The Comey Testimony, Part I.

I have finally read the transcript, which you should do as well. By now I have also seen a lot of video clips. (James Comey really says, “Lordy!” Wow.)

First, some general observations, with more detailed comments to come in a subsequent post.

1. My earlier expressed opinion of James Comey when I defended him against conservative accusations that he was giving Hillary Clinton an undeserved break by not indicting her were revealed as too generous yesterday. I still believe he is honest and non-partisan. More than ever, I believe that he is untrustworthy. He was obviously in a difficult position—many, in fact—that he was not able to successfully manage, if anyone could have. However, his oft-repeated insistence that he (and his FBI) did not play politics was exposed as false, if not dishonest (a gracious interpretation of the sort that Comey denied the President in his bitter testimony.)

2. The fake Russia collusion narrative pushed by Hillary, Democrats and the news media to simultaneously excuse her loss and undermine the Trump Presidency was killed yesterday, but will wander around like a zombie for months if not years because Trump-haters will not have the integrity to admit they were wrong. Chris Matthews, a once astute and courageous liberal Democrat reporter who morphed into a partisan, knee-jerk progressive shill and anti-Republican scold as soon as he started getting paid by MSNBC, had a sudden flashback to his days of integrity when he pronounced yesterday,

“But the big story has always beenthe assumption of the critics of the president, of his pursuers, you might say, is that somewhere along the line in the last year, the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians. Something to do, a helping hand, encouraging them,feeding their desire, to affect the election in some way, some role they played, some conversation he had with Michael Flynn, or Paul Manafort, or somewhere. And yet what came apart this morning, was that theory, because in two regards the president said according to the written testimony of Mr. Comey, ‘go ahead and get anybody satellite to my operation and nail them, I’m with you on that,’ so that would mean Manafort, Carter Page, someone like that. And then he also came across today what was fascinating, Comey said that basically Flynn wasn’t central to the Russian investigation, that he was touching on it. That there was, of course, Flynn had an honest, we assume, wasn’t honest in his answer on the official forms that he had to fill out to become a national security head.”

But it only touched on that, it wasn’t really related to that. But he could be flipped for that, but in other words, they could flip him because they had him caught on something he dishonestly answered but he wasn’t central to the Russian thing, and I always assumed that Trump was afraid of was that he had said something to Flynn, and Flynn could be flipped on that. And Flynn would testify against the president that he had had some conversation with Flynn in terms of dealing with the Russians affirmatively. And if that’s the case, where’s the there there?”

There is no there there, and never has been. Thus the anti-Trump hysterics are left with what they have always believed was proof enough: Hillary lost, leaked hacks of e-mails that led the public to realize how sleazy the Democrats were should have never been seen by voters, Trump was the beneficiary of the leaks, he had said nice things about Putin, he’s an unethical creep, and a lot of his associates had business contacts with Russia, and besides, they just know Trump is guilty.

That’s not enough; in fact, it’s nothing at all. Matthews as both a lifetime Democrat and a romantic regarding the Presidency and democracy detests Trump to his Irish-American Boston liberal core, but he knows when to get off a bandwagon that will embarrass him if he stays on board, or make it impossible for Chris to look in the mirror.

3. For a lawyer, Comey’s loose use of the term “liar” and his stated belief that he assumed that Trump was a liar early on in their relationship shows a troubling inattentiveness to his own biases, as well as a classic misunderstanding of what it means to lie. Comey said Trump lied about why Comey was fired, for example. Comey has no way of knowing which of the many legitimate reasons for firing him played the biggest role in his firing. He does not know what Trump was thinking, so he cannot assert that Trump lied. He can say that he believes Trump lied, but that is only his opinion: it does not make Trump a liar, and it is not evidence. Last ditch bitter-enders among the Impeach Trump Lynch Mob will be arguing that Comey’s various opinions and reactions prove misconduct by Trump. But lying and obstruction of justice are not like sexual harassment, where a second party, by his or her reactions, determines whether misconduct has taken place. Comey stated that he took Trump’s words that he “hoped” that the FBI would drop the Flynn investigation as a “direction.” He also could have taken it as a marmoset, but that wouldn’t mean that the President meant it as one.

Any time a supervisor says “I hope you do this,” it is a statement of what will make that supervisor happy. (Did Obama ever say to his Treasury Secretary, “I hope the IRS is tough on those tea party groups: they are about as non-partisan as I am!”?) Nevertheless, it leaves the decision in the hands of the subordinate.

