May 9th, 2017

Comey’s out!

Well, well, well.

By now you may know that Trump has fired James Comey from his position as FBI head, to take effect immediately.

I’m not going to write an in-depth post about this tonight—I’m visiting relatives—but I wanted to provide an open thread for you to discuss it. Tomorrow I plan to have more to say.

You can go almost anywhere to find articles about the event; it’s the talk of the internet and the MSM at the moment, as you might expect. Memeorandum has a varied roundup of sources, if you want to start there.

42 Responses to “Comey’s out!”

  1. J.J. Says:

    Democrats have said Comey helped Trump defeat Hillary with his October letter re-opening the investigation of her e-mails. They called for his resignation back then and didn’t like him as recently as last week. Yet now, his firing is a “Constitutional crisis.”

    Poorly played by the Trump team. To fire a man when he’s out of town and learns he’s been sacked from the media is very poor form. The WH staff is not a well-oiled administrative/political machine. 🙁

    However, their clumsiness and poor form in executing this pink slip to Comey does not mean there is skullduggery afoot. The Russia/Trump collusion investigation will proceed – possibly even more smoothly now that Comey (who, IMO, is too full of himself and a bit of a grandstander) is gone. But, no, a special prosecutor must now be appointed because…..someone associated with Trump must be guilty of colluding with Russia and only a special prosecutor can get the goods. Doncha know? 🙂

    Don’t know how long the Democrat hysterics will last, but maybe Trump will send out a tweet tomorrow that will trigger even more apoplexy. I don’t know if Trump actually figures out ways to trigger the Dems, but they rise to every move like a hungry trout to a fly. They are not only the party out of power, they are now the party of sputtering, indignant, irrational hysterics.

  2. AesopFan Says:

    Very much in the news. Comey seems to have gotten himself cross-wise of both parties, and really has no credibility on anything anymore. That’s not a good condition for the head of the FBI.

  3. Yann Says:

    Now you can understand the Syria stuff.

    Had Trump fired him a month ago, the “Russian puppet” accusations would have made headlines for weeks.

  4. Snow on Pine Says:

    If you read the very clearly written Espionage Act, and other relevant statutes dealing with the handling of classified information, under which Hillary would have been prosecuted for having a non-government, private, unsecured, home brew server on her property, and using it to receive, store, and retransmit classified information to those not cleared to receive such classified information, you will see that the only element of the crime required for prosecution under these statutes is “gross negligence,” and that nowhere in these statutes is there a requirement to also find another element to the crime i.e. to find ”intent”; whatever your intent, acting with gross negligence is itself wholly sufficient to justify prosecution.

    Nonetheless, last July, in his famous press conference, Comey deliberately rewrote and misquoted these statutes, to require not only gross negligence but also “intent,” which he then went on to say the FBI was not able to find in this case, thus blocking any prosecution of Hillary.

    Later on, as further information dribbled out, it was reported that, in an unheard of violation of standard procedure, no grand jury was impaneled to investigate this matter, which meant that no subpoenas could be issued for the production of evidence, and no testimony could be compelled from witnesses.

    With no subpoena power, deals were reportedly made with suspects to gain limited access to some evidence on their laptops, which the FBI agreed, in another unprecedented action, were then to be destroyed.

    Hillary’s staff members, who were also themselves suspects and under investigation in this matter, were also allowed to sit in as lawyers representing suspect Hillary in her one voluntary interview, which was not even conducted under oath, etc., etc.

    In other words, this was a sham “investigation,” one deliberately hamstrung and structured so that Hillary—no matter what clear violations of the law she might have committed—would never have any chance of being prosecuted.

    And that was just one thing that Comey and his FBI did, there were many others.

  5. Snow on Pine Says:

    Cont’d–In his July press conference Comey also deliberately did not use the term “gross negligence” from the statutes but, instead, he said that Hillary had acted with “extreme carelessness,” as if that were any different than “gross negligence.”

  6. vanderleun Says:

    Dear President Trump,
    Please accept my sincere and enduring thanks for getting rid of that evil man who was responsible for my losing the election to you. It serves him right.

    All my love,
    Hillary

    PS: Let’s not have any more silliness about that special prosecutor, okay?

  7. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Vanderleun…that was funny…I don’t care who you are.

