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May 10, 2017

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the "Dems hate Comey! they should love this!" seems to be the right's favorite line today. but, it's completely undermined by the fact that nobody for a second believes Trump was upset about Comey sticking a knife in Clinton's back. whatever Trump's motivations were here, making Dems happy is definitely not one of them.

I thought this was a pretty informative article:
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/09/the-political-isolation-of-jim-comey-215120

Interesting read, there, Nigel.

Angus King proposes that Comey be appointed to head an independent investigation into Russia's role in the election. I can't imagine it will happen, so I wonder if he's just poking the tiger. Or something.

I can't imagine it will happen, so I wonder if he's just poking the tiger.

By all means, poke the tiger. Keep the heat on.

DJT is not used to being in a position where he is answerable to anybody else. I doubt he knows what to do in his current situation. I doubt he knows how to learn.

Poke the tiger. Make him show us all what he's made of.

"How did all your machinations work out for you there James?"

This presupposes that Comey was trying to help Trump win. I don't think Comey was pro-Trump, he was anti-Clinton. Comey was very much a beltway style person, despite thinking of himself as above the fray. I suspect he was angling for this endgame:

Clinton Presidency weakened, his power consolidated because she wouldn't dare challenge him with all the crap surrounding her and because he would look good to the Republican side of the power base for challenging her.

I doubt he considered "Trump winning" as a plausible outcome.

Imagined press conference:

"Mr. President, there are rumors that Comey has been compromised by Russian intelligence. Do you think that it is acceptable for someone compromised by Russian intelligence to serve in the administration?"

"DJT is not used to being in a position where he is answerable to anybody else. I doubt he knows what to do in his current situation. I doubt he knows how to learn."

I suspect he's very used to jumping when the Russians tell him to jump, to rolling over when they tell him to roll over, to sit up when they tell him to sit up...

"This presupposes that Comey was trying to help Trump win."

No I was thinking the same thing you lay out.

Ok, gotcha!

Cool it, you two.

Days before he was fired, James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in resources for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, according to four congressional officials, including Senator Richard J. Durbin.

Mr. Comey made his appeal to Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who also wrote the Justice Department’s memo that was used to justify the firing of Mr. Comey this week, the officials said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/us/politics/comey-russia-investigation-fbi.html

just a coincidence, i'm sure.

Likewise a coincidence that the firing came just a day after the grand jury issued subpoenas for Flynn and several of his associates.

i suppose i should note that DOJ a spokesperson denies this.

http://www.redstate.com/joesquire/2017/05/10/department-justice-denies-james-comey-requested-additional-funding/

The denial is that he wanted more funding--i.e. A dedicated line item. The specifically admit he wanted more resources--i.e. manpower. So the denial doesn't contradict the thrust of the story at all.

"Likewise a coincidence that the firing came just a day after the grand jury issued subpoenas for Flynn and several of his associates."

and the day before he was scheduled to testify before congress.

Well it appears that he will still be testifying, just not as the current FBI director. And I think I saw that it will be a closed hearing, which means classified information can be discussed. Could be more damaging than the previously scheduled appearance. Especially as the acting Director will be appearing in Comey's originally scheduled slot.

Could be more damaging than the previously scheduled appearance.

That depends entirely on the people listening. I have more confidence in Burr than I do, say, McConnell, but not much more.

Well it will include the whole committee, i.e. members from both parties. Which makes covering up a bit more challenging.

Which makes covering up a bit more challenging.

Except that revealing classified information is a crime. My Senator, Warner, won't do it.

Meanwhile, Trump seems determined to miss no opportunity to make the situation worse for himself. For his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, he excluded the U.S. media. So the only “media” present, apparently, was TASS, the Russian state-owned news agency, which published photos of the meeting. Apparently even Fox News wasn't worthy.

One can only conclude that the man has a gun rest on his knee. To ensure that he doesn't miss when shooting himself in the foot.

By the way, Warner is a DLC Dem. He has a conscience about this, and I think is sincere and maybe brave. But he's deep into collegiality, and who knows - maybe that's good. I predict though that he comes from the hearing "deeply concerned." It's pretty much still up to R's to do the right thing, and the chances of that are slim.

Also, the Senate investigation doesn't have a mission to impose penalties or indictments.

