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    Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Trump v. Comey - Trump Wins (alternatively, Comey Loses)

    It's been since March since I posted here.

    What's happened?

    Whether you post hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or rarely, the news in the Era of Trump changes so quickly you just can't keep up.

    This week, of course, we had all the Comey news.

    Andrew McCarthy does have a good take on this entire thing this weekend, and I commend it to you.  McCarthy, as you may know, wrote an incredibly important book, "The Grand Jihad" about how Islamism and the Left have teamed to shred America's Constitutional Democracy.  McCarthy was the federal prosecutor who convicted the Blind Sheikh who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing, and he makes all the ties to CAIR, ISNA, and other Muslim front groups who are engaged in terrorist activities here and abroad.

    It's a must read if you want to know what's the lay of the land with these groups.

    With that said, McCarthy's take on Trump/Russia and Comey (who McCarthy counts as a friend) is important.

    You can read the essay for his take.

    This is about mine.

    Mine is that Comey is not the Boy Scout that people want to make him out to be.  He's a smart man who came up in the ranks at the FBI to get to be Director, and that takes no small amount of political acumen.

    It also takes competence and hard work, and accomplishments, and all those things speak well of Comey.

    But just as the Peter Principle is in play in every large organization, so the FBI is not immune from it, and with Comey, I think we may just have a bit of it, coupled with a desire to cover his ass and make up for his obvious shortcomings as the Cowardly Lion of the FBI.

    I listened to Comey's testimony (alright, I admit, some of the dumber Democrat senators earned a mute button - don't blame me, I did need to get some work done, but seriously, who wants to hear Kamala Harris - the dumbest senator since Patty Murray and Claire McCaskill, or Ron Wyden?).  My initial impression was of a guy who admitted under oath that he at times acted cowardly, admitted hs was often confused and befuddled, and was, with respect to Trump, acting like a disgruntled employee.

    Other than the fact that he did tell Trump three times he personally was not under investigation (this is at the crux of McCarthy's argument, so go read him if you want to understand why this was so important to Trump), a key take-away was Obama's AG, Loretta Lynch, asking, no ordering him to use the term "matter" to describe a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, which gave him a "queasy feeling."  But not queasy enough to act [pro[perl

    He went on:
    "And, again, you look back in hindsight, you think should I have resisted harder? I just said, all right, it isn't worth -- this isn't a hill worth dying on and so I just said, OK, the press is going to completely ignore it. And that's what happened. 
    "When I said, we have opened a matter, they all reported the FBI has an investigation open. And so that concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about FBI's work and that's concerning.
    "It gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way a political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate. 
    "We had a criminal investigation open with -- as I said before, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We had an investigation open at the time, and so that gave me a queasy feeling."
    What we have here in this case is a guy willing to look the other way on the FBI's own rules and policies, and when he knows he is being manipulated by a political operative (Lynch) disguised as his boss, he says nothing of her actions, but uses it as an excuse for his horribly ill-advised non-indictment of Hillary Clinton.

    Then there is the leaking.

    This guy is the former Director of the FBI and he deigns it as acceptable to leak memos which are the property of the United States taxpayers, and that are subject to Executive Privilege, to the media, involving a "friend" of his in his duplicity, all in the effort to cause a Special Prosecutor to be named.  This wasn't your ordinary, "let's get the truth out there" leak.  This was designed with a political purpose, an arrow aimed right at the administration, who had so clumsily, and I am sure in Comey's mind, wrongly, let him go.

    These are not the actions, boys and girls, of a Boy Scout. These are the actions of a man who has some kind of axe to grind, as I can't see how they fit into the CYA category.  These only make him look bad, and the President was right to tweet about this.

    IMHO, this makes him not much different from Reality Winner, who leaked for much the same reasons as Comey (a devotion to a rotten causes).

    Let's hear Comey's words:
    "And my judgment was, I needed to get that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn't do it myself, for a variety of reasons. But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. And so I asked a close friend of mine to do it."
    This guy had plenty of opportunities to do something different.  Just as in the Clinton affair, he looked askance at an AG openly obstructing justice, and decided to take matters in his own hands, this time, he decided that he'd not discuss this with the current AG (or the Deputy AG), but he'd leak these memos, which belong to us, to the NYT through a third party.

    Finally, of interest to me is the stake Comey drives through the Russian collusion angle the Democrats have been trying to gin up for weeks (is anyone STILL talking about Jared Kushner and back channels?).

    On direct questioning, here is what Comey testifies, under oath:
    BURR: Do you have any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections? 
    COMEY: None. 
    BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the DNC and the DCCC systems, and the subsequent leaks of that information? 
    COMEY: No, no doubt 
    BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files? 
    COMEY: No. 
    BURR: Do you have any doubt that officials of the Russian government were fully aware of these activities? 
    COMEY: No doubt. 
    BURR: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered? 
    COMEY: I'm confident. By the time -- when I left as director, I had seen no indication of that whatsoever. 
    BURR: Director Comey, did the president at any time ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections? 
    COMEY: Not to my understanding, no. 
    BURR: Did any individual working for this administration, including the Justice Department, ask you to stop the Russian investigation? 
    COMEY: No.

