Opinion: Trump picked wrong fight with the wrong guy

(AP)

A mere four days ago — an eon in Trump time — the president issued a not-so-veiled threat to James Comey, the man he had recently fired as FBI director.

 

Bad move, Mr. President. Bad move.

Comey has now called Trump’s bluff, trumping the threat of presidential tapes that probably don’t exist with written memos that probably do exist. According to Comey associates, the longtime prosecutor wrote and kept long, detailed memos immediately after each of his encounters with the president. One of those memos allegedly documents Trump’s effort in February to end the FBI’s criminal and counter-intelligence investigation into Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, a close Trump associate who had just resigned as national security adviser.

According to that memo, Trump cleared the room after a high-level White House meeting on Feb. 14 and ordered Comey to remain, so that they could have a private conversation. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump then told Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

No, it’s not a direct order to end the investigation, but it is at very least a strongly worded suggestion. And a presidential “suggestion” carries an awful lot of weight, particularly to an underling who had already been given cause to think that his job was on the line. A president simply cannot try to interfere in the course of a law-enforcement investigation into one of his friends, especially when that investigation had — and has —  at least the potential to implicate the president himself.

Imagine, for example, a private conversation a year ago between Barack Obama and Comey, in which Obama tells Comey that “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Hillary go.” Imagine that Comey ignored the suggestion, and was later fired by Obama.

Imagine the uproar that would have erupted, and compare it to what you’re seeing now.

Already, people who would never question the veracity of an FBI agent’s interview notes over the claims of a suspect with a reputation for lying are doing that exact thing. “Just because you write it down, it doesn’t mean it’s true,” as Brian Kilmeade put it on Fox & Friends this morning.

And if Comey indeed has a collection of such detailed memos, one of them probably includes an account of the January dinner at which Trump allegedly demanded personal loyalty from Comey as the price of keeping his job. They may also contain other bombshells that we have yet to imagine.

Even Republicans in Congress are beginning to understand the size and scale of this. Sen. John McCain is openly comparing it to Watergate. The carp-like Jason Chaffetz, who until now has been willing to swallow anything that Trump fed him, has roused himself as chair of the House Oversight Committee to demand that the Justice Department turn over all of Comey’s memos.

As a result, Comey himself will almost certainly testify, in public and under oath. Congress will want access to others in the White House who may be able to corroborate some portions of his memo. For example, Jared Kushner and other top Trump associates were allegedly among those cleared from the meeting room by Trump so he could speak with Comey privately. Their testimony may be needed to confirm those actions, and perhaps to explain what Trump wanted to discuss with Comey that even his closest confidantes could not be allowed to hear. Furthermore, if tapes really do exist of such conversations, they are now extremely relevant and will have to be produced.

Blood is in the water. When even the carp start circling, blood is in the water.

 

Reader Comments 0

2711 comments
Hamdog
Hamdog

Idiots who voted for for Trump are here trying to justify their idiocy! They are either too stupid, or too dishonest to admit they're wrong. There is no third choice. They are exactly what's wrong with this country. I'm a veteran. Most of these neo-con jerks have never given a moment of service to this country, but watch them wave the flag an tell everyone else how to live.

Bertha Pitts
Bertha Pitts

JAMES, GET TRUMP HE IS A LIES !! don't let him get away with those lies on you. you are better than he...

DerekGator
DerekGator

"Imagine, for example, a private conversation a year ago between Barack Obama and Comey, in which Obama tells Comey that “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Hillary go.” Imagine that Comey ignored the suggestion, and was later fired by Obama."

Isn't this exactly what Bill Clinton did at the airport with Loretta Lynch?

Starik
Starik

@DerekGator I wouldn't mind seeing a special prosecutor to investigate that.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Aside:

Just in from The New York Times:

"Antartica's ice cap may be melting away."

ZAZ
ZAZ

Can't prove intent. Remember, that new rule created for Hillary will apply, as well, for The Donald. Everything's fine. We finally have a president who will do more than golf on Martha's Vineyard.

tinala
tinala

I sense an Impeachment is in the air and the Orange Orangutan Drumpf is tweeting, sniffing and sweating. Lock Him Up, Lock Him Up, Lock Him Up!

Airdale
Airdale

Kevin McCarthy - the same guy that brought us the news that Clinton was unbeatable until after all the Benghazi investigations.

Peachs
Peachs

"The (UK) prime minister may have been swayed by recent polls that placed the Conservatives 21 points ahead of Labour despite a policy blitz by Jeremy Corbyn’s party. She will hope to boost a slim working majority of 17 in order to help pass both domestic and Brexit-linked legislation."


Telling you now , thanks to the smell of  Trump, she is going to lose this election and UK is going to stay in the EU!

Christopher Channell
Christopher Channell

This sob has been corrupt as long as hillary has. Trying to impeach Trump with zero evidence because there isn't any is picking the wrong fight with the wrong Americans.

