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Pathetic endings to prosecutorial careers of James Comey and Loretta Lynch

Pathetic endings to prosecutorial careers of James Comey and Loretta Lynch

Their reputations were taken down not by Donald Trump, but by their attempts to take down Trump.

I was not able to watch James Comey’s testimony today live, as I was in the car much of the day.

I was able to listen to the first hour and a half on terrestrial radio, as so many AM stations were carrying it that I was able to keep tuned even as one station faded out. After that, I followed on Twitter, and since then have seen many accounts and videos of what I missed.

I’m not going to try to catalog the questions and answers, I’m late to that.

Substantively, what jumped out at me was how much of Comey’s testimony was impressionistic — how he felt about what Trump said and what he surmised Trump intended. From a supposedly hardened prosecutor and FBI Director, it was a strange approach, one that must have been deliberate with the knowledge that Comey had very little hard evidence of Trump wrongdoing, much less criminality.

Another startling aspect was how damaging the Comey testimony was to the Russian conspiracy theorists who have driven the media and Democratic war on Trump.

Comey confirmed, again, that even as of his last day in office Donald Trump was not personally the subject of FBI investigation, neither criminal nor counter-intelligence. The lack of investigation, despite media claims otherwise, was not deemed worthy of public disclosure by Comey. Comey was fine to let Trump twist in the wind of misleading and false media claims.

Moreover, Comey stated that a key New York Times report asserting Trump campaign collusion, which sparked much of the frenzy the past several months, was substantively false. On top of that, Comey testified not only that Trump didn’t try to impede the Russia investigation, he actually encouraged Comey to find out and expose whether any of Trump’s campaign “satellites” (I assume that means people working for or with the campaign) engaged in wrongdoing.

This testimony should spell the death of the Russia collusion claims, as even Chris Matthews acknowledged today. But it’s more than a death of conspiracy theories, it’s an indictment of the attempts to undo the 2016 election results and to undermine the Trump administration’s ability to govern. The “resistance” has been and is based on lies, and represents the true threat to our electoral and representative system.

These are the big picture items. The he said / he said dispute over whether Trump asked for “loyalty” is a sideshow.

The real bombshell, however, had nothing to do with what Donald Trump did or didn’t do. It was that moment in the hearings when Comey, under questioning by Susan Collins, acknowledged that he had arranged for a Columbia Law School professor friend of his to leak a memo of his conversation with Trump about Michael Flynn to the NY Times. That memo apparently has not even been given to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the leaking of which may put Comey himself in legal jeopardy.

Even worse, Comey admitted that he arranged the leak of the memo for the express purpose of creating a pretext for appointment of a Special Counsel. Comey succeeded in this subterfuge, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller now is leading the investigation. Comey never had volunteered that leak sequence, and allowed the public debate over appointment of a Special Counsel to proceed under false pretenses.

How pathetic Comey sounded during his testimony. A weak man who couldn’t even muster the courage to tell Donald Trump to his face when he thought Trump had crossed a line. Instead, Comey schemed behind the scenes to document conduct which even Comey will not publicly claim was criminal.

Trump’s distrust of Comey ultimate was vindicated by what we now know about Comey.

Pathetic also was the word that came to mind when Comey described how he succumbed to pressure from then Attorney General Loretta Lynch to call the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server a “matter.” That was how the Clinton campaign wanted it portrayed. From an electoral perspective, they dreaded the accurate description that Hillary was under “investigation.” The Attorney General served as the functional equivalent of a campaign enforcer in the campaign against Trump.

It all puts the secret meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton in a new perspective, and should result in a re-opened investigation not only of Hillary’s server but a new investigation of Lynch.

So not only does James Comey’s prosecutorial career end pathetically, so too does Loretta Lynch’s. Their reputations were taken down not by Donald Trump, but by their attempts to take down Trump.

 

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Comments

Like a Greek tragedy… This web of lies and collusion is epic and all so ruinous. There are lessons to be learned here,… but of course, they were there for 1500 years to learn from others, but hey… some folks refuse to learn from others.

