain the independence of the investigation).

    • Chris

      It certainly raises the appearance of impropriety, which in and of itself is bad.

      The appearance of impropriety doesn’t apply to Trump.

      • DC Guy

        I know I’m not the ethicist around here, but it seems to me that ethics are really just a set of norms, and the way norms change is by repeated, overt violation with no pushback. For example, as I understand it, it was once considered unethical to charge interest; slowly but surely, individuals and entities engaged in creeping violations of that norm, until today, when we don’t bat an eye at it. Similarly, Trump’s unethical conduct will result in the erosion of the relevant norms unless we engage in systematic, consistent pushback. Otherwise the violations become accepted, then the ethical norm vanishes. So it does no good to throw up one’s hands and say “well, that’s just Trump.”

        • Hence the reason I opposed Trump’s election. But if critics cannot distinguish between actual bad conduct and conduct called unethical because of anti-Trump bias, then they make the standard setting process impossible. For example, once Democrats joined me in protesting Trump’s incivility and vulgarity as a public figure. Now Tom Perez, progressive performers, Senator Harris and Gillibrand are talking more vulgarity that he is. The current standard being pushed is: whatever we progressives and Democrats do is right, but if anyone else does it, it’s wrong.

          That’s not a standard. That’s bias.
          Also stupid.

          • Chris

            But if critics cannot distinguish between actual bad conduct and conduct called unethical because of anti-Trump bias, then they make the standard setting process impossible.

            Yes, and in this case you are the one who can’t make the distinction. Firing the FBI director who is currently investigating one’s campaign is bad conduct. My position would be exactly the same if it were Hillary who was doing so.

            For example, once Democrats joined me in protesting Trump’s incivility and vulgarity as a public figure. Now Tom Perez, progressive performers, Senator Harris and Gillibrand are talking more vulgarity that he is.

            Here you are absolutely right.

            • If Comey deserved to be fired, firing him cannot be misconduct. Nice, simple, undeniable.

              • DC Guy

                That sounds nice but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There are plenty of incompetent, improper, and/or unethical ways to fire someone who deserves to be fired. A manager that fires a bad employee by screaming at him in front of the office and bodily throws the employee out is behaving badly. A company that fires its CEO with no plan for succession of leadership is acting incompetently, even if that CEO deserved to be fired. The proper course is to put a plan in place for a transfer of leadership, then fire the bad CEO. A president who fires someone in charge of investigating him presents a clear conflict of interest and must be handled properly.

                In short, an ethical course of action can become unethical if not handled carefully and with due consideration.

                • Chris

                  And of course, firing an incompetent employee because they refuse to sleep with you is misconduct, even if the employee deserved to be fired. I can think of plenty of other examples where firing an employee who deserves to be fired is the wrong thing to do.

    • Emily

      “Why was Comey left in his position for four months? Why did Trump make public statements in support of Comey as recently as a week ago? If the Trump administration truly believed Comey had committed these serious transgressions, but wanted to wait for Rosenstein to get sworn in, why not put Comey on a leave of absence? Their actions reasonably, although not definitively, lead to the conclusion that the administration’s issues with Comey are recent, not longstanding.”

      I’ve been wanting to respond to this point, specifically. It remains to be seen if this is the case with Trump, but I know that often in private business when you have someone who’s getting fired, you wait until the last possible minute to let them know something is off. There’s a perfectly good reason for this: it doesn’t give them time to cause trouble on their way out. And sometimes, that requires leaving them alone until your ducks are in a row; until you have someone to take over the position, until you have evidence of wrongdoing, until it becomes blindingly obvious that they’re going to screw something up that irreparably.

      I’ll be curious to see how fast Trump moves after this, but it’s entirely possible that he handled this exactly the same way he would have handled a board member who was causing bad PR and about to oversee a major deal: smile and pat his back until the second he could drop the axe.

      Whether or not that’s the proper attitude in government is another matter, but Trump wasn’t elected for his government experience.

  9. It isn’t worth a post, but there are also legitimate reasons to fire Comey related to the Russia investigation.

    Comey demonstrated in the last leg of the Clinton investigation, as well as his sloppy handling on immunity deals and Clinton’s interview, that he is fully capable of sending the wrong signals and mishandling sensitive matters so there is widespread public confusion. Even assuming 100% that Trump personally has nothing to hide, he could legitimately worry about Comey doing or saying something that made him look bad, or that gave more ammunition to his sworn enemies in the news media. And, of course, there would be no way to cite that concern without it being twisted into an admission of guilt.

