Tag Archives: James Comey

Why all the fuss over Comey memos?

I just read the memos that James Comey wrote after meeting with Donald Trump shortly after the president took office.

I’ll attach the link from which I read them to this post, so you can see the memos for yourself.

Here it is.

Maybe someone else can find it, but for the life of me I cannot detect a single overtly hostile passage in any of it. Comey, of course, is the former FBI director whom the president fired over “the Russia thing.” As one might expect, Trump has since backed off that stated reason for firing Comey, although he hasn’t yet denied he told Russian visitors to the Oval Office that he called Comey a “nut job.”

But throughout the memos, there are references to the compliments that the president laid on Comey, how he thought the FBI director was doing a good job, how the president had heard good things about Comey, how he wished him well.

Yes, there is the reference to the president saying how he demanded “loyalty” among those who work for him. Comey chronicles in that memo that he didn’t respond to the president’s assertion; but again, he doesn’t offer any commentary about the nature of the statement. He merely said he didn’t respond.

Trump, quite expectedly, has denounced the memos. He calls them lies. He accuses Comey of being a serial liar — or words to that effect.

But as I perused the Comey memos I am struck by their tone.

Comey comes off according to my reading of his comments — which I understand were written “contemporaneously” — as a squeaky clean professional.

Maybe that’s why — now that I think about it — the president is so damn angry at the man he fired. James Comey is the kind of man that Donald Trump is not.

POTUS’s memory fails him?

Donald J. Trump boasts among other things about his steel-trap memory. It’s the “best,” isn’t that right, Mr. President?

Well, the president put out a tweet today saying that — despite what he said on national TV a year ago — he didn’t fire FBI Director James Comey over the “Russia thing.”

Ohhh, no! His firing of Comey had to do with the Hillary Clinton email matter and the way the FBI was handling it — or so he says at this moment.

Hold on! He told NBC News’s Lester Holt a year ago that he canned Comey because of the investigation he was leading into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians who meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

And don’t you remember what Trump told Russian government visitors to the White House? He said he fired Comey because he is a “nut job” and because he wanted to take pressure off from the Russia probe.

In some circles that could be construed as an obstruction of justice. Hmm. Who knows? Maybe the special counsel appointed to examine the “Russia thing” will make that determination. Or … maybe not!

But the president’s penchant for tweeting these issues gives many of us pause to wonder: Does he know what he’s talking about?

And is the president’s memory all that he cracks it up to be?

U.S. has set a new standard for morality

Call me old-fashioned. Maybe even a bit of a prude — when we’re talking about officials who hold high public office.

Thus, when I hear the former director of the FBI declare that the president of the United States is “morally unfit” to hold the office, I nod my head in agreement.

James Comey delivered a blistering attack on Donald Trump, saying that the president’s moral character doesn’t measure up to the office he won in the 2016 election.

Comey — whom Trump fired a year ago because of what he called “the Russia thing” — cited a couple of key examples: Trump’s willingness to place “moral equivalency” between KKK’men, Nazis and white supremacists and those who protested their march in Charlottesville, Va.; and the president’s history of treating women “like meat.”

To be honest, Comey is far from the first American to declare that Trump is “morally unfit” to be president. Many millions of others of us have been said that before he ever won the election.

And that brings me to the critical point: Americans have redefined morality and have exhibited a clear and present tolerance for the kind of behavior that would have disqualified a presidential candidate.

Let’s get real for a moment, OK?

Trump admitted on that “Access Hollywood” recording how he is able to grab women by their “pu***”; he has admitted publicly cheating on his first and second wives; Trump has stated out loud how he was able to walk into beauty pageant contestants’ dressing rooms while they were half-dressed.

We hear now that Trump’s lawyer paid $130,000 to a porn queen to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she and Trump allegedly had a year after he married Wife No. 3. The president denies the tryst occurred, but … the lawyer paid the money!

Trump has lived an existence filled with excess and moral depravity.

And yet …

He won enough Electoral College votes in November 2016 to enable him to slip into the Oval Office and take the reins of government.

This is the height — or the nadir — of political confusion.

Trump’s base, which comprises a huge chunk of the evangelical Christian movement, gives this clown a pass on his litany of debauchery and infidelity. Why? Because he promises to appoint conservatives to the federal judiciary; and those judges will rule against issues that evangelicals find repugnant: gay marriage, abortion and the prohibition on preaching Scripture lessons in public schools.

James Comey is as correct as he can possibly be in assessing Donald Trump’s moral unfitness for the presidency.

Some of us out here in Voter Land still want officials elected to high public office to represent the best in us. Donald Trump represents damn near the very worst in us.

The man is a disgrace.