    Later, Comey testifies under questioning from future president Marco Rubio (who, I might point out, none other than Alan Dershowitz has praised for his handling of this):

    RUBIO: Director Comey, the meeting in the Oval Office where he made the request about Mike Flynn -- was that the only time he asked you to hopefully let it go? 
    COMEY: Yes. 
    RUBIO: And in that meeting, as you understood it, that was -- he was asking not about the general Russia investigation, he was asking very specifically about the jeopardy that Flynn was in himself?
    COMEY: That's how I understood it, yes, sir. 
    RUBIO: And as you perceived it, while it was a request that -- he hoped you did away with it, you perceived it as an order, given his position, the setting and the like, and some of the circumstances? 
    COMEY: Yes. 
    RUBIO: At the time, did you say anything to the president about -- that is not an appropriate request, or did you tell the White House counsel, that is not an appropriate request, someone needs to go tell the president that he can't do these things?
    COMEY: I didn't, no. 
    RUBIO: OK. Why? 
    COMEY: I don't know. I think the -- as I said earlier, I think the circumstances were such that it was -- I was a bit stunned, and didn't have the presence of mind.
    And I don't know -- you know, I don't want to make you -- sound like I'm Captain Courageous. I don't know whether, even if I had the presence of mind, I would have said to the president, "Sir, that's wrong." I don't know whether I would have. 
    RUBIO: OK. 
    COMEY: But in the moment, it -- it didn't -- it didn't come to my mind. What came to my mind is, be careful what you say. And so I said, "I agree Flynn is a good guy.” 
    RUBIO: So, on the cloud -- we keep talking about this cloud -- you perceived the cloud to be the Russian investigation in general, correct? 
    COMEY: Yes, sir. 
    RUBIO: But the specific ask was that you would tell the American people what you had already told him, what you had already told the leaders of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans: that he was not personally under investigation. 
    COMEY: Yes, sir, that's how I... 
    RUBIO: In fact , he was asking you to do what you have done here today. 
    COMEY: ... correct. Yes, sir. 
    RUBIO: OK. And again, at that setting, did you say to the president that it would be inappropriate for you to do so, and then talk to the White House counsel or anybody so hopefully they would talk to him and tell him that he couldn't do this?
    COMEY: First time, I said, "I'll see what we can do." Second time, I explained how it should work, that the White House counsel should contact the deputy attorney general. 
    RUBIO: You told him that? 
    COMEY: The president said, OK, then I think that's what I'll do. 
    RUBIO: And just to be clear, for you to make a public statement that he was not under investigation would not have been illegal, but you felt it made no sense because it could potentially create a duty to correct, if circumstances changed?
    COMEY: Yes, sir. We wrestled with it before my testimony where I confirmed that there was an investigation. And there were two primary concerns. One was it creates a duty to correct, which I've lived before, and you want to be very careful about doing that.
    And second, it's a slippery slope, because if we say the president and the vice president aren't under investigation, what's the principled basis for -- for stopping?

    So, again, we see what a coward Comey is.  It's almost as though he's consciously trying to trip Trump up, but, we have his former experience with Lynch to inform us that he's probably a coward, and unwilling to rock the boat with his political superiors.

    But there's more good stuff from Rubio, where he forces Comey to admit that the President had actually asked him to ensure the investigation continues, and if there are any "satellites" involved, that would be "good to know."

    RUBIO: Now, on a number of occasions here, you bring up -- let's talk now about the general Russia investigation, OK? In page 6 of your testimony, you say -- the first thing you say is, he asked what we could do to, quote/unquote, "lift the cloud," the general Russia investigation. 
    And you responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could and that there would be great benefit, if we didn't find anything, to having done the work well. And he agreed. He reemphasized the problems it was causing him, but he agreed.
    So, in essence, the president agreed with your statement that it would be great if we could have an investigation, all the facts came out and we found nothing. So he agreed that that would be ideal, but this cloud is still messing up my ability to do the rest of my agenda. Is that an accurate assessment of... 
    COMEY: Yes, sir. He actually went farther than that. He -- he said, "And if some of my satellites did something wrong, it'd be good to find that out." 
    RUBIO: Well, that's the second part, and that is the satellites. He said, "If one of my satellites" -- I imagine, by that, he meant some of the other people surrounding his campaign -- "did something wrong, it would be great to know that, as well"? 
    COMEY: Yes, sir. That's what he said. 
    RUBIO: So are those the other -- are those the only two instances in which that sort of back-and-forth happened, where the president was basically saying, and I'm paraphrasing here, it's OK, do the Russia investigation. I hope it all comes out. I have nothing to do with anything Russia. It'd be great if it all came out, if people around me were doing things that were wrong. 
    COMEY: Yes. As I -- I recorded it accurately there. That was the sentiment he was expressing. Yes, sir.
    We have a president who at one time requested leniency for his friend, Michael Flynn, and at another, requested that the investigation continue and that any of his people involved be outed.

    As most on the right, and even some left-leaning legal minds (Dershowitz) have suggested, there is juts no obstruction case, and the "collusion" case is certainly on the ropes.  That is the why the Dems have moved on from collusion, from Trump outing Israeli operations, from Jared Kushner, to now "obstruction."

    They hate that they lost to Trump, and they will not stop.


    This is why I am in the Dennis Prager, Colonel Kurt Schlicter, and Ace of Spades camp on this.  Trump is the general we have now, and we're fighting a second civil war for the return of Constitutional government to this country, and ultimately for Western civilization, of which, we are the bulwark.

    The Left, because they thirst for power, have been fighting this battle a lot longer.  They're better at it.  They've co-opted the Media and Academia and they have more outlets and mouthpieces, but they're wrong.  And I won't stop calling our these Fascists everywhere I can.

    Neither should you.

    Note: I don't consider Comey one of them, he's a tool, being used by them at the moment.  The fact that 12 months ago he was persona-non-grata to them is evidence that they'll use any tool available to them at the moment.  And right now, he's available.

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