Farewell to FBI Director James Comey.  I give thanks to him for destroying the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton though, strangely, it seems to be the reason Donald Trump fired him.

Seriously though, this was a purely Machiavellian coup in terms of its surprise and impact.  Comey had taken too much of the heat for seemingly granting Trump the victory last November (as far as certain pollsters are concerned) and it was necessary for Trump to do this and to demonstrate that he owed him nothing.  Importantly too, there was zero chance that the reputation of the FBI could be restored as long as Comey remained in that position.  This was a good move on Trump’s part.

That’s not to say that everything is going to go roses for Trump from here, particularly with regard to the Russian hacking investigation.  I don’t see how the Administration can continue to resist the appointment of an independent prosecutor.  Hell, it’s necessary.

Exit question: Do you think there’s any chance that Trump fired Comey because he knew that the Russian hacking investigation was wrapping up and was going to have a favorable result?  The optics would have been terrible if Comey was both the kingmaker and the one who then cleared Trump’s Administration of wrongdoing in the other election factor.

54 comments

  1. I think your exit question sounds like wishful thinking.
    Meanwhile, on the left, people think this is like that time Nixon fire Cox.
    I honestly don’t know. Comey had this Boy Scout thing going on, I think he honestly was trying to be honest and above board, but the mess we are in is not conducive to that sort of thing.
    But, given what we know of Trump, it might be as simple as he heard the quote about Comey feeling slightly nauseated and got mad at him…
    The question is, who’s the replacement – Chachi or Antonio Sabato Jr.?

  2. Okay, if you didn’t like that exit question, how about this one: Do you think Trump fired Comey as a first step toward appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary’s email server as he threatened to do during the campaign? The fact that this was the reason given for Comey’s termination would seem to be relevant if that’s where this is going.

  3. Sessions should not be firing anyone on the Russian investigation. Alfred E. Klansman should’ve recused himself long ago.

  4. Not sure what you mean. Sessions did recuse himself from the Russia investigation a couple of months ago.

  5. He shouldnt be involved in firing people from the case he’s recused himself from.

  6. Yeah that’s not transparent bullshit. This is about Comey not going hard enough on Hillary (wink, wink).

  7. I am not sure why he couldn’t appointment a prosecutor without firing Comey. It’s not like Comey could stop him.
    More like there’s something to the Russia thing and they know Comey would not let it slide if he finds it.

  8. No because there’s no one now who will conduct the investigation. Rosenstein is now carrying this out and there’s no need for an independent party?

    Impeachment here we come!

  9. There’s an Acting Director of the FBI who can continue leading it. A Democrat one at that. The team of investigators who were assigned to the investigation is still there.

    This changes nothing.

  10. That argument is only valid if we are talking about Sessions lying under oath to Congress. No other case.

  11. Chris Christie is to Chachi like Giuliani is to Antonio Sabato Jr.?
    I’ve also seen Ray Kelly and Mike Rogers as possibles.

  12. Keep reading that firing letter and fuckin that chicken it will totally end well. Rosenstein’s reputation is ruined.

    Title 28 or impeachment

  13. Rosenstein is fine. He recommended a course of action that multiple congressional Democrats have been calling for since last October.

    Why would any Republican congressman vote to impeach Trump for firing Comey? There’s no cause to impeach Trump over this.

    It’s already been confirmed that Trump isn’t the target of any criminal investigation that Comey was leading. The one criminal investigation that is going on with Flynn isn’t even about the election.

    When are you going to face the fact that Trump is your president and will be until the end of his term?

  14. It’s already been confirmed that Trump isn’t the target of any criminal investigation that Comey was leading. The one criminal investigation that is going on with Flynn isn’t even about the election.

    That is not what every other tweet, politico blog and news story is saying. well implying anyway.
    Comey was investigating Trump, Trump ended that by firing comey, full stop. Trump doesn’t care what it looks like. Comey cant even reveal the detail of a on going investigation even iff hes out on his ass. or that trump is so oblivious he doesn’t even realize how bad this looks.