My only response to this is "Why doo they keep calling this a sudden firing". The guy had been digging himself multiple holes and then connecting them to each other for at least 8 or 9 months.

He should not have had any public opinion on whether there was enough evidence to charge or indict Clinton.

He should not have announced that the investigation was restarted, then he could have not commented on the investigation being reclosed.

He should have had no comment on whether there was a Russia investigation, much less discuss anything about it, or who was involved.

He should not have commented on whether Trump was being bugged.

Essentially, he made himself a public figure, which may or may not have been reason enough to fire him at each point.

But it should come as no surprise that Trump would take a simple opportunity to fire him.

Nor is it particularly concerning from an "abuse of power" perspective. Target painted, fire.

Marty, you don't give a shit that we're now pawns of Putin? Seems crazy to me, but lots of other things do as well. Notice that I'm mot calling you "crazy". Just seems ... to me.

By the way, folks, Marty claimed to be anti-Trump, but pro-Johnson. The truth is so flexible these days.

So, the Marty phenomenon is what some of us should be talking about, maybe rather than talking to.

He's a guy who likes to smoke pot, wants single payer healthcare, but embraces Donald Trump and Putin as the way our country should go. Including, in the package, of course, Jeff Sessions, who wants to go back to prosecuting low level drug offenders (like Marty? Maybe not, maybe just like Marty, except black).

Deplorable? It's apparently wrong to say it. Is it okay to think it?

It appears that He, Trump does indeed have the power to make seemingly-intelligent people parrot his BS.

Which, just to lighten the mood, reminds me of the old joke about the East German who went to the Stasi offices to report that his parrot had escaped. Asked why the hell he was bothering the secret police about a damn bird, the man replied: "I wish to declare that I do not share my parrot's political views."

--TP

The WH press corps is slowly starting to get it. Flat out denials from e.g. DOJ spokesperson can't be taken as true.

WH and trump slowly realizing (maybe) that lying to press corps while laughing at them comes at a cost, so even if they are telling truth no one believes them.

CNN chryon today "WH story about Comey firing keeps changing"

My new theory (or wild ass guess) is that trump was funding his campaign in part with Russian funds (perhaps laundered through his business) while his campaign staff was having discussions with Russians, or perhaps just getting "tips" on what the next release or hack would be.

But again, none of this will matter unless McConnell starts caring.

Im not a Tom Brady fan ejther, but it doesnt surlrise me when the Pztriots win a game.

Coney could have been fired by Obama because of the way he handled the Clinton investigation, has nothing to do with whether I like Trump.

Certainly doesn't impact whether we will have an investigation into the Russian involvement in the campaign. But mostly their was nothing sudden about it.

"Why doo they keep calling this a sudden firing"

because Trump fired him with absolutely no warning, in the middle of the night, while Comey was out of state and only learned about it on TV?

how much more sudden could it have been?

Certainly doesn't impact whether we will have an investigation into the Russian involvement in the campaign

you don't think the director of the FBI has any influence over what his subordinates do?

he can't direct the allocation of resources?

put down the water. Trump's a scumbag. he's not on your side. he'll shit on you the first chance he gets - exactly as he's done with countless others.

Trumps a scumbag, so? Lots of people left to run a Russia investigation. Comey gave him, and anyone else, plenty of reason to fire him.

I guess I just expected it so it didn't seem sudden.

My only response to this is "Why doo they keep calling this a sudden firing"

I'm shocked to hear this.

My only response to this is "Why doo they keep calling this a sudden firing". The guy had been digging himself multiple holes and then connecting them to each other for at least 8 or 9 months.

No question he'd been making a mess of things. But even though he should have been turned out long since, he hadn't been. Indeed, Trump had continued to praise him, and explicitly his actions with regard to Clinton during the campaign. Which makes the official rationale for firing implausible. Not because it wasn't a valid reason, but because there was every indication that Trump didn't see it as a negative.

As for it being sudden, consider that it blindsided lots of the folks in the White House. People whose job is to explain and justify administration actions. Granted, they often end up repeating nonsense, simply because there's no sensible explanation and no believable justification. But this time, they didn’t even have fantasy talking points to roll out. They had nothing.

So while you or I could see the case mounting up, it wasn't something that showed any sign of being building within the administration. There, it erupted suddenly.

