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10 May 2017

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DC

At the very least, Trump should have waited until after the Russia investigations to dismiss Comey. Doing it now is like firing the Judge who is overseeing investigations of your company. A clear conflict of interest, revealed, and no other explanation except fear is likely to be convincing to most.

Trump clearly expects his followers to buy into a variety of alternative explanations for his actions, which will only serve to worsen our political divides. I can only hope that enough Republicans will remember their duty to country and vote for an independent counsel to oversee the FBI's work on the Russia issue.

b

Comey had acted beyond his realm several times. He should have been stopped much earlier. Better to fire him now that never.

There is zero evidence for Russian interference in the election. There is zero evidence for any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Senator Feinstein had just confirmed that again.

The which hunt must be stopped. It is preventing the foreign policy for which Trump was elected.

He should put someone into the FBI office that everyone can trust, not just the Democrats. Did they win the election or did Trump? Some dry bureaucrat who understands his/her role as an investigating agent of the public prosecutors office. Nothing more, nothing less. Not another J. Edgar Hoover wannabe. Sally Yates would definitely be the wrong person as she has a history with Trump and could never be perceived as non-partisan.

English outsider


The Guardian comments as follows:-

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/10/terrifying-astonishing-nixonian-james-comeys-termination-by-trump

Swamp-talk.


All the fuss about election interference is bogus. Nations interfere in each other's internal affairs all the time. The target country is lucky if it stops at NGO's and Foundations. I remember listening with astonishment to Mrs Nuland's famous telephone call. She was not merely interfering in the politics of the Ukraine. She was appointing their next President for them. Where does this sour joke come from - "Why will there never be an American revolution?" "Because there's no US Embassy there." I think it comes from South America but it could come from anywhere.

We in the West interfere in the politics of other countries in order to promote Freedom and Democracy. If the Russians did it maybe they did it in order to save life as we know it - back in 2016 Mr Trump looked far less likely to drift into WW3 than his opponent. Of course, if the Russians did interfere that was plain wrong: but since everyone knows everyone does it all the time there's not much call for excessive outrage.

Where it does get edgy is when it's allies doing it to each other. I don't mean direct Obama-style appeals to the electorate of an allied country - that's out in the open and harmless enough. I mean covert attempts to manipulate opinion in order to support a preferred candidate, or to discredit a recently elected leader.

That is what happened in the case of the US Presidential election. An ex-MI6 intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, compiled a dossier for the express purpose of discrediting Trump when he was a candidate. The dossier was made public after the election and was used to discredit the new President. We were never told who authorised Mr Steele's activities and why.

Mr Steele was, if I remember correctly, spirited away to a safe house at the time. He is now back running his business. He was recently approached with a request to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee.

If he does testify I hope he is asked who authorised him to compile the dossier and from what level that authorisation came. I don't know whether or not the Russians attempted covert interference in the politics of the US but there's a clear case for asking why we did.

Dr.Puck

Besides the "shooting yourself in the foot" aspect, Trump's letter to JC, and his tweetstorm today implies he is quite upset that the FBI went easier on HRC than it is currently going on him and his campaign.

The question in a nutshell, as I see it, is: what does Trump know right now about his the specifics of election-related contacts between members of his campaign staff and Russians?

If he knows nothing, he is being kept in the dark.

If he knows that it is all a big nothingburger, then why isn't he arguing those facts?

If he knows now that there were communications that constitute explicit evidence of coordination and/or collusion, then. . .he'll need more than a new paddle.

TonyL

Col,

That would be a master stroke. But I'd doubt President Trump is capable of such maneuver.

doug

What I find odd is the seeming political stupidity. Shortly before Trump fired Comey the FBI had to "clarify" his testimony on the Weiner laptop. I was expecting Democrats to have a field day exclaiming how incompetent the FBI Director was. Trump could have let that build up then removed Comey with much less fuss. But Trump quickly squashed that before any buildup occurred.

Is Trump tired of being POTUS? Suicide by Congress perhaps?

Alternately, he is sending a very loud message that he is completely unpredictable, rash, and not someone to be estimated by traditional game theory techniques. It's possible.

Razor

Isn't that the lady that Trump fired as acting AG? The lady who said she would not implement Trumps' policies on immigration? If so, it's hard to see how he would appoint her to FBI director.

