June 10th, 2017

The case against Comey

Jonatahn Turley lays it out.

Turley is an interesting figure. I’ve written about him many times before, most notably here. I find him to be one of the more objective and fair legal analysts writing today. I don’t always agree with him, of course, but he’s always intelligent and writes with great clarity. Politically he leans liberal, Democratic, and decidedly libertarian, which doesn’t mean that he toes the leftist line. He’s definitely a maverick, but a principled one who’s especially concerned with arguing against governmental abuses of power. You can read about both his politics and his previous legal positions here.

Comey’s self-admitted behavior offends Turley, as well it might, because he finds it unethical and Comey’s explanation self-serving. Here’s an excerpt from yesterday’s Turley piece:

Comey described a series of ethical challenges during his term as FBI director. Yet, he almost uniformly avoided taking a firm stand in support of the professional standards of the FBI…

Comey said that he took these actions days after his termination, when he said that he woke up in the middle of the night and realized suddenly that the memos could be used to contradict Trump. It was a bizarrely casual treatment of material that would be viewed by many as clearly FBI information. He did not confer with the FBI or the Justice Department. He did not ask for any classification review despite one of the parties described being the president of the United States. He simply sent the memos to a law professor to serve as a conduit to the media.

As a threshold matter, Comey asked a question with regard to Trump that he should now answer with regard to his own conduct. Comey asked why Trump would ask everyone to leave the Oval Office to speak with Comey unless he was doing something improper. Yet, Trump could ask why Comey would use a third party to leak these memos if they were his property and there was nothing improper in their public release…

Many in the media have tried to spin this as not a “leak” because leaks by definition only involve classified information. That is entirely untrue as shown by history. Leaks involve the release of unauthorized information — not only classified information. Many of the most important leaks historically have involved pictures and facts not classified but embarrassing to a government. More importantly, federal regulations refer to unauthorized disclosures not just classified information.

Comey’s position would effectively gut a host of federal rules and regulations. He is suggesting that any federal employee effectively owns documents created during federal employment in relation to an ongoing investigation so long as they address the information to themselves. FBI agents routinely write such memos in investigations. They are called 302s to memorialize field interviews or fact acquisitions. They are treated as FBI information.

There’s much, much more at the link. I find it the most convincing and thorough explanation I’ve read yet of what Comey did re Trump and why it was clearly wrong.

Trump seems to have a great deal of luck in his opponents, who uniformly look bad against him. Some Trump supporters would say it’s not luck, it’s Trump’s skill—skill in driving them to do things that make themselves look bad. I think it’s a combination of both, although the “skill” is partly just the fact that their hatred of and discomfort with Trump’s personality drives them to extremes.

By the way, that’s an explanation for their behavior, not an excuse.

[NOTE: In other Comey news, rumor has it (I’ve come to regard most news reports that rely on unnamed sources as no more than rumor) that he’s signed or is about to sign a ten million dollar contract to write a book. Nice work if you can get it.]

33 Responses to “The case against Comey”

  1. expat Says:

    From Twitchy via PJM:

    http://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2017/06/10/ha-larry-elder-has-a-request-for-trump-in-light-of-latest-comey-news/?utm_campaign=twitchywidget

  2. J.J. Says:

    I believe Comey fancies himself as a straight shooter who is pretty much in the middle politically. He is, however, a D.C. insider or member of the establishment. As such he found Trump to be distasteful, if not repugnant, and his instincts were to accept the MSM’s caricature of Trump. He believed he could work for Trump but needed to be very careful. As the “Trump colluded with Russia” drumbeat became stronger from the left, Comey may have come to believe that Trump really shouldn’t be in the job of POTUS, and that maybe he could be the instrument of his removal. That would further his image of himself as the honest broker, the man on a white horse – the man who relieved the nation of this inappropriate President. That conjecture, IMO, goes a long way in explaining Comey’s strange behavior throughout his tenure under President Trump.