  8. bdh Says:

    There is something off here, this sudden rush to fire Comey. Something was the final straw.
    Trump could have at least summoned him to the White House, or given him a call. Maybe give Comey a chance to resign to spend time with the family, or make him ambassador to North Korea or something.
    Once again the Trump admin comes off as doing something probably right in the worst possible way.
    And Vanderleun may be on to something…

  9. Yancey Ward Says:

    Trump’s only mistake here is not firing Comey on January 20th. There are a lot of Obama holdovers still there that need to be shown the door, too.

  10. Harry the Extremist Says:

    Yep…and as if on cue, the dems are working the timing to fit the Russian complicity meme. Not that Trump dropping Comey would have changed that if he had fired him earlier, I was still surprised it took this long to get rid of that incompetent clod.

  11. Tesh Says:

    Firing him while out of town is one potential way to keep him from scrubbing his computers, shredding files, etc. I’m not sure how deep down the paranoia rabbit hole that thought is, but I *have* been watching Burn Notice recently.

  12. Snow on Pine Says:

    Adding to my comments above about Comey’s faux “investigation” of Hilary, it was also reported that, contrary to normal FBI practice, no record was kept of what was said or happened during Hillary’s voluntary interview.

    Nor, according to Comey, was Comey present in the room, or observing that interview.

  13. Snow on Pine Says:

    Boy, that was some investigation, that was!

  14. blert Says:

    Comey’s LAST testimony to Congress gutted him.

  15. CapnRusty Says:

    Don’t put away that pen just yet, Mr. Trump.

    Andrew McCabe remains as acting FBI director. McCabe was in charge of the day to day investigation of Hillary’s emails, etc.

    Recall that Terry McAuliffe, Virginia governor, was high up in the Clinton campaign. From October 24, 2016, WSJ: Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

    The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.

  16. Snow on Pine Says:

    Blert–Comey did seem very theatric and over emotional as he testified last week.

    The fact that he kept making statements about how he was appointed for a ten year term, and that he would be around for all of it, also grated.

  17. Cornhead Says:

    Dems, MSNBC and CNN are completely hysterical.

  18. Big Maq Says:

    From the Attorney General’s office…

    https://steemit.com/news/@fortified/a-g-memo-on-comey-or-subject-restoring-public-confidence-in-the-fbi

  19. John Dough Says:

    Stephen Colberts liberal audience cheered when he told them Comey was fired. Not expecting this reaction, he redirected their anger using Trump Derangement Syndrome. He should be euthanized.

  20. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    The simplest theory is the best. Trump didn’t like being poorly portrayed in the “shows” so he acted. Not from any long term plan or strategy. What people forget about the reasons many GOP voters disliked Trump was that his is an inexperienced fraud. His vaunted negotiating skills were to threaten his business partners with continuing vitriol and bad publicity till they gave in. The very skills most business men acquire when they deal with clients, partners, bankers and regulators are missing in DJT. These same skills are invaluable in dealing with Congress, the press and the opposition. Consistency and trust are often the only values that count in international relations. Not the case here.

  21. Bill Says:

    “Stephen Colberts liberal audience cheered when he told them Comey was fired. Not expecting this reaction, he redirected their anger using Trump Derangement Syndrome. He should be euthanized.

    Two things

    1. What’s wrong with you people? Wishing death on your political opponents used to be the thing only leftists did. I’ve seen a number of death threats (I assume in jest?) in this space. Seems weird to me on a conservative site.

    2. Colbert/J Stewart/Seth Myers/Samantha Bee are the best things to happen to the Conservative movement. The liberal movement has fallen into the trap that ridicule is the best weapon (and now it’s almost their only weapon).

    The gags are always presented as if the joke is already made. That’s probably why Colbert’s Comey reference backfired on him – the assumed joke wasn’t understood by the audience (assuming this – I didn’t see it).

    Constantly ridiculing your political enemy has some positive effects, I suppose, but in the long run it serves to completely undermine the seriousness of the war of ideas, and causes people to vastly underestimate their “enemies”. Plus it makes you an amoral Alinskyite.

    I see it all the time on the right now too- switching between whining about this all-powerful monolithic MSM (ignoring completely outfits like fox-news with their leggy blond conservative commentators) and completely discounting the left (“Look at them! They are hysterical!!!”)

    What’s missing for the most part in all of this is any serious debate.

  22. Snow on Pine Says:

    Apparently late last night FOX’s Catherine Herridge had progressed to saying that Comey was fired because he “slow-walked” the FBI’s answers to Congressional requests for information.