    Well that what i learned from my lib friends on FB today…
    oh that and hes a chicken shit,,, fires anyone who talks bad about him, small hands small dick..ect ect..

  15. it seems they they are playing the “if we ignore it hard enough, it didnt happen” type of thinking.

  16. Yeah, it’s a shame. I’ve almost given up on the idea that it’s possible to have any sort of rational discussion about this topic. Almost.

  17. I’m sorry but there isn’t any “evidence” that trump is in the clear of anything. Tbh I personally feel trump is too stupid to keep collusion with the Russians to rig an election under wraps. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a scandal and doesn’t run deep into right wing politics. I think there will be plenty to gawk at if there is an honest investigation that continues with the Flynn subpoenaes.

    I sure wish trumpalos had the stalwart patience of trump’s “100 day” benchmark for any investigation that actually has to observe judicial protocol.

    What we have here is a situation trump cannot spin out of. Even if his behavior isn’t criminal or at least the sign of a guilty conscience, it shows that he has given in to immediate impulses (again) and fired someone for being inconvenient. You’d think that even a dipshit THOT like him that spends his life on twitter would know that conspiracies do not go away simply because you shut people up. He spent the better part of the obama presidency promoting the birther farce.

    At the very least this is delicious schadenfruede that his presidency will NEVER be rid of this pox no matter how many times his fanbois say the media is rigged while pointing to trump’s personal media outlets.

  18. First, Trump doesn’t have to “prove” his innocence. He’s not even under criminal investigation.

    Second, firing Comey wasn’t an impulsive decision. Trump waited until he had a Deputy AG confirmed who could then draft the recommendation to remove Comey. Rosenstein has only been on the job for two weeks.

    Again, Comey’s removal is something Democrats have been favor of since October. Seriously, if Comey felt “nauseous” about the fact that he interfered in the election, then he should have resigned after it.

  19. I’m sorry but there isn’t any “evidence” that trump is in the clear of anything.

    I’m sorry, but there isn’t any “evidence” or even any evidence that Trump is guilty of anything.

  20. Oh, I am facing the fact that Trump is my President. In fact, I am face palming this fact on a daily basis. You understand the expression “face palm?” I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.

    TRUMP: … you understand the expression “prime the pump”?
    ECONOMIST: Yes.
    TRUMP: We have to prime the pump.
    ECONOMIST: It’s very Keynesian.
    TRUMP: We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?
    ECONOMIST: Priming the pump?
    TRUMP: Yeah, have you heard it?
    ECONOMIST: Yes.
    TRUMP: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just … I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.

  21. This is such bullshit I can’t believe I’m hearing an intelligent person say it. 1.) rosenstein threatened to resign over having to do this. It was an impulsive decision that Donald thought would end the fussia story. 2.) Trump may not have to disprove anything but he sure does have to make evidence available, like his taxes. His shadiness is evident in his dealings with russian oligarchs as a private citizen. Many of which will come to light whether you like that they come from cnn or not.

    Donald has a long history of dealing with Russians. He’s careful to say he is not involved with “Russia” but he is plainly in bed with Russian oligarchs who act on behalf of the government.

    I love how you’re also whistling right past the Flynn investigation. “The turkey check isn’t even related to the election investigation.” Lmao that is such bullshit. That very check came from Russia through turkey as a shell client.

    Really man read something other than Sputnik or breitbart sometimes.

  22. That is not what every other tweet, politico blog and news story is saying. well implying anyway.

    And most of them, being the liberal media they are, are only happy to insinuate, implicate, and imply, but from all reports it is simply not true that President Trump is under investigation by the FBI.

    What is going on is a counterintelligence investigation is currently underway, investigating the extent and involvement of Russian intelligence in the election. Such an investigation is completely different from a criminal investigation, as it does not require a specific target, nor necessarily is a crime per se. It is true that these types of investigations can result in criminal charges or further criminal investigation, but we’re not there with Trump.