4. Comey came off like a classic disgruntled former employee, and I’ve interviewed many of them, angry that he was fired and determined to do as much damage to his former supervisor as possible on the way out the door.

I thought he was better than that.  Guess not.

5. Comey’s revelation that Attorney General Loretta Lynch told him to call the Clinton investigation a “matter” rather than an investigation proves that the Justice Department was playing politics and trying to cover for Hillary Clinton while boosting her election prospects.  That was not an obstruction of justice, but it was a violation of Lynch’s duty to the American public, and one more example of the corruption of the Justice Department and the Obama administration which the news media never thought was worth investigating. The conversation shatters Lynch’s credibility, especially regarding the real content of her tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, why didn’t straight shooter Comey memorialize this in his diary?

6. I confess, I laughed out loud when Comey dropped this bomb, thinking of all those Hillary and Obama worshiping Democrats out there, wishing and hoping and staring at their TVs convinced that Comey would reveal the dark rot in the Trump Presidency, and being slapped in the face with the Obama/Justice Department/Clinton corruption instead.

7.  Although so many scoffed at the President’s statement that he was not under investigation for collusion with Russia and told three times by Comey he was not, Comey confirmed what “the liar” Trump said was true. Comey also agreed that The New York Times and other media outlets reported false or misleading assessments of  the Russia investigation.

8. Comey’s testimony added more support for the conclusions that Trump is a frighteningly naive and inept tyro politician, doesn’t understand the difference between the Presidency and being a CEO, is an ambiguous and sloppy communicator, does not engender trust in his employees, is looked on by contempt by holdovers and keeps harming himself with idiotic and impulsive tweets.

I wouldn’t stop the presses for any of this, as it isn’t exactly news. Nor is it impeachable conduct. Nor is it tolerable, and the urgency of the President getting someone on baord who can professionalize the mess is more obvious than ever.

9. Comey leaked his own memo to the media (through a law professor friend) , in response, he said, to Trump’s ambiguous tweet. This was the most damning revelation in the whole testimony. Law professor Jonathan Turley raised many fascinating points, legal and ethical, on his blog yesterday:

The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents.  Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress.  They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.

The admission of leaking the memos … creates a curious scene of a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.

Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information.  Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”

There are also ethical and departmental rules against the use of material to damage a former represented person or individual or firm related to prior representation. The FBI website states:

Dissemination of FBI information is made strictly in accordance with provisions of the Privacy Act; Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a; FBI policy and procedures regarding discretionary release of information in accordance with the Privacy Act; and other applicable federal orders and directives.”

Lawyers generally ask for clients or employers to release information, particularly when it may be detrimental to the firm or the client or someone associated with your prior representation….  Moreover, if Comey was sure of his right to release the memo, why use a law professor to avoid fingerprints?

…Would Director Comey have approved such a rule for FBI agents?  Thus, an agent can prepare a memo during office hours on an FBI computer about a meeting related to his service . . . but leak that memo to the media.  The Justice Department has long defined what constitutes government documents broadly.  It is not clear if Comey had the documents reviewed for classification at the confidential level or confirmed that they would be treated as entirely private property.  What is clear is that he did not clear the release of the memos with anyone in the government.

Comey’s statement of a good motivation does not negate the concerns over his chosen means of a leak.  Moreover, the timing of the leak most clearly benefited Comey not the cause of a Special Counsel.  It was clear at that time that a Special Counsel was likely.  More importantly, Comey clearly understood that these memos would be sought.  That leads inevitably to the question of both motivation as well as means.

Comey revealed, at very least, that his judgment was questionable on this as well as other matters….which is another excellent reason for firing him.

 

72 Comments

Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Workplace

72 responses to “The Comey Testimony, Part I.

  1. Popping popcorn and pouring a large drink.

  2. “I still believe he is honest and non-partisan. More than ever, I believe that he is untrustworthy.”

    C’est que ce?

  3. fattymoon

    Neither I nor the President expected anything less from you and the gang. https://mobile.twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/873120139222306817

    • Seriously, what’s that supposed to mean? You are firmly in fingers in your ears and shouting “Nanananananana!” territory now, You have integrity: I’ve seen it and read it. Use it.

