Comey: Trump Wasting Government Time Seeking Ego Boosts with Idle Chitchat

Benjamin Wittes, principal source of yesterday’s NYT story about James Comey’s efforts to keep the FBI clear of Donald Trump’s bald attempts at influence, uses his Lawfare blog to share another anecdote from his friend Comey’s experience with the inept, inefficient, and sleazy Trump:

On March 27, he described one incident in particular that had bothered him. Comey was about to get on a helicopter when his phone rang. It was the White House saying that the President wanted to speak with him. Figuring there must be something urgent going on, he delayed his flight to take the call. To his surprise, the President just wanted to chitchat. He was trying to be social, Comey related; there was no agenda, much less an urgent one. Notably, since the President has claimed that Comey told him in two phone conversations that he was not under investigation, Comey said nothing to me about the subject coming up in this call. Indeed, he regarded the call as weird for how substanceless it was. What bothered Comey was twofold—the fact that the conversation happened at all (why was Trump calling him to exchange pleasantries?) and the fact that there was an undercurrent of Trump’s trying to get him to kiss the ring [Benjamin Wittes, “What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump,” Lawfare, 2017.05.18].

Neither the President of the United States nor the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have time for chitchat. That Trump would delay Comey with a substanceless call fits the pattern of management Trump has shown thus far, bereft of any purpose other than bolstering his own ego.

112 Responses to Comey: Trump Wasting Government Time Seeking Ego Boosts with Idle Chitchat

  1. The one thing that should be clear about Comey by now is that he has an enormous ego and an inflated sense of his own importance. He took it upon himself to put his finger on the scale during the campaign – not so much to help Trump but to harm Clinton. Now he’s doing the same to Trump. Comey sees himself as the J. Edgar Hoover of today – having enough influence and/or dirt on powerful people to to be able to bring them down at will.

    Comey needed to be fired. He needed to be removed from power because he abuses his power for his own purposes. Look at the story here. The FBI director gets upset with the President because the President delayed his helicopter flight. There’s hubris, people. He had to go.

    Now at the risk of sounding contrary to my Democratic friends, I don’t believe that Trump obstructed justice and seriously tried to stop Comey’s investigation of Flynn or anybody else. Trump may have made a comment, but it seems to me that the comment attributed to him is more offhand than calculating. Comey is blowing that out of proportion. If there is any room for bipartisan agreement, Democrats and Republicans should agree that Comey is an egomaniac whose transparent machinations should not be dignified by anyone.

  2. Ror,

    I am with you. I think the Hoover comparison is real. I can’t remember which Kennedy book I read but I always remember the comment of one insider who said the biggest mistake of the administration wasn’t Bay of Pigs or Vietnam but not firing Hoover. I can’t remember if RFK wanted to fire him and JFK said no or the other way around.

    Regarding this call, this call is so common in business to someone in limbo. Just a talk but the end is either the kiss of death or the kiss of reconciliation. Either Comey knew what the call really was and suspected it would ultimately be the kiss of death so he spun it as he did. Or, to your point, he was so arrogant he couldn’t see the call for what it was- someone thought him dispensable.

    At the end of the day, he did what he did in July because he thought HRC would win. He did what he did because he thought JRT would win or got wind HRC was going to fire him. This is not a man of integrity.

  3. Rohr, I would tend to agree with you but Hoover was a horrible man who had no ethics at all. He had tabs on everyone and abused his powerful position at FBI director for 50 yrs where our own presidents were intimidated of him, which is why JFK was too afraid to fire him, and it was
    it was known he did NOT like the Kennedys.
    J Edgar Hoover was one of the biggest mistakes in US history and I’m certain FDR had no idea of his evilness when he hired him as FBI director.

  4. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, Ror, but one does NOT usually send others in the room away BEFORE you make your “offhand comment”. Sounds a little too planned to me.

  5. Which is not to say that most definitely Comey could have some of Edgar’s symptoms.

  6. Porter Lansing

    President Trump’s response to investigation of his “election cheating” reminds me of when O.J.Simpson, within hours after his wife and her boyfriend’s murdered bodies were found, began asking Ron Shipp how soon results from DNA testing of blood and evidence found at the crime scene and at his house would be completed. Trump called Comey several times asking him to release a statement that the Pres wasn’t under investigation. Comey bristled at Trump’s lack of understanding and respect for the independence of the FBI.
    PS … Joe Lieberman is why we don’t have single payer health insurance and Joe Lieberman thought Michael Flynn would be a great national security advisor.

  7. Joe Lieberman won’t be FBI director, Porter. Trump will probably appoint Joe Arpaio, or Oliver North, or G. Gordon Liddy.

  8. Porter Lansing

    Good one, Shack.

  9. Darin Larson

    I disagree with the comparison to Hoover and I generally disagree with the portrayal of Comey as an egomaniac. Hoover abused his power to such an extent that he was a danger to the civil rights movement. He could have been imprisoned for many of the things that he did. History will not look on him with favor.

    On the other hand, Comey did a couple major things wrong in an otherwise remarkable career serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He succumbed, I think, to pressure to release details of the Hillary Clinton investigation that went against FBI policy. The testimony evoked by the Republicans that HRC’s conduct with regard to the use of the personal email server was grossly negligent was beyond his purview and he should have refused to opine beyond the fact that it was not found to be criminal conduct. No other FBI investigation in history resulted in such a condemnation without criminal charges.

