Tag Archives: James Comey

Obstruction of justice, anyone? Anyone?

James Comey believes that Donald J. Trump has obstructed justice.

That is the conclusion of a legal analyst who’s been following “the Russia thing” as closely as anyone in the United States of America.

Comey is the former FBI director whom the president fired because, according to Jeffrey Toobin, Comey declined to pledge complete loyalty to the president. Comey’s agency was conducting an investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russian government officials who are believed to have hacked into our nation’s electoral process.

Toobin’s article appeared in The New Yorker. He lays out what Comey would tell the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Here’s The New Yorker article.

I encourage you to read it.

So many questions to be asked. So many answers yet to be found.

Something tells me the roughest part of the ride awaits the president and his embattled team.

No tapes, just intimidation?

What are we to surmise from Donald John Trump’s admission that he didn’t record conversations with former FBI Director James Comey?

Here is what I want to draw from it.

It is that the president tried to bully and intimidate the former FBI boss who he fired over the “Russia thing,” meaning the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged connection with Russian government hackers.

The bigger question is whether the intimidation constitutes an obstruction of justice by the president of the United States. Special counsel .Robert Mueller is looking into it; he’s hiring a team of lawyers to assist him in this probe.

Trump’s initial tweet about whether Comey should “hope” no tapes exist tells us plenty about the president’s state of, um, mind. The tweet certainly implied there might be some recording. Now the president has admitted that he didn’t do it, but left open the possibility that a third party recorded the conversation.

Oh … please!

The president is a bully, a phony, a bluffer and a serial liar.

None of it constitutes grounds for removal from office by itself. It does make me wonder, yet again, how this guy got elected president in the first place.

No WH tapes? Well, who knew?

Donald J. Trump campaigned for president claiming he wasn’t a “politician.” However, he’s developed the art of the standard politician’s dodge.

He implies something, then takes it back and then suggests someone else might be responsible for what he referred to in the first place.

The president today tweeted a statement that said he did not tape any conversations with former FBI Director James Comey just prior to firing him. That settles it, yes?

I guess so.

Except that now he suggests that a third party might have taped conversations he and Comey allegedly had about whether the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign over that infamous “Russia thing.”

This past month, Trump tweeted something that stated Comey “had better hope” no one had recorded the meetings. The implication seemed clear: Trump might have done so himself. Today he said he didn’t.

Then he added this morsel via Twitter: “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey,” he tweeted.

Good ever-lovin’ grief, man. He is the president of the United States of America. He has at his disposal every possible resource to know with absolute certainty who could have done such a thing within the confines of the White House, if not the bleeping Oval Office itself.

This clown continues to play games with the system and, most of all, with the people he purports to represent as their president.

Read The Hill’s report of the president’s disclosure here.

Moment of ‘truth’ on alleged WH tapes on tap

Donald J. Trump could have prevented a lot of the hubbub surrounding his presidency. He chose to keep it roiling.

The president is now supposed to tell the nation Thursday whether he actually recorded conversations he had with former FBI director James Comey.

Few people close to the matter believe that Trump recorded them, yet he managed to tweet something right after he fired Comey that the former FBI boss had “better hope” there are no tapes.

Come clean, Mr. President.

The president once again has demonstrated the behavior of a juvenile delinquent. He and his White House staff have refused to answer the question: Did the president record conversations with Comey? Rather than answer the question, the president has played coy in a stupid and childish game of political chicken. So have his press spokespeople.

Suppose on Thursday that the president declares he was just kidding. He didn’t intend to threaten the release of tape recordings. He was trying to run a bluff on Comey and the media.

Will that end this discussion? Will it put to rest the idiotic notion that this guy disseminates public policy via social media? I doubt it seriously.

I suppose it’s fair to wonder whether the president’s penchant for social media petulance will ever enable him to win the trust of Americans and our nation’s allies. If he puts to rest the ridiculous report of audio recordings, then how can we believe anything that this guy says going forward?

