Posts Tagged ‘ Comey ’

External standards

Apr 20th, 2018 1:58 pm | By

Comey was on the Colbert show the other day. The Times took some notes.

In recent days Trump has been furiously tweeting about Comey, even suggesting he should be put in jail.

Colbert asked him how he felt about Trump’s twitter insults.

Comey told Colbert that the episode seemed to reflect the reasons he decided to write “A Higher Loyalty”: to remind the country that it should not take the president’s public acts too lightly.

“My first reaction to those kinds of tweets is a shrug — like, ‘Oh, there he goes again.’ But actually then I caught myself and I said, ‘Wait a minute. If I’m shrugging, are the rest of the country shrugging? And does that mean

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The President pointed his fingers at his head

Apr 20th, 2018 11:12 am | By

Chris Cilizza comments on some highlights from the memos:

3. “The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear fashion…..It really was conversation-as-jigsaw-puzzle in a way, with pieces picked up, then discarded, then returned to.”

No observation anywhere in these memos rings truer of Trump than this one, which comes from the one-on-one dinner the two men at the White House eight days after Trump had been sworn in.

Watch any Trump press conference or speech and you are immediately struck by the massively haphazard nature of it. Trump can jump — as he did earlier this week — from his

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Height clearance in submarines

Apr 20th, 2018 9:55 am | By

Reading the Comey memos this morning. Notice that they were no sooner handed over to Congress than they were leaked. So much for that whole pesky law and order idea that evidence from an ongoing investigation should not be handed over to Congress.

On page 3 the memo of the dinner for two begins. Comey reports that he had a chance to chat with the two servers before Trump got there, and that they were both retired Navy submariners and the three of them “had a fun discussion about height clearance in submarines.”

The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear

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To protect the institutions

Apr 17th, 2018 11:43 am | By

I think I’m approaching an understanding of what happened with Comey and the emails and the press conference and the letter. Basically it’s that the alternative wasn’t as much better as we (with the luxury of not living through it) may imagine. He says over and over that it was a choice between bad options. There was no good one. What would have been so bad about not saying anything when the FBI closed the investigation? The fact that Fox and Trump-fan Twitter would have been all over it like an oozing infectious skin disease.

He explains it (again) in that NPR interview.

Inskeep: Let me circle back to the Hillary Clinton case and the decisions that you made

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A rogue element

Apr 16th, 2018 11:53 am | By

Nate Silver points out an aspect I would love to know more about. (I don’t suppose we ever will.)

Stephanopoulos doesn’t quite pose the “why not wait?” question directly to Comey, but Comey’s thinking seems to have been influenced by concerns that pro-Trump elements within the FBI would leak word of the Weiner emails to the media.

From the transcript where they’re talking about why he sent the letter about re-opening the emails investigation:… Read the rest



A tremendous education

Apr 16th, 2018 9:06 am | By

Funny thing: I did a search of the Comey interview and the word “truth” appears 48 times. “Truth matters” appears 3 times.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Right at the beginning of your career, you’re involved in prosecution of major mafia figures. How does that form you?

JAMES COMEY: Well, it’s a tremendous education to get– a view inside La Cosa Nostra, the mafia, both in the United States and in Sicily. And to realize that the mafia is an organization like any other organization. Has a leader, has underlings, has values, has principles. They’re entirely corrupt. And it is the antithesis of ethical leadership.

But I didn’t know it at the time. But it was forming my view that the truth has

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When the stakes rise, self-examination diminishes

Apr 15th, 2018 10:27 am | By

Carlos Lozada at the Post reviews Comey’s book. He’s not besotted with him.

Running through the book, a sort of geek chorus, is Comey’s doctrine of “ethical leadership,” an often preachy and sometimes profound collection of principles that he believes should govern those who govern. “A Higher Loyalty” is the brand extension of James Comey: the upright citizen turned philosopher, the lawman as thought leader.

I’ve learned to be suspicious of people – or maybe I mean men – who need brand extensions or hope to be thought leaders.

Comey understands that side-by-side comparisons are not a true measure of leadership, that leaders should be assessed against their own best performances and highest aspirations. “Ethical leaders do not run

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The toxic consequences of lying

Apr 13th, 2018 9:40 am | By

A Times review of (or essay on) Comey’s book. The headlines in the margin indicate there are several, so I don’t say the Times review. It’s interesting.

Decades before he led the F.B.I.’s investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Comey was a career prosecutor who helped dismantle the Gambino crime family; and he doesn’t hesitate in these pages to draw a direct analogy between the Mafia bosses he helped pack off to prison years ago and the current occupant of the Oval Office.

A February 2017 meeting in the White House with Trump and then chief of staff Reince Priebus left Comey recalling his days as a federal prosecutor facing

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Pee brain wakes up

Apr 13th, 2018 8:30 am | By

Good morning to you too, Don.

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An extensive campaign

Apr 12th, 2018 7:52 am | By

Strange times.

President Donald Trump’s allies are preparing an extensive campaign to fight back against James Comey’s publicity tour, trying to undermine the credibility of the former FBI director by reviving the blistering Democratic criticism of him before he was fired nearly a year ago.

The battle plan against Comey, obtained by CNN, calls for branding the nation’s former top law enforcement official as “Lyin’ Comey” through a website, digital advertising and talking points to be sent to Republicans across the country before his memoir is released next week. The White House signed off on the plan, which is being overseen by the Republican National Committee.

“Lyin’ Comey” ffs – is everybody 6? Are we all reverting to … Read the rest



People in the room were stunned

Apr 11th, 2018 11:14 am | By

Well this should be interesting. (I suppose Trump will start shelling Syria at 9:55 Eastern on Sunday night.) Stephanopoulos sits down for a heart to heart with Comey. A source who was there says it’s going to shock King Donald.