Am I the only one who reads "Comey, Comey, Comey!" and thinks "Chomey! Comey cha-meeee-leeon!"?

minus that one "h"

Am I the only one who reads "Comey, Comey, Comey!" and thinks "Chomey! Comey cha-meeee-leeon!"?

You were the only one.

Now you have shared the earworm with me.

Damn you! *shakes fist*

I find the official explanation(s) implausible, incoherent, laughably transparent and completely standard bs. The headline I loved today was that Trump "yelled and cursed" about him and that wasn't presidential.

What I find more incoherent is the list of reactions up to and including an "investigation of the firing", like there is anything that could possibly be illegal about it.

For anyone not engulfed by it, the simple ridiculousness of the constant attempts to use ANYTHING to try to get rid of him, no matter how much THOSE attempts pervert the institutions that are supposedly the concern, an independent judiciary, an apolitical justice department, bipartisan Congressional fact finding, it's just mind boggling.

The very things that he is accused of threatening are being used and perverted to assuage the shock and oncomprehensibilty of the goverment establishment that he could actually be in charge.

The press are proving him right about their bias every day, judges are using fanciful arguments to hold up immigration orders he clearly has a right to implement.

He is the duly elected President of the United States, you saying he isn't perverts another fundamental institution.

I think the guy is a complete idiot, no doubt he will be the worst President since at least Carter. He may well end up being taken down by the Russian scandal.

But we shouldn't destroy the fundamental institutions of our government to make that happen.

I'm a little confused by you post, Marty.
Your argument seems to be that we shouldn't criticise Trump for something he is in a narrow legal sense entitled to do, but we should vehemently criticise the press and judiciary for actions which are unequivocally within the law ?

It is, of course, hardly a matter of debate that a functioning democracy - and indeed a functioning legal system - rely upon a set of shared conventions and political norms every bit as much as they do on the strict letter of the law.

Not at all Nigel, I think everyone should criticize Trump. He certainly deserves it. But at this point the courts, the justice department, Congress, and the press are clearly functioning in an "out to get him" mode. They bend rule and convention on the premise "he just has to go".

And this is ok with a very large number of people who claim that he endangers rose very rules and conventions.

I believe the attempt to unseat him, a bloodless coup essentially, is more dangerous than anything he could do.

The precedents we are setting on both sides risk destroying our ability to govern as a people.

But at this point the courts, the justice department, Congress, and the press are clearly functioning in an "out to get him" mode.

That's far from clear to me. Congress appears to be his willing tool (the House in particular) - which is not something the framers of you constitution envisaged. The justice department is headed by his slavish loyalist.
The press and the courts are doing their job.

Thomas O’Connor, the president of the FBI Agents Association, called Comey’s firing “a gut punch. We didn’t see it coming, and we don’t think Director Comey did anything that would lead to this.’’

like there is anything that could possibly be illegal about it.

It's quite possible that Trump fired Comey to prevent him from continuing an investigation into illegal activities that Trump himself was involved in.

That's how it's possible that something could be illegal about it.

the courts, the justice department, Congress, and the press are clearly functioning in an "out to get him" mode

What color is the sky on the planet you live on?

The funny thing is, I can pretty easily imagine a scenario in which Trump has clean hands on the Russia issue. I can easily imagine Page, Stone, Manafort, Flynn, et al acting on behalf of Russian kleptocrats and/or Ukrainian opposition, for big dollars, and playing Trump like a violin to make US policy more favorable to Russia.

Without Trump having any idea WTF was going on.

Because he's a vain, narcissistic, ignorant old fool who is vulnerable to people kissing his ass and manipulating him.

And now, he has done the one thing that will convince everyone in the world that he has something to hide. Whether he does or not.

He thinks he has special genes, and that he is therefore above the normal demands of representative governance. He thinks being POTUS is like being the CEO of a closely held family owned real estate development company.

People say he's autocratic, like he has some concept of political governance or style. He doesn't have the mental vocabulary to be an autocrat, I doubt he knows what that is or why it would or wouldn't be appropriate.

He's just a garden variety bully. A spoiled, ignorant, rich kid bully.

He got the gig because he knows how to read a room and sell a pile of bullshit to the rubes. He doesn't have the chops to even understand what the gig is, let alone be good at it.

I don't expect him to make four years, because at some point his usefulness to the (R)'s will diminish to the vanishing point, and they'll kick him to the curb.