    Here’s a cartoon that tries to hint at Comey’s attitude about working for Trump as president. (H/T Bookworm)
    https://i2.wp.com/www.bookwormroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IMG_1803.jpg?zoom=2.25&resize=674%2C377

  3. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Hi Neo…re Trump’s opponents…

    I don’t believe in “luck” nor do I attribute to President Trump some “10 dimensional chess” level skill. I could be wrong on both counts but…

    What I think is that his enemies, from the day he declared, have grossly underestimated him. They then attack in a wild ferocity that exposes their weaknesses more than it exploits his.

    Love him or hate him he is a formidable man. I also believe that many who are waiting for him to implode or grudgingly admit his early successes or find fault in his first few months as President, are similarly guilty of underestimating the President.

    I’m perfectly happy for every #neverTrump person to crash themselves against those battlements. So far the “winning” is pretty clear on the President’s side.

    I’ll take that a thousand times over what we had for 8 years or could have had in his unfit & unworthy general election opponents.

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    When Comey was appointed, I happily accepted his reputation as a straight shooter. Men of integrity are to be cherished and honored.

    Sadly, the more I learn of the man, the deeper my contempt for the man.

  5. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    June 10th, 2017 at 7:27 pm
    When Comey was appointed, I happily accepted his reputation as a straight shooter. Men of integrity are to be cherished and honored.

    Sadly, the more I learn of the man, the deeper my contempt for the man.
    * * *
    You are not alone in the “evolution” of your opinion.

    From last night’s post on Comey:
    AesopFan Says:
    June 10th, 2017 at 2:51 am
    I took a stroll over to Patterico’s to see what was up, mostly because Beldar comments over there, and he didn’t disappoint – although he did, very unusually, disagree with the host.

    http://patterico.com/2017/06/09/my-reaction-to-the-comey-testimony/#comment-2005428

    “I’ll point out one respect in which I think Comey is worse than Trump:..”

    RTWT – excellently reasoned, as usual.

    Beldar is in Neo’s blogroll, but his own blog went dormant in 2015, and he mostly comments at Patterico’s now. He was my “must read” for the understanding of Obama’s deficiencies.

  6. AesopFan Says:

    Interesting questions about Comey’s double-standards for dealing with Trump v. other folks.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/06/some_simple_questions_for_james_comey.html

  7. AesopFan Says:

    More on the legal ins-and-outs.
    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/337202-comey-followed-careful-plan-in-leaking-memos

  8. AesopFan Says:

    I have to admit that having Andy McCarthy argue for a position I’ve already suggested gives me a kick.
    He suggests that President Trump may well have perceived Comey as having done something one could metaphorically characterize as “stabbing him in the back” — although using a slightly different weapon than the one I posited.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448513/trump-james-comey-fbi-director-russia-investigation-fired-misleading-public

    “What possible good reason was there to alert the public that the Trump campaign was under investigation? Inevitably, that would induce the media to tell the world — incessantly — that Trump himself was under investigation.

    More fundamentally, what is the “public interest” in misleading the public? If you know that what you are about to say is going to lead people to believe the president of the United States is under investigation (as it did), and you know for a fact that the president of the United States is not under investigation (as Comey did), why make the statement? And if it was important enough to tell Congress that Trump was not under investigation so that Congress would not be misled, what conceivable reason is there not to tell the public —
    ..
    Do you suppose the desperation to tell that to the world,
    the exasperation over Comey’s refusal to tell it to the world, just might have been at the front of the president’s mind?”

    My speculation was here
    http://neoneocon.com/2017/06/08/comeys-testimony-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder-like-most-things-trump/#comment-2218634
    AesopFan Says:
    June 9th, 2017 at 10:27 am
    ..
    So, Comey (very trusted by everyone even if then on the outs with Hillary’s supporters) gives him a cue, between election and inauguration, that private meetings for doing government business are OK, if there is a personal component — then stabs him in the back for having similar private meetings afterwards.

  9. AesopFan Says:

    G.B: another cadre of evolutionists heard from:
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/comeys-calculations.php

    “Before Thursday’s hearing began, I was inclined to. Having read Comey’s prepared remarks, I expected that Comey and Trump would disagree regarding important factual questions. Given Comey’s reputation for integrity, whatever his faults, and given my view that Trump has been less than honest at times, I thought that — other things being equal — Comey should have the edge when it comes to weighing credibility.

