Thursday, June 08, 2017



This is the “let this go” discussion that was the topic of prior leaks to the media. Interestingly, Comey and his small team decided not to tell anyone else about it, not even AG Jeff Sessions. Perhaps most important, Comey says the Trump comments were only as to Flynn, not as to the Russia probe.

The official statement (pdf.) from James Comey, to be read during the hearing tomorrow, has bombshells — but they are helpful to Donald Trump. The statement is embedded in full at the bottom of this post.
Comey confirms — contrary to media reports — that he told Trump that Trump was not personally under investigation. That’s a pretty big concession considering speculation that Trump himself was under investigation.
Comey also paints a picture of Trump trying to put in a good word for Michael Flynn, but there is no suggestion that anything rising to the level of obstruction of justice was said. Also, Comey made clear that those comments did not relate to the general investigation of Russian interference in the election.
We will have additional analysis shortly.
Here are some key excerpts (mostly) in the order in which they appear, and how they relate to prior media reporting. All emphasis is added.

Trump Not Personally Under Investigation

Comey confirmed — three times in the statement — that he told Trump he was not under investigation. The fact of three such statements was in Trump’s termination letter of Comey, but the media discounted it and cited anonymous sources denying it.
January 6
“In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.”
January 27
“During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.”
March 30
“I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that. He repeatedly told me, “We need to get that fact out.””

“Loyalty” – January 27 Dinner

Trump’s alleged demand for a loyalty pledge has received a lot of media attention. Comey says the issue of loyalty came up, but when you read the context, it’s clear that Comey had a predisposition not to trust Trump, and left it vague as to what Trump demanded. You have to read the whole passage, though the media certainly will pull out certain clauses to make it seem more nefarious.
“The President began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI Director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and I had assured him that I intended to. He said that lots of people wanted my job and, given the abuse I had taken during the previous year, he would understand if I wanted to walk away.
My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.
I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my ten year term as Director. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth. I added that I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense, a stance I said was in his best interest as the President.
A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner….
Near the end of our dinner, the President returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” I paused, and then said, “You will get that from me.” As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase “honest loyalty” differently, but I decided it wouldn’t be productive to push it further. The term – honest loyalty – had helped end a very awkward conversation and my explanations had made clear what he should expect.

Flynn Investigation and Russia Probe

It is clear that Comey was uncomfortable with Trump’s personal pitch for Mike Flynn, but there is nothing in Comey’s narrative to suggest a corrupting or unlawful interference.
February 14 Oval Office Meeting – “Let This Go” 

Mark Finkelstein commented that, at the end of the day, both sides will  declare victory.  Which highlights the real problem.  The left establishment simply ignore truth, and have the media resources to tell a loyal audience of Millenials, Snowflakes, and die hard socialists that their center fielder was able to catch a walk-off home run  ball after the bases were cleared. And be believed. So at some point we have to kill them all, he said hyperbolically.  


Chris in NC said...

doesn't matter. The dems will cut and paste the words to make him look like he was being waterboarded by Trump and the media will run with it.

Skoonj said...

Breitbart's Joel Pollock: So the collusion involves former FBI director, mainstream media, and the left-wing academy to bring down the elected president.

It looks like my comment from yesterday may come true, or should: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?"

He admitted to being a leaker, and being part of a network of leakers. Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been excellent, noted that DOJ seems to have leaked virtually everything EXCEPT the fact that Donald Trump is not the target of any probe. If Comey and Lynch are not indicted, then General Sessions isn't doing his job.

Rodger the Real King of France said...

Yeah ....Rush is all over this

Anonymous said...

Comey is a political worm who for some reason believed he was independent of any control by elected officials. The WSJ editorial today calls Trump "a willful and naive narcissist" but one who somehow made the right call to fire Comey but for the wrong reason of "hurt pride". It takes experience and intuition to know when you can't trust someone, for all his "naivety" Trump is consistently doing the right things. Being willfull isn't a bad thing when you are dealing with spineless politicians. If he doesn't get discouraged (and I don't think he will), he will succeed despite all sides (including Repugs behind his back) being against him.

Rodger the Real King of France said...

WPW! It was worse for Comet than I thought possible. Jail time for him, Brennan, is distinctly possible.

Skoonj said...

This is where the previously posted material by Lisa Frank is true: "Trump seizes the moment and acts. While Comey is in California, 3000 miles away and 7 hours from his office, Trump prepares a letter firing him (with Sessions and the Deputy AG recommendations attached). In the letter Trump states that he had been told 3 times by Comey that he (Trump) was not under investigation. The letter is hand-delivered to the FBI headquarters by DOJ officials to lock-down and seize everything in Comey’s office, including all surveillance files (“tapes”) of Trump and others. All of Comey’s files, docs, computers and “tapes” are taken to Sessions at DOJ. They are not taken to the Whitehouse or Trump, but to Sessions, who has every right to have them. Sessions can tell Trump that Comey had surveillance tapes of Trump that contradict what Comey has been telling Trump, and perhaps tapes of conversations with other swamp “conspirators.” But Trump does not have them personally or at the Whitehouse."

Raja, that connects with what you just said.

All this time I've been wondering if anyone in the FBI can be trusted for a serious investigation. I think I found my answer today. Yes, most if not all the actual agents can be trusted. I know this because Comey leaked his meeting notes using a friend from outside the agency. That he had no one within the agency he could trust with this crime tells me the actual FBI agents are clean.

Skoonj said...

CORRECTION: This is where I hope the previously posted material by Lisa Frank is true

Skoonj said...

Mark Levin is on, and not disappointing.

Rodger the Real King of France said...

Beers are on Skoonj

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