And if he's the idiot that he manifestly appears to be, more fools the people who voted for him.

I'm just looking forward to this sh*t-show being over.

The precedents we are setting on both sides risk destroying our ability to govern as a people.

I'm not sure any "precedents" are being set.

if we can't find a way to govern ourselves as a people, perhaps consider that we aren't a people.

that simple hypothesis explains a lot.

w.r.s.

what's the guy going to do when he runs out of people to fire?

can't happen. the producers are there to bring in a new batch of them every 12 months.

For anyone not engulfed by it, the simple ridiculousness of the constant attempts to use ANYTHING to try to get rid of him...

He says about the guys who publicly encouraged the Russians to hack Clinton's emails, just for example. Your ability to overlook ANYTHING when it comes to Trump is what's ridiculous (not to mention disappointing and surprising). His entire campaign and his presidency thus far are nothing short of absurd. It's a shameful circus, because he's a clown.

I can only imagine what you would have said about Obama if he had done and said the sorts of things Trump has.

"guy" dammit!

"I can only imagine what you would have said about Obama if he had done and said the sorts of things Trump has."

I would have said just what I am saying now. I think of them as being very much alike. All show, no substance, social media constructs to appeal to their 40% of the country, no respect for the office or the institutions of government, useless from a policy perspective because they cant create any form of consensus and a complete waste of time who's best attribute is they are unlikely to significantly effect anything negatively in a large way. But not impeachable for any of those sins.

The focus on one sentence that Trump said during a campaign about Russia/hacking/Clintons emails, which is more proof to me that he had little to do with it than the other way around, is absolutely the perfect example of how ridiculous most of this is.

I don't overlook anything he does, there just isn't anything that he has done since he got into office that approaches a reason to overthrow the government.

If there was any evidence that he conspired with the Russians I am pretty certain the bureaucracy, particularly the intelligence bureaucracy would have hung him with it by now. But I accept the possibility that a smoking gun could come to light, because I would not put it passed the people around him to have compromised him. I don't think he is likely to have done much himself.

the constant attempts to use ANYTHING to try to get rid of him

Wanna bet Marty wasn't referring to Bill Clinton?

One thing's for sure: He, Trump will never be impeached for lying about sexual impropriety.

--TP

actually, based on his electoral performance, twice, I'd say Obama had solid support above 40%. well above. I'd say it was 40% of the country who couldn't accept him. probably less, probably more like the famous 27% hard core knucklehead contingent.

and that was enough to throw sand in the gears for 8 years.

the more you talk about obama, the nuttier you sound.

it's the guy who's there now who's on thin electoral ice. that's why folks want him out. and he's on his way to making that happen for them, just by being himself.

I think of them as being very much alike.

because Obama told a lot of people that he appreciates his daughters' bangability?

this Time interview is astounding. Trump is completely ignorant and nearly incoherent.

I look forward to taking Trump's Constitutional Law class. And I hope Obama grabs my p*ssy. (Sheesh...)

this Time interview is astounding. Trump is completely ignorant and nearly incoherent.

It's exhausting to read. The mind can only handle so many "Um ... what???"s.

On deal making in business vs. deal making in Washington


It’s never different. I think it’s never different. It’s always the same. You have to know your subject. And that would be the misconception of misconceptions for that. I mean, it’s not that I–look, I always had health care for my company. But it’s not that I–it was just something that wasn’t high on my list. I had people that negotiated for my company.

But in a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care. And we did the right negotiating, and actually it’s a very interesting subject.

just like Obama

I mean, it’s not that I–look, I always had Twinkies for my company. But it’s not that I–it was just something that wasn’t high on my list. I had people that negotiated for my company.
But in a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about Twinkies. And we did the right negotiating, and actually it’s a very interesting subject.

But, the artist formerly known as an unpronounceable symbol that would sound like cleek if you could pronounce it, Obama's rhetorical gifts only proved that he was superficial. Eloquence is bad.

that would be the misconception of misconceptions for that

indeed, that would be that, unless i've misconceived ?

It's quite possible that Trump fired Comey to prevent him from continuing an investigation into illegal activities that Trump himself was involved in.

That's how it's possible that something could be illegal about it.