Then again, if he has tapes stashed away, we’re talking about a serious game-changer.

I’m going to stick with the notion that Donald Trump will seek to wiggle away from that moronic tweet.

Top lawyer ‘lawyers up’; more to come, maybe?

If you’re keeping score, it’s good to know how many of Donald J. Trump’s key administration staffers have hired lawyers to represent them.

You have the president’s son-in-law and senior public policy adviser, Jared Kushner seeking outside counsel; Vice President Mike Pence has hired a lawyer to represent him and might be able to use campaign funds to pay for the counselor’s advice; today we got word that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has joined the lawyering-up club.

And oh yes, the president himself has hired a team of lawyers.

Why all this legal eagle activity? You know the reason, but I’ll mention it anyway. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether the Trump campaign worked in cahoots with Russian hackers, who tried to influence the 2016 election outcome.

Of all the people mentioned here, I find Sessions’ decision to be most interesting. He’s the nation’s top lawyer. He runs the Department of Justice. He also has recused himself from anything to do with the Russia investigation.

Throughout all of this Russia investigation, we hear the president toss out terms like “witch hunt” and “fake news.” He doesn’t condemn the notion that Russian government goons might have sought to influence the election.

The special counsel has a lot of information to sift through. The former FBI director, James Comey, told Senate committee members that the president pressured him to back off a probe into the Russia matter. The president launches into those tweet tirades that seem to undermine his own message, not to mention his legal defense against whatever might be tossed at him.

We’re a long way from knowing the truth behind all of this.

The high-priced legal community is riding a serious gravy train, thanks to the concerns being expressed by the president of the United States and some among his senior team members.

POTUS under investigation for obstruction of justice, after all

If you doubted whether James Comey’s testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee got anyone’s attention, a report in the Washington Post has provided your answer.

The Post has reported that Donald John Trump, the 45th president of the United States, is under investigation for “possible obstruction of justice.”

Who is doing the investigating? That would be special counsel Robert Mueller, appointed to his job by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Why the deputy AG? Because the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from anything to do with the Russia matter that is swirling all around the president.

This is getting a bit, um, testy … don’t you think?

Trump fired Comey because of what he called “the Russia thing,” and after Comey reportedly told Trump that the president wasn’t personally under investigation by the FBI. At issue, in case you don’t know, is whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian hackers who sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign.

We will need to hold on with both hands as this probe continues.

Mueller has enormous authority to proceed with this probe. There will be many traps to run, many leads to pursue, many tips to ferret out.

Many of us are wondering: Did the president ask Comey to shut down his probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s relationship with Russian officials? And did that request constitute an obstruction of justice?

I should note, too, that Mueller also is a former FBI director, so the man has some serious investigative chops.

In the midst of all this are reports circulating that Trump considered firing Mueller, but was talked out of it by senior White House staffers.

Oh … brother. Let’s all hang on.

Moment of truth approaching? Tapes or no tapes?

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going to testify behind closed doors in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

He might have plenty to tell his former Senate colleagues.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans finally are beginning to turn up the heat on the president of the United States regarding a reckless tweet he posted some time back about the potential existence of White House tape recordings.

Show ’em if you got ’em, Mr. President.

Donald Trump made some snarky reference to tape recordings after he fired FBI Director James Comey. It was that “Russia thing” that produced the dismissal. Comey and Trump reportedly had some conversations about Russia and the FBI”s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government hackers who sought to influence the 2016 presidential election outcome.

Tapes, Mr. President?

There are so many “Big Questions,” it’s becoming difficult to keep track of them. One of them is this: Did the president record the conversations or is he bluffing about their existence?

Now comes the heat from the president’s side of the partisan divide. Republicans want him to clear the air.

Of course, the president hasn’t shown much proclivity to listen to anyone, let alone act on the torrent of advice he’s getting.

So, I suppose we should expect the mystery to deepen and the chaos to continue.

Tapes, Mr. President? If you have ’em, produce ’em

Donald John Trump has turned the political tease into something of an art form.