      • fattymoon

        I watched the hearing live. Like (I presume) millions of others I was impressed by Comey’s testimony. And so was The Intercept. https://theintercept.com/2017/06/08/james-comey-senate-hearing-trump-russia-obstruction-of-justice/

        Of course, Breitbart News was not at all impressed. Here’s one of many… http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/08/james-comey-hearing-destroys-obstruction-justice-case/

        Finally, analysis from (I presume) left, right, and center. http://digg.com/2017/comey-testimony-what-next

        Ask yourself, who do you deem more trustworthy in this matter, Comey or Trump?

        • I don’t have to ask myself that. I’m assuming, without really being sure, that Comey is telling the truth as he sees it. That’s why the testimony destroys the Left’s narrative. Even given maximum credibility, it’s doesn’t accomplish any of the Left’s unethical goals, undermines or kills most of them, and showed Comey and the Obama administration for what they were and are.

          • fattymoon

            Well then, I’ll finish up with this…
            Comey’s testimony was a media disaster for Trump. These headlines prove it. https://thinkprogress.org/trump-comey-hearing-brutal-headlines-f3558a5e43bd

            Rising tide against Trump will continue until, eventually, he is driven out, hopefully before he alienates the rest of the world.

            • “Comey’s testimony was a media disaster for Trump. These headlines prove it.”

              We already know that Left wing propaganda producers will create Trump-hate headlines.

              How is that useful for analysis of reality?

            • Steve-O-in-NJ

              Uh huh. This reminds me of a youtube video I saw once in which an Army captain was very patiently explaining to prospective ROTC students what was involved in being in the program and occasionally deflecting “gotcha” questions and talking points from anti-military students. Eventually one of the anti-military types got fed up with his questions and attacks falling flat, and stood up and launched a direct attack. As the security types approached to escort him from the room, he shouted “You guys were driven out of here once, and we’re gonna drive you out again. Fucking bloody murderers! ROTC out of CUNY! ROTC out of CUNY! (etc)” until the door slammed behind him.

            • Oh, no, you are really going around the bend! Save yourself, fatty. Please. I care. Quoting “Think Progress” as it tries to snatch the crumbs of a fake victory from the maw of chewed up defeat? Really?

            • Tippy Scales

              I was disgusted by the media’s takeaway from this. During this hearing, Comey revealed:

              * Trump was never under investigation.

              * Trump did not try to obstruct justice, and, to the contrary, told Comey point-blank to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any of his satellites who are found to have colluded with Russia.

              * One of the articles upon which the whole Russia narrative is based was wrong.

              * The former AG tried to influence public opinion about the Clinton investigation.

              …and the headlines said: “Comey feels Trump is a liar.”

              It’s incredible. And as a MSM reporter, it’s alarming that we as an industry are being so one-sided. People watched that hearing; you don’t think they can see the obvious bias in the reporting? In any fair media outlet, the headline should have been: “Comey: Trump not under investigation and didn’t try to obstruct justice.”

              I think journalism can be a noble profession. But right now, I’ve never been more disgusted with the media.

            • crella

              Headlines prove nothing but each paper’s take on a issue. I read the testimony, and those headlines are all dishonest and lacking context. Cherry-picked quotes, obvious twisting of the facts.

              From the Intercept article:

              ” Comey, who led an FBI that investigated multiple leakers of classified information under President Barack Obama, awoke in the middle of the night and decided to leak against the president”

              That statement gives you no qualms at all, fattymoon?

            • joed68

              ThinkProgress? Oh no!

          • I think I underestimated the left’s ability to miss the trees for the forest. So much of the left’s narrative and impeachment aspiration was tied to the Russian angle… which only has legs now because no one realizes the horse is dead yet. The best they can hope for is for the “hope” and command angle works out, but I really doubt that gets traction.

  4. Sarah B.

    Wow! I need to read the testimony myself, thanks for the link!

    My newspaper this morning essentially claimed that the Comey issue has now proven that the election was invalid and Trump is easily impeachable.
    Dang it, proof again that I need to fact check all their articles. I had hoped the new editor had fixed that issue.

    • Good lord, what newspaper is THAT????

      • Sarah B.

        It’s just a small town newspaper that cherry picks articles from the big boys, gives them some credit, and then revamps them to show the editors biases. Apparently the original article came from Washington Associated Press.