A brief drop in to say this part is probably not correct as far as the firing being illegal and as far as the firing producing the imputed intent. The Pres can fire the FBI Director anytime, for any reason. Therefore, there cannot be an illegal reason. Further, firing Comey isn't going to end any investigation into anything. If anything, it will accelerate/intensify the investigations. Finally, if there is anything to the Russian angle, it will come out. No one likes Trump. No one is going to take a bullet for him.

If anything, it will accelerate/intensify the investigations.

Agreed. That Trump is shrewd is the misconception of misconceptions in his own mind.

(Not that I disagree on the illegal part. Just not bothering to offer a non-lawyerly opinion either way. Though I might risk noting, non-lawyerly, that grounds for impeachment, if that's what we're talking about, don't really require illegality, despite "high crimes and misdemeanors." Impeachment and conviction are acts of political will that must follow particular procedures. I'm open to correction on that.)

Can one do something perfectly legal but that obstructs justice?

And is it still perfectly legal, is so?

--TP

The Pres can fire the FBI Director anytime, for any reason. Therefore, there cannot be an illegal reason. Further, firing Comey isn't going to end any investigation into anything. If anything, it will accelerate/intensify the investigations.

I haven't seen anyone claim that Trump firing Comey was illegal. (Although I have seen claims that others, uncited, have done so.) Pretty obviously it was legal, however stupid the timing or the execution were.

As for it not ending the investigation, that's absolutely true. But I think it is also entirely possible that Trump (albeit damn few others) thought firing Comey was a way to either stop the investigation or at least intimidate those involved into backing off. It would be in keeping with his general bluster and bully approach to interacting with the rest of the world.

Can one do something perfectly legal but that obstructs justice?

And is it still perfectly legal, is so?

Usually. Obstruction of justice is stuff like destroying documents and attempting to improperly influence testimony. Refusing to cooperate can obstruct justice, but the refusal isn't a crime.I cannot conceive of a circumstance where performing a legal act can be illegal.

Firing someone like Comey is just stupid. It makes the target on your back just that much larger.

And I agree with HSH, he could be impeached for it even if it isn't illegal.

"A brief drop in to say this part is probably not correct as far as the firing being illegal"

I am happy to defer to you on points of law. I stand corrected.

I have no disagreement with the rest of your comment.

I'm *pretty sure* it's perfectly legal to install and underground document storage bunker, with really strong doors and an alarm system that triggers sprinklers to flood all the "documents-with-soluble-ink" contained within.

Doing so after I've already been put on notice that the FBI is investigating me for being in bed with the Russians? Still legal? IOKIYAR.

It's been bugging me for a couple of months now, and I finally worked out who Jeff Sessions reminds me of.
Anyone remember the Nazi leader in the Blues Brothers film ?

the Nazi leader in the Blues Brothers film

Henry Gibson, eternal character actor.

he does indeed look like Sessions.

I nominate cleek to sidle up to Sessions and offer him a walnetto.

I'll even contribute to his bail.

I'm *pretty sure* it's perfectly legal to install and underground document storage bunker, with really strong doors and an alarm system that triggers sprinklers to flood all the "documents-with-soluble-ink" contained within.

Doing so after I've already been put on notice that the FBI is investigating me for being in bed with the Russians? Still legal? IOKIYAR.

If the docs are evidence of criminal activity, then its obstruction of justice. The problem is proving the content of the docs after they've been destroyed. I hope your system doesn't miss anything. That would be problematic for you.

McKinney, I've come across the following:

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, a felony offense is committed by anyone who “corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States...."
[emphasis added]
It seems like the firing of Comey could be seen as a threat to anyone involved in the investigation.

Not, perhaps, an effective threat. But I don't think that matters. Does it? (I do note that it doesn't say "seeks to". So perhaps it does matter whether the threat is successful.)

Comment?

BJ gets a twofer:

FBI is raiding the offices of an Alexandria GOP fundraiser. and the NY State AG has a grand jury ready to investigate Trump's biz.

i'm sure Trump's businesses are AOK #1 squeaky-clean.

this should be fun.

I wasn't thinking so much of Henry Gibson (who was a splendid actor), as the character in the movie... who just seems perfect.

I'd have to say if trump told Comey to shut down the investigation of me/my campaign or I will fire you and when Comey refused trump fired him, seems to me you'd have a good case for obstruction.

Comment?