    • Glenn Logan

      Not to mention the possibility that he might make up hyperbolic statements out of whole cloth like he did before congress the other day vis a vis Anthony Weiner receiving Hillary’s emails from Huma Abedin.

  10. Chris

    Jack, there are two relevant facts here that you have demonstrated ignorance of in these conversations:

    1) That the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign–you said they were only investigating Russian hacking.

    2) That Rosenstein cited Comey’s unfair treatment of Clinton in his memo–you not only didn’t know this, you called it “signature significance” when I brought it up.

    Does knowing these facts change your estimation at all?

  11. Chris

    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…

    …Trump had grown angry with the Russia investigation — particularly Comey admitting in front of the Senate that the FBI was investigating his campaign — and that the FBI director wouldn’t support his claims that President Barack Obama had tapped his phones in Trump Tower.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/10/comey-firing-trump-russia-238192

  12. Jack,

    Does this post (combined with the one that started it) now equal the all time comment generating post?

    Man do we disagree (as a blog commentator group) on this one!

  13. Byron York on how the timeline seems to have played out. Of course, nobody who want to believe that there has to be a massive Trump/Russia conspiracy will believe it, but it makes sense: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-to-fire-comey-trump-team-waited-for-rosenstein/article/2622655

    • Chris

      From your Washington Examiner link:

      Of course, it is not news that people in the Trump circle are sometimes surprised by what the president says. It’s also not news that when Trump says something, it’s entirely possible that his organization, in this case the administration, is working on policy that is entirely different. “That’s Trump saying stuff because he says stuff,” says a Justice Department veteran who is not in the Trump circle. “And underneath, the policy is being made.”

      This seems to support my contention. I have no doubt that the members of Trump’s team had all sorts of reasons for wanting Comey gone, some valid, some personal. But what this quote says is that the motivations of Trump’s team do not always line up with the motivations of Trump. And at the end of the day, he is the one who made this decision. Looking at the list of reasons in the Rosenstein memo, many of them are perfectly valid. They also do not ring true as reasons why President Donald Trump made the decision to fire him.

      Also from that article:

      Certainly others did. In the first days of the administration, Michael Mukasey, attorney general under President George W. Bush, called on the president to fire Comey over Comey’s mishandling of the Clinton case. Later, in March, Mukasey appeared on Fox, where Bartiromo asked him, “Are you surprised Jim Comey is still on his job?”

      “I thought that the opportunity to ask him to leave was when the new administration came in,” Mukasey said.

      “That didn’t happen.”

      Exactly. Even if Trump’s reasons for firing Comey were legitimate, firing him while Comey is investigating him (and he is–investigating the Trump campaign means investigating Trump) creates the appearance of impropriety.

      • Glenn Logan

        No, he’s not investigating Trump. You know this, yet you continue to live in this fantasy world. The campaign is not being investigated either, as far as anyone knows. What is being investigated is Russian interference in the election.

        • Chris

          Glenn, I have to thank you for your comment, as it reveals that Jack is not the only one who somehow does not know that the Trump campaign is being investigated. I am not quite sure how that’s possible, and I’ve already corrected Jack on that matter, but anyway:

          “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Comey said at the time. “As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”

          https://www.google.com/amp/www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/amp/what-you-need-know-about-trump-comey-russia-probe-n757191

          Please do not repeat the false claim that Trump is not under investigation again.

          • From the same link:

            There’s also no indication as to whether Trump himself is part of the probe. Trump stated in a short letter announcing Comey’s firing on Tuesday that the FBI director had informed him three times the president was “not under investigation,” but there is no confirmation yet as to whether that’s true.

            Nor has any evidence surfaced suggesting coordination or anything illegal.

            You, however, simply assume that the President fired Comey to hide something or protect himself. I’m sure he’s angry that there is still noise about this, which, again, has as much validity as the birther charges against Obama, and exists for the same reason, but on a much broader and widely supported scale thanks to the news media:an attempt to illegitimize a duly elected President.

            You see, it’s real simple, Chris: since Trump has nothing to fear from the Russian investigation except interference with his ability to do his job, that wasn’t the reason to fire Comey, who has do many other strikes against him. Since you, without any evidence and against all logic, just assume the President committed treason, then of course the President was terrified of the investigation, and thus whacked Comey. Self-ratifying delusion! (Never mind that whacking Comey won’t affect the investigation at all.)

