President Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey


#42

Are you blind to reality? Does the news take a while to reach you in the comfort of a foreign country? We need an end to the lies. Where are Trump’s taxes? Why are we subjected to these show hearings where the GOP tries to incriminate everyone except the criminals. How many times did they accuse Sally Yates of leaking, and lying, felonies. How many times did they accuse Huma of felonies? How many useless questions about leaks and masking?

How much more damage, GOP? How much more damage to the country are you willing to allow before you do what is right for your country, a country that has given you everything. And when she needs your loyalty and your courage, you cower and calculate.

We need an independent investigation. I nominate Preet Bharara.


#43

So how does everyone think the WAY in which Trump fired Comey, basically complete and utter humiliation and disrespect, will be viewed by civil servants everywhere? I can’t imagine even if you are not a Comey fan in our government that that did not really disgust you…


#44

It’s obvious that firing Comey was a way for Trump to protect himself against the investigation into his ties with Russia. But that negative, defensive reason for getting rid of Comey doesn’t exclude the possibility that Trump might have been getting a twofer. He may also want someone who will do his bidding as Director of the FBI, and Comey wasn’t that someone, so he had to go to make room. Trump may be looking for a positive, aggressive benefit from having a loyalist as head of the Bureau.

The Firing Could Just Be Random Flailing
That’s a possibility you have to consider when talking about anything Trump says or does. The point is that the man does, and especially says, seemingly demented and/or insane things so often, that at some point, it makes sense to stop looking for some underlying strategy to what he says and does, and just accept the surface appearance as the only reality. There is no strategy he is pursuing, he’s just demented and/or insane, and his actions are random. He fired Comey because he was watching Fox one night last week and just a got a wild hair over something Comey said or did on the TV screen. End of story.

That possibility should by now be a commonplace, so obvious that you don’t have to mention it anymore when talking about any possible strategy behind Trump’s actions. It’s almost a given. I only mention it now to point out that it really is convenient for Trump that he has put us all into the position of having to become a conspiracy theorist just to start down the path of building any rational explanation for anything he does. You almost have to be crazy yourself to see any strategy guiding the actions of this obviously crazy person.

I can’t pass up this opportunity to remind a wider and younger audience about Vincent “The Chin” Gigante. He was one of the late period NY mob bosses, on the tail end of NY mob bossery. The Feds were after him, closing in on him, and he knew it. So he took to wandering around his neighborhood at all hours in his pajamas and flip-flops, saying random and often completely incoherent things to the neighbors he encountered on the street. This actually seems to have delayed his prosecution for years, because the case against a mob boss isn’t made up of having his fingerprints on murder weapons, but of having the testimony of underlings that your defendant is some criminal mastermind. How do you convince a jury that a guy who wanders around the neighborhood in his pajamas babbling randomly is a criminal mastermind?

How could this 4AM rage tweeting Trump be a political, much less criminal, mastermind? He’s got us all having to get over that hurdle before we can even start to build a case that he’s up to anything, anything good or no good.

It’s unfortunate that The Chin’s name does not lend itself to any snazzy handle we could put on this tactic, pretending to be so demented and disorganized that you couldn’t possibly be planning anything nefarious. The Chin Effect doesn’t do it for me, and doesn’t really reference back to Gigante. Gigantism is already taken, the name of a physical medical condition. But handy label or not, you have to consider that the seeming randomness, the flailing, might itself be a tactic. He hides not just what he’s up to, but even whether he has the capacity to be up to anything.

Firing Comey As A Defensive Measure
This is, as I say, the obvious reason for Trump to have fired Comey, especially to have fired him now, when Comey’s FBI is investigating his ties to Russia. Whether you think of him as a tower of integrity or an officious prick, Comey does at least seem to have been serious about pursuing the Russia probe. Picking a replacement for Comey with zero inclination to pursue the investigation is within Trump’s power, and even if he has to compromise on that ideal a bit for purposes of public relations or Senate relations, he could hardly fail to do better than Comey in terms of the zeal with which the investigation is pursued.

One aspect of this defensive benefit that I haven’t seen talked about is that taking out the FBI, or legal, contribution to the investigation has an extra, synergistic, benefit that exceeds its direct benefit.

