That James Comey Thing

I tried writing about the James Comey firing earlier in the week and got mostly a lot of GRWARRRRGHNNNNGHFFFFFK out of it, so I decided to let it be, and anyway, at this point there’s very little to add to it that hasn’t already been said elsewhere, mostly relating to Trump being incompetent, possibly criminal, and in all cases a schmuck.

That said, I think it’s reasonable to address a point that both Trump and his various apparatchiks have been petulant about, namely that no one on the left liked James Comey and many people thought he should have been booted from the job, and yet when Trump booted him, they freaked out. Isn’t this what they wanted? I mean, hell, just before he got punted, I wrote this tweet about him:

So you would think I would be among the ones cheering the punting. As much as I roll my eyes at the Trumpkins, I think it’s reasonably fair for them to be confused about this.

Well, here’s an answer:

Let’s say there’s this guy who is an enormous asshole and everybody hates him and wishes that he’d get, like, hit by a bus or something. Then one day, a bus indeed comes up on the curb, smacks into him and basically turns him into paste. Does everyone then pin a medal on the bus driver? Well, no, the bus driver just killed someone. Now we look into why the bus went up on the curb. And if in this particular case the bus driver just happened to be someone the enormous asshole was investigating for possible criminal activity (because the enormous asshole was maybe a cop or a private investigator), well. There might be cause for concern. Especially if the bus driver then says “I was driving around looking for him in order to hit him with a bus!” to Lester Holt in a televised interview.

An even shorter, analogy-free version is: It’s allowed to both believe Comey wasn’t very good at his job and that Trump fired him in order to impede the FBI’s investigation into his, his campaign’s and now his administration’s ties to Russia. And while the first is a problem, the second is stuff impeachments are made of.

That Trump appeared to think that the annoyance of the first would make people brush aside the potential criminality of the second is yet another reason why he’s not actually very good at his job. So there’s irony there, at least.

56 thoughts on “That James Comey Thing

  1. I suspect the main reason conservatives are confused is that they expect everyone to be as tribal as themselves. If you are anti-Comey, you must naturally be pro-anti-Comey.

  2. One side of this situation seems to be, “The Dems didn’t like Comey because of that email kerfuffle, so they should be glad he was fired! What’s all the ruckus?” That is a fair question over an unfair generalization of the matter, but a bigger question for me is: “The Reps rejoiced over their guy Comey dogging Clinton over those emails. Comey had a hand in giving them the election, so he’s THEIR GUY! They love him! Wait . . . he got fired? But, he’s THEIR GUY! Oh, yeah, Russia. Shut up and go on about your business (whatever that is).”

    Comey should be noticing the deafening silence from the folk that loved him, and the uproar from the folk that respected-but-was-irritated by him. He wasn’t just hit by the bus; he was thrown under said bus by the whole GOP. It should move him to start considering gargling up for his singing voice. (I don’t actually think he’ll do that, classified info and all that, but it seems to have Trump spooked enough to threaten tapes.)

  3. A part of me wants you to write this as a dialogue between John Perry and Jane Sagan and then to have one of your great reader actors put it out there for all of us to enjoy. I agree with you totally that this is the most incomprehensible exasperated incongruous bullshit of all time.

  4. The Republicans are finally getting the message that there is no percentage in rushing to back up Trump’s idiocies. Most are taking the path of least resistance and refusing to discuss the matter – and it is hilarious how often a Trump-storm peaks at the start of a weekend, which means that they’re going home. The Freedom Caucus paid no price at all for opposing the first iteration of the AHCA in March, and they’re certainly not deriving any benefit from finally passing the legislation. Eventually they’ll wake up completely and realize they can actively defy Trump and pay no price for it. Too late by then, of course, but it will happen.

  5. Here’s my theory – Putin has enough nastiness on enough Republicans directly or indirectly through Trump and his associates that none of them will ever have enough backbone to stand up to him. Either that or they think Margaret Atwood wrote a ‘How to’ guide rather than a horror story

  6. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about this, but it doesn’t help – it’s like I’m desperately trying to flip to the end of the book to see if it all turns out okay, but of course I can’t. Are we staring down the barrel of a new dictatorship? Are we all going to laugh about this in six months? I DON’T KNOW AND IT’S DRIVING ME INSANE.