The source said Comey’s comments, in his first interview since being fired by President Trump last May, will generate headlines and “certainly add more meat to the charges swirling around Trump.”

  • In an ABC promo, Stephanopoulos says Comey compared Trump to a mob boss.

According to the source:

  • The Comey interview left people in the room stunned — he told George things that he’s never said before.
  • Some described the experience as surreal. The question will be how
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Character witnesses

Feb 5th, 2018 5:43 pm | By

The people at Lawfare have a must-read for us: FBI messages circulated in the wake of Comey’s firing. They’re all the more convincing for the fact that the FBI didn’t send them to Lawfare voluntarily; Benjamin Wittes had to sue to get them to cough up.

In the Knoxville field office, Special Agent in Charge Renae McDermott wrote to the staff she leads: “Unexpected news such as this is hard to understand but I know you all know our Director stood for what is right and what is true!!! . . . He truly made us better when we needed it the most.”

The following day, in an email with the subject line “Follow up with your squads,” she

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Don’s whoppers

Aug 19th, 2017 11:22 am | By

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes write in Foreign Policy that there is now evidence demonstrating that Trump lied when he said the FBI rank and file had lost confidence in Comey.

The day after Comey’s dismissal, then-Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said:

The president, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey. The [Justice Department] lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.

At the time, a reporter challenged Sanders’s claim, reading her a quote from a special agent in the FBI who asserted, “The vast majority

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At his core a dishonest and untrustworthy man

Jun 10th, 2017 10:02 am | By

At this point the people who don’t think Trump is a confirmed resolute habitual liar would fit comfortably inside a boutique coffee shop in Sausalito. Dana Milbank won’t be sharing a table with them.

In the three hours I sat transfixed in Room 216 of the Hart Building, 15 feet behind the fired FBI director, the line that chilled me more than any other was Comey’s account of why he wrote extensive, real-time notes of his conversations with Trump. “The nature of the person,” Comey explained in part. “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.”

The nature of the person.

This was the

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When the subject is spilling beans

Jun 10th, 2017 3:53 am | By

There’s another likely explanation for why Comey didn’t tell Trump he was being inappropriate:

During the hearing, several senators pressed Comey about why he didn’t ask obvious follow-up questions, as when Trump allegedly said to the director, “We had that thing.” What thing? Comey also might have queried, “Mr. President, what do you mean when you say you ‘hope’?” Or, as various commentators have suggested, why didn’t Comey say, “I’m sorry, Mr. President, but this is highly inappropriate and I’m going to have to excuse myself”?

Ask any reporter, whose skills are essentially investigative, and the answer is: You don’t ever interrupt when the subject is spilling beans.

Ohhhh. Of course. Comey’s the head of the FBI and there’s Trump … Read the rest



The bad man talks back

Jun 9th, 2017 2:48 pm | By

The lying sack of shit is fighting back. He threw a news conference this afternoon along with another hapless head of state, and seized the opportunity to say Comey lied under oath.

President Trump on Friday accused James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, of lying under oath to Congress in testimony that the president dismissed as a politically motivated proceeding.

“Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction,” Mr. Trump said in the White House Rose Garden, during a news conference with the visiting Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis.

“That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election they shouldn’t have lost,” he said. “It was just an excuse, but we were very, very happy, and, frankly, James

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Because he’s a beastly minotaur and no chains can bind him

Jun 9th, 2017 12:03 pm | By

Benjamin Wittes on the Comey hearing as a matter of honor and dishonor:

It is a clarifying moment whenever an honorable person speaks plainly in public about a person he or she evidently regards as dishonorable on a matter of public moment. And today, a nation not normally riveted by congressional hearings got a chance to see what I was talking about. In three hours of testimony characterized by well-controlled but palpable anger, Comey attacked what he described as “lies” about the FBI and “defam[ation]” about himself; he accused the President of the United States of implicitly directing him to drop a major criminal investigation of a former senior official; he described a pattern of disrespect for the independence

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A sample

Jun 8th, 2017 11:46 am | By

Politico has done a transcript already; thanks, Politico.

Comey’s introductory remarks, starting after he went home as a private citizen after being fired:

But then the explanations, the shifting explanations, confused me and increasingly concerned me. They confused me because the president and I had had multiple conversations about my job, both before and after he took office, and he had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job, and he hoped I would stay. And I had repeatedly assured him that I did intend to stay and serve out the years of my term. He told me repeatedly that he had talked to lots of people about me, including our current Attorney General, and had learned that I

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A very open and candid discussion

Jun 8th, 2017 10:08 am | By

The hearing.

I missed the first hour, and turned it off while Cornyn was questioning because I was getting restless. The hour+ I did see was interesting.

Comey sat grim-faced at a witness table before the Senate Intelligence Committee shortly after 10 a.m. as the committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), began the hearing by calling for a “very open and candid discussion’’ about the “strained relationship’’ between the president and Comey. Comey’s written account of those discussions, made public on Wednesday, have fueled the debate over whether the president may have attempted to obstruct justice by pressuring the FBI director about a sensitive investigation.

Comey began his testimony by saying he became “confused and increasingly concerned’’ about

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It turned out to be just the two of them

Jun 7th, 2017 12:09 pm | By

Comey’s statement is out.

He first met Trump on January 6 “to brief him and his new national security team on the findings of an IC assessment concerning Russian efforts to interfere in the election.” He calls the details salacious so I guess that’s the stuff about the water games in the hotel bed purportedly once slept in by the Obamas.

The Director of National Intelligence asked that I personally do this portion of the briefing because I was staying in my position and because the material implicated the FBI’s counter-intelligence responsibilities. We also agreed I would do it alone to minimize potential embarrassment to the President-Elect. Although we agreed it made sense for me to do the briefing,

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