    Tom Servo in reply to RobM. | June 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Greek tragedy would be if there were heroes who had fallen, men and women who had shown great courage and vision in other circumstances.

    But this is just two low level no talent political hacks getting pushed into the spotlight and failing miserably, because they had no character, no honor, and no ability within them to do anything else.

    Tragedy? This is just dem CHICKENS comin’ home to ROOST.

    TX-rifraph in reply to RobM. | June 8, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    The lessons are even older than 1500 years:

    ” Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 NKJV

    But the left will never stop because their mission is divine. Damage and harm notwithstanding.

Spot on. This nothing burger of a dog and pony show really turned into a great political drama. At times I was wondering if Comey was just finally coming clean to get out from under the Clinton’s control. There were enough times he could hsve pulled a Hillary “I do not recollect” or a Bill, “refer back to my prepared statement” but he gave more answers then I thought he would. He actually torpedoed all of the Clintonistas. But it makes me wonder did he do it to get out from the Clintons or was he doing it for Obama to make Hillary finally go away into political oblivion? Lots of answers but now some more interesting leads.

    Close The Fed in reply to scaulen. | June 8, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    I agree; Comey’s answering was just bizarre. Why did he contort himself all these months, just to come out now and admit, there was nothing to it?

    Bizarre.

      pwaldoch in reply to Close The Fed. | June 9, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      He come ‘clean’ now to just get away from the entire mess. He was acting as a Clinton stooge, but as she’s now largely de-fanged he’s not as interested in doing Clinton bidding and probably wants to just get away from all of this now that he’s just a citizen schlub.

    This nothing burger of a dog and pony show really turned into a great political drama.

    And the drama continues: The people who want there to have been Russian collusion to hijack the election, and who want there to have been a FBI investigation of Trump over that collusion, have convinced themselves that Comey must be lying about that part.

    That false story — that “fake news” — is not going away anytime soon.

PrincetonAl | June 8, 2017 at 7:16 pm

There will be a lot of noise in the coming days, but as always Professor you hit some of the key points.

1. The end of the Russia collusion claims

2. Deliberate leaking on Trump in an underhanded way, which is material disloyalty, not a disagreement

3. Leaking with the goal to start an investigation, but not to clarify that Trump is not under investigation

4. Interference by Loretta Lynch – none of which generated leaks on the part of Comey or calls for a special investigation

“Trump’s distrust of Comey ultimately was vindicated by what we now know about Comey.”

Exactly. Its why all the Obama appointees must go. Partisan hacks.

The noise will continue, but it should have ended today with Comey and Lynch’s reputation.

As Don Surber frequently says, everyone who tries to take down Trump directly usually comes out badly for it.

    1. The end of the credible Russia collusion claims

    Fixed it.

    See my response to “scaulen” above. The people who want there to have been collusion and an investigation have convinced themselves that Comey was lying about that part.

    You can’t convince someone of the truth who refuses to be convinced. All you can do is ruin the credibility of their claims and let the public do the rest.

I really doubt that Comey and Lynch care about their legacies. They’ll be laughing their asses off while sipping martinis by the pool in retirement – living large on the U.S. taxpayer.

    Paul in reply to snopercod. | June 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    And I actually doubt this spells the end of their careers. There are plenty of progressive hacks out there, both in government and the private sector, who will consider them “patriots” for what they did. They will be handsomely rewarded. Thankfully Trump/Sessions just killed Obama’s prog slush fund scheme, so at least they won’t be double-dipping on our tax dollars.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to snopercod. | June 9, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I think it far more likely they end up with prestigious jobs. After Comey gets a multi-million dollar book deal, he’ll either get a partnership at an elite white shoe law firm, or he’ll go back to the hedge fund world. He used to work for Bridgewater, which is he largest hedge fund in the world. Lynch will write her own ticket, too. I suspect she will be rewarded by highly connected Democrats for sacrificing her integrity to advance the interests of the party.

There was good reason to ask about Comey’s loyalty. He has for many years now been a reliable tool of the Clintons, and no doubt would have continued to slant, leak, and smear in her favor for as long as he held public office (and then some, as we have seen today)

One of the things that irks me is when the Dems or moderate Republicans complain about ‘the timing’ of his firing. Any reporter worth their salt who hears that phrase in an interview should immediately follow up with, “When, in your opinion, should Mr. Comey have been fired, if not when President Trump fired him? Before the new AG was in office?”