Fool

Lars,
What is not credible about the stated reasons? Would anyone argue that Comey did his job effectively and fairly? I hate Clinton and even I felt bad for her after that late October surprise (not that I think it made a bigger difference than, say, the announcement of 22% average increases for Obamacare premiums that same week; not visiting MI, WI, PA; etc).

The involvement of the Russians as far as I'm aware -- since nothing of evidentiary value has in fact been revealed to We the People -- is that a client government of theirs paid Manafort considerable money years earlier, which is a degree of "involvement" that is no more serious than similar dealings with the Podestas (or for that matter the Clinton crony from whom they acquired a fifth of our uranium). If anything btw the "smoke" is coming from Ukraine (remember that this all begins with a Chalupa sounding the alarm in May '16 when she was researching Manafort); alas, Maddow's audience probably doesn't know the difference...

Trump may very well be leading a corrupt administration, but it has nothing to do with Russia -- not that this bothers the corrupt Democrat leadership (minus a few decent ones) who have no ideas of how to serve and lead the American people without running it by their corporate or NGO daddies. As a result, they have turned this into their own sleazy partisan Benghazi circus; "death by a thousand paper cuts" as I heard one CNN bot say last night. (For the record, I am registered as a Democrat.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/upshot/a-2016-review-theres-reason-to-be-skeptical-of-a-comey-effect.html?_r=0
http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/24/news/economy/obamacare-premiums/
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

robt willmann

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is meeting with Secretary of State Tillerson this morning in Washington D.C. They came out to do the window dressing to announce the meeting, and someone in the press gathering loudly asks, "Does the Comey firing cast a shadow over your talks, gentlemen?" Lavrov pauses and replies, "Was he fired? You are kidding, you are kidding."--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOf8HuYzX1c

BabelFish

That would be a smart move. Almost brilliant. I wonder if Jeff Sessions could live with that?

Fool

Colonel Lang,
I wouldn't be surprised if he picked Ray Kelly, who served three terms as NYPD commissioner under Bloomberg and was endorsed by Schumer for FBI head in 2011.

old gun pilot

Either her or Preet Brahara.

Virginia Slim

It shouldn't be a partisan issue, but of course it is, because everything is political in American society today. You can't drink a can of Coke or be seen reading Hemingway without it being a political statement.

As turcopolier stated, Trump almost certainly has to appoint a Democrat (or, at the very least, let McCabe serve out the remainder of Comey's term).

What a mess.

DianaLC

I am happy to see Comey go. This is the first time in my long life that I've ever recognized the face of the FBI Director. Well, yest, I did know what Hoover looked like from history texts and from the Kennedy years while I was still in high school, and that was also scandalous for my then young and more innocent self.

The position is not supposed to be political. When Comey came out with his statement about the conclusion of the HRC email investigation, I was convinced that he made the decision he did to protect Lynch from having to answer questions about the Phoenix airport meeting with Bill and from having to explain why HRC would not be held accountable for doing the absolutely stupid things she did with her email system or having to face the justice that any peon State Dept. employee would have had to face if he/she had done the same thing.

Comey's second thing about the Weiner laptop was also a "cover our asses" moment.


I feel that the FBI people who are doing the actual work with the current investigations will be able to carry on without Comey. They will probably benefit from not having him in the spotlight from now on. And I will be much happier knowing that the FBI will now be dealing with an AG who will follow the Constitutional guidelines.

DianaLC

I prefer to have someone whom both parties will trust, especially at this point I don't trust either political party.

kao_hsien_chih

Part of the disturbing trend towards "lawlessness" in presidency, I think.

By "lawlessness," I don't mean that what presidents do increasingly often is necessarily "illegal." But presidents are increasingly unmoored from the stuff of politics and society so that they are prone to do reckless things. While I fully support the proposition by the colonel below that Trump would be wise to appoint someone whom the Democrats would trust, I hesitate to expect it. Of course, what bothers me is that Trump, in particular, was elected precisely because he is unmoored from the stuff of normal politics--since that "stuff" is, understandably and justifiably, deeply mistrusted.