    The second major thing that he did wrong was announce 11 days before the election that the FBI was again looking at emails that might reflect on the Clinton investigation that had been closed. This resulted in a sense by many voters that Clinton was as morally and ethically challenged as Trump and that she would face ongoing investigation. This made both candidates look temperamentally unfit to be President and it allowed Trump to convince most of the voters that were on the fence during the last days of the campaign to vote for him. This is supported by the polling that showed Trump received a huge proportion of the undecided vote during the last few days of the campaign. Comey’s disclosure 11 days before the election went against decades of FBI policy not to reveal any information during the last 60 days of a campaign.

    But saying that Comey made a couple of bad calls during the handling of the Clinton investigation is hardly enough evidence to say he is an egomaniac. Trump called him a “showboat” and a “grandstander.” I think these characterizations are ridiculous and most of the informed opinions of people within the FBI and intelligence community agree. Even people like Rod Rosenstein who wrote the memo requested by Trump criticizing Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation thought he was otherwise an outstanding FBI head.

    Focusing on Comey’s errors gives cover to the blatant obstruction and attempts to influence the FBI by Trump. Who really believes that Trump fired Comey because he treated Clinton unfairly in the email investigation? Who really believes that Trump wasn’t trying to influence Comey not to continue to delve into the Flynn matter? Who really believes that Trump didn’t fire Comey because Comey was going to continue to dig into the Russian investigation?

    If Trump was going to fire Comey for the poor job on the Clinton email investigation, why would he wait until now to do it?

  10. Darin Larson

    Back to Corey’s question of the idle chitchat by Trump. I don’t think the purpose was for idle chitchat, obviously. I think Trump was hoping to hear from Comey that Trump wasn’t under investigation or that the Russian investigation was going to be wrapped up. In short, Trump was trying to work Comey. He wanted to establish a personal relationship with Comey that would result in favorable treatment for Trump. Just like the dinner that Trump invited Comey to attend, Trump always has an angle.

  11. Darin Larson

    Ror, you forgot to include Sheriff David Clark on your list, although he may be too busy trying to undermine Constitutional rights and has been tapped to join DHS.

  12. mike from iowa

    Drumpf wants Flynn back in the WH. He still insists Flynn has done nothing wrong.

    Easily excitable Miss Lindsey Graham, Senator from Fainting Couch,South Carolina wants to forego the Russia investigation and use the special prosecutor to investigate someone’s investigated to death emails some more.

    I swear you can’t make this stuff up.

  13. Darin Larson

    Trump bragged to the Russians in the meeting with his Kremlin bosses last week that he fired the “nut job” Comey. In what world does a Republican President cozy up to the Russians and summarily fire a Republican FBI head investigating the Russians and the Trump campaign?

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

    Where are the deplorables and Troy to explain what a patriot Trump is?

  14. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    I cannot believe that some are trying to compare Comey to Hoover. Comey appears to me as someone who is constantly dotting his i’s and crossing his t’s, which thus often puts him at odds with other politicos. While Hoover, as history has born out over time, was a very dark character from 20th century American politics, who attempted to intimidate and control others through his investigative means.

    And how can you blame JFK for not firing Hoover, if you are not also willing to blame Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon too? Unless your real intend is to merely question and taint JFK’s policies beyond a discussion over the FBI by invoking the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam as well; two events from the Kennedy administration, with the former being a mistake or responsibility that Kennedy himself admitted to publicly, not to mention his understandable greater distain and disrespect for the CIA after that incident, however, and the latter, which is totally debatable, unless you want to ignore the policies of Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon, when it comes to America’s past Southeast Asia involvement. But I guess if you want to ignore other presidents’ duties when it comes to Hoover and the FBI, then you are more likely to ignore other presidents’ responsibilities when it comes to Southeast Asia too, and America’s role in that region of the world in the last century.

  15. JKC,

    I fault FDR for hiring him and place increasing admonishment on subsequent Presidents concluding with Nixon. Rather than take insult on my mention of JFK where firing him seems to have actually been considered, LBJ and RMN seemed to appreciate Hoover and abuse the FBI’s surveillance capabilities for political and personal gain.

    You are way to sensitive snowflake.

    Regarding the comparison, remember Hoover died a hero in the general public and most of Congress. I stand by my statement Hoover and Comey are cut of the same cloth.

    When one considers his October shift in use of his office, I am shocked you guys are defending him. Practicing “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is a practice which works until the scorpion turns on you “because that is what he is” and you shouldn’t expect anything differerent.

    What will you do when Mueller after reading his memos turns on Clinton or Obama? Hoover was an equal opportunity extortionist and I am willing to bet so is Comey.

  16. Porter Lansing

    Awwwwww …. Isn’t that cute? Friday afternoon Troy calling someone else his pet name. You ‘da snowflake, L’il Buddha. ❄️ 😊

  17. Darin Larson

    Troy says “What will you do when Mueller after reading his memos turns on Clinton or Obama? Hoover was an equal opportunity extortionist and I am willing to bet so is Comey.”

    First off, Mueller’s charge is to investigate the Russian influence on the election and any coordination with the Trump campaign. Unless Clinton’s or Obama’s people were conspiring with the Russians, Mueller will not be investigating them. I’m certainly not worried that Hillary or Obama conspired with the Russians.

    Second, given the Trump administration’s unprecedented ethical and legal lapses in less than four months, I’m confident the FBI will have its hands full with Trump scandals for the remainder of his term. There will be no time for fishing expeditions to revisit Hillary’s emails or Benghazi.

    This brings me to another point. I have noticed that Troy follows a playbook that mirrors Pat Powers and to a lesser extent Fox News. Pat hardly ever confronts issues with Republicans, with the exception of Lora Hubbel. He does not even mention them. Likewise, Fox News may mention them in passing, but the main story is almost always some partisan spin against the left or possibly, at best, an innocuous story. Even when there is major news coming out of the Trump White House, Fox’s headline will invariably be something like Joe Biden thinks Hillary wasn’t that great of a presidential candidate, or a story on some shooting somewhere.