    • Greg

      The New York Times was no better than Sarah B’s newspaper. Almost the entire front page of this morning’s paper was filled by the Comey hearing. These were the headlines:

      “Trump tried to sink inquiry, Comey says”: A grossly, intentionally misleading headline, designed to make the reader think that Trump tried to sink the INQUIRY, the one that the Times has been ranting about for seven months, the investigation into collusion into possible collusion with Russia — the one that Comey testified that Trump strongly supported and made no effort to interfere with. For those readers who read past the headline, the Times tries to refocus attention on the small-scale inquiry into potential paperwork violations by Flynn — the one that Comey testified was only tangentially related to the real INQUIRY. The Times continues to imply that Trump’s remarks to Comey about the Flynn case were designed to obstruct the INQUIRY, even though Comey specifically testified that he did not believe that to be Trump’s purpose and that he did not think Flynn had any information that would be damaging to Trump.

      “Former F.B.I. director, unfettered, condemns President’s ‘lies'”: Again, grossly and intentionally misleading, designed to make the reader think that Trump lied about the INQUIRY, when in fact Comey confirmed that Trump was absolutely truthful in saying that he was not and never had been under investigation. As you say in your post, the ‘lies’ were in fact matters of opinion about which Trump and Comey disagreed (and about which many people agree with Trump), and Comey did not testify to any actual lies about facts, much less about any important facts.

      “For Trump, a looming cloud just grew that much darker”: No acknowledgement that the Times’ entire tower of vile smears, seven months in the making, had just collapsed, or that Comey had specifically debunked the Times’ claims of improper ties between Russia and numerous Trump staffers. Instead, the Times insists that the testimony supports their false narrative. By the way, isn’t it now clear that Trump had multiple legitimate reasons for firing Comey, not least of which was Trump’s justifiable dismay that Comey refused to debunk the smears that were destroying Trump’s government, though Comey could have done so with complete propriety. Instead, Comey had given testimony before Congress that seems to have been deliberately calculated to encourage the smears.

      “Testimony sharpens attention on questions of obstruction”: True in the sense that with the disintegration of all of the other charges against Trump, nothing remains but the Times’ ludicrous insistence that Trump’s expression of hope, which Comey rejected and Trump never mentioned again, somehow obstructed an investigation that never paused for a moment.

      This is monstrous. The Times is determined to keep the anger boiling and the country near civil war. Stick to the party line at all costs and in the face of all contrary evidence. Not a word about the vindication of several of Trump’s key claims, which by any reasonable measure was the most important news from the Comey’s testimony. The Times just pretends that story never happened. Sure, somewhere deep inside the paper there are probably a few paragraphs of the type, “Some supporters of [the bad guy] claimed . . . but [a mouthpiece for the good guy] pointed out . . .” Not a word, though, where anybody will read it.

  5. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I’d like to say that Comey had the excuse of taking Donald Trump’s statement about hope as a “permissive order” as an individual from a military or paramilitary background might. In those cultures if a superior tells you they hope or would like you to do something or do something by a certain time it is in fact an order to do that, and that is understood. However, Comey, despite the fact that he was Director of the FBI, was never actually a field agent. He was also never a police officer of any kind, nor was he ever in the military, although both of those backgrounds are common in the FBI. He was an attorney, in and out of government service, for his entire career. For me, the idea of permissive orders ended with me being too old for my mom to persist in her very annoying habit of saying “ya wanna…(whatever).” If he wasn’t clear, he had every right to ask the president what he meant.

    Comey is basically a very pale shadow of MacArthur, fired because he tried to go beyond his mandate, now trying to stab his former employee in the back, but we talked about that already. The sad part of it all is that everyone heard what they wanted to hear – Trump’s supporters said he was exonerated. Trump’s haters will keep this staggering on from now to 2020, and never let it go.

    • Greg

      What does Comey imagine would have happened if he had said, “Mr. President, I’m sorry to say that there’s some pretty damning evidence against Flynn, so dropping the investigation would be very inappropriate”? Does he really think that Trump would have ordered him to drop the probe anyway? Trump himself had fired Flynn in cold blood only four days earlier. What would make Comey believe that Trump now suddenly wanted to do Flynn any big favors? To someone who was willing to assume that Trump is a person with normal humane impulses, not a monster, “I hope you’ll be able to see your way clear to dropping this,” would sound like Trump saying, “I think he’s already been punished enough for what essentially is a minor episode.” And for someone who is willing to treat Trump as an intelligent, experienced, successful corporate CEO (which he is, albeit out of his depth as President of the United States) talking with one of his senior officers about a personnel matter, it doesn’t sound like a demand at all; the word “hope” conveys an implied request: “But if you think there’s a good reason why we can’t do that, you should let me know.”