    I’m sure there’s a name for that in psychology.

  7. A very good friend of mine worked with James Comey in a past life, pre-FBI. He said that Comey is honest and a good person, and my friend believes that Comey did what he thought was the right thing given the information and circumstances.

    Separately, an article I’ve read attempted to explain Comey’s behavior about the email revelation vs. not talking about the Trump investigations. It posited that Comey assumed Clinton would win and given that plus the different nature of the two investigations from his perspective he had no choice but to do what he did.

  8. VLK: Exactly. The right’s constant invocation of tribalism is really bizarre at times. We saw it before the French election, too: “Why aren’t people who wanted Hillary Clinton to win on board with Le Pen?” They were genuinely baffled that mere tribalism doesn’t outweigh all other concerns.

  9. We’re living in a country where Republicans are OK with removing the chief law enforcement agent because he wasn’t willing to bow down to Trump and end the Russia investigation. That’s not in dispute. Trump admitted to it.

    This has to end because it’s only going to get worse if we do nothing. Please, people, do something. Let others know that you’re doing something. Share what you’re doing. Pointing out what’s going wrong is not enough, we need to do something about us. No one is coming to save us. We’re the ones who have to save ourselves.

    What am I doing? I’m calling my congressman, congresswoman, and senators every week. I’m donating to out of state candidates running against Republicans. I’m calling the DOJ (for what good it does) and standing up as resisting.

    What can you do? If you’re living in a state with a Republican congressman/woman, call their office and make your voice heard. Go to town halls if you can find one. Get the word out, get people who stayed home to pledge to vote in 2018 to oust Republicans. Find the candidates who’re running in 2018 and donate. Heck, you can do that even if you’re living out of state and can afford it.

    Find your representative http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
    Find your senator – https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

    Help defend democratic seats in the senate and retake the house and the senate. http://www.270towin.com/2018-senate-election/
    http://www.270towin.com/2018-house-election/

    Encourage your friends family, and anyone else who cares. Don’t just complain. Act, and get others to act with you. Think about how many people follow you on social media. Can you convince just 10% of them to act? Can 1% of them do the same?

    Please. Help. Stand up and talk about what you’re doing. Encourage others. Please.

  10. I’m thinking Comey’s replacement will be taking a “loyalty oath” as part of the swearing in ceremony

  11. Tribalism? What’s wrong with that? I am totally into tribalism…if the tribe comprises those who think carefully about the issues, understand nuance and complexity, have well-developed senses of ethics and morals that also take into account human frailty and the salubrious qualities of mercy, and assiduously strive to avoid being assholes.

  12. Sadly Michael I think the guys in both houses merely heard the part about “being assholes”

  13. I’m just waiting for the day (may it be soon!) when Putin realizes he has gotten all the mileage he can out of the Trump connection and organizes the Wikileaks dump. But Trump is, apparently, so stupid (Exhibit A: Godless Commies in the Oval, American press banned while Tass was in) that it might not be coming all that soon.

  14. The amazing thing to me isn’t that Trump would be so stupid as to think that by firing Comey he would end any and all FBI investigations into his campaign; it’s that neither his White House counsel nor anyone else could or would tell him that would be a stupid thing to do.

    During Watergate, even though Nixon himself was a lawyer and was surrounded by politically smart (although noxious) guys, the credibility of any statements from the White House eventually reached zero sometime in late 1973 or early 1974, from which there was no way to turn around. In the case of the current administration, the path to zero credibility has been much faster than I would have believed, but here we are.

    For an excellent analysis of how the president has undermined the credibility of his entire staff and even that of the vice president, see Dan Balz in today’s Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/comey-firing-shows-white-house-problems-go-far-beyond-communications-strategy/2017/05/13/b00e0bfe-375d-11e7-b412-62beef8121f7_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_sundatake-1034am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

  15. From teh little I read Trump threatend Comey not to release anything to the public that Trump said to him, which to me indicates two things:
    A.) Whatever Trump said, it’s not good for him
    B.) You (general you) voted a President into the office who gives sh*t all to democracy and freedom of speech

    I’d be very worried in your case.

