Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump Unglued Still Says Putin-Russia is Hoax: Blames and Cans Comey

Trump Unglued Says Some Major Media

Good Job, Now You're Fired - Get Out

Even though Trump fired Comey and shut him out, the FBI’s investigation into any Trump-Putin/Russian remains in place and on-going with no public disclosure.

This breaking from NY Times:
 WASHINGTON — Days before he was fired, James B. Comey, the former FBI director, asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in money and personnel for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election. Mr. Comey asked for the resources during a meeting last week with Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who wrote the Justice Department’s memo that was used to justify the firing of the FBI director this week.
Mr. Comey then briefed members of Congress on the meeting in recent days.

FROM CNN: The CNN “BREAKING NEWS” banner kicked into high gear Tuesday (May 9, 2017) in the afternoon when Wolf Blitzer broke the news to viewers that President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, effective immediately. But it was CNN judicial analyst Jeffrey Toobin who had the harshest assessment the president’s decision to unseat the man in charge of investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia and who said right after Blitzer called the move “…an extraordinary moment in American history.”
Toobin said: “You bet it is, Wolf, and it is a grotesque abuse of power by the president of the United State. This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies. That when there is an investigation that reaches near the president of the United States, or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation. I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973 when President Richard Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. (Which he noted led to Nixon’s resignation). This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is something that is completely outside how the American law is supposed to work. There is no question that the president has the legal authority to do what he has done, but there is nothing normal about his actions. This is a political act when the president is under investigation. When his White House counsel was described yesterday as being told that his National Security Adviser was subject to blackmail by the Russians and they fired the attorney general a few days later (acting AG Sally Yates). Now they’ve fired the FBI director. I mean, what kind of country is this?”
“Strong words from Jeffrey Toobin,” Blitzer said in the understatement of the evening.
From The AP – this update (highlights – call it “my pick and choose parts” – the precise contexts are not changed just the format to highlight the most-important parts for the record and my emphasis added):
WASHINGTON — With his shocking dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump is propelling the presidency into rarely traversed territory.
His surprise announcement Tuesday flouts decades of presidential deference to the nation's top law enforcement agency and its independence. It earns Trump the dubious distinction of being the first president since Richard Nixon to fire the official overseeing an investigation involving the commander in chief. And it cements a clear pattern of a man willing to challenge — in dramatic fashion — the institutions created to hold the president accountable.
From Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian: “That's why this is unprecedented. He's showed signs of not having a great deal of respect for the system by which this investigation has been operating.”
From Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) overseeing one of the congressional investigations into Russia's election interference who said: “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Comey's termination.”
From Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who said he'd spent hours trying to find “an acceptable rationale for Trump's decision and concluded: “I just can't do it.”
[Key background]:
1.  Trump attained his White House goal after a decades-long career in business during which he was accountable to few people other than himself.
2.  Trump has chafed at the constitutionally mandated constraints on the presidency.
3.  Trump within days of taking the oath of office suddenly fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates — a career Justice Department official — after she refused to defend the White House's controversial travel and immigration ban.
4.  Then when the federal courts blocked that measure as well, Trump aggressively castigated individual judges as political actors and challenged the court's role in curbing a president's policies.
The Trump White House letter firing Comey cited his handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices as the cause for the firing, and, to be sure, Comey left himself vulnerable. He was widely criticized for heavy-handed and high-profile decisions in the case, particularly when he sent a letter to Congress 10 days before the election saying the bureau was looking at new information related to the inquiry. He said at the time that the new information related to emails found on a laptop belonging to the husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner.

At that time, Trump praised Comey for having “guts and doing the right thing,” statements that [now] complicate his assertion that now, seven months later, Comey's decisions warranted firing.
Trump's announcement came as Comey was again facing criticism, this time for telling congressional lawmakers that Abedin had forwarded “hundreds or thousands of emails to the laptop.”
On Tuesday, hours before Trump fired Comey, the FBI told lawmakers that the director was wrong, and Abedin had forwarded only a “small number of emails” [and they were not classified at the time of being sent].
Key conclusion from The AP that I also agree with: Although Democrats blame Comey for Clinton's loss, they are unlikely to accept Trump's explanation for the firing.

This from Business Insider:

The president has repeatedly dismissed Comey's Russia investigation — as well as the congressional inquiries — as a “hoax.” Trump also insisted that he is not personally under investigation — asserting Tuesday that Comey told him three times that he was not a target — though the FBI has stated unequivocally that the president's campaign and his associates are facing scrutiny.
From Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA): “This is Nixonian.”
From Jimmy Gurule, a former assistant attorney general who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush and now is a law professor at the University of Notre Dame: “Trump’s decision threatens our democracy and undermines the integrity of the FBI investigation.”
During Watergate: Nixon's decision had a ripple effect throughout his administration with the attorney general and deputy attorney general resigning rather than carry out the president's orders.
There was no such response from Trump's White House aides and other top administration officials. [My insert: At least not yet].
From Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University: “We haven't had a voice from within the Trump administration denounce this yet. I think at this moment the question is, will leading Republicans step out of the box and become profiles of courage?”
In the immediate aftermath of Trump's announcement, many Republicans appeared more inclined to back his decision, citing their own concerns with Comey's stewardship of the FBI following months of controversy.
None of the Republicans who did raise concerns were rushing to draw comparisons to Nixon, the only president to resign from office. Yet they, too, appeared troubled by Trump's decision and wary of the prospect of White House interference in an investigation involving the president.
From Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN): “Comey's removal at this particular time will raise questions. It is essential that ongoing investigations are full and free of political interference until their completion.”
My Note: Amen to that Sen. Corker, amen. However, all that can only now be achieved or conducted by a totally independent commission just like that for Watergate and not via sustained House or Senate partisan committee. Let the professionals at the FBI continue and conclude their extensive investigation and set up a special independent commission to work separately but in conjunction with a final FBI report to the public … We the People surely have a compelling need and right to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

From Business Insider and two Trump nut jobs:

The president has publicly called the Russia investigations “fake news and a witch hunt.”  Trump reportedly turned against Comey after the director admitted to the Senate that the FBI is investigating Trump campaign aides and said there is no evidence supporting Trump's claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped him in the run-up to the election.
A few hours after news of Comey's firing broke, top Trump spokespeople, including counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, appeared on television defending the president's decision and reflecting his frustration with the Russia investigation:

1.  Sanders called for an end to the Russia investigation, which she called “absurd,” saying to Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tuesday night: “When are they going to let that go? It's been going on for nearly a year. Frankly, it's kind of getting absurd. There's nothing there ... It's time to move on and frankly it's time to focus on the things the American people care about.”
Sanders also said that she does not think Comey's firing will have any effect on the ongoing investigations.   “I don't think it affects at all in any capacity whatsoever,” she told Carlson. “You will have the same people that will be carrying it out to the Department of Justice. The process continues both I believe in the House and Senate committees and I don't see any change or disruption there.”
2.  Conway told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the Russia investigation had nothing to do with Comey's firing, pushing the administration's line that Trump lost confidence in Comey over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, adding: “This has nothing to do with Russia," she said. "Somebody must be getting $50 every time (Russia) is said on TV.”
Hard to beat those two, right? SNL will have a field day next cycle I am sure.
Thanks for stopping by and I’m sure you will stay tuned … this is surely historical.

No comments: