Friday, May 12, 2017

The Asshat in Chief is a Slimey Fool

If a post-inauguration dinner between President Donald Trump and then-FBI director James Comey unfolded the way the President claims it did, then he’s got some big problems on his hands, former Justice Department officials and FBI agents say.


“It’s improper [for the president to ask if he's a subject of investigation by the FBI],” a former high-level Justice Department official said. “It gives both appearance of impropriety, which can cause the investigation’s reputation to be damaged irretrievably, and it’s an invitation to share information that’s grand jury-protected.”


“Under no circumstances could anybody in the White House, including the President, ask about whether he or any of his associates are under investigation,” the official said. “That’s kindergarten stuff.”

And there is not a doubt in my mind that if Trump asked whether he was being investigated - and I would not be surprised to learn he did - James Comey told him he couldn't reveal that information.  Only a fool would believe the word of a pathological, self-serving liar like Trump against a stickler for the rules like James Comey.
At a press briefing Thursday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders brushed off such concerns, telling reporters “I don’t see it as a conflict of interest.”

“We’ve talked to several—again, several—legal scholars have weighed in on this and said that there was nothing wrong with the President asking that question,” Sanders said.

Nancy Savage, the executive director of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, disagreed.

“It would be a conflict of interest,” she said. “If someone is at all involved in an investigation, even as a witness, or in some other role, nobody in the FBI should be briefing them about the case. That just wouldn’t be done.”


“Justice Department policies prohibit agents from discussing any investigation with anyone outside the DOJ, absent some need to question a witness or gather information,” explained [Michael German, a former FBI special agent]. “Those policies were designed to protect the FBI against improper attempts to put political pressure on particular pending investigations."


According to the New York Times, that unusual private dinner in January also involved Trump demanding a pledge of loyalty from Comey, who instead promised to remain honest. Trump not only fired Comey, but appeared to issue a public threat Friday morning to release “tapes” of their conversation if Comey were to speak to the press.


Other former FBI agents, including former special agent Jeffrey Ringel, echoed the confidence of FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe that the bureau will relentlessly pursue the investigation regardless of outside press.

“The team of investigators doing the in-the-trenches work, they will follow the leads until they get to the truth,” Ringel told TPM. “They will not be influenced by the President saying, ‘I’m not under investigation’ or ‘Don’t be bothered with this, there’s nothing there.'”


Peter Zeidenberg, who worked in the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section and served as the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said Comey telling Trump he was not under investigation would be “totally inappropriate.”

“It’s his campaign that is being investigated. And from what we know about the investigation, he is the beneficiary of the Russian interference,” Zeidenberg said, referring to Trump. “Until they complete everything, how could you know he wasn’t part of a conspiracy? I’m not saying he is, because there’s no publicly available evidence. But that’s what they’re looking for—these connections. Trump would certainly be considered the subject of this investigation at the outset. Comey, even if he were inclined to, couldn’t say: ‘You’re cleared.'”

For that reason, Zeidenberg and other former DOJ officials said they’re confident the alleged conversation never took place—outside of Trump’s imagination.

“In what universe are we supposed to think that really happened?” Zeidenberg said. “I don’t think Comey would even take a call like that, and he would never have such a conversation with a possible subject without witnesses present.”
And as far as Trump's assertion that he can't remember whether he called on Comey to come to dinner, but he thinks Comey asked for the meeting...
[A source familiar with the matter told CNN Friday] of the dinner between Comey and Trump on January 27 that it came at Trump's request and was one-on-one. Trump told NBC he thought Comey asked for the dinner, but the source denied the President's account, saying that if Comey had wanted to dine with Trump, he would have had to put the request in through the deputy attorney general.

"It doesn't work that way. It's ludicrous," the source said.


A few days before the dinner, Comey had already been told by the President that he would stay on the job, the source said.

"It is absolutely untrue that Jim asked to have dinner or that he asked to [keep] his job," the source said. "That is a complete fabrication.


The source said Comey knew it was possible he would lose his job, especially when he did not agree to pledge loyalty and later with the fallout over refuting the President's claims that President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, but he didn't expect it when he was fired.

I hope Comey has already started writing his bio.

The longer this goes on, with Trump behaving the way he is, the more I'm inclined to change my mind about whether there was collusion on the part of the Trump campaign - and, indeed Trump himself - with the Russians to affect the US election. If there wasn't, then why wouldn't Trump just shut up about it and let the investigation take its course to the ultimate end of clearing him? His protests, his tweets and his firing of Comey make it seem highy likely that he is indeed guilty.

And I can't believe the fucking idiot thinks he can threaten James Comey about talking to the press with some non-existent "tapes" (why did he use the scare quotes?).

What a dipshit.

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