The “resistance” has been and is based on lies, and represents the true threat to our electoral and representative system.

Exactly. But, since it’s all based on lies I don’t see them giving up just because the old lies are no longer effective. They’ll just make up new lies to replace the old ones, and move on to a new anti-Trump ‘narrative’. And when that one peters out, they’ll make up still another one.

But….RUSSIA!
The folks at CNN must be in mourning.

Substantively, what jumped out at me was how much of Comey’s testimony was impressionistic
————–
I too was in and out of the car hearing parts of his testimony. I felt calling him impressionistic while a good term, pathetic, cowardly loser might be better.
Without being able to see him during the testimony, I was under the impression on a couple of occasions that he was going to cry.
Best and brightest my ***. He may be as big an egotist as odumbo.

Sober & reasoned analysis isn’t exactly widespread on this issue so thank you for taking the time to post. It sounds to me like the real story here is that an “independent’ FBI decided that it could play by whatever rules they wanted to, including keeping sham investigations going on for months and leaking confidential information to the media.

Also, if Trump gives an interview this week and says “Yeah, I met with him and told him to stop playing politics and do his damn job, and when he didn’t do that, I told him to take a walk”, where does that leave Comey?

ugottabekiddinme | June 8, 2017 at 7:55 pm

All good points, Prof. Jacobson, but I fear that only the politically attuned will ever hear of most of them. Here are the curent top headlines on seattletimes.com:

-Ex-FBI director Comey says he was fired because of Russia investigation, accuses White House of lies

-Live updates, Seattle-area reaction to fired FBI director James Comey’s Senate testimony

-Legal experts say Trump comments inappropriate, maybe worse

Sigh.

    Don’t tell me you expected anything else. The knee-jerk reflex is really hard to suppress.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Daiwa. | June 8, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      You got it.

      I’m still laughing at the print media that got caught short and are still printing stories that were obliviously green-lighted assuming Hillary was going to be the first president who claimed to have lady parts!

    Houston Chronicle: “Comey says Trump tried to Sink Inquiry”
    Yep.

I really don’t understand the Comey leak.
Was he worried that Trump might release a mythical tape ?
Does that assume Trump would doctor it ?

    derf in reply to Neo. | June 8, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Agreed. One does not follow the other. Trump claiming their might be a tape so he has to get out a one sided version of what he thought he heard shortly after the meeting makes no sense. If what Comey said is an accurate depiction of the conversation, wouldn’t the tape actually vindicate Comey and not Trump?

    Nor does he indicate at all (from what I can tell) why he was so worried that Trump would lie. Lie to whom? About what? When? Not saying Trump doesn’t stretch the truth sometimes, but with specific respect to THIS.

      Two possibilities, both are winning for Trump
      1) There *is* a tape of their discussion, in which case Comey has to tread carefully to avoid perjury.
      2) There is *not* a tape, but Comey can’t possibly know for certain, therefore we’re back to 1)

    Cleetus in reply to Neo. | June 9, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Let’s assume there was a tape. What is going to be more credible to the country – a tape recording of a conversation or a person’s notes on the conversation? Clearly the former would be believed and Comey should have known this. All this does is to make the release of the notes a mistake showing Comey’s ineptitude in logical thought.

Two additional points:

First, Comey demonstrably lied, uner oath, about his reason for leaking the memo. He claimed it was in response to Trump tweets. In fact, as Trump’s attorney pointed out, the record shows that the New York Times was quoting from the memo THE DAY BEFORE the Trump tweets that Comey claims prompted the leak.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/06/boom-trump-attorney-kasowitz-catches-comey-major-lie-oath-video/

Comey should be prosecuted for lying under oath.

