Posts Tagged ‘ Comey ’

The compromises necessary to survive Trump

May 1st, 2019 12:29 pm | By

Comey has thoughts on William Barr.

People have been asking me hard questions. What happened to the leaders in the Trump administration, especially the attorney general, Bill Barr, who I have said was due the benefit of the doubt?

How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like “no collusion” and F.B.I. “spying”? And downplaying acts of obstruction of justice as products of the president’s being “frustrated and angry,” something he would never say to justify the thousands of crimes prosecuted every day that are the product of frustration and anger?

How could he write and say things about the report by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, that were apparently so

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Clinton’s emails for heaven’s sake

Dec 7th, 2018 3:39 pm | By

Comey has emerged from the absurd closed-door questioning the Republicans insisted on in the last few days before the Democrats bump them. He tells us they talked about Hillary Clinton’s emails for heaven’s sake – his words. He says it was stupid and didn’t need to happen. He says he can’t talk about current investigations.

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A tendency toward a corrupting belief

Apr 22nd, 2018 9:56 am | By

Jennifer Palmieri has an interesting take on Comey and what he did in 2016.

She’s never met him but they have mutual friends and a lot of DC overlap, since she was director of communications in the Obama administration and then in Clinton’s campaign.

I don’t harbor ill will toward him. Our mutual friends attest to his high character, and his book, A Higher Loyalty, shows him to be a thoughtful person, generous boss and a colleague who—despite being prone to bouts of self-absorption—seems able to laugh at himself. Even though he is a Republican, I have never thought that he allowed his personal political views to drive his decisions as FBI director. I also value Jim Comey’s adherence

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Yes but what did you FEEL?

Apr 21st, 2018 11:05 am | By

The Times suggests the Republicans may have made a booboo in demanding that Rosenstein hand over the Comey memos. All the memos have done is show that Comey has been consistent.

Democrats said the memos helped establish that Mr. Comey was not a disgruntled employee who made up stories about the president.

“Thanks @HouseGOP for urging release of the Comey memos!” Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, gleefully wrote on Twitter.

That made me laugh quite … Read the rest

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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