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James Comey Just Became the Most Powerful Person in America

James Comey Just Became the Most Powerful Person in America

Loretta Lynch Just Handed Comey the Keys to the Election

Who’s even more powerful than the king? The person who gets to pick the king. And as of this morning that person is, quite possibly, FBI Director James Comey.

Today’s Morning Joe reported breaking news from the New York Times: Attorney General Loretta Lynch has decided that she will accept the recommendation of the FBI regarding its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. If Comey recommends against an indictment of Hillary, that would lift a huge cloud that has been dragging her candidacy down. It would put Hillary in a very strong position to become the next president. But should Comey recommend the indictment of Hillary, her candidacy would effectively be destroyed. Dems might scramble to replace her as their candidate, but in any case Donald Trump would be well-positioned to win the election.

James Comey Just Became the Most Powerful Person in America from Mark Finkelstein on Vimeo.

As the Morning Joe panel discussed, Lynch’s stunning announcement came in response to the bipartisan uproar over her private meeting with Bill Clinton earlier this week. Although she has not explicitly admitted that the meeting was a mistake, her decision today is a tacit acknowledgment thereof.

Joe Scarborough mentioned that in an off-the-air conversation with Rudy Giuliani, who knows Comey well, the former NYC May said that the FBI Director is a “straight shooter.” That should send chills down Hillary’s spine. As Scarborough said “unless Loretta Lynch already knows something coming out of the FBI, this is bad news for the Clintons . . . I guarantee you: the Clintons did not want that political protection removed from them.”

Bonus Coverage: Donny Deutsch Jokes About Alleged Romance Between Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski

The New York Post’s Page Six reported yesterday that Mika Brzezinski had quietly divorced her husband, and further, that it is an open secret at MSNBC that Joe Scarborough, who is also divorced, and Mika are a couple. At the top of the show, before the breaking news about Lynch, the mischievous Donny Deutsch, playing off the Joe/Mika rumors, joked “the rumors about Willie [Geist] and I? Not true. Not true.” Scarborough squelched him: “okay, okay, okay, okay,” and moved on to another topic.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The New York Times is reporting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch plans to announce that she will accept whatever recommendation career prosecutors and FBI Director James Comey make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. The paper says her decision removes the possibility that a political appointee will overrule investigators in the case. This development comes after criticism around the attorney general’s meeting with former President Bill Clinton on board her plane at a Phoenix airport earlier this week, raising questions about what the two may have discussed after months of the Justice Department investigating the presumptive Democratic nominee’s use of a private server while Secretary of State.

. . .

MARK HALPERIN: I’ve got to say this doesn’t really fix the problem for people who are suspicious of the meeting, because she’s still the head of the Justice Department. She probably should have taken this step before. And the other thing is she didn’t admit it was a mistake. And the White House didn’t admit it was a mistake. And this is an implicit admission that it was an error.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But I will tell you this. This is actually, Willie Geist, unless Loretta Lynch already knows something coming out of FBI, this is bad news for the Clintons because Rudy Giuliani worked with Comey, and said very early on in the process, I asked him off the set, is this guy a straight shooter? He said, oh, he’s a straight shooter. Now whether the Justice Department will him go after her if she’s broken the law is another question. But this guy is a straight shooter. So, I guarantee you, the Clintons did not want to have that political protection removed from them and Jim Comey. Because he is —

HALPERIN: If Comey had wanted to indict and Lynch squelched it, it would have come out that he had wanted to indict and they would have had a huge problem.

JOE: But guess what, she wouldn’t have been indicted.

. . .

JOE: Donny Deutsch, Donny Deutsch goes to Nantucket to buy his summer jackets.

HALPERIN: Do you know what Donny is? He is tonight’s guest host on With All Due Respect.

JOE: That’s huge. Looking very Waspish, by the way.

DONNY DEUTSCH: And by the way, the rumors about Willie and I, not true.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Ohhhh. I knew it!

DEUTSCH: Not true. You can read —

JOE: Okay, okay, okay, okay. How you doing, Willie?

GEIST: I’m great, thank you.

UPDATE (KK 10:05 AM)


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There seems to be a trend here.

LI in the morning has become the “Morning Joe Report”. Most of us, I think, who care to know any damn thing about “Morning Joe” know how to go about that.

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to Ragspierre. | July 1, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Hi Ragspierre:

    I regret that you don’t find the Morning Joe posts useful. You’re right that people can tune in to the show if they’d like. But as we like to say “we watch so you don’t have to.” And we like to think we bring some useful, and at times entertaining, analysis to the table, so that our posts are something more than straight reporting of the Morning Joe doings.