    I no longer see it that way. My view of Trump hasn’t changed, but my view of Comey has. Clearly, he is far from the straight-shooter he holds himself out as. His primary interest isn’t the truth; it’s having his way. Kind of like Trump, but without the electoral mandate.

    I’m no more inclined to believe Comey than to believe Trump..” — Paul Mirengoff

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/proof-that-james-comey-misled-the-senate-intelligence-committee.php

    “In short, Comey’s statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee that “I didn’t feel, with President Bush, the need to document it in that way” was false. He did document his story about his meeting with President Bush, in great detail, in a “report” that was turned into “unclassified notes.”

    James Comey says there is a pattern to his dealings with presidents: he is an honest man who only needed to create memos to document his conversations with Donald Trump, because Trump is untruthful. But that isn’t the real pattern. The real pattern is that Comey is a snake in the grass who creates tendentious, self-serving memos that can later be used to cover his own rear end or to discredit presidents, but only if they are Republicans.” — John Hinderaker

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/06/when-comey-leaked-his-memo.php

    “I found Comey’s explanation patently absurd. Among other things, it belies his reputation for truthfulness and his self-presentation as a straight shooter. Comey testified that he used a cutout “[b]ecause I was weary [of] the media [that] was camping at the end of my driveway at that point. I was actually going out of town with my wife to hide. I worried it would be feeding seagulls at the beach, if it was I who gave it to the media.”

    We are apparently to believe that Comey feared Michael Schmidt would have unleashed his colleagues to hound Comey on vacation if Comey himself had made the call that Comey assigned to Richman. This makes approximately no sense. It does not compute.”
    — Scott Johnson

  10. Frog Says:

    Yes, Comey has been thought of as a square shooter in the past, when he was less scrutinized. An actor that one wanted to like, though the plot was not yet clear as to hero or villain.
    Fitzgerald, the Plame special counsel, skewered Scooter Libby for giving some “false” info (lying to the FBI is a felony, and the line between lie and mis-statement is not always wide and bright). Fitz is/was a friend of Comey; Comey pushed his selection.

    Mueller, prior FBI head and now special counsel, is now also deemed an always-square shooter. But he is another friend of Comey. Comey had Mueller ‘review’ his Thursday Senate testimony before he offered it to the Committee. For a self-admitted leaker, this ‘review’ before testifying is an odd step, since Comey a priori should not be exempt from any broad-net investigation about Federal leaks, and has now confessed to leaking.

    Think Mueller will indict Comey?
    I think not. Friends first, lawyers second, patriots third.

  11. Big Maq Says:

    “So far the “winning” is pretty clear on the President’s side.” – John Guyfoiled

    Ok… was pretty reasonable argument until this.

    There is much questionable wrt Comey, and firing him on day one would have been quite justifiable.

    Yet, trump didn’t, and now it has become a HUGE distraction.

    Somehow we conclude trump has been “winning”???

    Almost everything about trump’s handling of this just screams “incompetent”.
    .

    Even Paul Ryan wants us to give trump a break because he is “new to this”, who wasn’t “steeped in long running protocols”. Right!

    Couldn’t get more d*mning for a man who boasted how much more “competent” he was vs the “stupid” politicians.
    .

    Three plus posts by Neo on this topic in just the last few days. It is all over the media – on both sides.

    We are burning cycles on something other than getting our agenda passed.

    THAT is what LOSING looks like.

  12. Ray Says:

    I never had a high opinion of Comey after he appointed his friend Fitzgerald as prosecutor in the Valerie Plame investigation. Fitzgerald quickly determined that Richard Armitage was the leaker and concluded that no law was broken. Instead of concluding the investigation, Fitzgerald then proceeded to expand the investigation into possible mishandling of classified information with Comey’s permission. Fitzgerald then went on a two year long fishing expedition and Comey went along with it.
    When Comey admitted that he was a leaker he lost all credibility with me.

  13. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Hi Big Maq,

    If you’re intentionally misspelling my name, that looks like you’re being “rude,” to quote our gracious host, who busted my chops for far less. Let’s see if she’s a fair umpire.

