James Comey Speaks, Law Versus the Carnival Barker

I felt compelled to document my first conversation with the President-Elect in a memo. To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an FBI vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting. Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward. This had not been my practice in the past. – James Comey

THE SEVEN-PAGE statement by former FBI Director James Comey ricocheted across Washington, laying the foundation for what may be heard today.

No two men could be more different.

James Comey as the nemesis to the villain Donald Trump.

I remember Watergate as if it was yesterday. I had the privilege of interviewing James Dean when I was living in Los Angeles. No one could have been less flamboyant. James Comey is in that mold. Not since that time has our country been in such a roiling scandal. Donald Trump didn’t hire burglars, however. Trump brought the Russian government inside our election process, sought common cause with the Kremlin, all to amass more power that could lead to more wealth.

Once again, I feel we’re inside a cover-up, which is always worse than the crime in politics. Trump is not seen as a target of the investigation at this point, but why anyone in Trumpland would feel comforted by that reveals the skiing along illegal lines going on inside Trump’s inner circle.

Senator Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, is someone to watch today.

Senator Marco Rubio, as well, will have a chance to resurrect establishment Republicans, if he will follow Senator Richard Burr‘s lead.

Obstruction of justice is the current query everyone is batting around.

The act of releasing Comey’s 7-page statement the day before his testimony had to knock the Trump defense team back on their heels.

“No smoking gun” is how Trump and his fans are seeing it after the transcript of Comey’s prepared testimony was released.

Donald Trump has no one to blame but himself. The same goes for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The Trump family appears to have tentacles that reach inside the Kremlin through friends of Putin. Capitalism isn’t a defense. Ignorance can be.

Whatever you believe about James Comey, he has earned the right to describe conduct unbecoming of a president and commander in chief, which he witnessed first hand in a request to stop the Russian investigation that began with Michael Flynn.

“Threatening communication to impede a federal investigation,” that’s the part of the obstruction of justice statute that should give Trump and his lawyers pause.

…and don’t forget the firing of Preet Bharara, who’s at the hearing today.

It is Robert Mueller who will have the last word, not Donald Trump.

Comey’s statement lays out a case against the president that consists of a tidy pattern, beginning with the demand for loyalty, the threat to terminate Comey’s job, the repeated requests to turn off the investigation into Flynn and the final infliction of career punishment for failing to succumb to the president’s requests, all followed by the president’s own concession about his motive. Any experienced prosecutor would see these facts as establishing a prima facie case of obstruction of justice. – Philip Allen Lacovara (Former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, served as counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski.) [The Washington Post]

UPDATE: James Comey “stunned” at President Trump’s request to “let it go,” regarding Flynn investigation. During the time before he was fired, Comey relayed to senior FBI leadership what Trump was asking him, sometimes going to the Justice Department. Comey, again and again, accused Trump of “lies,” and that he “defamed” the FBI. Comey’s statements about Lynch and Bill Clinton is exactly what I’ve been writing about, continually: This meeting blew Comey’s mind, which he believed compromised Lynch and the Justice Department, putting more pressure on the FBI.