    KirbySalad55 in reply to Ragspierre. | July 1, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Not content with just ruining the LI comments sections, Rags has to move on to ruining LI for its authors as well. His work is never done apparently.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Ragspierre. | July 1, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Rags would complain if he were being hanged with a new rope.

    Mark: the rest of us appreciate what you, Leslie and the other contributors do, even if we don’t always agree with you. Thanks.

Looks like the fix is in. Nobody announces ahead of time they’re going to rubberstamp a decision from someone below them in the bureaucratic pecking order.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gospace. | July 1, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I think what it all means, particularly Lynch quietly on her original statement that she would take a passive role in the Hillary case, is that Comey is being set up to be the fall guy in “no indictment”, loosely similar to what happened to Petraeus.

pablo panadero | July 1, 2016 at 9:23 am

The meeting was for Bill to plead on how much money the Clintion Foundation will keep, with the rest donated to the Michelle Obama Presidential campaign fund.

The “Well-positioned” Trump would still be in court on Trump U fraud charges.

Wow, a choice of crooks for POTUS! It comes down to “Who is the better crook? Who can get away with more “stuff” and have people vote for him or her?”

    Hardly. Trump owns a bunch of businesses and one of them may have crossed the line by over promising to it’s customers. Hillary, on the other hand is a criminal. She sold the favors of her office as SOS for $100s of millions to entities doing business with or dependent on issues before the State Dept. An educational company that was paid $55 million paid her husband $17 million to be their honorary chancellor! A Russian company “donated” $145 million to her foundation and paid BJ millions for “speeches”. These were bribes and no different than a judge taking money from a defendent.

      ConradCA in reply to ConradCA. | July 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Furthermore, in her attempt to hide the evidence of this corruption Hillary chose to use an unautorized unsecure server for her work email. As a direct result of this decision she mishandled the 2,000+ emails found by the State Dept to contain classified info. 22 of which contained top secret or higher classified data. Everyone of these 2,000 emails represents one or more felonies committed by Hillary.

      So there is no equivelance between Trump and Clinton. Trump may have to pay some money to customers. Hillary betrayed our country and committed numerous felonies for which she should spend the rest of her life in prison. So the choice is to elect Trump or a felon who betrayed our country. Even Democrats know that Trump is the only choice for president.

      OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to ConradCA. | July 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      You really don’t pay close attention. Do you? I am not going to reproduce Trump’s CV here. But even a cursory check would reveal a daily trail of fraud, mendacity, exaggeration, self-dealing, conflict of interest, contradiction, opportunistic position changes, slick moves and demagoguery.

      Why don’t you start with the Trump casinos? 1st, who loses money in the casino business? 2nd, he made money but nobody else benefited. Not Atlantic City, the casino employees, the locals, the vendors, the stock holders, the bond holders or the executives he installed. ABSOLUTE NO ONE but TRUMP.

      You think I am full of it? I dare you to actually research the history of Donald J Trump and his casino business. You won’t.

      Be careful what you with for.

        KirbySalad55 in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | July 1, 2016 at 5:25 pm

        All the major casinos in Atlantic City lost money and went bankrupt. Some before Trump’s casinos and some after Trump’s casinos. Even the casinos owned by successful Las Vegas operators shared that fate in Atlantic City. Turns out they all had the wrong business model. They tried to make Atlantic City into Las Vegas with expensive hotels and prices when the people who went there were low rent types arriving on a bus. Not more monied types flying in from all over the country with girlfriends and or families wanting to stay several nights gamble and see shows. As a result the Atlantic City casinos overhead was way too much, utilization/occupancy was too low.

        If you actually knew something about business and what went on their instead of letting your anti-Trump bias color your thinking the truth might make it past your mental filters.

          Ragspierre in reply to KirbySalad55. | July 1, 2016 at 6:37 pm

          In addition to being a fundamental set of lies, I especially love the part where you suck T-rump by pointing out what a stupid, sheep-like LOOOOOOOOOSER he was in Atlantic City, following a failing business model.

          LOVE THAT…!!!

          “If you knew anything about business…”


      Milhouse in reply to ConradCA. | July 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      “One of his businesses” didn’t overpromise, he personally did. His only involvement in that fraudulent business was to advertise it, which he did. He made those promises, and he knew they were false.