  16. I had a friend for a while who was a Republican (not the batshit crazy kind) and was going into the military. I got into an argument with a couple of his friends on his FB page that I honestly did not see coming. Basically, I tried to compliment Congress on passing the DADT repeal (this was in 2010 or whenever that happened), somebody else said that they still needed to get to work helping 9/11 first responders, and when I said that all depended on whether the Republicans considered that more important than tax cuts for the rich, somebody called me “a liberal douche” and told me to “get a life”. I was stunned. Here I was, trying to agree with these guys, and they turned on me all because I revealed myself to be–gasp!–a Democrat.

    Flash forward to today, and I wonder what those guys I argued with all those years ago are thinking. Are they still telling themselves that Hillary would have been worse? Did they sit the election out, or vote for Gary Johnson? How much damage are they willing to let El Cheeto do just so they don’t have to admit that a female Democrat (she’s really more of a 90s Republican) might have been the better choice? Moderate say the left needs to do a better job of reaching out to the rural, white working class. Well, I have tried reaching out to them (on that, and a few other occasions), and gotten my hand knocked away. So it’s on them.

  17. Are they still telling themselves that Hillary would have been worse?

    Right after I thought that the Comey firing sounded more like something from North Korea than from the USA as I have known it all my life, my second thought was “no, in a REAL dictatorship he’d be murdered”. If you’re the kind of person who really believes in the murder of Vince Foster, then the fact that Comey is still breathing may indeed be “evidence” that Trump isn’t as bad.

    Or in other words, Trump’s real misdeeds still aren’t as bad as Clinton’s imaginary ones. Yet.

  18. “Separately, an article I’ve read attempted to explain Comey’s behavior about the email revelation vs. not talking about the Trump investigations. It posited that Comey assumed Clinton would win and given that plus the different nature of the two investigations from his perspective he had no choice but to do what he did.”,

    If that’s a true assessment then Comey’s actions would seem to be at a minimum a civil violation of the Hatch Act, and possibly a criminal violation of that + other anti-election-tampering laws. Federal agencies, whether law enforcement or not, are not allowed to decide to “juggle” whether or not or how much to influence elections – they aren’t supposed to influence at all.

  19. A friend described Trump’s recent actions as “Nixon cosplay”, which I find oddly accurate. I’m going to order a “Make Watergate Again” hat.

  20. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. (The people who piss me off with monotonous regularity without being punched in the face should be thankful for that.)

    Why is that so hard for the Dolt-Right to grasp?

  21. Staying on subject, I thinK
    .
    House of Cards
    . by Jonathan Vos Post…
    .
    House of Cards.
    House of index Cards
    House of Tarot Cards
    each card a poem
    each poem a house of cards
    .
    The King is in his counting house
    counting up his money
    The Spicer’s hiding in the bushes
    shillings and Pence are flying
    the face on the coin is lying
    .
    It’s 1973 all over again
    you better hope there are no “tapes”
    lies by Twitter, lies on TV
    never too late for Watergate
    .
    6:10 a.m.
    Friday 12 May 2017
    .

  22. @ Patrick:

    “Are they still telling themselves that Hillary would have been worse?”

    Yes. And I think it veyr likely that even if Trump is impeached, they will continue telling themselves this.

    “Did they sit the election out, or vote for Gary Johnson?”

    Some voted for Johnson, some did write-ins, and I think quite a few voted for Trump–because “he’s not Hillary.”

    “How much damage are they willing to let El Cheeto do just so they don’t have to admit that a female Democrat (she’s really more of a 90s Republican) might have been the better choice?”

    A lot. A whole lot. Maybe an unlimited amount.

  23. Trump fired Comey for not swearing a loyalty oath, the sort of thing you expect from a third world crackpot dictator. All we’ve seen for the last five months is Trump acting like a shitty dictator. If you’re still supporting Trump, if you’re defending Trump, if you’re saying we need to give Trump a chance, if you’re downplaying the loyalty oath by saying “but dems wanted Comey fired too!”, then fuck you.

    Also, could we please, for the love of god, stop defending Comey for having “good intentions” when he bjorked the entire nation by making his inaccurate announcement about Hillary emails in violation of the Hatch Act and long standing FBI tradition? Comey bjorked the nation to cover his own ass. He had promised republican politicians that he would let them know if anything new came up about emails, and he was worried they’d go after him if he withheld this information. This is the opposite of good intentions, it was pure self interest.