    Although, I have to admit today that I’m surprised they did feature Trump’s quote that Comey was a “nut job.” Although to the Republican base that views Fox, this does not reflect poorly on Trump–only on Comey. Wingnuts will agree with the assessment that Comey had to go and that he was a nut job, but will pay no attention to the part of the quote from Trump that Comey’s firing relieved pressure on himself because of the Russia inquiry.

    How many times does Trump have to say that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation before we can agree that Trump obstructed justice?

  18. bearcreekbat

    Darin’s analysis, as usual, is right on the money. It is an impossible task to defend our “loco presidente” on the merits. Better to make irrelevant counterattacks in an effort to distract – s/he was worse! s/he did it first! ad nauseam.

  19. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.


    I don’t care if a president loved Hoover or not, that doesn’t mean that any given president shouldn’t have fired Hoover, however.

    I also just don’t understand what the Bay of Pigs or Vietnam has to do with Hoover and the FBI unless your real intent is to just “insult” JFK.

    And are you also suggesting that eventually the FBI building will be renamed the James Comey Building too, because Hoover was once loved as you suggest that Comey is now? I don’t think so…..

    As far as the October event, well, you are assuming that I subscribe to the belief that, that is when the election was lost by Clinton. I think the election was first lost, knowing or not, when the Clintons advocate passage of NAFTA back in 1993, and then it was further facilitated by how the Clintons handled the whole email issue as evident by a email between Hildebrand and Podesta complements of the Russian hacking, a hacking which ironically is what the Comey firing more or less is all about….

  20. mike from iowa

    That Drumpf told the Russians about firing nut job Comey before telling anyone else sounds like collusion to me.

  21. 1. Comey has been described as a fairly non-political appointment. Obama was in the mode of working with republicans then, unaware of their 1.20.09 total-obstruction conspiracy. Thanks republicans for destroying forward progress.

    2. Comey’s release 11 days pre-election was pivotal and Obama should have fired him as a loud message. However, his well oiled machine launched into a peaceful, responsibe transition. Hillary lost of course. Again, thanks republican comey, almost singlehandedly. I still want to know why? I’ve read the apologist accounts, reflected in my 1st statement.

    3. Rohr and Troy, you are both apologists.

    4. Trump is way out of his weight taking on a busy Havard law FBI director with his smarmy tactics. Trump deserves frying in his own oil, despite that I hate what Comey did to Hillary.

    5. After we find out what the Russians did, with or with out trump collusion, then trump’s own hoisting on his petard will serve the republicans well, publicity-wise, as the party hopefully disintegrates.

    6. Then we can work out whether pence remains, and after that whether the nation can survive paul ryan.

    THANK GOD FOR THE DEMOCRATS, INDEPENDENTS AND PROGRESSIVES. Now if we can work together for the better good….

  22. Darin Larson

    White House lawyers are reported to be researching the subject of impeachment. In addition, a senior White House official is a person of interest in the Russian probe. Finally, Trump may have told the Russians that Comey’s firing took the pressure off Trump with regard to the Russian investigation. Talk about an idiot.

    With Comey testifying in the near future, Trump’s goose is fixing to be cooked.

    Pence is lying low and trying not to get caught up in the maelstrom. I’m guessing he is going to start questioning the narrative that Trump wants to spin. If he gets too close to Trump and Trump goes down in flames of impeachment, he could be dragged down as well. Paul Ryan would then become President.

  23. Horsefeathers. Historians will recognize Comey as a national hero. He disposed of Hillary. He likely will dispose of the Donald. In both cases saving the republic and the voters from themselves and the selfish, undisciplined political parties. Comey did not ask for this. Nor did Comey set out for it. Comey merely stayed true to morals, ethics, and loyalty to the US Constitution – transcending political expediency, faux personal loyalty, and the easy wrong.

  24. Trump is unfit to be president. Comey put him there. President Obama should have fired Comey’s sorry arse in November. Trump should have fired his sorry arse in January. It’s about time somebody fired Comey’s sorry arse. Now we can move on with a special counsel that hopefully both parties approve of rather than disapprove of and figure out why Trump is so overly partial to Russians.

  25. Darin Larson

    John, it wasn’t Comey’s right or duty to “dispose of Clinton.” That wreaks of authoritarian overtones. It certainly is not blind justice. He had a duty to treat Clinton like any other person being investigated by the FBI–no better and no worse.

    What Comey did to Clinton was worse than what would have happened to any other citizen investigated by the FBI. This was supported by Rod Rosenstein’s memo as follows:

    “Rosenstein said that the FBI director was “wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority” by announcing “his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation.” He added, “It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement,” and “the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.”

    Comey may well have thought he was acting as a patriot in the best interests of the country. However, opining on Clinton’s conduct from any perspective outside of the criminal arena and in separating himself from the DOJ, he was violating numerous and longstanding policies, procedures and chains of command to carry out his personal view of what justice should look like.
    The article above is instructive.

    To be clear, Comey’s errors during the 2016 election did not support or excuse Trump’s firing of him almost four months into the Trump presidency while Comey was in the midst of investigating Russia’s collusion with the Trump campaign. And it certainly is the definition of obstruction of justice for Trump to fire Comey because of Comey’s investigation into the Russian affair.

  26. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    “White House lawyers are reported to be researching the subject of impeachment.”

    Isn’t that amazing? I hope he just pulls a Palin and resigns. But he needs to hold on until at least August 7th so as to not take the “Silver” from Garfield in terms of the second shortest presidential term. Trump already has the “Gold” for the greatest popular vote loss while simultaneously winning the electoral college, but with tenure he probably would prefer the “Bronze.” Although, he is known to have a fondness for “Golden” things, but this time I am afraid, that is already out of reach….