    Keep crashing against those battlements boy. Does Trump appear distracted? Is any of that sticking to Trump? He’s been in office less than 6 months & if you think in your heart of hearts anyone else on either side of the primary or general election ballot would be doing a better job…then you’re not just rude…and you’re not just underestimating the President…

    Could Trump turn out to be a horrible President after 4 years? Maybe. But I’ll have him over anyone else in the field from 2016. If only to watch Big Heads explode daily.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    John Guilfoyle:

    Seems to be that spelling your name wrong is a fairly petty (although rather silly) offense. What’s the “far less” that I “busted your chops” for? I have a lot to do on the blog and many interactions with commenters (including, sometimes, admonitions and/or warnings) and I simply don’t remember.

  15. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Just making sure you’re monitoring the playground. Thanks.

  16. Frog Says:

    Big Maq is so very distracted. From what?

  17. Bill Says:

    Big Maq is right.

    Remember Trump’s agenda? How’s that going?

    (response sans any evidence: “Great! He keeps winning and winning and winning.”)

    I’m pretty sure the Russians jacked w our election (like us, they like getting their way). I don’t think Trump collided w them, other than doing dumb stunts like publicly asking them to hack Hillary’s server. Some of Trump’s underlings look a bit less clean. But I think Russia really wanted to avoid a Republican in office after getting used to 8 years of Obama naivete. They figured helping Trump (again, not saying he was aware of this) was the best way to destabilize the GOP. And if he did end up winning, they wouldn’t get Hillary but they would get someone who’s own supporters hailed his destructive/destabilizing effect. Win win for Russia.

    So, what does Trump do? He’s coy and alluring regarding his admiration for Putin all through the campaign. He’s a big fan of leaks and the destabilization on the Democrat side due to Comey’s on again, off again nonsense. After being elected, he again and again wastes time on petty controversies like the size of his inauguration crowd. He again and again publicly complains about the Russia investigation, thus keeping it on the front page. Then comes his brilliant move of firing the FBI director in the middle of an investigation in the most humiliating way he could think of and publicly threatening him on Twitter.

    None of this was smart. Some of it did work in the campaign. None of it is working now. And while all Presidents have to grow into the job, Trump is a particularly slow learner and very set in his ways.

    I wish he’d spend more energy on the health care bill. I’m not hopeful.

  18. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Actually,Trump didn’t ask the Russkis to hack Hillary’s server.
    He presumed somebody already had and the russkis had the dirty. So he suggested, as you recall, they release it. That presumes they had it by whatever method, which method preceded his suggestion.

  19. Big Maq Says:

    “Does Trump appear distracted? Is any of that sticking to Trump?” – John G

    Yep he does appear distracted. He spends way too much focus on petty and personal things.

    Yep it is sticking to him. His approval rating continues to fall, and disapproval rising.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/201617/gallup-daily-trump-job-approval.aspx

    Getting things done takes support, and trump isn’t building any… he’s losing it.
    .

    “But I’ll have him over anyone else in the field from 2016. If only to watch Big Heads explode daily.”

    There were several better choices.

    But, if your measure of what is a good choice is how “Big Heads explode daily”, then all we need is a WWF character for POTUS.

    In the end, given current course and speed, it is highly questionable that we see a 2020 that looks like anything you wanted, or expected after four years with trump.

  20. Big Maq Says:

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said.

    “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.”

    The Republican nominee added: “They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted … I hope they do … because you’d see some beauties there.””
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/27/donald-trump-russia-hillary-clinton-emails-dnc-hack

    @Richard A – Did trump ask them to hack? He suspected they already had them, but did hope they are able to find them, if they didn’t.

    So, it is perhaps debatable, as, if not about hacking for emails, it is d*mn close.

    Worse, it is an open invitation to the russians that should never have been condoned by a candidate.

    This clumsy, witless statement gave the dems all they needed to link the russians to “hacking the election”.

  21. Bill Says:

    Also, regarding the fun of watching “heads explode”.

    That’s a lot of hubris, guys.