Comey: friend turns to foe

James Comey continues to make the turn. Hey, he might make a full circle before this drama is finishing playing out.

The former FBI director once was hailed by Donald Trump when Comey revealed he had more information to explore regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use — or misuse — of her personal email account while she was secretary of state.

Eleven days before the 2016 presidential election, Comey tossed the outcome into serious confusion mode with the revelation about the so-called new evidence.

Trump was ecstatic. The GOP nominee bellowed that Comey had done his job well.

Then came the news that Comey said there was nothing more to investigate. Case closed. But the damage well might have been done to Clinton’s campaign.

Then the new president took office. He allegedly sought some assurances and a reported pledge of loyalty from Comey. He didn’t get them.

Then the president fired Comey from his FBI job. Ever since, Comey has been called everything but the Son of Satan.

Ahh, the fortunes do turn dramatically.

Now the ex-FBI boss has written a new book. He told ABC News that Trump “might have” obstructed justice. He called the president “morally unfit” to serve.

And then the Twitter tirade came from the president, who responded with “worst FBI director in history … by far!”, “slime ball,” and “serial liar.”

I don’t know about you, but I intend to hold with both hands for the foreseeable future as this dispute plays out. If it ever does!

Who are we to believe: Trump or Comey?

I am unable to watch in real time the interview that former FBI Director James Comey gave to ABC News; we have spotty TV reception in our RV park at the moment, so I’ll have to catch up with it in the next day or two.

However, I am able to read much of the interview on the link attached here.. 

I am struck by something about the interview that Comey gave to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. It is that he is recounting one-on-one encounters with Donald John Trump, the president of the United States.

I also am left to wonder: Whose recollections of those meetings should I believe? The former FBI director known to be a meticulous note-taker of such meetings, or the president who has demonstrated time and again to be a serial liar?

Let me think. I believe I’ll go with Comey’s assertion of what transpired in those meetings.

It’s impossible to prove much of Comey has alleged occurred during those meetings, whether the president intended to torpedo Comey’s work as FBI director.

I’m just struck by how Trump responded in advance of the televised interview, the name-calling and petulant tone of his tweets.

Comey said he believes Trump is “morally unfit” for the office of president. He doesn’t believe the president is suffering from dementia or is otherwise mentally unfit. It’s the man’s moral compass that gives Comey such cause. He mentions how Trump treats women like “meat.”

That is the kind of assessment that Comey has concluded after meeting privately with Trump.

It also is going to make the nation ask itself: Who is the more trustworthy man in this exchange?

I’ve made my call.

Insult machines kick into high gear

I have been watching U.S. politics for a long time.

At no time have I heard the disgusting and disgraceful level of insults being hurled between two individuals and their allies at the highest levels of our federal government.

One of them is the former director of the FBI, James Comey. The other is the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Holy cow, dudes! What has happened to civil discourse?

Comey has written a book in which he declares that the president — who fired him a year ago — is “untethered from the truth” and who runs the executive branch of government like a “mob boss.”

Then comes the response from Trump, who calls Comey an “untruthful slime ball.” The president’s allies refer to Comey as a “disgruntled former employee” and a “partisan hack.”

Are you proud of our government at this moment? Me, neither.

To be truthful, I expected a lot more from Comey than from Trump. I had hoped that the former FBI director could have refrained from some of the gratuitous personal criticism of Trump he has written in his book. He is a former federal prosecutor, a top-flight lawyer who then led the FBI — a once-universally highly regarded law enforcement agency.

I didn’t expect Comey to sink to Trump’s level of juvenile petulance.

But he did.

He has opened the door for Trump and his allies to respond as they have done. Slime ball? Partisan hack? Disgruntled employee? And who knows what the president and his pals are saying to each other in private, out of public earshot?

This is not a good era in the annals of American political history.

Comey takes Trump feud to new level

James Comey should be better than this.

The former FBI director, whom Donald J. Trump fired this past year  because of “the Russia thing,” has fired a heavy salvo at the president that includes some strangely personal observations about the man who canned him.

For instance, he has written in his book that the white bags  under Trump’s eyes are the result of goggles he allegedly wears while lying on a tanning bed.

Did he really have to go there? Did the former FBI boss really have to offer that observation about Trump? I, um, don’t believe so.

As such, Comey seems to have climbed aboard the Trump clown wagon, providing the kind of critique of the president that we usually hear from Trump himself.

This disappoints me greatly.

There is so much to criticize about the president. His policy-making process; his tempestuousness; his lack of judgment; his caprice; his inability to acknowledge mistakes. I could go on forever. I won’t.

Comey has now opened the door for Trump to drag the men’s apparently intense mutual loathing even farther into the rhetorical gutter.