    Nor do I think we will be. Given that the deep state leaks like a sieve, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that were there real, actual, factual evidence of Trump committing any sort of crime, it would surely have gotten out there by now. The fact that we’re still whispering and speculating about this investigation only goes to show they haven’t found anything close to a smoking gun.

  23. 1.) Rosentein denies that he threatened to resign. Quit spreading fake news.

    2.) Trump doesn’t have to show his taxes. The time to settle that question was on Election Day.

    3.) I don’t care if he’s involved with Russia. That happens to be a country that I don’t understand why we’re so antagonistic toward it. If his dealings with them improve our relations with them, I’m happy.

    4.) I’m not whistling past the Flynn investigation. I made a whole post on it. Really. Published just this morning. And no, the fact that he got paid for doing a speech with RT in 2015 is not related to Russia hacking or campaign collusion. I feel your pain, but it’s not related. If you have some evidence that it is, kindly share it with the group.

    Otherwise, you’re just throwing crap at that wall. The points you’re making are based on fake news and conspiracy theories. I see so much of this that it’s why I say it’s almost impossible to rationally discuss this issue.

  24. What is going on is a counterintelligence investigation is currently underway, investigating the extent and involvement of Russian intelligence in the election

    Firstly, we don’t necessarily know what is and isn’t being investigated, as it’s highly unusual for the FBI to reveal who or what they’re investigating. (Or at least it used to be)

    That said, it’s probable that Trump himself isn’t being investigated. Trump claims that Comey told him as such, and I suspect that’s true, although a) Comey shouldn’t have revealed that information and b) Trump shouldn’t have asked.

    Zoomwsu, you did miss a slightly critical point in your statement above – in that they are investigating whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. So yes, they are investigating ‘The Trump campaign’ – not Trump himself.

    “I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

    Nor do I think we will be. Given that the deep state leaks like a sieve, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that were there real, actual, factual evidence of Trump committing any sort of crime, it would surely have gotten out there by now.

    Objection, supposition. You’re basically saying that you’re sure nothing has been found because you haven’t personally heard of it yet. These things take a loooong time – especially as it’s a counterintelligence investigation rather than a criminal one. It’s more than fair for that to be your guess, but it’s still just your guess as to what’s going on.

  25. 3.) I don’t care if he’s involved with Russia. That happens to be a country that I don’t understand why we’re so antagonistic toward it. If his dealings with them improve our relations with them, I’m happy.

    So this is the bit that I’m interested in…. I’m really keen to hear why so many patriotic conservatives, who are naturally distrustful of Government are happy to shrug this one off?

    Firstly, are you saying that you don’t care if any US President is involved with Russia, or just Trump?

    Secondly – the concern is that if there is some ‘there there’ with regards to the Russia/Trump investigation – it would be possible that Government decisions are being made according to priorities that aren’t putting the US interest first.

    I get that Liberals are getting their knickers in a twist and all excited like Maddow on tax night. But I guess what stuns me is that with so much on the line, conservatives aren’t more cautious with regards to the integrity of Trump and his associates.

    You could be right – it may all be a series of unfortunate coincidences, and bad optics. But thats a fuck of a risk to take when it comes to the future of the USA.

  26. 1.) If any president has a good relationship or knowledge of another power, I think it’s advantageous. I’m not sure why anyone would believe otherwise.

    2.) I think improved relations with Russia are in the best interests of the U.S..

    The American officials who are pushing increased antagonism with Russia are the ones I’m more suspicious about. What are we risking war with a nuclear power over?

  27. You’re basically saying that you’re sure nothing has been found because you haven’t personally heard of it yet. These things take a loooong time – especially as it’s a counterintelligence investigation rather than a criminal one. It’s more than fair for that to be your guess, but it’s still just your guess as to what’s going on.