  27. Porter Lansing

    I was hoping we’d get to witness this slease weasel in action. Roy Cohn … Trump’s Bulldog
    ~ When they met, Trump, 27, tall and handsome, was at the start of his career and living off money he was earning in the family business. Cohn, 46, short and off-putting, was near the peak of his power and considered by some to be among the most reviled Americans in the 20th century.
    Cohn gained notoriety in the 1950s as Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel and the brains behind his hunt for communist infiltrators aka “witch hunt”.

  28. Don Coyote

    @Porter Lansing: “I was hoping we’d get to witness this slease weasel in action. Roy Cohn … Trump’s Bulldog”

    FWIW, Cohn died almost 31 years ago from AIDS.

  29. Porter Lansing

    Of course he did. My bad. Trump’s current lawyer, Michael Cohen isn’t and wasn’t Trump’s mentor, Roy Cohn. Cohen was seen at the White House, yesterday not the ghost of Roy Cohn … or was it?

  30. mike from iowa

    When all is said and done, Drumpf will blame Putin for making him bogus potus-a job Drumpf clearly didn’t want and is no way qualified to be IT. Maybe he can throw all his supporters who voted for him under the bus as well. You know and I know none of this is Drumpf’s fault.

  31. Troy needs to get his head out of the clouds and read up on J Edgar. It doesn’t mean anything that he died “a national hero” since the American public was kept in the dark. He greatly abused his power and our own Federal Government did nothing to stop it. The guy had surveillance on John Lennon of all people and he targeted liberal democrats. Try telling me that Comey is targeting Americans today that have no indications of threatening the US.
    The American public would have been shocked if they had known the abuses and intimidation tactics that was going under Edgar at the time.

  32. JKC,

    I am using a historical comment, perspective, and analysis in context about FBI Directors who keep files on their superiors in order to extort said superiors. It is not a overt or covert criticism of JFK or RFK.

    This is what I read in a book on Kennedy: A Kennedy insider had the opinion that rather than BAy of Pigs or Vietnam (most often cited) being the biggest mistake of the administration, he thought it not firing Hoover.

    FBI directors who display the traits of willing to make themselves bigger than their superiors and willing to put his finger on the direction of investigations (as he did at least three times in 2016 or prior) is an FBI director who needs to be fired and I am shocked there are circumstances this behavior is acceptable to any civil libertarian (Republican or Democrat).

    Jenny, I agree with your last paragraph. That was EXACTLY my point. We didn’t know the extent of Hoovers abuses and thus he was unjustly given adulation upon his death.

  33. Really, Troy? Chitchat calls are common in business? That must be why I don’t do business. I never call anyone with whom I have a professional relationship just to chitchat. I expect every call to do some business; otherwise, why interrupt what we’re supposed to be working on?

  34. Wake up folk’s. It wasn’t Comey or the Russian’s that got Hillary defeated. It was Hillary. The fact that she was running so close to this buffoon that we now have should make people wake up to just how fed up with the establishment line the public has become. Though Trumpy has reneged on everything he said he would do the rhetoric he laid out such as scrapping the next criminal trade deals played well to a lot of folk’s.

  35. Porter Lansing

    You’re right, Clyde. Political parties have a propensity to nominate the one “next in line” as a reward for party loyalty and service over the decades. This most often leads to a flawed and “unlikeable” candidate. Hillary was one. Romney and McCain, the same.

  36. Porter Lansing

    … cont. – So was John Kerry. Geo W., Barack and Don Trump are all likeable to their base and they all won; twice for W and Obama and probably twice for Trump.

  37. Darin Larson

    Clyde, Trump won the presidency by a margin of around 78,000 votes in three states. This was a razor thin margin. Let’s not forget he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. If the Wikileaks/Russian disclosures had not occurred and if Comey had treated Clinton like any other criminal suspect, Clinton would have been elected President.

    Even if you could make the case that Clinton lost because of Clinton, the point is that Russians should not be interfering in our elections, the director of the FBI should not be making political statements about presidential candidates, and certainly the Trump campaign should not have been coordinating with the Russians.

    You can’t just say Clinton was a flawed candidate so it doesn’t matter that the Russians meddled in our election and it doesn’t matter that Trump campaign officials may have conspired with the Russians.

    I’m also thinking the electorate may see the establishment as not being so bad after Trump gets done with his reign of terror.

  38. Troy is right. Comey thought he was above both Hillary and Trump. His behavior during the election was unprofessional and clearly improper and he swayed the election. When President Trump delayed Comey’s helicopter flight for a phone call Comey apparently took great offense and made that fact public. That’s plain arrogance on Comey’s part. Comey wrote memos to help him build public opinion against Trump if the need arose, but he held them as chits while he remained FBI director. Very J. Edgar Hooveresque. The guy was building his power base just like Hoover did, but he hadn’t reached that level yet. Now he never will. Good riddance.

  39. mike from iowa

    Drumpf’s phone call to Comey was a subtle reminder to Comey to play Drumpf’s game or else. Nothing more, nothing less. It is the way Drumpf does crooked business.

  40. mike from iowa

    Subtle-like in the book Jaws where the mob guy broke Chief Brody’s cat’s neck and gave it to the kid and told him to remind Dad to be subtle.

  41. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.


    From October forward, Republicans were not calling for the firing of Comey, but now all a sudden its justified by your camp…..(?)

    Now, you can say the same about some Dems too, where they loved Comey in July and disliked him in October, but Obama never fired him. In fact, he spoke in defense of Comey late last year, because I think he knew why Hillary really lost that election. And if Comey had anything to do with it, it was because of the situation which the Clintons allowed to fester and how they handled it, and not how Comey responded to it.