If Trump had threatened to fire Comey to compel him to act differently with respect to a pending investigation, that might fall within the statute. He didn't threaten anyone. He just fired Comey. You are asking about someone who might say "I felt threatened after Comey got fired" but that isn't being threatened by a third party. That is someone's subjective sense of what might happen in the future. Moreover, even if feeling threatened was sufficient, there would still need to be evidence that causing that person to feel threatened 'influenced, obstructed, impeded' or 'attempted/endeavored to influence, obstruct or impede' a 'pending proceeding' as defined by the statute. Seems like a reach to me. And really subject to abuse.

McK, thanks for the clarification.

Anyone remember the Nazi leader in the Blues Brothers film ?

Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis.

This article addresses the points McKinney makes far better than I could manage myself:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/two-dead-canaries-in-the-coal-mine/526230/

I'd have to say if trump told Comey to shut down the investigation of me/my campaign or I will fire you and when Comey refused trump fired him, seems to me you'd have a good case for obstruction.

Seems that way to me too, but I wonder--as a matter of jurisprudence--whether threatening to perform an otherwise lawful act can be the basis for a criminal prosecution. Or, suppose that Comey, like me, has a pathological aversion to Barry Manilow songs. Would threatening to pipe "Mandy" endlessly into Comey's office if he persisted in investigating Trump be obstruction or just really, really mean?

Would threatening to pipe "Mandy" endlessly into Comey's office if he persisted in investigating Trump be obstruction or just really, really mean?

Depends, I suppose, on whether you could show real damage from that kind of harassment. If it drove Comey clinically insane, then obstruction. If it just "made him crazy", merely mean.

As for firing per se, threatening to fire Comey would not be obstruction, legally -- no matter Trump's intent, I suppose. But if he threatens to fire the career agents engaged in the probe? (Not that he has authority to, which they probably know, even though he probably has no clue.) That might be another story.

McKT wrote:

"He didn't threaten anyone. He just fired Comey. You are asking about someone who might say "I felt threatened after Comey got fired" but that isn't being threatened by a third party."

"Or, suppose that Comey, like me, has a pathological aversion to Barry Manilow songs. Would threatening to pipe "Mandy" endlessly into Comey's office if he persisted in investigating Trump be obstruction or just really, really mean?"

Consider who the "third party" is who personally delivered the termination letter to Comey. A second-rate cop elevated to personal goon bodyguard to trump and now his main and maybe his only confidante and consiglieri.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/politics/who-is-keith-schiller/

Everyone knows THAT messenger is not to be fucked with.

A horse's head in Comey's bed might have broken a few local sanitation and animal welfare ordinances, but show me where obstruction of justice could be proven?

Now, if we hear that Schiller pulled aside the curtain in Comey's office and directed the FBI Director's gaze to the street below where Barry Manilow stood accompanied by 612-piece orchestra ready to launch into "Copacabana" and Schiller said "Let's just say Mr Manilow is the President's favorite, shall we?
He brings a tear to the boss's eye. Nuff said?", who will be surprised?

Hell, Nixon had to go through Elliot Richardson and Ruckleshaus before he found his loyalist thug to carry out the hit on Archibald Cox: Robert (The Shiv) Bork.

Nothing obviously illegal or even amounting to obstruction of justice. But this is where trump is street smart, tough, and ruthless, resulting from a life of getting his way with muscle, applied right up to the edge of illegality, with unlikely subtlety, considering the man's tasteless hamfistedness.

There has never been anything like this guy with his hands on the levers of power in this country. (read Nigel's link at 4:02pm for a taste).

And comparisons to any other half-wit hack who has occupied the White House over the past 240 years are the pathetic ravings of dupes and nebbishes.

Trump thinks with his scrotum, like the end-justifies-the-means operator he has fashioned himself to be.

More on Schiller.

http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-keith-schiller-taxes-irs-flynn-crowley-white-house-foreclosure-567860

Schiller will be at trump's side at Mar-A-Lago when the Secret Service and Federal Marshals break down the penthouse door, bullets flying, and remove this fuck from office.

Sessions will be weeping in a heap in the corner of the room, claiming he was coerced into loyalty, the little cracker filth.

We don't know if Trump threatened Comey. Neither does McTx.

What we DO know, because Trump put it in an official memo is that Trump asked Comey:

"Are you investigating me?"

No.