    Sure. Flynn’s conversation with the Russian Ambassador gets leaked less than two weeks after it happens, but the truly damning evidence of collusion is just being held back by everyone in the know until the investigation is finalized. Just this week, Trump firing Comey caused a new round of leaks from the FBI to come forth. Most of it embarrassing for Trump, but nothing even close to criminally damaging. But I’m sure they are just waiting for the really, really bad stuff to hit him with later. Cause that’s what people who are leaking classified and confidential information generally do – wait to let the really bad stuff out.

    (In case you missed it, most of that was sarcasm)

  28. Thrill – if you think that the Trump/Russia investigation is into whether or not they have a ‘good relationship’ then I’m with you.

    But it’s not.

    The intelligence community concluded that Russia committed a crime against the USA. The investigation is into whether the Trump campaign helped them commit that crime.

    Again, is the Trump administration always acting in the best interests of the electorate, or are there instances where they are acting in favour of their own financial or other undisclosed interests?The fact that this doesn’t concern Conservatives specifically stuns me.

  29. The intelligence community concluded that Russia committed a crime against the USA.

    I’m honestly curious…which law did Russia break?

  30. I don’t question that Russia took steps to interfere in the election or that they tried to influence Trump campaign officials.

    The question to ask is why they felt the need to do that.

    Somehow, it’s okay for us to wage economic warfare against them and engage in an aggressive foreign policy against them on their western border.

    In 2016, they had one candidate who clearly wanted to keep following the policies that we’re harming them and another one who didn’t want to. It shouldn’t be hard to understand why they might’ve wanted to take action when they could.

    I don’t approve of them interfering in our elections, but I also recognize that we have provided them with a shitload of incentive to do so.

    Now that said, if Trump or any of his associates made any offers to Russians in exchange for their assistance during the election or engaged in any other activity to coordinate with them, that’s illegal and must be punished.

    But the mere existence of legal business relationships between Trump or his associates before and during the election doesn’t mean anything at all. So far, the only person we’ve seen that wasn’t on the up and up in his dealings with the Russians was Flynn. Even then, his illegal conduct wasn’t related to the election.

    The way the Trump/Russia conspiracy theorists are working is to say, “Whoa, there are all these connections between Trump’s associates and Russia! That means there must be some proof that they were working together and we just have to find it!”

    To me, it’s simply that Trump and his associates already had a pro-Russian tilt and likely for legitimate reasons. The Russians recognized this fact and did what they could to help. There’s no evidence of collusion because they didn’t need any coordination. The Trump Administration was already favorable compared to the alternative.

    Where is your concern about the influence of Ukrainians on the policy preferences of the Clinton campaign through their vast donations to the Clinton Foundation? Was Hillary planning to keep an aggressive anti-Russian foreign policy going in exchange for their support? Or is it only Republicans who aren’t allowed to have dealings with foreign countries?

    You can argue with me and make the case that a pro-Russian foreign policy isn’t in the best interests of the electorate if you want to. That’s a good debate to have. But asking me to believe that the mere existence of business interests means that Trump is working for Putin or whatever isn’t going to move me.

    I don’t have any reason to question Trump’s motives for running for president and his preferred policy stances on matters related to Russia mirrors my own. I’m simply not inclined to see anything suspicious where you do.

  31. Now that said, if Trump or any of his associates made any offers to Russians in exchange for their assistance during the election or engaged in any other activity to coordinate with them, that’s illegal and must be punished.

    Exactly. That’s exactly what everyone is worried about. Which is why there’s an investigation. And it’s important that we find out either way. Turns out you do care if he’s involved in Russia.

    To me, it’s simply that Trump and his associates already had a pro-Russian tilt and likely for legitimate reasons. The Russians recognized this fact and did what they could to help.

    Just because you think that, doesn’t make it true. Just because I suspect otherwise, doesn’t make that true either. Which is why there needs to be an independent investigation. Because if you’re right, the world can be confident that US foreign policy is on the up and up, and if I’m right, then….well…. shit…..

    Where is your concern about the influence of Ukrainians on the policy preferences of the Clinton campaign through their vast donations to the Clinton Foundation? Was Hillary planning to keep an aggressive anti-Russian foreign policy going in exchange for their support? Or is it only Republicans who aren’t allowed to have dealings with foreign countries?