            • Glenn Logan

              Damn, Jack, you beat me to it by this ______ much! 🙂

              • Chris

                Jack, Glenn claimed Trump’s campaign was not being investigated. I proved that false.

                You have previously claimed that the leader of a campaign bears responsibility for the actions of that campaign, full stop. I believe you did this when discussing Hillary Clinton’s responsibility for the birther rumors, which were started by a low level campaign staffer who was fired, and whom she immediately distanced herself from.

                If this is still your position, then you need to concede that your statement that the FBI is not investigating Trump was also false. If you have changed your position, I’d be interested to know how and why.

                As far as I’m aware, the charge that Obama was born in Kenya was never investigated by the FBI, unlike the charge that members of Trump’s staff collided with Russia. That the latter is being investigated by the FBI and the former was not automatically gives the latter more credibility than the former. Furthermore, Obama immediately provided proof that he was born in Hawaii in the form of a legal Hawaiian birth certificate in 2008; the only people who did not accept that proof were idiots. Now, to be fair to Trump, he can’t prove a negative; there is no legal document he can provide to prove he didn’t collude with Russia. But your analogy is still weak on the basis that Obama disproved the allegation immediately, and Trump has not (not necessarily through any fault of his own).

                And I’ve assumed nothing; nowhere have I stated as fact that Trump colluded with Russia. You know what the “appearance of impropriety” is, so I don’t know why you are pretending not to now, nor do I know why you are pretending I haven’t made it clear that Trump’s actions here could be nothing but that. I have said multiple times that it’s possible Trump is guilty of no collusion, but that even if this is the case, his firing of Comey here is still wrong because it looks bad. I’ve also explained that even if he has nothing to fear, he still has a tendency to exact vengeance on anyone who critiques him or makes him look bad; I’ll thank you to not make me explain this again.

                You think this makes me a partisan hack even though this position is shared by Ben Sasse, Ken White, Cathy Young and David French, among other conservative intellectuals; explain that. Your repeated insistence that my position here is pure partisan bias is an unjustified smear. You owe me an apology.

                • Warren

                  Jack says: “Since Trump has nothing to fear from the Russian investigation except interference with his ability to do his job, that wasn’t the reason to fire Comey, who has do many other strikes against him.”

                  I’m sorry, but this is prima facie bullshit. I’m amazing at the contortions this blog is going to in order to defend the transparently nonsensical rationale behind this firing. It’s depressing.

          • Glenn Logan

            Fine, I’ll repeat what your own link says, that you omitted for the sake of creating a false context:

            There’s also no indication as to whether Trump himself is part of the probe. Trump stated in a short letter announcing Comey’s firing on Tuesday that the FBI director had informed him three times the president was “not under investigation,” but there is no confirmation yet as to whether that’s true.

            What remains unsaid by this biased article is that Trump, as far as the authors know, is not under investigation. Furthermore, the word “campaign” in Comey’s context is explicitly individuals “associated” with Trump, but apparently not part of his inner circle. So his loose formulation doesn’t support your conclusion, or your own statements except in the weakest and most stretched possible interpretation.

            You are so transparently biased against Trump that you can’t imagine that he didn’t help the Russians. You’re sure of it. You don’t need to be convinced, or care if there is ever proof. You know that Trump is guilty. You know because your bias demands it, and you have sold out, 100% to that bias.

            If bias makes you stupid, brother, you are bordering on brain-death.

            Furthermore, Comey recently said that Humma Abedin forwarded, I believe the paraphrase was, “hundreds of thousands” of emails to Anthony Weiner. That was false.

            So we should believe the assertion you linked because… oh, that’s right — we shouldn’t on the basis of prior false statements. But you will, because your bias makes it impossible for you to believe otherwise.

            Comey deserved to be fired for a lot of reasons, and any honest person aware of the facts would agree with that. And just for your information, if Trump was trying to stop the Russia investigation, the subpoenas recently issued by a federal grand jury should ally your hyperpartisan fears. Apparently, the deputy director of the FBI didn’t get the memo.

            I will believe your fever dreams as soon as I see proof, not left-liberal generalizations and shark-jumping. Not one minute before.

            You should have the same position, but as I said, bias has made you impervious to reason, and therefore, stupid.

            • Chris

              See my response to Jack above. I have never claimed to “know” Trump is guilty of collusion, and I have made that clear multiple times; you’re choosing to ignore that in order to paint me as a partisan hack even though my position is identical to that of numerous conservative writers.