    He also says that hindsight has not changed his views and he would have done exactly the same thing again. At which point, he is obstinately refusing to be responsible for bjorking the election. And avoiding responsibiity is, again, the complete opposite of good intentions. The guy is a shit who made shitty decisions for his own best interests.

  24. You’re biased because Comey drives the same make of car as you. Which raises a question I’m not the first to ask. How does a 6′ 8” man fit in a Mini?

  25. I like your term “Trumpkins” although it’s a bit of an insult to C.S Lewis’s character.

  26. How does a 6′ 8” man fit in a Mini?

    I expect it requires a specific order of placing/bending limbs and appendages which must never vary if it is to be managed at all. John Cleese at 6’5″ managed to fold himself easily into a similarly-sized Austin 1300 Estate on Fawlty Towers, but those extra three inches of height no doubt make it more complicated.

  27. Hah, ever since Trump got elected, my reaction to the news has been pretty much that Grr, Ugh, Aarrgh thing Scalzi said. I’m horrified at what’s going on and at what the Republicans have become. I am not thrilled by the lackluster Democratic Party’s performance, but I would like to think it’s in the nature of, they can’t believe what they’re seeing. Sigh. I hope hey’ll do better. — I hope most Americans will wake up and use some sense, the next time we can vote people into/out of office. I really hope current Congress and Senate people will act before we sink further toward a dictatorship or some other awful outcome. This is not what I expect from our government or from sensible people or from either party. (But the Republican Party has ceased to be the one knew back when I could first vote, in the again/Bush era.)

    I am only watching news infrequently. It’s as though we landed in some alternate universe dystopia, like a really bad episode of Star Trek or Sliders. (I liked both, not dissing them.)

    Recently, I’ve seen it floated that Trump may be illiterate or has some learning disability or such that he can’t read well at all. — It could be eyesight too. — However, if so, a reasonable person would *admit* that publicly and compensate with audio or people reading aloud for him or magnification and text-to-speech software, etc. — I don’t like my handicapped eyesight, but I have no problem saying I am handicapped and need assistance. (Well, OK, yeah, I’m still too proud sometimes.) — But it is dang foolish to be so proud/fain you don’t admit publicly if you have a problem and find ways around it. It can be worked around, adapted. — So I don’t buy it. Somethin’s up there. Mostly vanity and pride and sheer foolishness, I think.

    It seems clear there is a lot going on that is too shaky and dubious and threatens our democratic government, or freedoms. So why can’t both sides own up to that and start toward investigations and possibly impeachment, or a medical exam to see if Mr. Trump is mentally completent, either ill from dementia Alzheimers’s or
    a psychological illness. If he is either or both, that’s a reasonable cause to do something about it: impeach or other Constitutional remedies. — I am all for the *lawful* transition of government. — I’d prefer a new election, really; and not Pence. I’d also like to see limits on what elected officials can make in salary or benefits or tax breaks. And oh, do I think we should reconsider the Constitutional mechanism of the Electoral College.

  28. I worked under a VP who was a bully and an asshole and a horrible manager and he was fired in a really dumb way and I thought it was unfair and a bad omen of the new management (it turned out the new management were terrible, and the spurious reasons for letting go of said VP were repeated ad naseum with anyone the new director didn’t like.

    If Sessions was fired by trump for looking into the Russia thing, I’d be upset, and I think sessions is one of the most vile people in this administration.

    When an investigator is fired by the person they are investigating, that rings serious serious alarm bells. Even if said investigator is a tool.

  29. This article did the best job saying what I’m thinking about losing Comey. His character, which made his handling of the Clinton emails so annoying, was the same character that suggested he would handle Trump/Russia/Money Laundering with uncompromising (possibly slightly ham-handed) rectitude. It is who he is, and like most of us, his greatest strength is also his greatest weakness. I wish him well.

  30. The best definition of tribalism on the right that I have heard is Cleek’s Law. “Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today: Updated daily.”

    I have not heard the ISO definition of the tribal left, except it that is aimed inward.

  31. Comey was apparently pretty highly regarded within the FBI itself. What Trump may have accomplished here is going to war with the FBI. That might not end so well for him. It was largely the FBI that brought down Nixon. It will be interesting to see what beings to leak now.