Second, without asserting the slightest valid legal basis for doing so, Comey overrode procedures for reporting his actions to the Justice department. In effect, he took the position that as head of the FBI, he was a power unto himself, answerable to no one.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/08/deep-state-gone-wild-comey-asserts-unprecedented-fbi-supremacy/

    scaulen in reply to Wisewerds. | June 9, 2017 at 10:09 am

    It might be possible that Trump was still under illegal surveilance by the NSA at the time and the info about Trump mentioning tapes might have been passed on to Comey. Trump might have not only used this to see if Comey was the leaker but also to find out if he was still being serveiled illegally.

Very good professor, Thanks!

legalizehazing | June 8, 2017 at 8:05 pm

I watched the entire hearing and the lawyer’s response. Pathetic is the ideal word. The man’s opinion of himself and his happy boy response to adulation from the Senators was just pathetic.

I think underlying is the main show here on his and Trump’s interactions I got another impression. To me it seems that he either broke the pressure of the job, or maybe got somehow up in the political role of his job, or maybe he was a partisan actor.

Underneath the nothing bad testimony on his meetings with Trump is another tale. He clearly developed a paranoia of Trump. (Or was that an excuse as he, a bad actor, squirmed under the direct attention, and wanted to justify note taking and leaking) The fact that he played ball with Lynch on the “matters” Hillary.. the fact that he felt compelled to publicly clear her from OVERT illegal acts and then as sundowner McCain pointed out leave Trump under suspicion…. then leaked… which we find he mislead about his justification.. it’s just one perspective on the testimony. But I can’t shake it.

In my perspective, it is a great thing this broken man is out of his position. If it comes to light he leaked more…. hopefully this swamp is being drained

There’s also the separate matter of the recent FBI Director implicating the Russians. From the internet nerd writing on the matter, I read the direct accusation of Russian involvement is questionable. The evidence is highly suspect.

Time to get Sirius radio, which inckudes Fox News and Breitbart

Best take of this I’ve read all day. How many more ships will be dashed upon the Trump reef before it’s all said and done?

    Daiwa in reply to Daiwa. | June 8, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Apologies. Missed the previous comment including the link.

    derf in reply to Daiwa. | June 8, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    fwiw… The NYT says that Trump’s lawyer is wrong. That his timeline is inaccurate. Needs more follow up.

      Petrushka in reply to derf. | June 8, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      NYT printed the loyalty story the day before the tweet. Where did they get it?

      Valerie in reply to derf. | June 8, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      That timeline was plastered all over The_Donald at Reddit this morning before the hearing. The posters used archived copies with dates.

      So, the choice is between Redditt, with archive copies and date stamps, and the New York Times, with its pathetic history of outright lies.

A couple of take home points for me :
1) Trump does not think there is ANYTHING to the Russia / campaign involvement. He to me sounded like a guy who is innocent who wants that out there. And that seemed to motivate his every conversation (leaving aside Flynn for a second) with Comey. Tell people I’m not under investigation. Get the investigation over with so you can tell people I’m innocent. And if there were some of my “satellites” who were involved, we should know about it. This is not how a guilty man acts.

2) There is open testimony now of the FBI director saying that his boss Loretta Lynch wanted him to downplay the investigation into Clinton. This is not a small deal and in the usual world, would be a huge story. But it will be swept under the rug.

3) Trump should not really have done what he did with the Flynn thing, though I don’t think it amounts to an obstruction. He mentioned that he didn’t think Flynn had done anything wrong other than not being honest about his conversations with the Russian ambassador which led to his firing. He felt he was a good guy and hoped that the FBI would see it that way. Then he dropped it. Sounds like a business guy to me.

4) Comey knows how to get back at someone (Trump). Rich Lowery was right when he said : “We heard this morning about what a shrewd operator Comey is — deliberately not including any classified material in his memos about his interactions with Trump so they could be spread around as necessary, getting a friend at Columbia to leak their contents to the press after his firing to try to force the appointment of a special counsel. As a practical matter and the merits aside, this was a reason not to fire him like Trump did — Comey knows how to fight back bureaucratically and in the media.” And Trump was wrong to fire him how he did.

5) While nothing came out that will damage Trump, Comey doesn’t paint a flattering picture of Trump though I think has to do with things that the country already knows and takes into account in their view of Trump.