              You claimed Trump’s campaign was not being investigated by Comey. You were wrong. You need to admit that.

              If you believe Trump fired Comey because he misstated a fact about the email investigation that made Clinton look worse, you are an idiot.

              • Glenn Logan

                The investigation is counterintelligence, not criminal. Try reading your own link. If you don’t know what that means, google is your friend.

                Meanwhile, how is the weather on the moon these days? Looks cold to me.

                • Chris

                  The investigation is counterintelligence, not criminal. Try reading your own link. If you don’t know what that means, google is your friend.

                  Meanwhile, how is the weather on the moon these days? Looks cold to me.

                  Did you really just move the goalposts a mile and then do a victory dance?

                  Your claim was that Trump’s campaign was not being investigated–period. You never specified whether you meant a counterintelligence or criminal investigation until now. An investigation is an investigation. You said there was none. You were wrong. And now you’re bringing the word “criminal” into it, which neither of us ever said, and acting like you were right all along? What the fuck is wrong with you?

              • Glenn Logan

                Oh, and I don’t believe Trump fired Comey because of Clinton, although I do believe that it was a perfectly good reason. I believe he fired Comey because his execution of the job was deplorable, was making a politically-charged debate more opaque and confusing, failed to treat his boss with the respect the office is due, and allowed copious leaks from his personnel to damage the effort of president Trump to do his job.

                Why Trump wrote what he did is one of the great mysteries that only he can answer. The real reason was that Trump was fed up with the mess he was making. I acknowledge the possibility that it could’ve also been as an attempt to cover up something damning, but only under the rubric that “anything is possible.” Rosenstein’s analysis was perfectly reasonable, almost universally acknowledged as analytically solid and nonpartisan. Whether that was the actual basis of Trump’s decision, Trump’s festering anger with Comey’s malfeasance, or Hillary Clinton’s botched email investigation, or the support Comey was giving to Trump’s critics in front of every available camera is facially irrelevant. Trump was unhappy with Comey, who serves at Trump’s pleasure, and Trump fired him. How it looks is something Trump should be used to dealing with by now; everything he does seems to outrage somebody.

                Finally, when you write about “investigation,” it’s clear you are implying criminal investigation of wrongdoing. But fair enough, you deserve the acknowledgement that I was too general and nonspecific when I said his campaign wasn’t being investigated. My point would be that it’s not the kind of investigation that causes me concern about Trump; rather, it causes me concern that our country is vulnerable to such manipulation, and our defenses are apparently not up to the task.

                But technically, you were right and I was wrong. Congratulations, you win a wink and a hearty handshake.

                • Chris

                  Finally, when you write about “investigation,” it’s clear you are implying criminal investigation of wrongdoing.

                  It really doesn’t; all it means is that when you and Jack said there was no investigation into Trump, you were demonstrating total ignorance of this subject while at the same time lecturing me about how I’m a delusional idiot for believing he was being investigated…even though he is, in fact, being investigated.

                  That said, I appreciate your acknowledgment that you were wrong on this matter, and I apologize for my previous outburst–I had not yet read this comment of yours.

                  I await a similar acknowledgment from Jack; I’m also still waiting for him to apologize for calling my correct claim that Rosenstein cited Comey being unfair to Hillary as a reason for his firing “signature significance.”

                  • Glenn Logan

                    It really doesn’t; all it means is that when you and Jack said there was no investigation into Trump, you were demonstrating total ignorance of this subject while at the same time lecturing me about how I’m a delusional idiot for believing he was being investigated…even though he is, in fact, being investigated. [my emphasis]

                    Well, now you owe me an apology in the same vein. Trump is not under investigation as far as we know. Other people involved in his campaign are persons of interest in a counterintelligence investigation, not Trump himself. Both facts are subject to change, I’m sure, but as of now, we know of no investigation of Trump. Comey has made us aware of a counterintelligence investigation involving his campaign, but the two are not the same thing and cannot be accurately conflated.

                    That said, I appreciate your acknowledgment that you were wrong on this matter, and I apologize for my previous outburst–I had not yet read this comment of yours.

                    This isn’t tiddlywinks, so no apology for the outburst is necessary. Believe me, I’ve suffered, and delivered, much worse. But it probably wouldn’t hurt a thing if both of us dialed back the rhetoric, and for my part I will. It doesn’t do any good to get too exercised about all this.
                    Jack can speak for himself, but I have a feeling his objections are along a similar line, which is to say the conflation of Trump and people involved in his campaign.