  32. Dear folks,

    Okay, starting off with the victim, I don’t think Comey was acting to throw the election to Trump. Because that simply made no sense whatsoever (unless you’re in the tinfoil hat camp that imagines that Comey was a secret paid Republican operative). In what possible universe can anyone imagine that Comey would prefer to see Trump elected over Clinton, especially given everything he knew about both of their possible malfeasances and worse from all the ongoing investigations? I mean, really?!

    Where Comey screwed himself over was when he was being raked over the coals in Congress a year ago and he very, very stupidly promised to promptly make public any new investigations so there couldn’t be any charges of a “cover-up.” He should never have done that. It’s contrary to standard FBI policy… although within their discretion.

    But he did. Which put him into the bind that led to him making that bad call in October. A bad call. A really bad call. But that’s the extent of his evilness. By all impartial accounts internal and external to the FBI, Comey is a real straight arrow; he is very well respected within the agency.

    Which pretty much puts the lie to every bit of nonsense the White House has been spouting. Although they’ve been managing to do that themselves by contradicting themselves with a new story every half-dozen hours or so.

    I really wish Trump’s latest threatening bluster — the insinuation that there could be secret recordings of him and Comey — would turn out to be true. It is almost certainly utter bluster, because it makes no sense… But if it were true it would mean we are well along the Nixonian path, and we know how that one plays out.

    On a (non) tangential matter, what I’ve been reading in the SF Chron is *not* that the Republicans are silent about this while the Democrats fume. Posters here who are saying that are mischaracterizing the Republicans. A whole lot of the Republican Party is really pissed off about this and they’re saying so publicly. They’re trying to figure out how to respond, but they are not happy campers.

    And before someone tries to rebut with, “but… special prosecutor!” keep in mind that it is very much in the Republicans’ interest to be able to claim ownership of the investigations, even if it results in Trump’s impeachment and conviction. ESPECIALLY if it does that. Then they can proudly proclaim how they are the party that can clean its own house and has high ethical standards, etc. etc. etc. Whereas if they hand it over to a Special Prosecutor, they don’t get to own nuttin’.

    But that does not mean they like what they’re seeing.

    – Pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    ======================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. http://ctein.com 
    — Digital Restorations. http://photo-repair.com 
    ======================================

  33. Ctein : “But he did. Which put him into the bind that led to him making that bad call in October. A bad call. A really bad call. But that’s the extent of his evilness. ”

    As if thats not enough??

    Also, it isnt a fucking “bind”. His verbal statement to republican politicians shouldnt override the law or fbi procedure. His pinky swear was outranked by higher priniples that should have reined him in. But he was such a fucking egomaniac that he decided his promise was more important than the nation, law, procedure, or common fucking sense.

    You have to do what someone asks you. Don’t you, detective Spooner?

    No, Sonny, no you dont.

  34. Looking to history, specifically Watergate, I think is actually a pretty good model. This is probably a good-news, bad-news situation. The good news is that everything will reach a head within 2-3 years of its start. That’s also the bad news, btw. It took from the Augus-ish of 1971 to August 1974 for Watergate to progress from a really bad idea about breaking into Dr. Fielding’s offices to Nixon resigning.

    Frankly, I would not hold my breath for anything shorter here. Start the clock with Russia actively pushing things towards Trump, say last spring. That means some time after the 2018 mid-terms. Probably in the Spring of 2019 we have Trump gone. Pence becomes Ford and is hamstrung through 2020.

    Those of you thinking/hoping for a faster resolution are probably shit-out-of-luck 😱

  35. The thing I find most baffling here is Trump’s tapes “threat”(?).

    See, here’s the thing. While there’s plenty of room to question Comey’s judgment, or the propriety of his actions, I don’t think there’s anybody who questions his professionalism, or his loyalty to the nation, or the Bureau (likewise, I don’t question his loyalty to the constitution, either, I just disagree with his interpretation of the contours of the bill of rights, but I realize that the former is a point on which reasonable people may disagree).

    Which means, there’s no dinner conversation where Trump comes out sounding better than Comey. It’s like the owner of a roach filled deli threatening to call the cops because he saw an employee not washing his hands long enough on the video camera he has installed in the restroom.

  36. Trump has little if any respect for the rule of law, and he tries to govern as though he is law unto himself. Hence his asking for loyalty pledges, his use of his position to lauch spurious attacks on his political opposition, etc.