    Massively concerned. Sounds like the ‘pay for play’ wasn’t ‘illegal’ technically, but I sure as hell don’t like it. I’m guessing you were fine with the whole thing though? I mean, Hillary already had a pro-Ukranian tilt and likely for legitimate reasons. Pinchuck recognised this and did what he could to help. There’s no evidence of collusion because they didn’t need any coordination. A Hillary administration was already favourable compared to the alternative.

    Flynn resigned after lying about contact with Russia, and has since retrospectively registered as a foreign agent, lobbying for a for a foreign Government during 2016

    Manafort worked for the Pro-Russian President of Ukraine. He proposed to the Russian Government in 2005 that he would “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States and Europe to benefit the Putin Government’, and got paid 10 million dollars to do so.

    Carter Page was involved in a sting that caught a Russian spy – sharing materials about the energy industry with a confirmed Russian agent.

    Sessions didn’t disclose any meetings with the Russian Ambassador in his confirmation hearings.

    Rex Tillerson as CEO of Exxon brokered a major deal with the Russian Government that would make billions of dollars for him personally. This deal broke down when sanctions were issued to Russia.

    Wilbur Ross is a shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus, a suspected money laundering operation for the Russian Government. The other major shareholders are all ex KGB and Putin Allies.

    Trump just fired the head of the investigation into the above. And that’s assuming that he doesn’t have any business interests in Russia – which would be weird, but lets take him at his word.

    Now I almost didn’t want to post that list, as I’m painfully aware that I sound like a Rachel Maddow fever dream. But if I can admit that I’m probably going overboard with some wishful thinking, and that all of the above could be a series of unfortunate coincidences, is there any way that you can admit that it does at least look a little shady, and that it’s probably best that someone just check, just in case, on the off chance, into the possibility that maybe, in some way, the Russian Government is carrying out the strategy they outlined in 2013 to undermine Western Democracies through cyber warfare.

  32. I think it’s fully appropriate for the FBI to conduct a counterintelligence investigation with regard to Russia and the 2016 election. What I want is for the FBI to clarify whether the president is under criminal investigation or not.

    This is going to continue to be a distracting political issue until that happens–which is exactly what Clinton’s campaign team wanted. Me, and millions of other Republicans, will never give this investigation any credibility as long as it is being conducted as a semi-secret witch hunt in which damaging information is released through whispers by unnamed sources.

    And yeah, your Maddow List is entirely circumstantial and doesn’t in any way indicate collusion in hacking the election. I could go line by line on it, if I wanted to but don’t see the point.

    Look, the point keeps getting made and I’ll make it again. If the damning evidence existed, it would have turned up by now. Even Mike Morrell has said that it’s all “smoke but no fire.”

    All things considered, I’m okay with Democrats obsessing over this for two reasons.

    First, Russiagate has absolutely no interest outside of people who already hated Trump. This scandal doesn’t make a single dent in his coalition that he needs in 2020.

    Second reason is that the longer it goes on, the more Democrats will invest into it. When it finally comes out that there’s nothing there in a year or so, the reaction from Democrats is going to provide a plethora of hilariously impotent rage for me to enjoy.

    Only thing that makes me nervous is that when the anti-Trumpers finally figure out that they have no legal recourse to keep Trump from completing his term, they might start seriously considering violence. If nothing else, I’m glad Russiagate is still there, encouraging them to advocate legal means of dealing with the unpleasantness of Trump.

  33. As I said below – it’s not practice for the FBI to confirm or deny what they’re investigating. So we don’t know (and shouldn’t know) if Trump himself is being investigated. Investigations have to be semi-secret. My guess is that he personally isn’t.

    But the Trump campaign is being investigated:

    “I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

    If the damning evidence existed, it would have turned up by now.