"Are you investigating me?"

No.

"ARE YOU INVESTIGATING ME???"

No.

No implied threat at all to be found there, you betcha.

Another opinion on the obstruction of justice issue here:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/05/obstruction-justice-getting-closer-all-time

What if the third time trump asked comey if the former was under investigation, he put it this way: "I'm going to ask you a third and last time, Mr. Comey, if I am under investigation by your office. Think your answer over very carefully, because I can't be responsible for what happens, not that anything is going to happen."

And then hummed a little Manilow.

What, you're telling me all of those shady deals with shady people over a shady lifetime got done with a handshake?

Finally, I'm under no illusion about the pious Pence who can't dine alone with a woman not his wife because his sheer good lucks might fertilize her eggs. As President, he and the congressional republicans will kill more Americans than trump has dreamt of because they've been trying to do it together as a team for two or three decades, while trump isn't quite sure about the small print involved in such an undertaking.

Impeachment is just the beginning of what needs to happen.

McKinney,

Suppose we are old college buddies. You send me a handwritten letter in which you happen to mention your secret mistress. I call you to say that I'm torn: I've known your wife almost as long as I've known you, and I feel maybe I should tell her about your paramour. You try to talk me out of it. I mention that I could use ten grand and ask if you, as an old friend, could lend it to me. We end our chat with you agreeing to send me a check and me agreeing to burn your letter.

Is forwarding a letter illegal? Is asking for a loan illegal? Is blackmail legal?

On the flip side: is making an unsecured loan illegal? Would your wife, if she ever learned the whole story, consider either you or me to have obstructed justice? Her wifely idea of justice, I mean:)

--TP

Tony P. Best me to the extortion example. Two legal acts when done in conjunction can be I believe criminal. Give me $1000 or I go to the press about X, it being legal to go to the press and ask for $1000 independently.

Trump essentially said he fired Comey to put an end to the investigation.

"Trump essentially said he fired Comey to put an end to the investigation."

No he didn't. He didn't essentially say it. He didn't kind of say it. He didn't maybe say it. He didn't hint at it. He didnt say any words that might have been reasonably misinterpreted to mean it.

He just didn't.

Nor is any investigation stopped.

Oh yes he did:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-president-admits-to-obstruction-on-national-tv

Marty,

You are entitled to act stupid. You are not entitled to pretend that the rest of us are stupid.

Just like one doesn't have to explicitly say "n*gger, n*gger, n*gger" to "essentially" reveal himself to be a racist, He, Trump does not have to explicitly say "I fired Comey to stop the Russia investigation" before not-stupid people conclude that he fired Comey to stop the Russia investigation.

BTW: the analogy is based on this South Park clip.

--TP

Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/us/politics/trump-comey-firing.html

he shoulda stuck with the real estate and the TV show, he did well with that stuff. all you have to do to win in those worlds is make more money than you lose.

he's playing in a different league now. he doesn't understand how it works. people won't do what he tells them to. he can't fire them all, and every time he does fire someone, everybody gives him crap.

as if they were entitled to an opinion about it. unbelievable.

he has to rely on people who aren't named trump, and he doesn't know if he can trust them. he shouldn't trust them. they'd throw him under the bus in a heartbeat.

it's a whole different breed of sharks he's swimming with now. he finds, to his great surprise, that he is vulnerable. what a shock, at age 70.

if he wasn't responsible for things that are really important to me, I'd feel bad for him. as it is, I just want to see the back of him.

a loser, in the end. in over his head. be careful what you wish for.

From Mr Trump in an interview with NBC news:

“In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won."
Which sounds pretty close to a flat out statement that Comey's firing was about the Russia investigation.

the thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if trump fired him because the Russia thing was annoying him, without having any clue that it would be seen as questionable.

the guy works for me, he's not doing what I want him to. i cut him loose. what's the problem?

however this all lands, if will be tough to tease apart the illegal (if any) from the merely profoundly clueless.

it's like a presidency scripted by aeschylus.

This whole thread reads like a Redstate birthers discussion.

It is what we say because we hate him. Not a fact, just an opinion supported by anything that's said or done because we want it to be true.

And Tony, as many times in the last few months as I have been called stupid you can keep that claptrap to yourself.

Every day for the 6voclock news they make sure they roll out another story, today's was about a meeting Coney and Trump had six months ago where another unnamed source said that something was said that can be construed to fit the narrative.