    He views his opposition as being like him in not respecting the rule of law. We don’t like Comey, so we should be happy to see him fired. Anything else would be hypocrisy. Well, no.

    We think Comey’s decision to publicaly air the skeletons in one candidate’s closet, while concealing (to use his own word) those of the other candidate, was reprehensible. His actions were asymmetric – he followed procedure with regard to one candidate and departed radically from procedure with regard to the other.

    All of that said, we also want someone in Washington who respects the rule of law and will not operate the FBI in a politicized manner, and despite his ill-advised decisions during the campaign, he appeared to be that guy.

  37. One of my first thoughts when Trump was elected was: Comey now has a lock on the FBI job for the next generation or thereabouts. Shows how much I know about politics.

    Will

  38. Ctein says:

    Which put him into the bind that led to him making that bad call in October. A bad call. A really bad call.

    And all I can think of is…

  39. General Patton used to tell his officers that no man is indispensable, not even him.

    I guess this is a chance for the American people to improve the F.B.I.’s “bench strength” so that the loss of one leader—by bus accident, or sickness, or even going on vacation—does not impede any investigations.

  40. 1) (obvious) Comey wasn’t killed, he was fired.

    2) The democrats were serious about firing him or wanting him to resign. That they flipped now just shows their true Orwellian nature. Able to flip the script and argue “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia” and have people like John believe them.

    3) Comey wasn’t doing a criminal investigation against Trump. The Russian ties investigation was not being lead by him. He only ran the FBI; others ran the investigations.

    4) even if an investigation shows close ties between Putin and Trump (though it’s been established that Hillary has much closer ties to Putin ) there is no criminal act even being suggested. There’s no law against asking a foreign power to help you get elected. Only if Trump or someone on his team had asked Putin to hack Hillary’s illegal server would it be. And there’s not a shred, thread, particle, or quark of evidence to show that.

    5) There is evidence that Putin hacked BOTH the dems and the reps. Only the reps aren’t being lead by people so blantatly stupid to fall for a basic phishing scheme (Podesta).

  41. @ Doc Stat
    1. google “metaphor”.
    2. The Democrats are showing that grown-ups can have more than one idea at a time: both (1) that Comey should have been fired for influencing the outcome of the election and (2) that firing Comey in order to shut down the investigation into how the Russians influenced the election is wrong.
    3. Trump said he fired Comey to shut down the investigation. Complain to him, not Scalzi.
    4. Pack (1) of lies, Trump apologists for the use of.
    5. But the Russians did not release any hacked materials from the Rs. Didn’t want to hurt their buddies/pawns/stooges/assets?

    Got to admire your energy, not the results.

  42. = = = See, here’s the thing. While there’s plenty of room to question Comey’s judgment, or the propriety of his actions, I don’t think there’s anybody who questions his professionalism, or his loyalty to the nation, or the Bureau (likewise, I don’t question his loyalty to the constitution, either, I just disagree with his interpretation of the contours of the bill of rights, but I realize that the former is a point on which reasonable people may disagree).= = =

    If there is a faction within the FBI that worked deliberately to undermine Hillary Clinton’s candidacy – say, the New York Field Office – and Comey took no steps to investigate or prosecute that faction, then I for one would question his professionalism and integrity. As for “loyalty to the Bureau”, I thought we had learned from the J Edgar Hoover days where that leads.

  43. Msb,

    1) Look up “obvious”.

    3) no, he did not. That’s a tenuous and laughable inference you and others made because Trump said he was thinking about the BS Russian investigation when he decided to fire comey. I dare you to find a reliable link where Trump actually said he fired Comey to “shut down the Russian investigation” or something meaningful to that effect. Why would he? It’s produced absolutely zilch so far.

    4) http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/check-it-out-the-new-york-times-just-exposed-the-hillary-clinton-russia-nexus/. Summary, the Clinton foundation received millions of dollars from Uranium One, a Russian government owned company. The Russian ambassador met several times with the Clinton campaign. Meetings that weren’t fully disclosed. Sorry, but there are as many or more ties between Clinton and Putin than trump and put in. That’s just the way it is at there level.

    5) Because they couldn’t get into the Republicans’ server because the GOP isn’t run by astonishingly stupid individuals like Podesta.