He fired FBI Director James Comey and then blasted out a tweet that said Comey had better hope there aren’t any tape recordings of his conversations with the president.

The tweet, quite naturally, produced a crap storm of its own with pols and pundits wondering out loud if Trump was bluffing. Such “tapes,” of course, would have recorded conversations the president had with Comey regarding the FBI’s investigation into the “Russia thing” that Trump acknowledges was his reason for dismissing Comey.

The former FBI boss returned to Capitol Hill this week to testify about Russia, Trump, the 2016 election and the state of affairs at the FBI when Trump dropped the hammer on Comey, who painted quite an unflattering portrait of the president.

So, here’s the question of the day: Do you, Mr. President, have recordings of your conversations with Comey. If you do, produce them. If you don’t, then admit it was all a bluff, a hoax, a sham, a game. Tell us the truth … for once!

Let’s get to the heart of this hacking matter

As a frequent critic of Donald J. Trump, I want to set the record straight on a key issue that’s threatening the man’s presidency.

I do not give a rat’s rear end about whether alleged attempts by Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential election actually created a Trump victory. I accept the notion that Trump would have won the election anyway.

What is troubling me is the question of what role — if any — the Trump campaign had in assisting the Russians.

Former FBI Director James Comey told U.S. Senate committee members today that he is certain of Russian meddling in our election. I accept the FBI director’s opinion on that, too.

I keep circling back to the question of whether Trump’s team actively aided the Russian hackers. If they didn’t aid them, did they know about any attempts to influence the election? If they knew and did nothing, that to me is tantamount to collusion — even if it doesn’t fit the legal definition of the word.

We keep hearing reports of key Trump campaign advisers meeting with Russians during the campaign and then during the transition. It all gets back to the Watergate-era question posed by then-Sen. Howard Baker: What did the president know — and when did he know it?

As for the whether the hacking/meddling actually proved decisive, that they changed enough votes to swing the results in favor of Trump and away from Hillary Rodham Clinton, it doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is that they have done what all those intelligence agencies have said they did. The former director of the FBI has confirmed it to my satisfaction.

If the Trump campaign colluded, dear reader, we are looking at a charge of treason.

Let’s end the debate over whether Russians hacked us

Here’s a thought to ponder going ahead: Let’s all just stop arguing over whether the Russians — government agents or “patriots” — hacked into the U.S. electoral system while seeking to influence the 2016 election outcome.

Let us now settle on the fundamental question: Did the Donald John Trump presidential campaign commit treason by colluding with the Russians?

Former FBI Director James Comey had much of the nation enthralled for two hours today as he testified before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. He confirmed what 17 intelligence agencies have determined already: The Russians sought to influence the election. Russian President Vladimir Putin — one of the more untrustworthy individuals on the planet — said that Russian “patriots” might have been responsible for the deed.

Now we get to the Main Event. The Seventh Game. The Bottom of the Ninth Inning.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been handed a huge mound of information to digest from his former colleague, Comey.

The president had said Wednesday when word of Comey’s testimony leaked out that he felt “vindicated” by what he heard. After today, I’m betting real American money the president feels a whole lot less vindicated.

No one can know with any degree of certainty whether Mueller is going to produce evidence of criminality on the part of the campaign or the president himself.

Comey’s dismissal as FBI director, as he was investigating the Trump campaign-Russia allegations, was shocking all by itself. Then came the crap storm of motives, reversals, changes in story and contradictions — from the president himself.

And in the midst of all this, Donald J. Trump — of all people — called Comey a “grandstander” and a “showboat.”


Kettle, met pot.

I do not believe a grandstanding showboat appeared today before he Senate panel. I believe the nation saw a meticulous lawyer and administrator who defended the agency he led from unfounded attacks by the president of the United States.

James Comey, moreover, has handed Robert Mueller a full arsenal of ammunition to use as he continues his arduous task of determining whether there was collusion with an foreign adversary to undermine our nation’s electoral process.