    He wouldn’t reveal the names of those U.S. citizens who were unmasked, and who unmasked them.

  23. vanderleun Says:

    We all share your deep and abiding concern, Bill. Really, we do.

  24. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Bill,

    Some of us have reluctantly and after long futility, concluded that attempting serious debate with those on the Left is an utter waste of time.

    Good luck in your continued efforts to persuade the Pelosis, Reids, Warrens, Sanders and Obamas of the world. Or even the liberal useful idiots.

    You can only beat your head so long against a wall before concluding that they are opposed to reason, logic and facts that contradict their POV.

    To paraphrase Franklin,
    ‘You cannot reason someone out of a position that they have reached without reason’

  25. Bill Says:

    You can only beat your head so long against a wall before concluding that they are opposed to reason, logic and facts that contradict their POV.

    My comment above was more about not wishing death on your political enemies, but I don’t necessarily disagree with you.

    But it does go both ways. Since I left the GOP last May I’ve realized that there is plenty of confirmation bias and wishful thinking on both sides.

    Thinking Trump is pure evil, for example, ia delusional thinking. But obe also has to be delusional to think he’s honest, or “God’s man”, or whatever else a Republican might want to think.

  26. Bill Says:

    *one* also has to be delusional.

  27. TommyJay Says:

    I had three thoughts:

    1) Timing. I learned something new. The FBI does not report to the AG directly. He reports to the deputy AG. We know the Dems in the Senate have been slow walking Trump’s confirmations. Rod Rosenstein was confirmed just a couple weeks ago. Ergo, Comey’s evaluation was just submitted by Rosenstein.

    Sure Trump may have been planning this all along. But unlike a great many Obama Whitehouse actions, this one at least has the appearance of following proper channels.

    2) The complaint that Rosenstein did not recommend Comey’s firing in his eval. letter seems specious. A subordinate should never tie the Presidents hands or limit his options in public statements. That Rosenstein felt that Comey should be fired is a relatively obvious conclusion.

    3) I skipped past the media hysteria over “Comey misstates Abedin’s classified email forwarding to husband’s laptop” recently, then went back to it after the firing.

    Fox News quotes “hundreds of thousands of emails” which, of course, is incorrect. Comey said “hundreds and thousands.” The left media states that while there were thousands of her emails on the computer, most were transferred by a (cabled?) backup process and were not forwarded by Abedin.

    Two out of 12 email chains were forwarded to the computer. So that is most likely hundreds of emails at least. The important thing, to my mind, is the total number of classified emails on A. Weiner’s laptop. Yes, forwarding is less secure than a backup, but the big insecurity is the laptop itself.

  28. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Trump is no more honest or dishonest than the average American. Few show the character of doing the right thing when it will cost them personally. To confirm, look at those the electorate has elected to represent them.

  29. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    TommyJay,

    It matters not as far as lawbreaking goes, whatever the degree of security in forwarding classified emails. Hillary repeatedly broke federal laws upon receipt of the emails. She’s guilty as hell and all else are just details.

  30. Yankee Says:

    I turned on NBC news last night at 6:00, just in time to catch the special report from Lester Holt about Mr. Comey getting fired. And I laughed and laughed, as it was just hilarious. I laughed even more when I read Pres. Trump’s letter to former Director Comey.

    But let us not forget first causes in this matter. Just look how much trouble this secret e-mail server of Hillary Clinton’s has caused, and what could have been avoided had it been properly dealt with in the first place. This is also a matter of how politicized the Justice Dept was under the Obama administration, and an indication of poor leadership from Mr. Trump’s predecessor.

    There will be lot of hoo-raw and foofaraw in the coming days, but all that will pass in time. For now, let us all with Mr. Comey the best of luck in his future endeavors.

  31. vanderleun Says:

    Yup. This will all flow into the backwater as the Trumpcapade rolls on and be forgotten. And Comey will still be fired. “Best of luck in your future endeavors.”

  32. Ray Says:

    It’s hilarious. Yesterday all the democrats wanted Comey fired and today all the democrats are pretending to be outraged that he was fired.

  33. DNW Says:

    “Snow on Pine Says:
    May 10th, 2017 at 12:11 am …”

    Perfect. The optics aside, the worthless “it’s all about me and my anguish” crybaby deserved it.

  34. Richard Saunders Says:

    What took him so long?