                    • Chris

                      “the two are not the same thing and cannot be accurately conflated.”

                      I don’t agree (and neither did Jack back when Trump was blaming Hillary for things her campaign staffers did); it is fair to hold Trump responsible for the actions of his campaign. Therefore, if his campaign is being investigated, then it’s fair to say Trump is being investigated.

                      Furthermore, Comey did not rule out that Trump was being investigated. He said “individuals associated with Trump’s campaign” were being investigated. This could very well include Trump; I can understand why Comey may not have wanted it to be public knowledge that the president himself was being investigated, and thus chose this phrase. He has never claimed publicly that Trump was not under investigation; now that Trump has claimed publicly that Comey told him he was not under investigation, we will probably get confirmation on this soon.

                      But again, I believe it’s fair to say he’s being investigation simply because his campaign is. Trump was the face of the Trump campaign. Why would he NOT be investigated if his campaign is?

  14. Clarence

    Nothing is being ‘investigated’ , the whole thing is as much as sham as the various Benghazi investigations (I bet even Jack doesn’t know that some high ranking intelligence Republicans knew about THAT and would have went down with Clinton had a real investigation been done. It wasn’t a one party or one person messup), and mostly consists of taking business ties to Russia (which many people have ) and asserting their is something dark and scary about them. Just like the ‘interference’ in the US election as far as anyone can tell, consists of Wikileaks which proved just how corrupt the Democratic party is. Apparently it’s somehow a bad thing to reveal high level incompetence and corruption now. Unpatriotic, I guess.

  15. I’d also ask Jack to take his time and read THIS and see if he makes a case. There’s also some very well researched posts about not only Comey’s firing but how it connects to the Presidents daily Intelligence briefing which have been some of the ‘leaks’ from the Trump admin.

    Anyway: https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/05/10/the-biggest-political-scandal-the-media-is-missing-it-should-lead-to-congressional-leadership-impeachment-hearings/

  16. From my link: “The people within congress who SHOULD HAVE BEEN notified of the counterintelligence operation are the ‘Gang-of-Eight’: (Ryan, Pelosi, McConnell, Schumer, Nunes, Schiff, Burr and Feinstein/Warner) [*note Warner replaced Feinstein in ’17].

    Director Comey is openly admitting to beginning an intelligence operation/investigation in July 2016 and intentionally not notifying congress until March 2017. In essence, he is completely operating without oversight.

    However, did you hear a single member of the Gang of Eight raise objection to this stunning revelation?

    Comey is admitting to keeping the Go8 in the dark. Comey is admitting to intentionally acting without oversight. Did a single member of the Go8 call for his removal? Did they protest this action? Did they demand to know why he felt empowered to violate the checks-and-balances?

    NO.

    Not a single member of the oversight Gang of Eight raised an eyebrow after this testimony. Why?”

    Why? I’m wondering too. I’m afraid Jack, the corruption within the US Government goes far deeper than many of us want to think possible and that in many ways the Intelligence agencies are entirely out of control. I still can’t figure why people like Chris trust sources like The Post or The Times that rely on the same anonymous intel sources when we know how inept and corrupt Comey has been, and when the Director of the CIA felt free to lie to congress (and suffer no repurcussions thereof). I have to go to other sources like Wikileaks directly, The Intercept (Glenn Greenwalds place) the Pro Trump (for the most part) Breitbart, the Reddit Kotaku In Action (deals with REAL fake news alot due to fighting SJW) and HERE to get balanced perspectives of things.

    • Trump is paying the price as well for personally insulting McCain and Graham. They are petty, and the are angry, and they want their revenge. Trump asked for this, but the are supposed to be statesmen, not middle-schoolers.

      Good comment.

      • Chris

        Are McCain and Graham’s arguments wrong?

        • Glenn Logan

          They are not making arguments; they are expressing opinions. McCain says he is “disappointed,” and that Comey “led the FBI well.” I think that’s facially bullshit, but typical McCain, who has always happy to play ball by the Democrat party’s rules, no matter how unlevel the playing field.

          Graham does not agree with his mentor, however, and supports Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

          “Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” Graham said in a statement Tuesday. “I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”

          Jack can speak for himself, but I agree with Graham and disagree with McCain.

      • Glenn Logan

        Well, to be fair, Trump’s attack on them was petty, angry, etc. also. There’s no vengeance quite as satisfying as “an eye for an eye,” however unethical.

