Comey Memo Stuns Washington, Exposes Trump to the Bone

After the revelations of the past 24 hours, it appears that President Trump’s conduct in and around the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, may have crossed the line into criminality. The combination of what is known and what is credibly alleged would, if fully substantiated, constitute obstruction of justice. It is time for Congress and a special counsel in the executive branch to conduct objective, bipartisan inquiries into these allegations, together with the underlying matters involving Michael Flynn and Russia that gave rise to them. – Richard W. Painter and Norman L. Eisen [The New York Times]

THE COMEY PAPER TRAIL, as revealed by The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt, has turned Washington, D.C. on its head, and sent the Republican Party to the mattresses.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo quoted in The Times.

What Donald Trump doesn’t understand about lawyers and public servants like James Comey is that the only loyalty they have is to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

Mr. Comey had a meeting with the president, in which Trump plainly asked his FBI director to look the other way on Michael Flynn’s clear treachery and malfeasance, leaving contemporaneous notes on what Trump asked of him that day. That’s the story, along with promises for more memos on Trump – Comey interactions that made the FBI Director “uneasy.”

It’s the one thing Trump never anticipated.

It’s the widening of a war Trump began with the intelligence agencies, thinking that he was bigger than a community whose sole purpose is to hold bad actors accountable, wherever they are found.

Trump has always been the top dog in his very small, gold-plated kennel.

Now Trump is running for his life, and there is no evidence yet that he has the truth on his side, or that he understands that justice has come calling after years of bad deeds and slick deals that got him where he is.

Firing James Comey was an act of ultimate hubris, ignorance, and what happens when you underestimate the limits of presidential power, a system of checks and balances built into our government by our founders.

“The loyalty oath dinner, the request to squash the Flynn investigation and Comey’s firing over Russia all point to a President Trump who has no respect for the rule of law, and doesn’t realize that he should not run the country the way he ran his businesses.” – Clint Watts [The Daily Beast]

America has no patience for a dictatorial autocrat, or a strongman, who is incompetent, and lies as easily as he breathes.

There will be more from James Comey, who wants to testify in public.

The resulting soap opera of 2016 will revolve around revealing the character of the ugly American president who now resides in the White House.

Time to bring out your “subpoena pen,” Mr. Chaffetz.

Some of the intelligence President Trump provided to Russian officials is so secret that American news organizations are still being asked not to report it, two U.S. officials told NBC News. The requests by U.S. intelligence officials cast doubt on the assertion by the president’s aides that the sharing was appropriate. [NBC News]