Taking action against a sitting president is not an easy undertaking. They have quite a bit of power and at least the office gets quite a bit of respect and deference. To take Watergate as an example, despite the clear evidence early on that Nixon was guilty as sin of crimes anyone would consider impeachable, it took literally years of siege warfare to get him out of the White House. It perhaps looks straightforward in retrospect, if studied as history, but at the time, living through it as it happened, it was slow, tortuous and the way through to conviction on impeachment never seemed assured until the final week or so. There was the political arm of the siege, the House and Senate committee hearings, and there was the legal arm, the investigations by Cox and then Jaworski, in Judge Sirica’s Federal District Court, and then of course the journalistic arm, the earliest and most persistent. All three proceeded slowly, covering each other’s flanks as the process ground forward. But it kept making progress because each arm would use material uncovered by the others to cover its own further advance from attacks by the president’s many defenders. It was the conventional wisdom at the time that it wouldn’t have worked, Nixon would have served out his term, if any of the three arms had faltered. That’s why Nixon was driven to the desperate measure of firing Cox, because he gambled that that would eliminate that arm of the siege, and the other two would be stymied by that loss of synergistic effect. But he made that move too late, and he was forced by public and political pressure to let Jaworski push on with Cox’s work.

The analogy here is that Trump is doing his Saturday Night Massacre early enough to succeed at eliminating the legal arm of the investigation. He, or his handlers, calculate that they will be able to ride out the storm of criticism, that they have taken out the legal arm of the investigation and won’t be forced to replace Comey with an FBI Director nearly as much of a tower of integrity or a prick, or with any sort of independent counsel with similar qualities. In this case of the Russia-Trump ties, a synergistic effect between separate the political and legal arms might be even more important than it was for Watergate, because the Russia investigation more directly and centrally involves classified material. Our culture of official secrecy, in addition to the many other pathologies it encourages, provides an excellent weapon for the Executive to defend itself against investigation. The president’s men can criminalize the release of damning evidence of their wrong-doing simply by classifying such information. Having the FBI on the inside free to look at such classified evidence, then lateral it to the political or journalistic arms for release to the public, could end up being crucial to the success of the effort to stop Trump.

As a side note, perhaps this last consideration, of classified information potentially being crucial to how this all turns out, explains why Comey was fired the way he was fired. Sure, doing it when Comey was off in California, and sending the Trump organization’s chef of security to hand Comey his pink slip, may just have been the random acts of a petulant crazy man. But perhaps they didn’t want to give Comey any lead time to prepare a set of information to take with him into his forced retirement. You have to wonder if Trump sent his personal security chief to get Comey to hand over any electronic devices on him out in California.

Picking A New FBI Director As An Offensive Measure
This possibility does not conflict with the defensive benefits of firing Comey. Thinking about the firing in terms of what positive benefit Trump might plan to get from Comey’s replacement doesn’t have to be premised on any idea that the negative benefits, getting rid of the threat of the Russia investigation, don’t exist, or are trivial.

Maybe Trump would like to have an enforcer in the job of FBI Director.

To see what I mean by that, consider his AG pick, Jeff Sessions. He may have been mostly just furniture during his time in the Senate, but he got his start as a legal enforcer. He’s most notorious for his legal career as a prosecutor oppressing blacks. That’s what got him nixed for appointment to the Supreme Court. But even earlier in his career, his specialty was putting Democratic politicians in Alabama in jail.

It’s one thing, a nice thing if you’re a Republican, to be able to toss black and brown people in jail. But how much nicer, and perhaps, as the heat on Trump grows, necessary, to be able to toss uppity legislators, and journalists, and ex-FBI Directors in jail. Just being able to credibly threaten jail would mostly do the trick. The prosecutor arm of that legal enforcer team, the AG, is already in place. But you need a matching set, you need synergy in federal law enforcement, to get the full benefit of intimidation possible to someone who controls the executive branch. Trump needs an enforcer as FBI Director.

This doesn’t even have to be terribly overt enforcement to be effective, perhaps even decisive. For example, many people are now saying that they expect Comey to unload on the people who fired him. He was fired because he was getting too close to ugly truths, and presumably has much he could share with the surviving arms of the anti-Trump effort. But I’m not so sure that Comey is terribly free to unload much, even if he would want to. There actually are perhaps some legitimate security concerns against him revealing everything he might know. But depending on how ruthless the federal police and prosecutors threaten to be, his scope for saying anything, even to Congress, could shrink to zero.

It’s true that’s just an example of a good offense being the best defense. But the two are inextricably linked. If Trump did plan to go in for a career of high stakes, high pressure political moves to beat Congress into submission — as an example, by holding the funding bills hostage as Mulvaney keeps talking about — his unconventional approach to politics would make him vulnerable to removal by a coalition of conventional politicians of both parties. So far he’s safe from removal because he hasn’t made any high stakes moves, just displayed a bizarre personal style, and conventional politicians won’t be roused to anything as unconventional as ousting a president until and unless he forces a crisis. Right now Trump is protected from removal by inertia, but if he tries anything dramatic, if he goes kinetic, he will need something else to protect him from Pence and the House and Senate. Fear seems the most likely candidate for insuring Trump security. Fear of aggressive FBI investigation and DoJ prosecution seems the handiest fear available to Trump. He’s already got his man at DoJ for that, now he needs his man at FBI.