6) Nothing happened today or was said that will change anyone’s mind about Trump.

7) The media comes out looking terrible, but this will be overlooked too.

8) The more i think about it, the worse of a view of Comey I have. Deliberately leaking a story to start a special prosecutor investigation. IF he thought it was a big enough problem then, he should have either resigned or protested immediately. Not after the fact in a seeming effort to retaliate against someone you don’t like and who fired you from a job you liked.

    MJN1957 in reply to derf. | June 9, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Reference Your #2: Was not Comey’s testimony direct evidence of a collaboration between a Government and a Presidential Campaign in the last Presidential election?

    Didn’t Comey testify under oath that AG Lynch colluded with the Clinton Presidential Campaign in a manner that caused the Department of Justice and the FBI become de facto extensions of the media arm of the Clinton Campaign? Where both the DOJ and FBI willfully spread Campaign disinformation and propaganda by using the Campaign-directed term “…matter…” to regularly and repeatedly describe what would usually, customarily, and reasonably be accurately described as an “…investigation…” in any and every other circumstance. Doing so for the explicit purpose of misleading the public about the true nature of the activities of both the DOJ and the FBI related to Clinton’s use of an unofficial/unauthorized private e-mail server for official purposes?

Comey reminds me of Tim Matheson’s character Eric Stratton in the movie “Animal House”, pompously voicing his patriotic outrage that Dean Wormer would offend American values by revoking the fraternity’s permit then leading the brothers as they stormed out of the chamber in protest.

Comey was clearly part of DC that didn’t think Trump could win and then , gobsmacked that he did win, proceeded to behave in the most venal and smarmy ways. A completely political animal… beholden to the dignity of DC more than the democrat institutions thereof or the Constitution and rule of law.

He didn’t respect President Trump nor his staff. He held the election as incredible and proceeded to do his job as a defender of the swamp as opposed to anything resembling his job. What a hack..

J. Edgar Hoover has got to be rolling over in his grave over Comey staining his legacy as Director of the FBI.

VaGentleman | June 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Prof,
from a comment to one of your co-conspirators, Jonathan Turley’s blog post.

https://jonathanturley.org/2017/06/08/did-comey-violate-laws-in-leaking-memo/

Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter
1, June 8, 2017 at 7:52 pm

OK, sooo what I went and done was to make an ORIGINAL Gilbert and Sullivan parody song about the kind of person James Comey is. I worked on this for about an hour, sooo please don’t be shy to tell me how you feel, one way or the other. There is no other website in the world which this, because it is an EXCLUSIVE for here!

I Am The Very Model of A Modern Sneaky Bureaucrat
A G and S Parody Song by Squeeky Fromm

I am the very model of a modern sneaky bureaucrat,
I use confusing rhetoric to hide I’m just an empty hat,
And in the “Swamp” of Washington I find my perfect habitat,
There never is a limit to what I will find hors de combat*;
I’m very well acquainted with the latest gossipy chitchat,
And when I need assistance how to call on buddies from my frat,
And if my rambling testimony’s not enough to hide the pith,
My Harvard-educated lawyer taught me how to plead the fifth.

I learned so very early how to make denials plausible,
And how to couch deceptions into language so applausible.
And though unto the hoi polloi my scent resembles a polecat,
I am the very model of a modern sneaky bureaucrat!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

*hors de combat, is French for “dude fell off his horse”. It means someone or something that is out of the fight,now. I have used it to mean “off limits.” Sooo, please don’t nobody tell the French, or I could maybe be fined in the EU or something. But if you pronounce in an English way, it just gives the song a certain je ne sais quoi which, I don’t know what that means.

Everyone has made good points however what is sad is that there are STILL those in the media, in politics, in the public who think Comey’s testimony supported Trump being unfit to be POTUS because he must be guilty of something.

If they can’t get Trump for Russia they will most likely redouble their wild effort to get him for violating the rule on emoluments due to the hotels with the Trump name. /s

    rdmdawg in reply to katiejane. | June 9, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Welp, there will always be the resistance, and the media will always be weasels. I think it would be a terrible mistake to expect any kind of ‘vindication’ or whatever from the press, it will never happen.