    It only makes sense to gloat about that if the “heads” are completely powerless.

    All the “heads exploding” belong to people. A decent number of those people vote. Or they report the news. Or they march, or do a thousand other things that don’t look like “supporting Trump’s agenda”.

    They may not be able to impeach him, but they can pour sand in the gears of progress until he gets absolutely nothing done.

    Why? Because the President is not a freaking king, that’s why. He needs to work with people, sometimes people that are diametrically opposed to his agenda. That’s where all that much ballyhooed “Deal-making” comes in.

    You can comfort yourself by thinking that the exploding heads are powerless, or that no one who listens to them would ever support Trump anyway, or whatever.

  22. arfldgr Says:

    Lets state the case for the record..
    Alan Dershowitz and myself are on the same page.

    to quote mr dershowitz, who says it better:

    Comey confirmed that under our Constitution, the president has the authority to direct the FBI to stop investigating any individual. I paraphrase, because the transcript is not yet available: the president can, in theory, decide who to investigate, who to stop investigating, who to prosecute and who not to prosecute. The president is the head of the unified executive branch of government, and the Justice Department and the FBI work under him and he may order them to do what he wishes.

    As a matter of law, Comey is 100 percent correct. As I have long argued, and as Comey confirmed in his written statement, our history shows that many presidents—from Adams to Jefferson, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt, to Kennedy, to Bush 1, and to Obama – have directed the Justice Department with regard to ongoing investigations. The history is clear, the precedents are clear, the constitutional structure is clear, and common sense is clear.

    Yet virtually every Democratic pundit, in their haste to “get” President Trump, has willfully ignored these realities. In doing so they have endangered our civil liberties and constitutional rights.

    Once the target is NOT the president as was the case, clearly, then there is no way a president can obstruct justice..

    you silly people… he has the power of pardon!
    that power gives him the power of all orders over investigations, start, stop, etc…

    if he finds out his son murdered 5 people and did so with a smile on his face walking out the door petting the dog… too bad, he can pardon him…

    so how can someone obstruct justice that has no reach to act upon the other?

    with pardon, the president has checkmate on all actions of the FBI, and the rest is just NOISE

    and bill you have it backwards
    Bill Says
    Because the President is not a freaking king, that’s why. He needs to work with people, sometimes people that are diametrically opposed to his agenda. That’s where all that much ballyhooed “Deal-making” comes in.

    no, the BOSS does not HAVE to deal with them they HAVE to deal with HIM..

    you have it arse backwards… your children control you cause there are more of them, they are noisy, and you have no control over the family..

    no, the president is the ultimate arbiter and can do a lot of nasty things that few have evr deemed to do, but can do… and what you dont get is that he is the boss, not the congress, not the house, not the judiciary. the president…

    Article II, section 3 of the Constitution
    he can ajourn congress and put crap into a big mess for them…

    The US president can grant pardons or reprieves for those convicted of Federal Crimes, as outlined in the Constitution, Article II, Section 2. EXCEPT in the case of impeachment, so the president cannot pardon him or herself if convicted of a crime while in office. To date, President Barack Obama has issued 348 pardons, more than any other presiden

    this is the power that means he cant obstruct justice…
    he can nullify justice if he wants…

    The President is the official party leader of his or her political party while they are in office as the party leader is simply the most powerful person within that party.

    and if they dont get with it, the idea that trump will let the TAIL WAG THE DOG is crazy… ie. the servants do NOT run the bosses..

    for the nxt 4 years and onwards he can veto all dem started bills and any and all laws started by political oponnents.

    [and we havent even begun to get to scorched earth policy]

    he can remove most abassadors and others and put the congress into a tizzy trying to approve replacements with the presdient never showing up.