Sane people are watching this and worried not about Trump destroying the country but the press and the left destroying it in the name of saving it from Trump.

No, only the wildest conspiracy hound could read the highlighted part and twist it to the conclusion here.

But that is truly irrelevant because tomorrow night at 6 pm there will be another story to keep the masses stirred up.

Hmmmm ,,,, Birthers never had their suppositions confirmed. In fact, they were soundly contradicted. I guess we'll see how looney we're all being in the relatively near future. I'll be keeping this in mind, Marty, as more comes to light. Crow's going to be on someone's plate. Yum!!!

Setting aside Trump, for a moment, have does the AG justify his involvement in the dismissal of the man leading the Russia investigation, given that he had formally recused himself from anything to do with said investigation ?
That is unequivocally a legal question. One which is made more pointed by his public testimony last year:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/05/what_role_did_jeff_sessions_play_in_james_comey_s_firing.html
What went into Sessions’ “evaluation”? We have no idea. We do know that at least one of the “reasons expressed by the Deputy Attorney General”—that Comey erred when he announced, 11 days before the election, that the FBI was reopening its probe into Clinton’s emails—is at odds with comments Sessions has made in the past. As Reason’s Jacob Sullum points out, Sessions said last October that Comey—after testifying before Congress about his decision to close the Clinton investigation in July—“had an absolute duty, in my opinion, 11 days or not, to come forward with the new information that he has and let the American people know that.”

"Not a fact"

actually there is a pretty long list of facts which deserve explanation.

and leaving the whole russia thing aside, the man and his family treat the office like a freaking ATM. violating the emoluments clause is a more or less daily event.

as far as "hating trump", for myself, I don't hate him. he sort of amuses me. he's kind of a classic NYC style rich asshole blowhard. I miss that vibe, Boston folks don't really do the larger than life thing in quite the same way. it's like old home week.

I do hate that he's the potus, because it's an embarrassment to me as an american. and I receive his presence in that office as an insult and an offense, because many if not most of his supporters intend his presence there to be exactly that.

to people like me.

"fuck your feelings", say his fans. fine, back atcha, pal. conversation over.

and frankly, after years of you talking about Obama the tyrant and Clinton the world historical epitome of corruption and evil, your opinion of my thoughts about Trump are simply not of interest.

I want to see tax returns. I want a blind trust, and if that means he loses money tough shit. i want him answerable to the emoluments clause for IP deals he''s made with the Chinese, the Phillipines, and others since taking office.
I want him to surrender his lease on the PO building in DC, which he violates every single day.

I want his son in law to quit trading US visas for investments in his real estate business. seriously, wtf.

I want to know who Flynn was working for. I want to know what page, manafort, and stone were up to in Russia and the ukraine. I want to know whose idea it was to take sanctions on russia off the GOP platform. I want to know wtf sessions and sislyak chatted about.

if you don't want those things, then more fool you. I'm tempted to say you should wise up, but for whatever reasons of your own you apparently wont, so I'm not going there.

and funny you should mention the whole birther thing in this context, don't you think?

best of luck to you.

hah, I'm not sure what crow I will eat. I'm perfectly aware that an investigation may turn up a link to Russia.

I just opened msn, my default browser page, and 8 of the first nine stories were opinion pieces on why Trump may have done something wrong. I loved the one titled Critics say Trump is bad. 4 of them were from the NY times.

What I would like, russell, is a discussion that was reasonable enough that we could discuss your list. Yep I would like to see his tax returns, i dont have any sense for his actual gifts received/ip stuff, Im pretty sure you cant stick a few hundred million dollars worth of businesses in a blind trust in a practical sense, in my world everybody talks all the time about investor visas, it's a standard vc pitch and I know qukte a few guys who moved their company headquarters here to get one,and frankly, "fuck your feelings" is a pretty standard line from the liberal commentators here, usually framed in some derogatory way using the term "fee-fees" so "back at ya" is a little rich.

Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred:

butbutbutbutbut.....

The White House says this account is not correct. And Mr. Trump, in an interview on Thursday with NBC, described a far different dinner conversation with Mr. Comey in which the director asked to have the meeting and the question of loyalty never came up.

who you gonna believe, Comey or a guy who can't go five words without lying about something?

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