  35. TommyJay Says:

    Geoffrey,

    I completely agree with your general sentiment about Hillary, but…

    Your point about it not mattering much about the forwarding is correct, so why then the medium level hysteria from the media?? The media were the ones making a mountain out of a molehill when, in my opinion, Comey’s statement was very nearly correct. Or was entirely correct. I’m not trying to defend Comey either.

    My guess is that Dems are apoplectic over the notion of Huma Abedin being brought up on criminal charges. Someone probably thinks that the forwarding makes her more criminally culpable. And the way the FBI “gets” a mafia don (like Hillary) is they catch a capo red handed and flip them.

  36. Richard Saunders Says:

    TommyJay — how is setting up an automatic backup of all the e-mails on your phone to your sex pervert soon-to-be ex-spouse’s unsecured laptop any less serious than separately forwarding a few individual e-mail threads to him?

  37. Snow on Pine Says:

    To add insult to injury, it was also reported that a number of the key suspects in the FBI’s phony Hillary “investigation” were given immunity deals up front, with no quid pro quo demanded in return.

    So, from the get go, the very people whose testimony you needed to build your case, the lower level people you needed to be able to put pressure on to force them flip on Hillary, were assured that they would never be prosecuted and, being Clinton loyalists, they therefore had no incentive to flip on Hillary.

    Comey kept insisting publicly that every step in this supposed “investigation” was done by the book, and to the highest standards of the FBI.

    But, any agent who had been trained in the actual procedures used to conduct such an investigation, or who had participated in such investigations, had to know that Comey was lying through his teeth, and that the fix was in for Hillary.

    This phony investigation stunk to high heaven, from it’s top to it’s bottom and from it’s front to it’s back, and knowing that had to have a very deleterious impact on morale within the FBI.

  38. Snow on Pine Says:

    Yes, Comey’s gone. but anyone at the FBI who was involved in this phony investigation, and who went along with it, has to go too.

  39. AesopFan Says:

    Tesh Says:
    May 10th, 2017 at 3:24 am
    Firing him while out of town is one potential way to keep him from scrubbing his computers, shredding files, etc. I’m not sure how deep down the paranoia rabbit hole that thought is, but I *have* been watching Burn Notice recently.
    * *
    So far you are the only one I’ve seen to mention this point, which was my immediate reaction, having been part of a group corporate layoff in the past, and watching what happens in other people’s companies.
    It’s not paranoia; the burning, shredding, and sabotage-in-code does happen.
    Once the spate of sabotage in the software under the control of firees began (I first heard of it back in the 80s), no responsible executive gives notice of the impending action, or allows the terminated employee back into the building.

  40. AesopFan Says:

    TommyJay Says:
    May 10th, 2017 at 12:51 pm
    …The left media states that while there were thousands of her emails on the computer, most were transferred by a (cabled?) backup process and were not forwarded by Abedin.

    Two out of 12 email chains were forwarded to the computer. So that is most likely hundreds of emails at least. The important thing, to my mind, is the total number of classified emails on A. Weiner’s laptop. Yes, forwarding is less secure than a backup, but the big insecurity is the laptop itself.

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    May 10th, 2017 at 12:58 pm
    TommyJay,

    It matters not as far as lawbreaking goes, whatever the degree of security in forwarding classified emails. Hillary repeatedly broke federal laws upon receipt of the emails. She’s guilty as hell and all else are just details.

    Richard Saunders Says:
    May 10th, 2017 at 5:41 pm
    TommyJay — how is setting up an automatic backup of all the e-mails on your phone to your sex pervert soon-to-be ex-spouse’s unsecured laptop any less serious than separately forwarding a few individual e-mail threads to him?
    * * *
    I don’t think you guys realize you are in sync with TJ, just focusing on different details: basically you all agree that (a) there shouldn’t have been ANY classified emails to forward OR backup; and (b) sending them to Weiner’s laptop was a felony by any method, in any number above 0.

  41. Big Maq Says:

    “What’s missing for the most part in all of this is any serious debate.” – Bill

    Would correct that to say “What’s missing…is any serious attempt at debate”.

    Why?

    Folks have given up…
    .

    attempting serious debate with those on the Left is an utter waste of time.

    Good luck in your continued efforts to persuade the Pelosis, Reids, Warrens, Sanders and Obamas of the world. Or even the liberal useful idiots.