    In times of crisis, the President may exercise Emergency Powers. While it’s not exactly clear what these powers are because they are implied in the Constitution but not clearly stated, there’s been some argument over this in the past, such as when Lincoln tried to suspend Habeus Corpus in 1861 (a Federal Judge blocked the suspension). Emergency Powers give the president the right to temporarily declare Martial Law and employ troops within the US to put down rebellion or lawlessness. If this sounds terrifying, it is. However, we should all remember the riots that have happened recently in Ferguson and Baltimore. Even if you disagree with the implementation of emergency powers, it’s understandable why many think they’re needed. Emergency Powers also allow the President to declare Federal Disaster Areas so that aid can be sent and spend money without congressional approval.

    there is a lot of stuff here as we are already technically in the emergency situation and no preisdent has declared the powers from it, but its state is already in existence!!!!

    and here is a biggie:

    The President, as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, can direct troops wherever he wishes, either to aid other countries in war or to aid countries who need aid in times of crisis (like when troops were sent to help keep peace during the Ebola crisis in West Africa). If the president chooses to send troops into hostile territory to fight on behalf of the US, he has 90 days to gain approval of that action from Congress. The President cannot formally declare war, only Congress can. So to clarify, the President can move troops and ask for permission later but cannot actually declare war. This is arguably where POTUS/Congress get fuzzy and congress SHOULD keep POTUS in check, but Congress doesn’t have term limits and tends to stop doing anything after awhile.

    yes, he can move them around like chess pieces and start conflicts and pull out in 70 days, and totally screw the pooch. no?

    and here is a fun one if the dems dont want to come around AND the republicans dont want to come around

    The President can create or dismantle Federal Agencies through executive action. This is one of the most influential but often overlooked roles of the President. Through executive or department orders, Presidents have created over half of all administrative federal agencies in the US, of which there are over 400 in total. These agencies propose and enforce regulation that effects a lot of day to day life for most Americans, such as the Department of Homeland Security (or DHS) claiming the ability to search any personal electronics within 100 miles of a US border, no warrant needed. And if you live in a state like Florida or Connecticut or Hawaii, this is the entire state. This is technically an unwarranted search and is considered by many (like the ACLU) to be illegal under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. However, it’s allowed under the Department of Homeland Security, created by George W Bush in 2002.

    yes, he can make or break their favorite agencies..
    he could technically remake dozens of them as he feels and the only thing they could do is what? impeach him for using his powers? nope…

    One of the President’s most important duties is to faithfully execute the laws. This is explicitly stated in the Constitution, and the president must do so regardless of his own views on the matter, providing that the laws are constitutionally valid. This is in direct opposition to English Kings, who had the ability to suspend laws they didn’t care for.

    and then this

    Executive Orders are legally binding orders given by the President to Federal Agencies. These are usually used to direct execution of the agencies duties; however, there are also Proclamations that are usually ceremonial or Orders in relation to national security which are known as National Security Directives. These Orders do not require Congressional Approval but are as enforceable as laws.

    there are tons of things..
    its been a long time since a president has had to assert his powers to get htings done..

    but let me put this for for you!
    people like to claim trump is nutters

    yes, they do, but the politicos dont believe it one bit
    how can you tell? well, you dont dog pile on the rabbit of state and start a war and blow a nutty mans mind out fo the water and have him do a scorted earth policy against his enamies.

    how so? did you know that the president can change top secret status of things? that he could with an executive order or with a national security directive, issue and order for transparency and reveal ALL the dirty records of the past few presidents? or politicians?

    he can open the books…

    you dont get that they are very aware he is not a wacko, or anything like that… you can tell how they act… no one gets crazy agressive on crazy people your worried will do something nutty and of phyricc natures

    he could do all manner of things

    they just have not pushed him yet.. he WANTS to do what every president has done, not resort to the whip they have to get the ducks in line again.

    he leads them, they do not lead him
    we the people set it up like that
    maybe the house and senate want to be the supreme soiet over the dear lader as it is in soviet states, but this is not a soviet state. is it?

  23. Bill Says:

    “no, the BOSS does not HAVE to deal with them they HAVE to deal with HIM..

    you have it arse backwards… your children control you cause there are more of them, they are noisy, and you have no control over the family..

    no, the president is the ultimate arbiter and can do a lot of nasty things that few have evr deemed to do, but can do… and what you dont get is that he is the boss, not the congress, not the house, not the judiciary. the president…”

    Have it your way. This is one of the most unconservative things I’ve ever written.

