Thursday, May 18, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

After all the dissing of The New York Times that Trump has done, they must be loving this.
President Trump called the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, weeks after he took office and asked him when federal authorities were going to put out word that Mr. Trump was not personally under investigation, according to two people briefed on the call.

Mr. Comey told the president that if he wanted to know details about the bureau’s investigations, he should not contact him directly but instead follow the proper procedures and have the White House counsel send any inquiries to the Justice Department, according to those people.

After explaining to Mr. Trump how communications with the F.B.I. should work, Mr. Comey believed he had effectively drawn the line after a series of encounters he had with the president and other White House officials that he felt jeopardized the F.B.I.’s independence.

Trump doesn't recognize lines. Narcissists never do.
Mr. Comey described all of his contacts with the president and the White House — including the phone call from Mr. Trump — in detailed memos he wrote at the time and gave to his aides.
And Trump denies them. He probably thinks it will be a case of he said - he said, and he's the president, so he has the advantage. I was once told by an attorney that in any situation where things might get dicey and lead to a court case, the person who has notes from encounters will win out over the person who doesn't. I don't know if that's justifiable, but that could be why Comey always made notes (which I read he has done during other presidencies as well).
The F.B.I.’s longest-running director, J. Edgar Hoover, had close relationships with several presidents. But in the modern F.B.I., directors have sought an arm’s length relationship with the presidents they serve and have followed Justice Department guidelines outlining how the White House should have limited contact with the F.B.I.
Probably as a result of Mr. Hoover's directorship.
Those guidelines, which also cover the F.B.I., prohibit conversations with the White House about active criminal investigations unless they are “important for the performance of the president’s duties and appropriate from a law enforcement perspective.” When such conversations are necessary, only the attorney general or the deputy attorney general can initiate those discussions.
Ben Wittes, "a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the editor in chief of the Lawfare blog and a frequent critic of Mr. Trump" and friend of Comey, is the source of most of this article. Lots of rather tedious recounting of Comey telling him about attempts to keep the White House at a distance and maintain an independence from the president while Trump is trying to reel him in.

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

UPDATE 5/19:

Wittes' own article:  What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump.

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