    That’s not how investigations work. They tend to take a long time, and you’re not meant to quit an investigation just because “nothings turned up yet”. That would make episodes of CSI quite a bit shorter (maybe a bonus)

    I’ll also assume you had the same attitude to Benghazi, Hillary’s Emails and Pay for Play. “Lock her up! Although I guess if there was any damning evidence it would have turned up by now, so I guess we should give her the benefit of the doubt!”

    OK here’s a question : Trump names you FBI director. What’s your course of action?

  34. I don’t know about it having to be secret. Comey did confirm when Hillary was under investigation and announced it when it was completed with negative findings. That isn’t standard practice either. He did it twice.

    Usually, these counterintelligence investigations are so secret that nobody even knows they’re going on, but this one is unusual, since one party has had it leaked and decided to make it a major political issue.

    Given how extraordinary the situation is, I think it’s reasonable to clarify who or what is under criminal investigation. If nobody is under criminal investigation, then it should be stated clearly. And I want to distinguish that there is a difference between a counterintelligence investigation and a criminal one.

    The FBI doesn’t have to tell us what they’re looking at in the CI investigation. I just think they owe it to us all to explain what’s going on with any potential criminal ones. Of course, Democrats absolutely do not want that to happen. They want this to hang over Trump for as long as possible.

    Yeah, I know how investigations work. You’ll have to take my word for it on that.

    But it’s already been going on since last July, we already know that phone calls were monitored, and interviews were conducted. What we got out of all of that was that Flynn lied to Pence. Flynn is gone and nothing has changed since then.

    With Benghazi, I didn’t need a years long investigation. All I really wanted to know was why Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi and what was the CIA’s role with regard to weapons trafficking from that city to Syria.

    I still don’t think we have good answers to those questions. But I don’t have look for invisible evidence on those topics because they’re based on facts. Stevens WAS in Benghazi when it was known to be a deteriorating security situation and the CIA WAS at least monitoring weapons shipments by somebody.

    Where Benghazi fell apart as an investigation is when everyone became obsessed with the YouTube video story and the mythological stand-down order. That wasn’t the real story.

    And no, I don’t believe that Hillary’s 33,000 deleted emails were yoga routines. In any event, I’m not one of the voices of “lock her up.” I’m not convinced that what she did was prosecutable.

    But I digress.

    If I’m the FBI Director, I do the following within a week:

    1. Hold a press conference and confirm that a counterintelligence investigation is underway regarding the 2016 election. I go to great pains to explain what the differences are between this and a criminal investigation.

    2. I confirm at the same press conference whether the president and/or his associates are under a criminal investigation.

    3. I begin conducting a serious criminal investigation of the leaks, which at this time are the only known federal felonies associated with the 2016 election that we know occurred. Comey’s failure to act on this is completely unforgivable in my mind.

    4. I refuse to have a private dinner with the president, ever.

    5. I start building a case to see Julian Assange and others at Wikileaks indicted for ANYTHING.

    These are the actions I think are necessary to depoliticize and rebuild trust in the investigation. If its ultimate outcome is to be accepted, no matter what it is, this has to be done.

  35. 1. Me too
    2. Me too – (although Comey already confirmed about Trumps associates)
    3. Agree – if it’s not already ongoing – again, Comey declined to confirm or deny if they’re investigating leaks
    4. Agree, but for a whole host of reasons 🙂
    5. Agree, but my guess is that it’s complicated….

    So you’d continue the Trump/Russia investigation?

  36. Given that I would want to conduct an investigation that is objective and apolitical, you can be assured that I would not, under any circumstances, call it the “Trump/Russia investigation”.

  37. Fair enough. But if you don’t want it to be secret, and you also want to publicly say what it is you’re investigating, you’ll need to call it something.

    May I suggest the “Investigation into the circumstances around the Russians cyber attacks on matters related to the 2016 election including whether or not anyone connected to the Trump campaign facilitated or coordinated with the Russian Government in order to carry out said attacks. But not Trump himself. He had no idea.”

    🙂

  38. And thank you for providing the reasonable discussion on this issue I’ve been looking for.

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