    I’ve always claimed that the day I find myself agreeing with anything printed in the New York Slimes is the day I check myself, and commit to some deep introspection and soul-searching to find where I have gone astray.

Pelosi Schmelosi | June 8, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Can I get a side of fries with my nothingburger?

Trump is as clean as they come. Nothing, the entire deep state including all the “intelligence” agencies, and they can only come up with fake accusations.

Not only is he not beholden to the donor class, he is clean.

Best comment, found on Don trump Jr. twitter:

https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr

“Unlike Clinton, where Comey laid out why she was guilty and then let her off, he lays out Trump’s innocence, and concludes he is guilty.”

https://twitter.com/RFan2004

Comey never explained why we should believe his memo isn’t self-serving claptrap.

I don’t know if their careers are really over. I’m pretty sure the MSM/liberal establishment will take care of them. President of some university…talking heads on MSM… the usual roles for out-of-power tolls of the left.

I am a little surprised. I thought this hearing and his testimony was about what President Trump said, what Comey said, and why Comey thought Trump fired him.

Try as you might, this is not about the former directors cowardice, his mistrust of Trump, his complicity, or “what he should have done”. And if his testimony is accurate, it does not change what Trump communicated to him – seemingly directing Comey to either “let it go” or go easy on Flynn.

And I am not bothered that some of Comey’s testimony was impressionistic. A person normally recalls something of what was said (and almost everyone filters and paraphrases the content of recollected conversations) and ALSO recalls their feeling, their subjective impression of what is being communicated. Frankly, anyone who separately recalls the words as well as his impression is far more credible than someone who can’t tell the difference. So if Trump said (as Comey quoted) “I hope you will let this go…” and he took that as a direction then so be it. Unless there is evidence to the contrary or that such is an unreasonable impression, let’s move on.

And no, “the real bombshell”, was not the moment when Comey was plain spoken about his sharing of his memo. This is one of the dumber thrills being shared on the right.

No fired employee’s release of his own memo to himself/file (or the release of his own copies of his personnel or evaluation records) is going to be in actual jeopardy.. Ones own memos is ordinary evidence in unlawful terminations suits, and is especially irrelevant when the information is available through the public records act.

Besides, there is no way, after Trump refused to invoke executive privilege and the Special Council approved his release of all memos that there is any practical legal jeopardy.

“How pathetic Comey sounded during his testimony. A weak man who couldn’t even muster the courage to tell Donald Trump to his face when he thought Trump had crossed a line. Instead, Comey schemed behind the scenes to document conduct which even Comey will not publicly claim was criminal.

Trump’s distrust of Comey ultimate was vindicated by what we now know about Comey.”

I see the hissing ad hom of contempt of Comey, but I don’t see it of any relevance to the fact that the President first crossed the line. Moreover, Comey did what many employees do when feeling trapped between pleasing the boss and getting pressure to do something very unethical – you look for a way out to please the boss. You choose your words carefully, you try to convey reassurance, you give in on little things, and you are polite. YOU WANT the relationship to be a success, and to keep a working relationship. So you hedge and even bend.

BUT if you think any meeting could end up putting your reputation or career in jeopardy YOU MAKE NOTES or send a memo confirming the content of directions on what transpired.

And why was Comey fired? I think that is self-evident from Trump’s comments (or comments made to others). He thought of Comey as a showboater, and Comey refused to explicitly pledge loyalty. That is who Trump is.

    fishstick in reply to Mark. | June 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I rarely comment on this site however I felt compelled to for your post here Mark.

    –I thought this hearing and his testimony was about what President Trump said, what Comey said, and why Comey thought Trump fired him.–

    But the context of why Trump would do such a thing does matter. And you also have to remember, nothing Trump did was actually outside his legal power as President of the United States.

    Trump could have literally stated to Comey “Stop your investigation of Flynn immediately and start an investigation to prove the validity of Obama’s birth certificate.” and the sitting President would have been well within his legal right to make such an order.

    And that is a more extreme example than what actually occurred between the two that night.