Assuming things don't fall completely apart during the present administration, then what? Will Trump be succeeded by an American version of what I suspect Macron to be in France, i.e. someone who is just as reckless but in the opposite direction? In a sense, that is what we've had before--Bush followed by Obama followed by Trump, unmoored after unmoored, reckless after reckless, even if in the ever changing direction. Is the Second Coming near (ref to Yates).

Bill H

I do not wish to be contentious, but in the first paragraph you say that, "[t]he nation needs to find out what the Russians did..." and in the second that, "[w]hat Russia did should be considered a hostile action..."

This is sort of typical of much of the media discourse, calling for investigation while stating an assumption of guilt. Senator Feinstein admits that there is still no objective evidence that Russia did interfere in the election at all, much less that the Trump campaign was party to it.

A.Pols

This is a joke of course, but maybe along that vein he should appoint Hillary...
But then again: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer".

sid_finster

By firing Comey, Trump has injected new life into Russiagate.

Even though there is just as much evidence to suggest that Mickey Mouse murdered George Washington as there is to support Russiagate, those who want to find something will insist that Comey's firiing proves that there *must* be something there. The fact that a few months ago, Democrats themselves insisted that Comey *must* be a Russian spy has already been forgotten. He is now their New Best Friend and an Official Martyr to Troof.

Expect the Truimp Administration, now and for the foreseeable future, to be consumed with endless hearings, fishing expeditions, blocked appointments and witchhunts. Anyone who ever talked to a Russian person ever will be held up breathlessly as "proof" that Trump must be a Russian tool. Those who want to believe will profess to do so.

Of course, Trump's erstwhile friends and their Deep State allies will helpfully suggest that Trump start a war or two so that he can "prove" that he is in fact his own man.

Trump has already shown himself to be succeptible to such suggestions. Do the math.

Laura

Amen to that. But an Administration that fires someone while they are on an agency trip by taking a letter to the head office AFTER the media has put it on the tube, isn't caring about such things as trust or even optics. It's a TV Show: "You're fired!" Until the Congress puts on its American Big Boy pants (which will probably be done by the women in Congress first), Trumpworld will roll heedlessly over our national interest on all levels.

They don't have the courage or the wit to recommend Sally Yates.

Laura

turcopolier -- Roger Stone is in the mix, this is from a Politico report and the "You're fired" meme pops up again. "While shock dominated much of the FBI and the White House, the mood was more elated at Roger Stone's house in Florida. Several Stone allies and friends said Stone, who has been frequently mentioned in the investigation, encouraged the president to fire Comey in conversations in recent weeks.

On Twitter, Stone signaled praise for the move by posting an image of Trump from The Apprentice saying, "You're fired.""

I wonder when this stops being a TV show to the Administration?

turcopolier

All

You who oppose Sally Yates don't "get it." The FBI will continue to investigate and there is no way she could suppress the result, whatever it is. Trump must have Democrat "buy in" on the result. THAT is what matters. pl

TV

Too clever by half.
Why would a rational person give yuuuuuge power to someone who is clearly their enemy?

John_Frank

fyi Text of President's letter to FBI Director Comey telling him he is fired, along with enclosures
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-letter-to-james-comey-telling-him-he-is-fired-read-the-full-letter/article/2622610

Suggest people read the material, especially the brief of the Deputy AG.

As people know, the FBI Director reports to the Deputy AG, who reports to the AG, who reports to the President.

The Senate Democrats delayed the appointment of the AG and the Deputy AG, who has only been on the job for about two weeks.

According to James Comey's testimony, the FBI began running an investigation into Russian interference and so forth in July of 2016, but did not report the matter to the requisite Congressional oversight committees until March, 2017.

Until the Deputy AG was in place, the process could not begin to decide whether Mr. Comey should stay or go as FBI Director.

Will Mr. Comey's removal have any bearing on the investigation? No, given that it is being directed by the Deputy AG, who by all accounts is well respected by everyone.

(The media claims coming from the AP and NYT based on anonymous sources that Comey was looking for more money (resources) to conduct the investigation has been flatly denied by the DOJ spokesperson who spoke with the Deputy AG.

As to Ms. Yates, no. She clearly is not suitable. Far too partisan IMV.

The President has to nominate someone who will be good for the FBI and the country.

P.S. According to reports, people are already being interviewed https://twitter.com/politiCOHEN_/status/862343230825934848

John_Frank

Ms. Yates is a total non-starter.

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