      • Greg

        It might also be useful to look at Trump’s decision to send away Jeff Sessions and speak privately with Comey, which seemed so suspicious to Comey, in the light of Trump’s business background. In my experience, a gesture like that very often means, “Now that we’re alone together, Jim, you can speak to me freely.”

  6. Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.

    I’m wondering if this is one of those those laws that Comey just considers a non-starter because it doesn’t get prosecuted in this context. If he considered it to be law, then Clinton’s migrating servers would have had her up for about 200,000 counts.

  7. I just can’t believe they think the average person is this interested in congressional debate. As I saw it, at most, it would illuminate the quality of people involved, but was highly unlikely to be actionable. If there was proof, instead of opinions and guesstimates, it would be a different hearing. Posturing is of far less interest to me than the show I missed over my lunch hour.

    As a sometime supporter of liberal issues, I think they should have saved their fire for something more likely for success. This just wasted their energy on something highly unlikely. ‘Voiding’ is only blathering, and impeachment nearly impossible. *Insert the Eagles ‘Get Over it,’*

    • You have to keep in mind that this stuff is being guided. To the cool-headed people, impeaching Trump is only a goal to the extent that they can continue to inflict damage to everything to the right of center.

  8. I watched part of the hearing. My take away was different. I thought he sounded petulant, and came off as self-righteous and untrustworthy. He appeared to lack strength of character, coming off as indecisive and bungling. For instance, he waxed and waned about the impact his relevation about the Clinton investigation had on the election and the corner he boxed himself into – that was a debacle purely of his own making. In the Summer of 2016, he did not have to hold a press conference to propound his findings, grandiose as they were: who is he to decide whether an experience prosecutor would or should accept the charges and prosecute her for breaching national security? That is the DOJ’s decision; not his. He made himself central to the investigation. Then, new emails show up on Huma’s ex-husband’s computer. At that point, he had scrambled egg all over his face. He thought he would deal with the egg by shaking some salt, pepper, and hot sauce on it but it blew up right there on the plate and gave Clinton cover for her failure. It was all about him and his standing and his ego.

    Then, the Memo. Ah, yes. The Memo. The detailed descriptions of his meetings with Pres. Trump were odd – he did not give deem to provide such detail in his meetings with other people. Was it really common practice for him to draft those things? Did he truly memorialize what happened or did he editorialize for later use? His reason for writing the Trump-meeting-memo strained credibility – it is self-serving, a proverbial ace in the hole. He said he wrote it because Trump would lie about it; in reality, he wrote it to protect himself with something he could pull out when needed. He released it through a third party to get back at Pres. Trump for firing him. And releasing it through a third-party with no connection to the FBI was simply to rub it in Pres. Trump’s face.

    Oh, wait. The Great Russian Bear, also known as the Great Hacking Scandal of 2016. He believes that Russia meddled. Whoa. Moscow meddled? Really? I thought we had a better relationship with the Kremlin after 2012 when there was more flexibility. I guess not.

    Comey has no evidence that Russian hackers (or teenagers in Moldova) interfered with the 2016 election by messing with the voting machines (incidentally, who owns interests in the voting machines?) So, the 2016 election results are final and unoverturnable (is that a word?). Hey, Congress! Yeah, you Senate and House committees! Hear that? Move along. There is nothing to see here. James Comey said so.

    He confirmed that Pres. Trump was not under investigation at the time of the Flynn discussion. His belief that the suggestion to drop the investigation was an order is ludicrous at best, sloppy at worst. According to Prof. Derschowitz, in order for a crime to be committed as alleged by the Democrats and Anti-Trumpsters, there first must be corruption. Comey confirmed there was not a single shred of corruption; therefore, no crime. Pres. Trump was typically Trump, acting like a CEO of a company. Pres. Trump probably has no real clue about discretion or government protocol, so as bumbling as it was, Occam’s Razor would show that the simplest answer is that Pres. Trump simply was expressing remorse over firing a guy he liked. Yet, Pres. Trump had/has Constitutional Authority to tell Comey to stop investigating him, at least according to Allan Derschowitz. Again, no crime.