    Then you say that Hoover and Comey are alike or from the “same cloth” in one comment, then you come back and talk about how we found out later about the real Hoover, but if that is the case, then we do not know yet about the real Comey either, so then how is it already possible to defend his firing beyond Trump’s comments or justifications? Comments or justifications that come from a President of many contradictions and a vested, or actually a conflict of interest, when it comes to the current FBI probe into the Trump/Russian connection.

  42. Darin L, I agree that the Russian’s shouldn’t have been meddling in our elections just like we shouldn’t meddle in the elections of the many countries we have meddled in. The point I was trying to make is considering who she was running against they shouldn’t have been close enough that the Russian revelation would have made a difference. IMO we didn’t have a candidate to vote for in the last election and personally I abstained. Bernie, I was behind, but some thing smell’s there as well. If he had threatened to run as a independent the rotten “super delegates” and the crooked DNC might have had a change of heart. Such a independent run by Sanders would have guaranteed that Clinton couldn’t have won.

  43. Darin L: Unfortunately I believe you are right as to the current Trump disaster. The establishment will likely knuckle under and be happy to vote for who ever the Dem’s put up in the future. The Dem’s will win by default rather than making the changes the electorate want. The current attitude of the DNC sure is pointing to business as usual. The electoral college rules pretty much guarantee that in the presidential election there will be only two viable party’s even though there are more and more registered independent voters as time goes by.

  44. Roger Cornelius

    When Trump fired Comey he did anticipate the political backlash from both Democrats and republicans and was actually naïve enough to think that Democrats would support this decision because of the Hillary email mess that he and Comey created.
    Firing Comey was a good thing, not because it was in retaliation for some reason, but because it gave us Special Council Mueller and expanded the House and Senate investigations.
    I am looking forward to Mueller testimony on Wednesday

  45. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    “Firing Comey was a good thing, not because it was in retaliation for some reason, but because it gave us Special Council Mueller and expanded the House and Senate investigations.”

    That’s for sure! Its always the cover-up and never the alleged act that eventually entangles the powerful. It’s the true genius, or should I say poetic justice, that can often thankfully be found within our criminal justice system.

  46. mike from iowa

    Fearless leader cirtsied to Saudi Royals. That should be an impeachable offense of its own.

  47. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    MFI, I am afraid our country has been curtsying to the Saudis ever since Bush41 turned American armed forces into a mercenary force for the Saudis and Kuwaitis. And now the South Dakota Republican Party has a leader who has been a foreign agent for the Saudis. Maybe some us just don’t get it. Maybe we need to get in line, huh?….. And curtsy….. ;-)

  48. mike from iowa

    Drumpf disparaged Obama for bowing to the Royals. Dumbass dubya exchanged a yard of tongue and a quart of spit with the Crown Prince. Drumpf acts like a girlie man and curtsies. Melanoma didn’t wear a head scarf after hubby ragged Michelle Obama for not wearing a scarf. It is like there are two separate rules for Drumpf and everyone else.

    Don’t count on me to bow, curtsy or anything else with my aching back. :)

  49. Folks, I think this is going to be a long drawn-out mess that will replace trump some how, but our replacements have not shown now leadership, values, or integrity. we must win here and now in the committees and with the special counsel, and then cement it in 2018.

    Obama spent 8 years swimming up stream against republican obstruction, and now we will spend another 4 years reversing the mess republicans created electing trump. 16 years wasted of trying to get affordable health care and righting the recession.

    It should be clear republicans are the great preppers defending against the rabble so their 1% can keep the little people down for the foreseeable future.

    resist every republican measure that favors the rich corporate militarist. black lives matter.

  50. mike from iowa

    Wingnuts can’t govern, they can’t get their act together and prove Dems commit crimes, but they sure can screw up a wet dream pretty pronto.

    Who knew tax reform and healthcare reform required the same remedy- yooge taxcuts for the wealthy?

  51. The Democratic senator added that the defense deal “was negotiated by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, who has zero experience in foreign relations generally, or Saudi arms sales specifically.”

    Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Saturday slammed the $110 billion defense deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia, saying the U.S. is relying on a country with “the worst human rights record in the region” to bring peace and security to the Middle East.
    “It appears the Trump administration is counting on the country with the worst human rights record in the region to enforce peace and security in the Middle East,” Murphy wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed criticizing the deal. “The arms sale is a terrible idea.”

  52. JKC,

    I will guarantee you will have not heard a positive assessment of Comey personally ever from me. And I have been only critical. The closest thing maybe is in October when I said he had no choice but to follow throu on a promise he made which he never should have made except he had to when he did something he never should have done. His actions are just tangled weaves designed to protect the almighty Comey and to heck with everyone else.

  53. Roger Cornelius

    There isn’t a politician or bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. that doesn’t have a giant ego, but none the size of Donald Trump.
    Now that a special council has been hired we have a criminal investigation of Trump. As noted by JKC most culprits are caught because of the lies they tell and not necessarily for the criminal acts they commit. Trump will be snared by his lies and inability to tell the truth.
    I could care less if Comey has an ego problem and care more about him being able to find the truth without Trump and his administration obstruction justice.

  54. mike from iowa

    His actions are just tangled weaves designed to protect the almighty Comey and to heck with everyone else.

    How does this differ from Drumpf’s motives? And who will lie and obfuscate to hide the truth and blame others for his failures?