    You can only beat your head so long against a wall before concluding that they are opposed to reason, logic and facts that contradict their POV.

    To paraphrase Franklin,
    ‘You cannot reason someone out of a position that they have reached without reason’”
    – GB
    .

    Three things to pull out of this:

    1) The target must be either the leaders of the left, or the ones who will just parrot the party line in service to the left?

    There seems no in between. Yet, I’d bet a majority of dem voters are precisely in that gap.

    Perhaps a good many of these folks are persuadable?
    .

    2a) The fight for competing ideas is a forever fight.

    Everybody sees examples around (present and historically) that liberty and its institutions, capitalism, democracy, etc. are a successful model.

    Yet, a great many are still easily convinced that the only problem is their guys in office don’t have unfettered ability to change the laws to their preference and advantage.

    With every new generation, it is the same essential arguments, with slight modifications to the times.

    It is never ending.

    Knowing this, is giving up is the answer?
    .

    2b) What is the standard for success here? 100% fall in line?

    Perhaps a more reasonable consistent 51%+ electoral victory would be a better target.

    By that measure, we’ve seen the GOP turn a corner and have been doing reasonably well across the country, if one includes state and local, and not focus solely on DC.

    Over time, that has got to be reflected in the governance.

    After all, don’t we argue that, overall, states with a recent history of GOP political leadership, are ones that are performing better economically, attracting more investment, and growing (vs the ones long led by dems)?
    .

    3a) Everyone has their “reasons”, some better thought out than others.

    Yet, from this statement, it seems rather close to the assumption that any who disagree are somehow “without reason”.

    Doesn’t that seem more towards a rationalization for not bothering to start with?

    Are we talking about persuasion, if this is the starting assumption?

    How does this come across in conversation?
    .

    3b) Not everything is sold purely on the logic of the argument.

    But, every issue has a something of value to present to citizens that can help in getting their buy-in.

    An example is championing school choice for those living in poor performing school districts, where terrible teachers and administrators are protected under their union agreements – a privilege most of those citizens don’t have the benefit of.

    Could we not target those issues that DO have both a logical and an emotional reason for others to buy in?
    .

    Sure, the left uses emotional arguments.

    But, 2016 saw as much emotion on the right, without rehashing all the old arguments, and many exhibiting their own faulty “logic”…

    Since I left the GOP last May I’ve realized that there is plenty of confirmation bias and wishful thinking on both sides. – Bill

    For example, where does “he should be euthanized” come from?

    Bill’s is the lonely voice taking notice of this?

    Perhaps everyone understands it to be a “joke”, only somewhat harsher and darker than colbert’s supposed one the other night?

    This kind of talk won’t move the ball forward.

    Worse, it provides precisely the kinds of examples for the left to point to as confirmation of their worst claims of what we are advocating.

  42. Snow on Pine Says:

    Details about Comey’s and the FBI’s supposed “investigation” of Hillary’s use of her private email server keep dribbling out, and I suspect that now that Comey’s gone they will start to pour out, as agents who might have feared retaliation or who didn’t want to be seen as disloyal, will start to speak their minds.

    It’s already been reported that the FBI didn’t actually ever get custody of the server in question, or actually examine it.

    Now, comes a report that neither did the FBI search any of the houses of the suspects, or seize any of their computers, cell phones, recording devices, or papers.

    This was a sham investigation, designed from the very beginning to fail to find any wrongdoing, by those supposedly “investigating” not performing any of the methodical, routine steps that standard investigative procedure called for, and by them not dealing with the subjects of this investigation as procedure called for them to be dealt with.

    Everyone assumed that Hillary would win, and I assume Comey and whichever agents and others in the FBI helped to conduct this sham investigation believed that, with Hillary in power, no one would ever question how they had conducted this investigation and, in fact, they’d be praised, and maybe even be promoted for having taken part in it.

    Now, though, that Trump is President, and Comey’s out, I’d imagine these agents are trying, in every way they can, to distance themselves from their participation in this sham investigation.

    Given how every standard operating procedure was deliberately violated, when Comey stood up before the cameras and Congress and said that this investigation was done by the book and in the highest standards of the FBI he, and everyone else involved in this sham, had to know that Comey was lying through his teeth, as did everyone else at the FBI.

    Hell, even anyone who has watched a few cop shows, on hearing how it was conducted, had to know that this whole “investigation” stank to high heaven.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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