Of the two men, I consider Comey to be much more credible than the president, who continues to demonstrate his inability to tell the complete, unvarnished truth about anything. He has lied continually all during his 16 months as president, not to mention the two years that preceded his election.

I am left to wonder: Why did James Comey choose to saunter down that path of gratuitous innuendo?

Suddenly, Mueller seems a bit more vulnerable

If I were Robert Mueller, I might be sleeping a bit fitfully for an undetermined period of time.

Mueller, the special counsel appointed to examine allegations of collusion by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 election, now suddenly seems a bit more vulnerable to White House trickery.

Rachel Brand, the No. 3 in command at the Department of Justice, has quit to become general counsel for Walmart. Brand had held her job at DOJ for less than a year.

This is a real big deal. Here’s why.

The president can’t stand Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from anything dealing with Russia. Sessions had worked on the Trump campaign foreign policy team and on its transition to the presidency. He was too close to the Russia matter to be an independent investigator. So, he stepped aside. It angered the president so much that he has said that had he known Sessions would recuse himself, he would have nominated someone else to become AG.

There’s that.

Now we have Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 at DOJ. Rosenstein selected Mueller — a former FBI director and a crack lawyer himself — to be the special counsel. Mueller has assembled a first-rate team of legal eagles to investigate the “Russia thing” that caused Trump to fire James Comey as FBI director. Rosenstein has the authority to fire Mueller if directed by the president, but he has said he won’t do so “without cause.” Trump hasn’t exactly issued a vote of confidence for the job Rosenstein is doing as the second banana at Justice.

OK, now for the punch line.

Trump can select whoever he wants to succeed Brand. The new No. 3 must go through a Senate confirmation process. If the president were to dismiss Rosenstein, that means the next in command would be available to dismiss Mueller if the president issues the order.

My operative question, thus, goes like this: Is the president going to ask Rachel Brand’s potential successor if he or she is willing to fire Mueller if the order comes from the White House?

Sessions is now out of the game, more or less. Rosenstein says he won’t fire Mueller simply because the president wants him gone. That means, the way I see it, that Sessions and Rosenstein now are vulnerable to the Machiavellian whims of the guy who sits behind that big desk in the Oval Office.

Trump could axe both the AG and his chief deputy, leaving the next in line — the third in command — to do the dirty work of getting rid of Robert Mueller, which then could derail the special counsel’s work of finding the whole truth behind the collusion matter.

I believe that would smell like, oh, obstruction of justice.

Deputy FBI director departure might signal some worry

Andrew McCabe has decided to call it quits at the FBI, where he served as deputy director.

He left earlier than expected, caving under pressure from Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans who said he was biased against the president. Why? Because his wife is a friend and ally of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

McCabe also stood up for fired FBI director James Comey, who Trump dismissed this past year after Comey declined to pledged total loyalty to the president. And, oh yes, there was that “Russia thing” that still hangs over the Oval Office.

In the midst of all this, Trump reportedly asked McCabe in a private discussion about who he voted for president in 2016. Interesting, if true. It’s also quite dangerous.

I join others who are concerned about what might happen next. The FBI director, Christopher Wray, will find someone who is decidedly less independent to serve as deputy director. There well might be a push to squeeze the life out of a probe into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russian hackers who sought to influence the 2016 election outcome.

McCabe’s forced resignation suggests pressure from the White House, from the Oval Office to guide the special counsel’s Russia collusion investigation to a desired outcome.

I believe they would call that “obstruction of justice.”

Oh, and about the special counsel …

Robert Mueller is back in the news.

While our attention was yanked away while we watched Congress and the president writhe and wriggle over immigration and funding the government, the special counsel’s office was busy interviewing players in Donald John Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

We now have learned that Mueller interviewed fired FBI director James Comey sometime this past year. Mueller’s legal team has talked to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

What’s on the special counsel’s mind? He is looking for answers to the Big Question: Did the Trump campaign collude with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome?

Sessions was a key campaign adviser while serving in the U.S. Senate. Comey — as you no doubt recall — led the FBI while it looked into the e-mail use matter involving Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton; then he turned his sights on the “Russia thing,” before he was fired in May 2017 by the president.

Mueller is trying to ascertain, reportedly, whether Comey’s firing, along with the dismissal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was meant to obstruct justice, impede the Russia meddling probe.

Gosh, who could be next on Mueller’s call list? Oh, I know! How about the president himself?

Trump says the investigation into collusion is a big fat nothing. He calls it a witch hunt. He blames it all on Democrats, the “fake media” and other critics of him and his administration.

Here’s a thought: If the president’s phone rings and it’s Robert Mueller on the other end of the call, the president ought to agree on the spot to meet with him — if what he says about the veracity of the probe is true.

If not, well … then we have a problem. Isn’t that right, Mr. President?