If Trump does plan to ever be aggressive, to stop just padding around the neighborhood in his pajamas and flip flops punching rage tweets into his personal electronic device, if he wants instead to play politics with Congress and the courts and win, he needs a good defense to be able to make bold moves that would put him in danger of impeachment or the 25th if he didn’t have that aggressive defense. He needs ruthless enforcers bringing the full weight of the federal govt down on the opposition.


#45

From yesterday:

A convincing argument that the Trump Admin actively committed obstruction of justice in firing Comey to kill the FBI’s Russia investigation …

Per the AP today:

BREAKING: Trump lawyer: Tax returns from past 10 years show no "income of any type from Russian sources," with few exceptions.

— The Associated Press (@AP) May 12, 2017

“with few exceptions” - Uh huh … smh

This thing is beginning to snowball. It’s about to get real ugly …


#46

No, I’m not blind and contrary to your contention that I am not well informed… I will beg to differ. You are right… there are lots of lies. They bury Washington in filth. They bury the media in an occupational description that reads more like a prostitute than a journalist…

Like most things that seem to occur in life, someone does something because they think it poses a direct advantage to their situation. I.E. George Romney in the 1960’s… He created a precedent because like so many dimwits today, he did nothing wrong so he posted his life for the rest of the world to see… Some people actually cherish their privacy and for some 150 years, no president publically posted their private lives for the overwhelming scrutiny that public officials receive today even though most were aristocrats and had wealth, property. No one pulled John Kennedy up for his wealth and up until Trump, he was the wealthiest president in history. The only time Trumps private business actually becomes relevant is in a crimes based investigation… not before. I certainly didn’t hear this kind of clambering for Hillary to open up her foundation as a gesture of transparency… and I can just bet there are a whole lot of connect the dot transactions that reside in its official record (if they aren’t regularly washed).
There are a whole lot of lies that we should address to clean up Washington… perhaps Comey should take up Julian Assage’s offer for employment… As Assage says; Comey knows where all the bodies are buried but then again, perhaps he helped dig many of the holes.

See, I don’t mind getting to the truth where ever that truth is but we have a narrative here that is and has been used for months to create this impression that Trump and his entire campaign mechanism was little more than a proxy for Putin. As the narrative goes. Putin has been giving Trump a reach around for years and finally said “You know what Donald… I have the people in place to make it happen, I want you to run for US president”… and Donald just beamed and said “Oh yes Vladimir…”
That is the story, no less incredulous than the comment you made about Yates… no proof, no smoke and a dossier that appears to have so many holes in it that even democrats feel the FBI got ripped off for paying for shoddy work.

Any impropriety in our elections should be uncovered… that includes all forms of election fraud (Russians could be their), electioneering (Russian agents could be their), video evidence of DNC sponsored violence (Russians wouldn’t have been here… right?)and then of course a bit of home grown election rigging when the Clinton campaign and the DNC conspired to scuttle Sander, etc, etc, etc. See what you see as blatant disregard for the facts surrounding Trump is not true at all … it is absolute anger at the disregard for wrong doings that has occurred in Washington for decades… the fact that a lot of that wrongdoing is supported your particular political agenda reeks of hypocrisy. The continuing narrative and ‘journalistic license’… the unnamed sources with no proof, no real actionable evidence and yet the narrative continues… that makes blood run out of my… well you know!

Cute, where you waving some little Mexican…er American flags when you typed that… If Trump gave an open account of everything he knows before congress and under oath, you still wouldn’t believe him…because you don’t like him. But then again, Hillary wasn’t very forthcoming at answering hard questions either…and had she been elected comey would have met the same ethical fate and you would have rejoiced but the right would be just as disappointed and looking for a special prosecutor for several Clinton related incidences and more than a couple during Obamas reign of … power.


#47

And the end results?

My bet nothing will happen.

Nothing happened with the IRS over each and Lois Lerner.
Nothing happened with Hilly’s investigation.
Did the impeachment of Clinton go anywhere?

And nothing will happen here. The question is, will the right begin spouting off about all the money wasted on investigations?

p.s. This is not like the time of Richard Nixon when politicians had integrity.


#48

I love the way people read things… Really Jan?

“We want this to come to its conclusion.” “We think that we’ve actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen”

If you believe, as democrats have vocally conveyed in the past, that James Comey has broken many ethical standards, could you not just as well conclude that getting rid of someone who … it would seem at one time or another, almost everyone felt was incompetent at effectively doing his job, might move the process to conclusion?

Where is your objectivity??? The word is ‘some’ not the more dubious ‘few’ and as we can clearly see the Miss Universe contest held in Moscow which we knew about and a property sold to a Russian billionaire that was reported months ago. It is going to be funny when the people who started the snowball become part of it. :grinning:

Washington - Lawyers for President Donald Trump said Friday that a review of his last 10 years of tax returns do not reflect “any income of any type from Russian sources,” with some exceptions. It’s the latest attempt by the president to tamp down concerns about any Russian ties amid an ongoing investigation of his campaign’s associates.