    KirbySalad55 in reply to jennifer a johnson. | July 1, 2016 at 11:56 am

    There is no fraud in Trump University. It is purely a case drummed up by a group of unethical class action lawyers who beat the drums of dangling dollars until they could come up with only 6 rather weak plaintiffs out of 10,000 students. 6 complaining students out of 10,000 who had to be dragged to the lawsuit by a group of money grubbing ambulance chasers.

    To compare that to the various criminal racketeering operations of the Clinton’s can only be done by a fanatic who lost her mind and all perspective.

      OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to KirbySalad55. | July 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      What ever you do keep, those blinders on or you might actually have to see something. Forget about those that are suing. Where are the testimonials from those who made real money from what they learned? I am not talking about the evaluations they were pressured to sign with a ‘Professor’ looking over their shoulder. Where are the people who became wealthy based on what they learned at Trump University? If it was so successful, why is Trump University defunct ?

      Are you aware it was started in 2008. That was prescient.

        KirbySalad55 in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | July 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        “Where are the testimonials from those who made real money from what they learned? I am not talking about the evaluations they were pressured to sign with a ‘Professor’ looking over their shoulder. Where are the people who became wealthy based on what they learned at Trump University?”

        Make a list of all colleges and universities and trade vocational schools and purveyors of expensive seminars. Then make a list of all their graduates who went on to become millionaires versus average joe’s. Trump University will hold up well compared to the competition. People go to no-name state university, accumulate over $100,000 in debt and can never make enough money to pay the loan back much less become millionaires. So apply your bullcr*p standard to all colleges, universities and trade schools not just to Trump University.

        Gates and Zuckerberg are both Harvard drop outs who went on to become multi-billionaires. Thousands and thousands of others paid far more tuition to take more Harvard courses and get a paper certificate. None of them became multi-billionaires. I guess Harvard is a fraud and a rip off too !!

        In other words your little test is complete bullsh*t and irrelevant to measuring whether something was good or not or a fraud or not.

        People at Trump U got exactly what they paid for. What they did with it was up to them. Whether something is a good value or not is not an indicia of fraud. That is NOT the legal standard by any stretch of the imagination. They paid for educational seminars and they got educational seminars.

        As for why did Trump U cease operations? That’s easy you give the answer in your question. 2008, 2009 real estate market collapsed and lending to small businesses and real estate investors with little to no assets disappeared. No need for a real estate seminar on how to make money in a rising market when the rising market and easy money no longer exist.

        I’m not the one with blinders. You are blinded by your anti-trump bias and see exactly what you want to see whether it is present or not.

          Ragspierre in reply to KirbySalad55. | July 1, 2016 at 6:56 pm

          Another set of facile apologia in suck of T-rump!

          Assuming, arguendo, that FRAUD U had a rough patch in 2008-2009, why didn’t Der Donald just weather the storm? Did demand go to nothing? Put up your support.

          And SINCE, loose money is back in town. Why no FRAUD U now, huh, spunky? I hear seminars on this same crap advertised every day. Why is Der Donald not still “helping” people?

        “Where are the testimonials from those who made real money from what they learned?”

        You mean like the one from the original litigant? The one who has since dropped from the lawsuit? The video she made praising Trump U, and discussing the deals she had made using the knowledge gained? That video?

        None of you know shit about the case. You just make shit up.

        There are a lot of good lawyers in this country. And there are the ambulance chasers. This case is comprised of the second group.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | July 2, 2016 at 3:59 am

          Would that be the lady T-rump went after in separate litigation, and who was awarded $800k against T-rump in attorney fees, and who STILL is having her life made a misery, you moron?

      Milhouse in reply to KirbySalad55. | July 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Bullshit. It was a fraud from beginning to end. How many representative plaintiffs do you imagine any class action has? How many would you expect? Six is plenty, and their case is very strong. Trump’s already been found liable for falsely advertising it as a “university” in New York. He’d been personally warned five years earlier that he couldn’t do that, and he ignored the warning. That’s now a judicially established fact that he can no longer challenge.

        KirbySalad55 in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm

        How many name plaintiffs are there in all class action lawsuits? Very few. That answer applies to the vast majority of class action lawsuits. You know the ones like this one against Trump U where their really is nobody who wants to sue and nobody with any real damages. The ones where the ambulance chasing class action lawyer scumbags get 10s and 100s of millions in fees and the members of the plaintiffs class get a coupon for free fries with their next big mac or something.

        The fact that a biased racist judge who is a proud member of various racist mexican anti-white organizations appointed by a racist president wrongly certifies a class action lawsuit is NOT proof of anything other than the common corruption of our court systems and plaintiffs lawyers. Especially class action plaintiffs lawyers.