    As for the Lynch Tarmac Debacle, Comey clearly opened up that would and poured salt and lemon juice into it. A.G. Lynch came off as corrupt, political, unprofessional, and incompetent. Yet, Comey was the shining knight on the hill. It must be difficult for him to be so virtuous. I will bet A.G Lynch was spitting nails.

    jvb

    • Phlinn

      “who is he to decide whether an experience prosecutor would or should accept the charges and prosecute her for breaching national security?” He’s the person who was put on the spot by Loretta Lynch. I think he would have been better off announcing publicly that it was her job to make that call, not his, and if she was compromised then perhaps it was time for a special prosecutor.

  9. JRH

    This is all fairly interesting on some intellectual and maybe gossip level (not comments but the Comey/Trump drama) – but none of this does anything for Health Insurance (as differentiated from Healthcare); jobs; taxes; illegal immigration; terrorism; roads & infrastructure, or any of the other things that are on the minds of the people who were/are Trump voters and the reason that he won. So I suspect that it’s going to be interesting come 2018 to see if that group, and their anti-government biases, will settle another thumping on the Democrat Party and whether that will wake them up to the fact that they are missing the entire point of the Country’s Welfare and the Voter’s priorities by continuing to pursue this “resistance” and Russia meme…..or, on a much smaller percentage the Democrats might be proved right – at the ballot box, and not in the Media.

  10. NBC just showed Pres. Trump’s press conference with the Romanian President. NBC’s title? Wait for it:

    “President Trump’s First Press Conference since Comey Testimony”.

    Why is it phrased that way? What message is NBC trying to convey? Why didn’t it say, “President Trump’s First Press Conference since British Vote”?

    • That’s offensive. The news media will try to frame yesterday as if it was something it wasn’t, just like the Times headline story that said the “cloud” over Trump darkened. How did it darken? I’m waiting for some of the EA readers who habitually say “there’s no pro-left media bias!” to show up so I can metaphorically shake them and shout, “SEE??? SEE??”

      But them maybe they can’t see. This is getting into Big Lie territory.

      • Yes, where are the usual suspects in this thread? Fatty is here, but most are napping.

        • Today is the first day in weeks I haven’t napped. Perhaps I am emerging from an extended bout of ennui?

          As for the others, they have their orders.

          • fattymoon

            As does Keith Olbermann, my literate subordinate.

            • fattymoon

              Last thing before I nod off… What Happened in the Comey Hearing Depends on Your Reality
              There are two realities in America, and they barely intersect https://arcdigital.media/what-happened-in-the-comey-hearing-depends-on-your-reality-e3c270ab6857

              • Copout and nonsense. Words have meaning, law has meaning.

                FACT: Comey proved himself to be weak, biased, self-aggrandizing and unreliable. FACT: He leaked a government document. FACT: Loretta Lynch told him to cover-up for Clinton, proving Obama’s government was trying to interfere with the election by illicit means. FACT: Trump was not being investigated. FACT Trump was truthful about Comey saying three times that he was not being investigated. FACT: Comey confirmed that no evidence show collusion between Trump and the Russians. FACT: Comey said that Trump said that if one of his team did collude with the Russians, it would be good to find out. FACT: Comey confirmed that the President has authority to tell the FBI director to begin or stop any investigation. FACT: Comey’s opinion that the President lied does not prove he did lie. FACT: That Comey said he felt like the Trump “hope” line was a “direction” does not make it one. FACT: Comey agreed that he had never heard of a statement saying “I hope you do this” had ever been found to be obstruction of justice. FACT: A completely legal, constitutional act by the executive cannot be obstruction.

                FACT: Your linked article falsely lumps sources that do not agree, and factually misstates what occurred.

              • There are two realities in America

                That article is nothing more than progressive propaganda. The fact that you refer to it shows you are still desperate (as is the author) to find something-anything– to continue to obstruct the legitimately constituted government of the United States of America. If there was one shred of actionable evidence, it would have been shouted from the rooftops. This smacks of treason, fatty.

                You have nothing

                There is such a thing as objective truth, statutory law, and fair play, despite all progressive attempts to destroy them in this nation. Jack thinks you will come to your senses. I am not so sure, given your attitude. Your side was corrupt, condescending, pompous, incompetent, and just plain slimy; it was exposed and we got a joker in the deck (pushed on us by YOUR side, a proven collusion between your party and the MSM) as POTUS.