  55. Porter Lansing

    President Trump tells The House Of Saud they’re doing a great job and the more Muslim immigration and investment they send to USA the better he likes it.
    – Classic bully behavior. When a bully finally is face to face, eye to eye, toe to toe with the person or group he’s been insulting and threatening, only to win approval from his band of bigots, he backs down like a coward, shuts his hateful rhetorical mouth and does nothing he’s promised do.
    – Noem, Rounds and Thune. Your stubborn support for the President has dropped your nat’l approval rating to 20%. Our rock solid resistance movement has risen to 40% of those polled by CBS and the other 40% are split between wanting Congress to stand up to Republican policies and voters moving away from supporting him.

  56. So then, all the haters in South Dakota will now find love towards their Muslim brothers and sisters. trump giveth and trump taketh away, how fitting. Now the only ban will be a deodorant. Just when the base got itself all riled up, they are gonna have to temper their anger towards whoever else trump wants them to. trump can’t use Hillary anymore to give the republicans the vapors. Now, on to Israel to further stream the trump love with the Jewish folk, then the Catholics. What are the klansmen going to think of this Saudi Muslim bowing, hugging and kissin?

  57. Don Coyote

    It appears Comey was adept as well at wasting government time. While he was a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, it appears he perfected the art of “chit-chatting (also know as schmoozing, shooting the breeze, bs-ing) while at work. From a Vanity Fair article:

    “Those who have worked with him describe him as intelligent and charismatic, possessing both humor and humanity. “He [Comey] knows the names of your family members, pops into your office to chat, and sends handwritten thank-you notes,” says a prosecutor who worked under him.”

  58. Good news Mr. Coyote! Comey will chit chat in public now about how this russia deal works. I know that I will be listening and hope that he “pops” into your space so you can hear his chat as well. “Intelligent and charismatic, possessing both humor and humanity” are polar opposite of the curtsying dolt that fired him.

  59. Don Coyote

    What’s Comey going to say? Is he going to perjure himself by disavowing his previous testimony under Senate oath on May 3rd that the Trump administration had not pressured his agency to halt any investigation for political purposes? Where Comey testified that the FBI has always been free to operate without political interference as did Acting Director Andrew McCabe’s testimony stating, “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date”? Is he going to call McCabe’s testimony into question as well?

  60. Roger Cornelius

    Coyote, you’ll have to wait and see like the rest of us as to what Comey will testify to. One thing is certain, I’d believe anything Comey says over anything Trump and the White House have to say.

  61. Porter Lansing

    Hear, hear Roger Cornelius.

  62. Apparently lots of things will be said, else the word testify would not be used. I like the fact that it will be open as well and not in some closed space where folks like Coyote and me would not not get the chance to hear the story of how we all got screwed.

  63. Don Coyote

    @RC: “I’d believe anything Comey says over anything Trump and the White House have to say.”

    Then why don’t you believe Comey’s recent testimony under oath that Trump had not pressured him/FBI to halt the investigation?

    For Comey to claim now that his cya memo proves that Trump pressured him to halt the investigation perjures his previous Senate testimony and undercuts McCabes testimony and essentially calls McCabe a liar.

  64. Porter Lansing

    You’re starting to get it, Coyote. There’s a timeline and Comey knows it and he’s going to reveal it during questioning. You’re backstroking like the Olympics is already on.

  65. Don Coyote

    @PL: The timeline is simple. Cya memo was written in February while Comey testified in May that there was no interference from the Trump Admin in the Russian investigation. In fact if Comey was interpreting Trump as suggesting that he end the investigation, then the only proper thing for boy scout Comey to do was to resign like Richardson and Ruckelshaus did when Nixon ordered them to fire Cox.

  66. Porter Lansing

    Respectfully, your bias influences your portrayal of facts, Coyote.

  67. Don Coyote

    @PL: If you worked for a company and were asked to do something unethical or illegal, shouldn’t you quit/resign because of an ethical obligation or your personal integrity? The same is true and even more so with Comey because of the office he occupied. Obviously personal or public integrity of his position means little or nothing to the boy scout Comey. Shame on him.

  68. Porter Lansing

    Once again … Your bias makes your determination of unethical or illegal invalid.

  69. Don Coyote

    @PL: And once again Porter dodges the question because there is no defense for Comey’s indefensible ethical lapses.

  70. Porter Lansing

    It’s an invalid question. It’s based on your assertions which are not factual. This issue is too far into the future. What’s pertinent now is the CBO on AHCA.

  71. Don,

    What is amazing is how many are willing to link their reputation to Comeys integrity. As of know, the questions are not if Comey is a liar but did he lie then or is he lying now.

    It is as if they know it is already worthless.

  72. Darin Larson

    When you fire somebody, all of the previous conduct that could have been considered less than problematic has to be called into question. Moreover, the act of firing Comey with the express rationale of relieving pressure on Trump is the definition of obstructing justice. We don’t even need Comey’s testimony, helpful as it is. Trump has foisted himself on his own petard.

    Does anyone contend that the impeachment hearings wouldn’t already be scheduled if Hillary Clinton was in Trump’s shoes?

  73. Porter Lansing

    The question’s crux was why do I believe Comey and don’t believe Trump. For one, Don Trump has 65 verifiable lies on his record and Comey has none. Coyote and Jones, in their deceptive style, want to make this an issue about Comey, who is insignigicant. It’s an issue about a President firing the person who was investigating him.

  74. Darin Larson

    OMG, have we entered a bizarro world where up is down and black is white? In what dimension is Comey a lying liar and all of Trump’s lies are irrelevant? I know, I know, we shouldn’t believe Trump when he told Lester Holt that he had the Russian investigation in mind when he fired Comey.

    Comey hasn’t even testified and he is being roasted over the coals here by Troy and Coyote. Once again, they don’t defend Trump, they attack others. Tried and true strategery.