          Ragspierre in reply to KirbySalad55. | July 1, 2016 at 7:05 pm

          Well, you’ve established you’ll ape any lie from the cult of T-rump.

          Odd, innit, that T-rump’s lead counsel has not moved for recusal, and that he, in fact, has praised the judge for his jurisprudence?

      OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to KirbySalad55. | July 1, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      BTW, I have no sympathy for the marks that got take by dear old Trump U. The only secret to Trump’s success is being born on 3rd base.

      Trump supports are just the latest class of marks. Trump isn’t going to help anyone but himself.

      Even Trump Tower is hype. I had a client with office space in the building. The first time I went there I expected that it would a palace. It isn’t. He built atrium as an public amenity so that he could build 20 stories higher than the zoning regs allowed. It was a bleak concrete space that I was never tempted to linger in. Few other did, either. That fits Trump to a tee. He had to build the atrium, but no one said he had to make it nice. Sucker!

        T-rump even lies about the number of floors in T=rump Tower.

        He claims 65. It’s 55. The FDNY has just had to adapt to the lie.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Ragspierre. | July 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

          LOL! I didn’t know that. I am a native NewYawker and have been bombarded by Trump BS since long before the rest of the country had the misfortune.

          I even had a friend who lived in a building built by Fred in Coney Island. I learned to loath The Donald long before he started running for president. It is hard to find any of his supporters in NYC.

        Another lil’ vignette that comes to mind, showing what a pathological (or poor) money grubber T-rump is…

        his deal with NYC REQUIRES that the atrium at T-rump Tower be maintained as a public space.

        T-rump, in open breach of his contract, installed a set of kiosks in the space. The take from these would be nickle and dime to an ACTUAL billionaire.

        The City sued his ass, and he had to remove them. Odd behavior for a really, really…I mean so rich…rich guy, huh?

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to jennifer a johnson. | July 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    There is always Gary Johnson. I met him at an anti-prohibition conference in Albuquerque when he was the Governor. He is a self-made millionaire and low-key. I didn’t detect any B.S. Certainly nothing like Hillary or Donald.

She did not say that she will follow the recommendation, only that she will accept it. Don’t be shocked by these folk’s ability to parse words.

Bill’s tarmac meeting with Lynch was to say, “Loretta, take her away. I want to be “alone.”

Be careful of what you wish for here. Bernie, as unbelievable as it appears, polls better than Hillary against Trump. My money is on a Biden / Warren ticket which will be tough to beat. Trump has his hands full and the longer Hillary stays in and gets further damaged the better.

    Solomon in reply to snapper451. | July 1, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    If the Democratic power elites attempt to insert Biden/Warren at this late date, I’m afraid Philadelphia will truly “Feel The Bern” — and not in the figurative sense.

I guess we now know why Fauxcahontas Warren was pushed to the front of the political stage this week. Now is the chance for the Dems to be permanently rid of the Clintons. Hillary gracefully withdraws from the race, the indictments move forward, and Barack Obama grants both Clintons pardons on his way out the door in January (but not before enduring considerable well-deserved humiliation).

Now would be a good time for Willy Jeff to run with the money and retire to a Caribbean island with no extradition agreements, but an abundance of female minors.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Merlin. | July 1, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Hillary doesn’t “gracefully withdraw” from anything.

    She’s wanted to be President her entire life. It’s her complete focus. It’s why she put up with Bill — she needed his coattails. She’s not withdrawing from anything.

      Merlin in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 1, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      She exited fairly gracefully when she the party flushed her in ’08 because a future cabinet position was in play. A 2016 forced exit might be achieved if a presidential pardon is in play. If the WH wants her gone, she’s gone. How gracefully is up to Hillary.

Lynch says she will accept the recommendation she has already ordered them to deliver.

Why am I not impressed?

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to irv. | July 1, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Everything I have heard to date about Comey, including the comment from Rudy Giuliani reported in this item that Comey is a “straight shooter,” suggests that Comey will come to an independent conclusion, and will not be subject to orders from Lynch.

American Human | July 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

Merlin, Hillary will not exit or withdraw from the presidential race (I predict). She will need to be forcefully removed kicking and screaming using the Jaws of Life.
She will need to BE removed. I expect she will shrug her shoulders and once again accuse the right wing conspiracy and women haters and especially Republicans of everything. The Serpent Head and the Fore Head will be brought out to accuse everyone from Obama, Lynch, and Comey along with their dogs and cats all the way down to anyone who has ever expressed dislike of the Princess of Chappaqua in the local papers.
She will not go quietly into the night. She has spent too much time over too many years and put up with too much to ever let go when she is so close to ultimate power.
The sad thing is there will still be a substantial number of people who will believe The Serpent Head and would/will vote for her.