    Let me crystallize this for you: THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T HAVE UNLIMITED POWER AND NEITHER SHOULD WE WANT HIM OR HER TO HAVE IT. He has constitutionally limited powers.

    Yes, he can pardon. But that doesn’t mean there are no consequences to that.

    The President of the united states can be removed from office. It’s happened once before (in effect) with Nixon.

    The President does not have unlimited power.

    I cannot believe I’m having to argue this with supposed, so-called, I’m beginning to think in name only conservatives.

    What happened to my party?

  24. Bill Says:

    Oh man. I try to make a point and instead step all over the syntax: This is one of the most unconservative things I’ve ever read.

  25. Kyndyll G Says:

    Bill and Maq:

    Basically, I have one question for you. Do you think Trump is a moron? As in, a complete, incapable-of-matching-socks incompetent that can’t be trusted to put shoes on the correct feet?

    These statements were made in July 2016. The server had been in FBI custody for almost a year. Unless you think Trump is an epic, drooling idiot you cannot possibly see those statements, made in a highly public situation, about a server that has not been available to hack into for almost a year, as an actual, literally intended, suggestion or request to “hack into Clinton’s server.” Seriously. Lefties might believe six or more staggeringly stupid things before breakfast on a daily basis, but I expect better of us.

    A career politician might not have said this, because they live in a world in which every syllable they have ever uttered in their life has to withstand scrutiny, but whatever Trump is, or is not, he is not a career politician. He blusters and blabs. Comments like these should be considered by real-world standards. Unless you think Trump is stupid enough to direct a foreign entity to hack into a rival’s sensitive information during an interview while on the Presidential campaign trail, and that he believes that the material is still available for hacking into, you cannot consider this a literal direction.

    While I’m no fan of Trump (why do I have to keep saying that to you two?), it’s perfectly obvious to rational people who aren’t mouth-foaming nevertrumpers that this is campaign snark. It was an opportunity to take a public jab at Hillary’s weakest spot, reminding the world of the server situation: that she is an incompetent corruptocrat who disregarded protocol, made sensitive information available to every hacker on the planet, and then deleted emails when cornered about it. Clinton should be serving jail time for it. It’s something that was worth bringing up anytime it worked into conversation.

  26. Ray Says:

    There is an interesting article at American Thinker on Comey and Mueller (FBI director) and the Valerie Plame case. Looks like Comey is even more despicable than I thought.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/06/comey_and_mueller_have_a_history_as_a_deep_state_tag_team_.html

  27. Frog Says:

    Byro York today adds comments from a bunch of lawyers, some of whom echo what I observed above on June 10.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-is-robert-mueller-conflicted-in-trump-probe/article/2625638

  28. Frog Says:

    Error: not today but yesterday.

  29. Bill Says:

    Kyndyll G.

    No, I don’t think Trump is dumb. I think, actually, that he is very intelligent in certain ways. You don’t win the Presidency by being dumb.

    You don’t have to keep telling me you’re not a fan of Trump. 🙂

    Your point is that fair-minded people will know what he meant – this reminds me of the old “I take him seriously, not literally”.

    My point is that it is very naive to expect people to be fair-minded. “Not being a politician” has helped Trump but it’s also given unwarranted confidence to some of his followers that it’s always a good thing.

    Possibly the best politician we’ve had since Reagan is Bill Clinton. Think what you will of him (I’m not a fan 🙂 ) – he was an amazing politician and he knew how to get himself out of scrapes.

    Trump needs to become a better politician. He’s the President, for crying out loud. While fair-minded people will give him the benefit of the doubt, lots of people are not fair minded. He keeps committing unforced errors (as you put it, he “blusters and blabs”), giving them ammo, while his followers clap and holler about “making heads explode”.

    Lots of people will disagree with me, but I don’t think the Trumpian strategy is working at the moment, and I also don’t think he knows how to “pivot” to any other strategy.

  30. Big Maq Says:

    “”what you dont get is that he is the boss, not the congress, not the house, not the judiciary. the president” – art

    I cannot believe I’m having to argue this with supposed, so-called, I’m beginning to think in name only conservatives.”
    – Bill

    Good catch Bill… Makes one wonder, as several seem to think that they can have a democracy and simultaneously have a POTUS who can force his way to get things done.