        But to your point, I would expect more from them than Trump. That’s a sad commentary on our president, but I think, a fair one. Too bad they are getting down there in the muck with him, but Trump seems to have that effect on people.

  17. Steve-O-in-NJ

    A lot of people have been comparing Trump’s firing of Comey to the Saturday Night Massacre, where Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was doing his job perhaps too well and getting too close to the ugly truth.

    No one can argue that Comey was doing his job anything like too well. Stopping and then restarting an investigation with huge consequences, conducting an amateurish interview with the very target of that investigation, and giving misleading testimony before Congress is far from even doing the job competently, leave alone too well. That alone was reason enough to get rid of him.

    However, I believe Comey’s unforgivable sin was indulging in the worst kind of politics: the politics where someone makes it all about himself. Another parallel emerges, which usually gets one sentence in the high school history books: Truman’s summary sacking of General Douglas MacArthur.

    One thing about heroes is that they are not supposed to be self-aware of being heroes. We all cast ourselves as the hero of our own story, however, it is dangerous to self-identify as heroic.

    MacArthur, recipient of the nation’s first, second, and third highest awards for gallantry, some of them multiple times, could perhaps justify identifying as a hero. That was still no excuse to defy the orders of his commander-in-chief and attempt to dominate the headlines and influence public opinion himself. No matter how many stars and metals he wore he was still a public servant, not a master. Once he publicly defied Truman’s vision of the war in Korea, he was justifiably finished.

    Comey had developed a far less distinguished record, although still distinguished. However, he had twice done things that involved standing up to or fighting the highest authority in the land. One was speeding through the night to stop then White House counsel Roberto Gonzalez from getting a signature on what he believed to be a dubiously legal order from an ailing John Ashcroft. The other was appointing Patrick Fitzgerald to become special prosecutor on the much overhyped Valerie Plame affair, which accomplished nothing Beyond wasting a great deal of resources and providing endless distraction for the news cycle. He was hailed as a hero both times, not the least because George W Bush was highly unpopular with the media. I believe that, as MacArthur saw himself as the last great captain, Comey may have come to think of himself as the last honest man in Washington. I believe he may have seen this as another chance to play the last honest man, willing to stand up to a president roundly disliked even hated by the media and raise his own profile.

    As Truman could not afford to have his chief field commander going rogue and trying to influence public opinion against him, Trump cannot afford and could not afford to have Comey continuing to posture as the last honest man and the man more ethical than the president while providing endless distraction to the news cycle, which we all know would lap up anything he uncovered, significant or not. In the process though, he lost the support and trust of both parties as well as the administration. Like the much more distinguished MacArthur comma it was unavoidable that he be removed.

  18. charlesgreen

    The meltdown continues.

    Now we know, from Trump himself, that Rosenstein’s memo was a mere fig leaf. Trump says, “I was going to fire him regardless of what the memo said.” In other words, the memo played zero role in his decision. The truth of the memo was irrelevant to Trump’s decision. Which goes to character. You can argue ex post facto that the memo was true, but that is far from the most important question here: which I suggest is the credibility and competence of the President.

    We also know that Trump lied when he repeated that morale and leadership in the FBI was under assault by Comey: Comey had very good leadership scores.

    Finally, note the remarkable fact of the President – again, according to his own testimony – with his asking about investigation.

    If anyone had a problem with Bill Clinton chatting on the plane with AG Lynch – and we all should have such a problem, because he could have directly raised the question of his wife’s investigation – then you must be OUTRAGED the the subject of the investigation himself would directly ask, and admit to it, about whether he himself were under investigation.

    Is this not ten times the conflict facing Bill and Hillary?

    And yet, as I type this, his compromised spokesperson is claiming this is “no conflict at all.”

    This is a clown car, and any attempt to pull ethical decisions out of it are bound to be flawed.

    • This is a clown car, and any attempt to pull ethical decisions out of it are bound to be flawed.

      I have watched this conflagration, and I don’t think we (as in ‘this group) are going to agree on the ethics here. Both sides are convinced (beyond doubt!) they hold the high ground, and my opinion is that this is all swamp.

      How about those Spurs?

    • Chris

      Trump says, “I was going to fire him regardless of what the memo said.”

      This would seem to demolish at least a good 70% of the substance of the arguments made in Trump’s defense here, right? People keep citing the memo as the reason to fire him; now we know it wasn’t. Your point about his high confidence among the FBI knocks out about another 10%.

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