    Merlin in reply to American Human. | July 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I believe people seriously overestimate the amount of political juice the Clintons still hold. We are 16+ years removed from the pinnacle of Clinton power. Hillary was passed over in favor of an absolute nobody in 2008 because they didn’t possess the political power to make it happen then. 2016 found Hillary given a serious run for the nomination by Bernie Sanders of all people and she’s managed to accumulate yet another eight years of excessively explosive baggage. Both Clintons have outlived their usefulness to the party. There’s a whole new crop of Democrat power people with their own alliances who don’t owe the Clintons a damn thing. Now is an opportune time to flush.

Oh, she’s “accepted” something all right, and she did it in the plane. The details of a bank account in the Cayman Islands, and the promise of lots more where that came from. She may have even “accepted” the fact that if she turns it down, air travel could be bad for her health from now on. But “accepting” Comey’s recommendation (should it ever happen)? Meaningless. Clinton’s AG, Janet the Torch, “accepted” responsibility for Waco … and nothing happened. The word “accept”, like the word “responsibility”, is just noise to the foul fiends of Planet Clinton.

The forces of temptation here must be beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. The Clinton crime machine has a lot of money, with foreign governments shoveling even more at them. A billion here or there they’ll hardly miss. It would take someone with the icy probity of a modern Cato to resist. And that someone sure ain’t Loretta Lynch.

I have to wonder why these lawyers can continue to violate standards of conduct and oaths of office with no consequences. No system is perfect, but these characters without character to have risen so far is baffling.

legalbeagle | July 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

Interesting. FBI Director Comey is a protégé of Rudolph Guiliani. I wonder if they have a similar world view.

The democrats know that their asses are covered. Somehow Comey has obtained the uber-integrity mantle, despite doing nothing, so Clinton is in good hands. Lynch blew her cover by saying that Bubba wanted to discuss grandchildren. He only discusses ‘grandchildren’ with Jeff Epstein. I could do without Muppet Joe and airhead Mika as well.

Let’s not forget that the Clintons are masters of leaking false information to rile up the conservatives.

marche_pas_sur_mon | July 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

Is there anyone now who doubts that Hillary will skate? I’ve heard all I need to hear in this article, and coming from NYT just adds confirmation. And all that bravo-sierra about Comey’s integrity? I’ll believe it when I see it; not holding my breath.

    marche_pas_sur_mon in reply to marche_pas_sur_mon. | July 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    “I fully expect to accept their recommendations,” Lynch said Friday at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. “The final determination for how to proceed will be contained in the recommendations in the report.”

    “A recusal would mean that I wouldn’t even be briefed on what the findings were, or what the actions going forward would be,” Lynch said. “While I don’t have a role in those findings and coming up with those findings or making those recommendations as to how to go forward, I’ll be briefed on it and I will be accepting their recommendations.”

    Well, that didn’t take long. The rest of the sentence: “… if the recommendations are the right ones.”

What if the meeting was to discuss the timing of Hillary’s indictment? Lynch and Obama are under tremendous pressure to bring appropriate charges in the Clinton investigation, but they also don’t want to derail her candidacy before the convention because that could open the door to Sanders. Also, by waiting until after her nomination, Hillary will at least go down in the history books as the first female nominee for president from a major party. The “discovery” of the airport meeting also allows the administration to avoid being the bad guy; Lynch has been conveniently positioned to throw Comey under the bus and he will now take the heat. It’s all very convenient – Lynch and Obama don’t become bad guys, Lynch “does the right thing” and fobs off her responsibility for the call onto Comey, Comey will catch the heat as a “Republican tool,” and Sanders can still be blocked from the nomination if the indictment is timed correctly.

yourmamatoo | July 1, 2016 at 10:05 pm

Depends on what your definition of is is.
Lynch should step down.

I have said it before here. She will walk. No indictment. It is all for show.

    clayusmcret in reply to Ottis. | July 2, 2016 at 7:07 am

    You are probably correct. If I were a betting man, and I am, I would put all money on her walking away scot-free.

clayusmcret | July 2, 2016 at 7:06 am

Comey’s not actually so powerful now.

Lynch said, “I fully expect to accept whatever recommendations…”, but as the later walk-back confirmed, really meant “that I agree with, and to ignore any that I don’t.”