    –Try as you might, this is not about the former directors cowardice, his mistrust of Trump, his complicity, or “what he should have done”.–

    But it is. Again context. Why did he not take such actions during the previous administration and now only feels compelled to act independently NOW?

    –And I am not bothered that some of Comey’s testimony was impressionistic. A person normally recalls something of what was said (and almost everyone filters and paraphrases the content of recollected conversations) and ALSO recalls their feeling, their subjective impression of what is being communicated.–

    Correction, almost all of it was impressionistic because it all is rooted in Comey’s loss of job and the personal reasons he feels he was unjustly canned.

    Plus he looks like a total buffoon sitting there before one of the highest offices in the world blathering on about how uncomfortable his conversations with the President made him feel.

    And none of this takes into account – President Trump was obviously right to question Comey’s loyalty, especially after his boondoggle with Hiliary’s email scandal.

    –So if Trump said (as Comey quoted) “I hope you will let this go…” and he took that as a direction then so be it. Unless there is evidence to the contrary or that such is an unreasonable impression, let’s move on.–

    If the President of the United States uses the exact phrase you typed out there, then he is still within his legal right to order the FBI director to do such a thing.

    What most people do not realize, Trump could have gone a whole lot further and still would have been constitutionally protected.

    –And no, “the real bombshell”, was not the moment when Comey was plain spoken about his sharing of his memo. This is one of the dumber thrills being shared on the right.–

    It is one of the big bombshells because Comey practically admits he was working against the Trump Administration from the go.

    If Comey can be impressionistic as you say his very testimony was, then we the People can be subjective to the very actions he admits to doing.

    Leaking a memo to induce a special counsel to create a Russia probe he admits earlier in his own testimony yesterday that had no actual basis in fact sounds almost like a joke.

    But that is what Comey friggen admitted to.

    –I see the hissing ad hom of contempt of Comey, but I don’t see it of any relevance to the fact that the President first crossed the line. Moreover, Comey did what many employees do when feeling trapped between pleasing the boss and getting pressure to do something very unethical – you look for a way out to please the boss.–

    Subjectively, Comey crossed the line before Trump won the Oval Office. His previous actions is what prompted the new President to even question the validity in holding the position of FBI director. And Comey knew Trump would hold his ass to the fire because of it.

    And furthermore, Comey was not looking to please his new “boss”. He was looking to undermine it, as evidenced by his secret “precautions” he took with the new President, not even 2 weeks into office.

    Hell – was it even a week?

    –And why was Comey fired? I think that is self-evident from Trump’s comments (or comments made to others). He thought of Comey as a showboater, and Comey refused to explicitly pledge loyalty. That is who Trump is.–

    Showboater – that is being kind.

    I would define it more like a liberal lapdog to the Democratic Party who would have used the FBI to hinder the presiding administration.

    That is who Comey is.

I worked for many years as a supervisor as did my wife. Most of those who worked for us were good people. However, on a rare occasion or two, we would have a troublemaker who claimed to be taking the high road, who claimed to be doing the right thing for that is what we all should do. They also claimed that they were in fear of being outed as a bad people by those who were truly bad – me, my wife, and other supervisors..
>
To “protect” themselves, they took to writing down notes on all meetings they had with me or my wife. In every case, these malcontents attempted to use those notes as proof of some wrong doing by either myself or my wife and, in every case, things turned out badly for these workers.
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How is it that the public cannot see Comey’s behavior as that of a sniveling Yes-man desperately trying to cover/defend himself from his own weaknesses and a man wanting to hurt others for violating what he thought was the way things should be operating?

Plamegate was a farce, as it was known within a week that the leaker was Richard Armitage, #2 in the State Department.
Is there anything more to the Trump-Russia investigation, and if so why isn’t it out yet?

A great analysis, Professor Jacobson — I enjoyed reading your assessment.

Every employee owes his boss a certain loyalty. It is not absolute and there are higher loyalties that supercede it. Trump was correct to ask for the loyalty he was due as president and implicitly to question Comey’s loyalty, specifically to question whether Comey was undermining his administration. Frankly,it was naive not to fire him on Jan 20. And his testimony is very clear that he was improperly loyal to Lynch and Obama.