The attorneys did not release copies of Trump’s tax returns, so The Associated Press cannot independently verify their conclusions. Their review also notably takes into account only Trump’s returns from the past 10 years, leaving open questions about whether there were financial dealings with Russia in earlier years.

In a letter released to the AP, the attorneys said there is no equity investment by Russians in entities controlled by Trump or debt owed by Trump to Russian lenders. But it did reflect some exceptions, including income from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant that was held in Moscow and a property sold to a Russian billionaire in 2008 for $95 million.

P.S. I started to respond to your comments above but the @FiredUpDem commented and I got sidetracked… anything that does not overlap with my response to her, I will get back to you with.

People are even grumbling now that this release only covers the last 10 years tax returns… really? just how far back do we get to troll… perhaps Clinton’s Arkansas governor days and earlier could shed light on his dubious past… and I certainly didn’t see Hillary volunteering her life history… hell, she wouldn’t even answer questions at a press conference.


#49

I don’t often agree with ‘Maher blaher’, he did speak some truth in this little clip… and while their is far more blame to go around as to why Trump fired Comey, at least Maher put his remarks at the feet of the correct family…

Bill Maher surprised his panel and audience on Friday when he put the blame on the firing of FBI Director James Comey ultimately at the feet of Bill Clinton.

During “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the host said while President Donald Trump was the person who let Comey go, during the election Clinton walked onto then Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s plane which forced her to remove herself from the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server

“I don’t think this is said enough,” Maher explained. “Bill Clinton… but a lot of this is because of Bill Clinton. The reason why Comey had to say what he did is because the attorney general had to recuse herself because he walked on her plane. Let’s not forget that.”

“Bill Clinton, once again, fucked up his wife’s life,” he added. “Absolutely. Absolutely.”

“If Bill Clinton hadn’t walked on Loretta Lynch’s plane, then she would’ve been making the statement instead of Comey,” he continued. “Yes, [Comey] made a statement we didn’t like, but he was given an almost impossible situation. That’s where we are: Bill Clinton. Let’s put the blame where it belongs.”


#50

The Palmer report? Even Tech Insider, and Huff Poo have called that clown out for lying- might want to get corroboration first…


#51

One has to ask about the source?

Palmer Report

These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward liberal causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage liberal causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy.


#52

We must however never be to quick to dismiss news sources out of hand… many are only one hit wonders but they uncover major events. One that the palmer report has pushed is that tapes have been record making ‘certain’ republicans complicit in Russian hacking and point their crooked little finger in Ryan’s direction… of course if you want to put Pelosi in the oval office you don’t just need to take down Trump and Pence… but then again Ryan is a pretty slippery dude…

To show you what I mean about the Palmer ‘revelations’ that Evan McMullin had given tapes to WashPo(?) talking about Trump being paid by Putin… Gateway.com, someone that is at the other end of the spectrum but, in my opinion, do not print factual error gives us this in confirmation of what Palmer had already reported:

That said of course, all of this drumming for impeachment is going to take someone down hard… and it may not be who we expect. Political careers are going to get trounced or the political divide will be so pervasive government function and the rule of law will loose all meaning…


#53

Of course you need to be very weary of the New York Times… a publication that trades on a name that was created many years ago in an ethical environment far, far from today…

Like this for instance: Since when is ‘ethical’ reporting … I heard it from a friend of a friend :rolling_eyes:


#54

Comey of course is set to testify again before congress and the entire DC media is in carnival mode but you have to wonder… will they be disappointed if he doesn’t deliver the goods…

Trump is being supportive… :slight_smile:


#55

Perhaps- biased polling, naw that never happened and President Hillary Cli- oh wait…


#56

The media would could never be accused of biased reporting.

It was well published and ruled the headlines for months when Obama claimed executive privilege with fast and furious and of course trump will receive the sam treatment for not claiming executive privilege with Cozy’s testimony.

What a crock from our media.


#57

How you compared the bogus nonsense of Fast and Furious with the ACTUAL termination of the head of the FBI is beyond me.


#58

Guess you miss the point.

1 president blocked the truth from coming out the other didn’t.


#59

When you use the words ‘ACTUAL termination’ I guess you never considered what those words mean to the families of people, to include border agents, who were ACTUALLY TERMINATED by the bullets from the firearms that he and his handed to the criminals who pulled the trigger…


#60

Actual termination?

He served at the pleasure of the president.

There is no guarantee of employment with an appointed position.

But your outrage is rather humorous.


#61

I think all of this is going to unravel for the #nevertrumpers… and the perpetual haters… and the best part is that it is going to play out on television so peoples living rooms nationwide can explode in unison…