  44. Doc Stat: There is evidence that Putin hacked BOTH the dems and the reps.
    Also Doc Stat: they couldn’t get into the Republicans’ server

    Conclusion: Doc Stat is not a serious person and should be ignored. I’ll be muting him.

  45. Docrocketscience,

    *sigh* they aren’t mutually exclusive statements. Here’s Comey on the matter. https://www.cnet.com/news/russian-hacking-of-republicans-limited-intel-chiefs-say/

    I didn’t say “successfully hacked”. To fully “hack” into a server you have to penetrate several levels. And there’s a difference between the national organization and state parties.

    . “Russians hacked Republicans during the lead up to the 2016 election, too, Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey told senators Tuesday.

    But the hackers were only successful in penetrating state-level organizations and campaigns, as well as an old email domain no longer used by the Republican National Committee, Comey said.

  46. “That Trump appeared to think that the annoyance of the first would make people brush aside the potential criminality of the second is yet another reason why he’s not actually very good at his job. So there’s irony there, at least.”
    This^

  47. Alternet is where we learned of this Dutch special investigation into Trump’s long-time associations with Russian gangster-billionaires.

    So far it hasn’t received that much play here in the US. It’s excellent. True, there’s nothing in this we — particularly we NYers — don’t know, but the Dutch have put all of it into two-part television program. For so many years we NYers regard these people, i.e. Trump and these gangster russian bankers, financiers, real estate developers, et alia, as an affliction our city’s body politic — a combo of incurable boils, psoriasis, crabs, ringworm, bedbugs, dandruff and lice.

    Watch ZEMBLA TV’s “The dubious friends of Donald Trump: the Russians” — there’s a lot about the FBI investigations of this going way back, but picking up paticularly after 2000, when he went bankrupt yet again and could no money from US / New York banks.

    Quote:
    Although still in its early days, Donald Trump’s presidency is coming under fire. The Russians are alleged to be in possession of sensitive information about…

    Part Two, “Diamonds,” picks up after the promo for it, around minute 46.

  48. Dear docrocketscience,

    (re: video clip)

    Oh, that is just *perfect*. Thank you!

    It is so perfect that it makes me wonder if my subconscious hadn’t dredged that up when I wrote my comment. Probably not– I am not that clever. But I gotta wonder…

    Anyways, yeah, anyone who reads my post to suggest that this wasn’t an awful call is tragically misreading. I was calling out the tinfoil-hatters who imagine it must have been some kind of intentional sabotage. That’s it.

    pax / Ctein

  49. @bluecatship: “But it is dang foolish to be so proud/fain you don’t admit publicly if you have a problem and find ways around it.”

    Remember who we’re talking about here — do an ego-ectomy on Trump and there’s nothing _left_.

    I hadn’t heard the learning disability theory, but personally I’m putting a hot fudge sundae on a simpler option: the guy never had to learn anything in school because the administration didn’t want to lose the checks from Daddy Trump, so he didn’t bother to learn anything. (Assuming he went to private schools, of course — but even a public school system might be leery of hacking off someone with that much money and bully tendencies.) That said, I’m surprised Trump hasn’t gone after reporters pointing out his troubles with the English language by claiming dyslexia whether he really has it or not.

  50. I don’t like Dem’s much more than Rep’s. But if this drags out for ~2 years, I don’t see how the House does not get over turned, with demands for a real investigation.
    (Along with all the other past stuff, and still to come SS. (the second word is Storm))

  51. They don’t understand the rule of law.
    They really don’t get that this isn’t just, “our guy is on top now and gets to make up the calvinball rules.”
    This isn’t sports ball, and even in sportsball there are RULES that are enforced by refs.
    And they don’t seem to understand. Blah.

  52. Has anyone asked someone like Spicer what the form of DT’s Loyalty Oath is?
    Is it just the U.S. Oath of Allegiance with a few obvious words changed?
    Or is it something a little more: – signed in blood; offering your first-born child, sworn on one of DT’s books, etc.

  53. Firing Comey does not impede nor obstruct the investigations the FBI is currently engaged in, it merely changes the top executive of the FBI. The acting FBI Director will keep them going. And the next FBI Director would be a total idiot IF he or she did anything to impede or obstruct the investigation into Russia’s attempt to influence the election last November. Hence, there is no grounds for impeachment on this issue. None. Nada. I find those who think it grounds to be living in some alternate reality.

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