    It just doesn’t work that way.

    By its nature and the limitations designed into our system by the Founders (there is SUPPOSED to be a balance and separation of powers – it is not all vested in the POTUS), democracy requires cooperation (even if it is grudgingly).

    This is why it is absolutely VITAL to work at convincing a good majority of folks / voters why your ideas and policies are superior.

    Anything else is de facto not advocating our democracy.

  31. Big Maq Says:

    @Kyndyll – to add to Bill’s response to your question.

    I’m not sure what to firmly think about trump at this point.

    I WANT him to be a SUCCESS(in conservative terms), but it is looking everyday more like a lost opportunity, and potentially a boon to dems, if things continue apace (the only barrier they have is their own internal dysfunction, at the moment, but that can change for 2018 and 2020 – remember the GOP were recently written off).

    I do know he boasted about his superior “competence” over every other politician (“Only I can…”).

    I do know that political SUCCESS (i.e. getting things done) requires building broader support (see my most recent comment above).

    All these “distractions” that trump has driven (intentionally or not) are taking the eye of that ball.

    And they are the reason why trump’s approval numbers are back down to his steadfast small core of supporters.

    That is far from enough to have leverage in Congress to get things done.
    .

    As far as clinton is concerned, we can agree, BUT she’s not the POTUS right now. The election is over and she lost.

    trump now has the responsibility to deliver on his “promises”.
    .

    The one remarkable thing in that election was how many of trump’s supporters were arguing about how competent he’d be (among other things), primarily citing his billionaire status as “proof”.

    There were many signs that trump wasn’t what he boasted about himself, but h*ll if anyone could say anything different that could convince those supporters.

    But, today, we see, that he was and is far from the brilliant “deal maker” (or “master persuader” from some) mythology.

    (Incidentally, a great deal maker / negotiator has to have a keen sense of empathy, of what the others want and need. He also has to know the ins and outs of what he is negotiating – the details.

    IMHO, I don’t see much empathy from him, and little command of a sufficient level details to know what he is negotiating.)
    .

    Now, if trump hadn’t set that expectation in the first place, and if his supporters didn’t keep arguing it to beat heck, maybe one could give him more “benefit of the doubt” (or be more “fair minded”).

    He promised many things in the first 100 days, and had many other “promises”. IOW, he set the terms to be judged against.

    Many of us who were skeptical in 2016 said with hope “We’ll see”.

    We are nearing 145 days, and aside from the judges, and some executive orders (which may or may not be effective – but certainly are not long term resolutions), not much of the big stuff has been accomplished off his list.

    So, does this make trump “a moron”. No.

    But, he is single-handedly doing more to torpedo delivering on any of his promises, by creating / perpetuating all these distractions, rather than making the case for the changes we want him to make, and building support for them.

    Is it because he has other designs / has such a flawed character, or because he is incompetent (at the skills required of a POTUS)? IDK for sure, but lean to the latter rather than assume the worst.
    .

    Still hoping he will change, but to do that, he needs to know from his supporters that he needs corrective action. He won’t seem to learn otherwise.

    Seems many would rather he go down in flames causing “Big Heads to explode”, as the entertainment value is greater than if he were a success in delivering his promises.

    We’ll see.

  32. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    June 10th, 2017 at 7:27 pm
    When Comey was appointed, I happily accepted his reputation as a straight shooter. Men of integrity are to be cherished and honored.

    Sadly, the more I learn of the man, the deeper my contempt for the man.

    That’s strange. It’s also why I don’t go with the band wagon. My views don’t evolve. That’s because they weren’t developed using human logic. I can explain them using human logic, but all one needs to know about Comey is that he was a Demoncrat. What else did they need?

    Nothing else. Also he’s in DC. Yea.

  33. Ymar Sakar Says:

    To Big Maq, it wouldn’t have mattered who Americans or the Alt Right put into power in DC.

    Evil isn’t something of a weak sauce enemy that you can defeat with one cowboy riding in on a horse, or one superhero riding in on a horse.

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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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