Peachs
Peachs

@StraightNoChaser McCarthy may have done himself some good declaring others and not himself being on the payroll.  He may be a rare bird in the Republican Party.

TBS
TBS

It's awesome how most Rs in Congress and Repub voters have embraced Trump.

There are exceptions but good , bad or indifferent he is their man

Peachs
Peachs

@TBS Trump was photographed kissing women in the 6th district too.  Somebody bring that picture up again. 

Paul42
Paul42

Wow, so much going on.

Deputy AG Rosenstein has redeemed his professional standing with the appointment of Mueller.  Didn't even notify the White House Office of Legal Counsel until it was over.  One more example of payback for the White House attempting to make someone else the fall guy.

We now know Flynn notified the Trump transition team of his foreign dealings and that he was being investigated.  VP Pence was head of the transition team and knew all along, yet still lied to the press on seven occasions.  The Trump Administration assertion Flynn was fired for lying to VP Pence is demonstrably false.

Republicans, who would not even appear on Fox a couple days ago, are now tripping all over themselves to get before cameras and say what a great pick Mueller is.  Need more proof?  The Donald's early-morning tweet meltdown.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!

6:39 AM - 18 May 2017

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

6:52 AM - 18 May 2017

That's more than enough for one day.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Paul42 I am certain that Trump will provide the details for all those "illegal acts" just as he proved the Obama "wire tapps"

KUTGF
KUTGF

@BuckeyeGa I suggest he and td take a remedial spelling course.  of Coarse!

honested
honested

@Paul42 

Just because you got picked in the draft doesn't mean you can ignore the rules of the game.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Paul42


One more thing must be made known along with what you have already well summarized, Paul42:


It is known now that Rep. McCarthy, the House of Representatives' second in command under Speaker Paul Ryan, stated privately in small group with fellow Republican Congressmen last summer that Putin was funding Donald Trump and one other American politician.  "I swear it," he said upon the group's laughter.  PAUL RYAN, then, told that small group of Republican insiders to keep that remark by McCarthy "all in the (Republican leadership) family."  "No leaks," Ryan said, in directing the others of that small group.


That means, in my estimation, that both Pence and Ryan are not worthy, and maybe legally not worthy, to become President of the United States upon Trump's removal.

Peachs
Peachs

@Paul42 common sense is not a card in Trump's deck is it?  What did he think was going to happen when you try to bully people who make their living locking up criminals. 

Peachs
Peachs

@KUTGF @Paul42 some how I think O always knew this idiot's wheels would come off without a wiretape.

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

@KUTGF @Paul42 And the "unbelievable" things his investigators were finding in Hawaii, and the NFL letter, and proof that Mexico agreed to pay for the wall, and the donation to the veterans, etc...

Sorry cons... you did it to yourselves. We tried to warn you, but you refused to listen or even see any of the obvious signs yourselves.

You did manage to complete the theft of one SCOTUS appointment, so you got that going for you.

Peachs
Peachs

@honested @Paul42 he was still reaching there this morning.  I think he will work a deal with Pence, for a pardon, then  resign.  Trump hates being president, too many eyes. 

Peachs
Peachs

@MaryElizabethSings @Paul42 I think a lot of that Republican leadership is like House of Cards, information is currency.  McCarthy is a rising star knowing and keeping his mouth shut. 


And these guys have the nads to question Comey holding his cards close to his chest. 

Peachs
Peachs

@MaryElizabethSings @Peachs @Paul42 until you drain the swamp, totally in both parties no lingering of old party hacks and renew American trust, cards will continued to be played.

DerekGator
DerekGator

I guess you failed to read all of the stories that declared that surveillance was going on, no proof Obama had anything to do with it but surveillance did happen. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

Seriously, all politics aside.  My hopes is that Andrew Breitbart is standing there waiting for Roger Ailes, shovel ready, and asking him what took you so long?  The world is a better place without either one.  

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Saw Soundgarden in the late 90s. Can't remember it, so it must've been great.

TBS
TBS

I saw them at the Fox early to mid 90s.

Reverend Horton Heat opened up

Great show

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Rocket from the Crypt opened the show I saw. That I remember.

TBS
TBS

Was a trip seeing the Rev play a place of that size after seeing him at Star Bar and Masquerade

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I had tix when Pearl Jam played the Fox. I sold em for a lot.

TBS
TBS

I was at that show

In the balcony but it's the Fox

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Maybe you had my tix. I sold em to a broker.

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

Saw the good Reverend last Nov. At Center Stage. They didn't play anything off Martini Time, but it was a great show nonetheless....

TBS
TBS

My gf af the time purchased them the day they went on sale

I've never used an official broker.

Scalper yes but not official broker

TBS
TBS

Been some years since I've seen him.

He always put on a killer show