I think Comey’s career in government is over. He is loyal to himself. Reminds me of Polonius – “To thine ownself be true.”

    JBIsmay in reply to cwillia1. | June 9, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Polonius hid behind the drapes and got a sword; Comey tried to hide by blending in with the blues drapes, and he got a pink slip.

Great synopses. Thank you Professor Jacobson.

First of all, Lynch and Comey turned out to be exactly what most well known federal prosecutors turn out to be, political hacks. So, this is no surprise. Washington is the never-never land of America. It is based solely upon political games and the acquisition and maintenance of personal power. Most of the rest of this nation can not relate to the atmosphere in DC, at all. It is totally foreign. And, this presents a problem for the American public. The public fails to recognize that the people in DC are only interested in their position and power and will say and do anything which benefits them.

Now, Comey is an interesting case. He is a totally political animal who has operated for a very long time in DC, as a very senior bureaucrat. One would have assumed that he would have switched his loyalty to the current President when he was kept on, if for no other reason than to protect his position. But, he apparently was loyal [either voluntarily or forced] to the Washington Establishment, the Democrat machine, or some part of it. He blatantly worked against the interests of the Trump Administration and used his position to aid the enemies of that Administration. So, he was fired. This would only be a surprise in DC.

Remember, this man is a career political hack AND an attorney. He was involved in activities, with regard to surveillance and, possibly, leaks, which could be criminal offenses. He stonewalled several investigations, both prior to and after the Trump inauguration, including the Clinton Foundation Pay-For-Play scheme and servergate, as well as “exonerating” HRC after publicly laying out a prima facia case for indictment. It was not until AFTER he was dismissed that the FIRST leaker was arrested. He ran to meet with Special Counsel Mueller before the paint was dry on Mueller’s door. So, anything that he says, publicly, must be assumed to be beneficial to him, personally, and may or may not be accurate.

    Barry in reply to Mac45. | June 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    “One would have assumed that he would have switched his loyalty to the current President when he was kept on…”

    You think the Clintons are going to let him go? They’ve already paid.

      Mac45 in reply to Barry. | June 9, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      The Clintons are only medium sized fish in a big political ocean. They only get away with what their Establishment masters allow them to get away with. If the Clintons actually had the power that people infer that they have, HRC would have been President in 2009, not Barack Obama.

      Everything that Comey did, during his tenure as FBI Director, was done to benefit and protect the Establishment backed Obama Administrations and other Establishment politicians. So, his loyalty to that faction could be the result of promises or threats made. He obviously never took his oath of office seriously. Now he is desperately trying to protect himself from the results of his past actions. Gonna be interesting to see what he does next.

I strongly suspect that Trump could be a very astute poker player: he is undoubtedly skilled in reading expressions and body language.
Trump easily read Comey’s mind, and his emotional temper, every time he met with him, and undoubtedly realized that Comey harbored a strong antipathy, and was a dangerous member to retain in his administration.
Requesting loyalty, and observing Comey’s response, would have been dramatically revealing in itself.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Topnife. | June 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    TOUCHE!

    You’ve probably heard the expression about how someone’s response says a lot more about them, than about the sender’s comments.

Trump is now denying that he asked Comey for loyalty, which appears to make that an impression only in Comey’s own mind.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Topnife. | June 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    LOL “Impressionistic!” LOL

    Don’t you just love it. The bad punch lines just write themselves.

    Every time I see Comey’s “Impressions” I think of all the corny skits and jokes about that old song “Feelings.”

    LOL “Oh oh oh Feelings, nothing more than feelings….”
    Which of course does not count for diddly squat in the real world!

“Comey was fine to let Trump twist in the wind of misleading and false media claims.”

That has been Comey’s shtick the entire time. A “cloud” of uncertainty forms with media reporting and Comey does nothing to clear it. At the same time he is telling Trump privately that he is not under investigation and that the reporting is false. He appears to be attempting to torment and infuriate Trump into getting upset and saying or doing something he would regret. Basically attempting to get Trump to lose his patience and make a mistake.

Comey has played a passive-aggressive game throughout all of this and has displayed himself as a weak and cowardly leader.

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