  75. Porter Lansing

    Right, Darin … These two clowns can’t even create a credible diversion.

  76. Don Coyote

    @Darin Larson: “Comey hasn’t even testified…”

    But he has and under oath. On May 3 Comey stated in testimony before the Senate that Trump had not attempted to end the investigation. McCabe confirmed that in further Senate testimony. Now a cya memo purportedly written by Comey is said to state that Trump attempted the very thing Comey testified hadn’t happened. Which version is true? If the “memo” is true then Comey perjured himself and McCabe is a liar too and both then are impugning the integrity of the FBI.

  77. Don Coyote

    @DL: “Moreover, the act of firing Comey with the express rationale of relieving pressure on Trump is the definition of obstructing justice.”

    How can you level an obstruction of justice charge on what was characterized by Comey and the FBI as a counter-intelligence investigation and not a criminal investigation? Can’t happen.

  78. Darin Larson

    Coyote, you are being obtuse. The memo is gray, not black and white as to Trump’s obstruction. It only becomes black and white in light of Comey’s firing.

  79. comey impugned the integrity of the fbi 11 days before a presidential election. Obama should have fired him. he deserves to be fired.

    haha-trump fired Harvard law trained Obama appointed republican fbi director to stop the Russian investigation. standard trump sop. its just a matter of formal proof now. just like tidemann did to suppress EB5 investigation.

    Top 4 longshot predictions: trump toasted, daugaard/rounds toasted, new MCEC story will come out state has suppressed, and republican party, and the trump nightmare, is imploding.

  80. Darin Larson

    Coyote says “How can you level an obstruction of justice charge on what was characterized by Comey and the FBI as a counter-intelligence investigation and not a criminal investigation? Can’t happen.”

    Fascinating theory. Do you have a link? The moment they find coordination between the Russians and Trump campaign officials, it is a criminal investigation.

  81. Darin Larson

    PS If Trump is not able to obstruct justice on the investigation, then why is Comey being indicted by you and Troy for not coming forward with the obstruction charge at the time of the Comey memo? If it can’t be obstruction, then Comey can’t be in trouble for not calling it obstruction.

  82. Porter Lansing

    Here’s what I mean by not being able to even create a credible diversion.
    Comey said that “in his opinion” President Trump had not attempted to end the investigation. However, that’s not what’s wholly important. The new question will be, “Has anything changed since May 3 to change your opinion as to whether President Trump tried to influence (not end) the investigation?” The attempt to influence the investigation is what’s being investigated.

  83. Don Coyote

    @DL: “The memo is gray, not black and white as to Trump’s obstruction.”

    1) We don’t even know if a memo exists let alone what it says if it does. So far all that has been reported is hearsay by the NYT.

    2) Comey has testified before Congress that the investigation was counterintelligence in nature not criminal. Comey: “I have 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…”

  84. Don Coyote

    @DL: Only the Democrats are calling it (incorrectly) “obstruction of justice” with their rush to frame it as an impeachable offense. Comey himself testified this is not a criminal case but one of counterintelligence. If the purported Comey memo states that Trump was attempting to influence a counterintelligence investigation (which is not obstruction of justice) then Comey indicts himself with his perjurious testimony on May 3, not Troy or myself.

  85. Darin Larson


    1) If we don’t know what is in the memo, then why are you and Troy slamming Comey for it. You just said at 22:15 “If the “memo” is true then Comey perjured himself and McCabe is a liar too and both then are impugning the integrity of the FBI.”

    Now you are saying we don’t even know if a memo exists let alone what it says. Don’t you have to pick a lane here?

    2) Your quote above does not rule out a criminal investigation–it only confirms a counter-intelligence investigation. Comey may not have confirmed a criminal investigation in a public hearing because of FBI policy. In fact, I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a criminal investigation. It is not just the actions of Russians that are at issue. It is the potential criminal conduct of Trump campaign officials.

  86. Don Coyote

    @PL: Then the boy scout Comey’s integrity is totally shot and should be disbarred. Maybe he can get a job as a legal advisor on MSNBC late night. Trump’s “yuge” mistake was not firing Comey on Day 1 of his administration.

  87. Don Coyote

    @DL: Oh Darin, Darin, Darin.

    1) No, I said “purported memo”. Meaning for the sake of argument that if the “purported memo” does exist and it confirms what the NYT hearsay reporting says, then his testimony on May 3 is perjurious.

    2) Comey didn’t confirm a criminal investigation because there isn’t one. Since he didn’t want to exclude the possibility one might arise during the counterintelligence investigation he could only state “this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.” Which is his speculative “opinion” which he has proven isn’t worth a damn.

  88. Porter Lansing

    Coyote … That’s projection. It’s YOUR and Troy’s credibility that’s shot now that I’ve revealed your attempts to deceive and misdirect Cory’s fine liberal readers. 🐐 To recap … If the President attempted to influence an FBI investigation, that’s obstruction of justice and that’s an impeachable offense.

  89. Don Coyote

    @Pl: Jonathan Turley, a liberal constitutional law professor if there ever was one, even stated in a Fox interview:

    “No one has yet to explain to me what the core crime that would be investigated with regards to Russian influence,” Turley said Wednesday evening.

    Turley also said he does not take seriously the conspiracy theory that Comey was fired because he was “closing in” on Trump because he doesn’t know what the FBI would be “closing in on.”

    “I criticize many of those folks that are saying this had to be because the investigation’s closing in on Trump,” the legal scholar said. “I don’t see the crime, so I don’t see how it’s closing in on Trump.”

    That’s not to say that Trump hasn’t created a credibility problem for himself but there isn’t any crime and without a crime there is no obstruction of justice.