                Grow up. Accept that your side ran things for a decade, and now we have another direction, as dictated by the rules by which America has peacefully transferred power her entire existence. Otherwise your side is the party pushing for another civil war, just like the first time. How did that turn out for Democrats?

                Have progressives learned nothing? Democrats abused the rules, traditions, and process for decades, and Trump used the same tactics against them, the first time a GOP candidate got away with it, because enough of their self declared ‘deplorable’ enemies decided that enough is enough. What does that tell you? If progressives continue to lower the discourse, they will be met with the same by those they vilify, in simple self defense.

                Please stop this. The cost to my side is too high to stop you, but I fear stop you they will, losing who they are, what they stand for, in the process.

                This will not end well.

                • fattymoon

                  Sorry, Slick. You apparently don’t know much about me. Allow me to school you, ok?

                  1. My side? I don’t have a side. I equally despise 99 percent of them. I called Obama a traitor and was fired for it.

                  2. Desparate, me? Not at all. I just enjoy listening (and sometimes responding… like what you’re reading now) to all this incessant babble while Trump continues on his path of self destruction. Like picking at a scab.

                  3. Treason? Me? Yes! I’m all for it. Jack knows (and now so you do) that I have long advocated overthrowing the U.S. government. You want proof? Here.

                  4. This will not end well? That’s maybe the only thing you’ve said that is correct. And I’m ok with the ending cause I was warned about the coming apocalypse years ago during a near death event. Lot of people are going to die. The good and the bad. The evil and the innocent. The wise and the foolish.

                  5. I’m ok with the bad ending. Ya win some, ya lose some.

                  6. Last thing… now that I’ve put all my cards on the table, please feel free to totally disregard this old man in the future.

                  Pax.

                  • I find myself nonplussed.

                    One would think that if one looked forward to the apocalypse, one would welcome Trump as a disruptor.

                    I also think you have very progressive views. Perhaps that is the path to the end you have chosen, and Trump delays progress to the apocalypse?

                    • fattymoon

                      Don’t think I said I look forward to (as the angel said before granting me my life and then telling me I was meshugina for not taking him up on the offer) “all the bad shit queued up in Earth’s timeline.” I don’t. I am resigned to it though. Sometimes I even dread it. And other times, well, maybe you have a point, maybe I do look forward to it so I can leave this body and go sailing. Geeze, it’s pretty complicated, isn’t it.

  11. Ash

    I’m not a lawyer and cannot verify the following for accuracy or relevancy, but from

    onlabor – workers, unions and politics:
    https://onlabor.org/2017/06/09/workers-understand-a-bosss-hopes/

    Workers Understand a Boss’s “Hopes”
    Posted on June 9, 2017 by Andrew Strom

    According to the sworn testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, President Trump pulled him into a private meeting in the oval office and said, about the FBI’s ongoing investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, “I hope you can let this go.” One question raised by the testimony is whether it was reasonable for Comey to interpret President Trump’s statement as a directive. While labor law does not have a direct answer, the National Labor Relations Board has held that when a company president expresses his “hope” to a worker, it can be coercive.

    In a 1995 case, KNTV, Inc., the company president had a private meeting with a reporter where the president told the reporter, “I hope you won’t continue to be an agitator or antagonize the people in the newsroom.” The NLRB found that the statement was coercive in large part because it was made by the company’s highest ranking official and it was made in a meeting that the reporter was required to attend alone. Sound familiar?

    In other words, the expert agency that regularly adjudicates disputes about whether particular statements by an employer rise to the level of coercion has held that when the president of an organization expresses his “hopes” in a private conversation with a worker, those comments will likely have a “chilling effect” on the employee.

    • None of which is dispositive of this situation. Of course a leader/manager/ supervisor’s expressed hopes have influence. This is why vertical dating isn’t truly consensual. Nonetheless, there is a huge difference between a hope and an order. You know all those TV shows and movies where someone says, “Is that an order, sir?” That’s why.

      And Comey knew that if it was at all ambiguous, it was up to him to ask for exactly that clarification.

    • Greg

      The cases are not similar. The use of the word, “hope,” is not what made the employer’s statement coercive. The employer called the employee “an agitator” who “antagonizes” his coworkers. That’s a clear criticism of the employee’s work performance, which necessarily carries an implication that the employee will suffer adverse consequences if he does not change his conduct. There was no implied criticism of Comey in Trump’s statement. In fact, at that stage of their relationship, according to Comey, Trump was going out of his way to try to flatter and charm Comey.

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