  90. Roger Cornelius

    Robert Mueller, Special Council has stated this has passed from counter-intelligence investigation to a criminal investigation.
    It does not matter what Coyote says.

  91. Darin Larson

    I guess treason isn’t a crime anymore under Trump law.

  92. bearcreekbat

    I haven’t been able to find any credible references or transcripts showing that on May 3, Comey

    said that “in his opinion” President Trump had not attempted to end the investigation.

    or documentation indicating Comey

    stated in testimony before the Senate that Trump had not attempted to end the investigation.

    If Comey actually made one of these statements wouldn’t a public source be available and wouldn’t such statements have been covered and linked by some major new outlets? Maybe Troy or Don can provide such a link to these statements to show they exist? Or is this just a spin on whatever Comey actually said?

  93. Don Coyote,

    Liberal Constitutional Lawyer, strong Hillary supporter, and noted civil liberarian Alan Dershowitz said basically the same thing this morning as he made three points:

    1) Nobody has stated a single item which is criminal or treasonous. President’s have the authority to disclose information to anyone they deem in the national interest.

    2) What is going on is a criminalization of political disagreement on policy which is the biggest threat to democracy and our Constitution.

    3) What is happening is the Trump resisters are doing is taking all the thing they hated done by the fringe conservatives and making it mainstream among Democrats

  94. Porter Lansing

    @ TroyOyote … Correct. Because of the legal exception of the Presidency and predeterminate excuse from laws that surround the office nothing criminal has happened although a “high crime” may have occurred if President Trump has attempted to influence an FBI investigation. A high crime is an impeachable offense.

  95. bearcreekbat

    Thanks Troy! I did see that testimony but it seemed to deal with whether the Department of Justice had tried to interfere with any FBI investigation rather that the President. I saw no mention of whether Trump, however, had interfered or tried to interfere.

    Maybe you are reasoning that since Trump, as President, is in charge of the executive branch, which includes the DOJ, that if in Comey’s experience no one from DOJ interfered, then that necessarily or logically means Trump could not have attempted to interfere? Have you found any May 3 testimony from Comey on the topic of investigation interference that specifically mentions, let alone exonerates, Trump?

  96. Every states attorney, State Attorney General, DOJ Attorney General and President in history has done more than “attempted” but have actually influenced investigations. It occurs when they say “stop investigating” or “Investigate more” or “don’t enforce the law strictly” or “enforce the law strictly” or “if you make arrests under this law, I won’t prosecute” etc.

    Show me in the law (Dershowitz’s comment) and the evidence where anything the President is accused of doing is against the law. Until then, you have no “high crime.”

  97. bearcreekbat

    So Troy, is there anything in Comey’s May 3 specifically mentioning Trump and the investigation?

  98. bearcreekbat

    Are you agreeing that Trump did attempt to interfere with the FBI investigation, but arguing that is permissible since he is President?

  99. Porter Lansing

    Correct, Troy Jones. Until it’s determined that President Trump attempted to influence an FBI investigation to benefit himself and impede the assertion that people from his campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence our Presidential election, we have no “high crime”. (stay tuned)

  100. Porter Lansing

    Jones and Coyote appear to be joining the President in defending himself before he’s even been charged. Most prosecutors will say this usually represents some level of guilt. However, if the President’s defense of himself included the firing of the official investigating him, that’s possibly a case of obstruction of justice, which is another “high crime” along with “colluding with Russia to influence a USA election”.

  101. bearcreekbat

    Any argument that Comey “testified” on May 3 that “Trump” (or the “Trump Administration”) never tried to interfere with the FBI investigation really ought to be supported by actual testimony that mentions “Trump” or the “Trump administration,” rather than the “Department of Justice.”

    Is it reasonable to agree that Comey testified on May 3 that he was unaware of the “Department of Justice” ever trying to interfere with any FBI investigations, but that “Trump” went around the Department of Justice and attempted to interfere with the FBI investigation of Flynn and the Russians during his private meeting with Comey?

  102. So Troy is saying that government corruption (influencing investigations)is okay and it’s not really against the law because everyone does it.

  103. The most significant point coming out of this thread is the parsing of Comey’s words for any possible inconsistency and distortions of his displays of personality, while Trump’s constant lying and detestable actions are a matter pf irrefutable record. When the political divide is between brazen malice and dishonesty and essential decency, unity is not even desirable, if possible.

  104. Darin Larson

    Troy says “Show me in the law (Dershowitz’s comment) and the evidence where anything the President is accused of doing is against the law. Until then, you have no ‘high crime.'”

    Obstruction of justice is a high crime or misdemeanor.

    Moreover, you seem to be indicating that Trump himself must be under criminal investigation for obstruction of justice to be pertinent. That is not the case. Trump can be guilty of obstruction of justice for the obstruction of the investigation of Trump campaign officials in connection with their purported collusion with the Russians. In other words, Trump can be guilty of obstructing justice for interfering with the investigation of other people.

  105. Whew, this is the longest discussion I’ve seen on this blog! Though I admit I don’t get all of them read. To summarize all the arguments, time will tell!!

  106. [Actually, CLCJM, this post only ranks 4th for comments over the past 30 days. Right now, the most-commented posts are…

    Since March 2015, 14 posts have drawn over 200 comments; two posts have cracked 300:

    Carry on….]

  107. Wow, well, guess that’s why I don’t always get them all read! But I might have to check a couple them out! Especially Admitting Obamacare Works!

  108. mike from iowa

    WAPo has a new article saying the wingnut led, congressional intel committee has asked to unmask sources about a half dozen times since 2016-basically the same stuff they claim Susan Rice is guilty of.

    This could get interesting.

  109. mike from iowa

    Here is the WaPo article–

    If you are interested.