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Senate Committee Wants Comey's Testimony and Memos on Trump (UPDATE: Special Counsel Appointed)

The research over whether the president attempted to block an FBI investigation kicks in.

TrumpJohn Angelillo/UPI/NewscomEVENING UPDATE: The Justice Department announced this afternoon they have appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the investigation into any sort of relationship between the Russian government, President Donald Trump's associates during the election, and any sort of possible effort to manipulate the election.

Mueller will answer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and has been asked to investigate in three semi-specific areas:

  • Any links or coordination between the Russian government and anybody associated with Trump's presidential campaign
  • Any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation
  • Any matters within the scope of the authorized jurisdiction of special counsel. This includes any federal crimes that may arise from attempts to interfere with the investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, witness tampering, et cetera.

The second item would seem to cover an investigation of whether Trump attempted to interfere with the investigation or attempted to convince Jim Comey to shut it down. The third item would seem to cover any new attempts to try to meddle with Mueller's investigation.

Trump responded with a statement that there was no collusion between his campaign and any foreign entity and hoped the whole investigation would conclude quickly.

And for those who missed the news from earlier in the day:

In the wake of yesterday afternoon's New York Times report alleging fired former FBI Director James Comey had memos documenting President Donald Trump asking for an end to an investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to get their mitts on them.

Today the senators sent a letter to acting FBI head Andrew McCabe requesting copies of any and all memos that Comey "created memorializing interactions he had with Presidents Trump and Obama," as well as current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and other top Justice Dept. Officials. The letter is signed by committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and crime and terrorism subcommittee chair Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and ranking member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island). They've asked for the memos by May 24.

Furthermore, the Senate Intelligence Committee is asking for Comey to appear before the committee in both closed and open sessions to give testimony. (Update: The House Oversight Committee has scheduled a hearing on the matter for May 24 and is asking Comey to testify.)

This should not be taken to assume that impeachment is in the air, but it's simply the first step in what's probably going to be a very long process. Feinstein said the idea of impeachment should remain "off the table," until they know more of whether any of the claims within the Times story are true.

It does very much seem, though, that the various scandals and outrages over Trump's behavior and his administration are crystallizing over the question of whether he attempted to push Comey and the FBI away from investigating former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn on whether he had misled over his ties with Russia and communications with Russian officials. Without attempting to speculate as to whether this is a legitimate issue, it's pretty easy to predict that this is going to be taking up a few news cycles. This morning Jacob Sullum analyzed whether or how the concept of "obstructing justice" would or could come into play here.

Read the letter yourself below. In the meantime, Trump has been quiet on Twitter for once, but in a commencement speech for United States Coast Guard Academy graduates today complained that "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly."

MemoU.S. Senate

memoU.S. Senate

Photo Credit: JOHN ANGELILLO/UPI/Newscom

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  • Citizen X - #6||

    Damn, lemme get some more popcorn.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Over/under on President Pence by December?

  • esteve7||

    wouldn't over under by what day? you can't have an over under if you've already set the threshold.

    Yeah yet another fake scandal. If Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill on the tarmac didn't phase anyone on the left, I don't know why this is now.

    Trump will be like Reagan, unpopular until he gets reelected in a landslide

  • Calidissident||

    Trump might get reelected, depending on how things play in the next 3.5 years, but I don't see him or anyone else winning an election in a landslide given how polarized and divided the country is. Certainly not a Reagan 1984 style win. I don't really see the comparison to Reagan, who won his first election by almost 10 points in the popular vote (instead of losing by 2), won 44 states (instead of 30) and held Carter to 49 electoral votes (Clinton had 232 not counting faithless electors). The 1980 election wasn't as big a blowout as 1984, but it wasn't even remotely close. That is not true of 2016 at all.

  • Quixote||

    At any rate this investigation (or "research" as the author calls is) is great, because it furthers the administration's key goal of distracting public attention from the outrageous "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in our nation's leading criminal "satire" case. See the documentation at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Headache||

    Your kidding, right? Obama administration is over.

  • Quixote||

    The policy in this regard is, fortunately, continuous, and secured by the "deep state."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is the media acting like there is a divide.

    The people who voted for Trump will vote for Trump again. More people who experience the rolling back of rules will also vote for Trump. Less people will vote for whomever the DemoRats put up.

    So landslide away.

  • ||

    It depends a lot on who runs.

    Trump is no Reagan, just in terms of presentation if nothing else, and that's a handicap.

    Mondale was . . . not inspiring. And when I say "not inspiring" I mean "unappealing and off-putting in literally every way." He lacked everything that might be appealing in a Democrat (i.e. a lot of the things Clinton had), but also lacked everything that might be appealing to anyone who was not a Democrat (like a spine, a personality, a basic understanding of economics, etc.).

    Geraldine Ferraro didn't help, either. She came across as distinctly non-serious while debating Bush the Elder.

  • Calidissident||

    Are you actually convinced that Trump is beloved by everyone and that there actually aren't a lot of people who dislike him? Trump got 63 million votes. Clinton got 66. The vast majority of his supporters hated her and the vast majority of hers hated him. You're clinging to a fantasy if you think that's all gonna go away.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    More like President Ryan.

  • Loss of Reason||

    Vegas has odds

    And many punters think it won't be too long before he departs, with the odds of him leaving this year now into 12/5 from 11/2 — a 27% chance [up] from 16% before the latest allegations

  • SIV||

    The prediction markets had Trump under 20% on election day.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Popcorn? This calls for pork cracklins.

  • ||

    Hey Citizen,

    I have gone through 3 Large and now have a standing order for hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, and Jalapeno's.

    I wish though that we could get an A-movie to go with all these B-s

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Feinstein said the idea of impeachment should remain "off the table," until they know more of whether any of the claims within the Times story are true

    A measured voice of reason, and a fine-looking lady.

  • Odysseus||

    I lol'd.

    Side note: Anybody seen JATNAS around? I enjoyed his posts.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    He had an unfortunate accident on the golf course - his Uro Club got stuck in the spoke of a wheel of a golf cart wheel driven by a deaf man - so he no longer posts here.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Ask DanO. Maybe JATNAS defected, and DanO would know.

  • DOOMco||

    For a guy who doesn't can't (?) comment there, he sure spends a lot of time there.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    DanO gets paid good money to be here. Wouldn't you post a bunch of lefty nonsense if you were a lefty and got paid to do it.

  • Ecoli||

    Do you suppose Diane signed that memo so she find out what's in it?

  • Robbzilla||

    Man... you rock. Your taste in the ladies isn't exactly up to par, though. :D

  • ||

    Cruel, very cruel

  • Tak Kak||

    That they also want the ones about Obama makes this look much larger (and even less likely to go anywhere.)

  • ||

    But they did not ask for any with Clinton the Latter. :-)

    Nor did they ask for any tapes :-)

  • Dizzle||

    I thought the republicans would be too spineless or dumb to do that. Good on them, and hat tip to ken Schultz for calling this in the comments yesterday.

  • paranoid android||

    OT, but anyone else see the footage of Erdogan's goons beating up protesters in DC today? You know, they warned me that if I didn't vote for Trump, there'd be brutish foreigners and Islamists in our streets assaulting and victimizing Americans with impunity, and it turns out they were right!

  • chemjeff||

    Yeah it's kinda dumb to be talking about impeachment at this stage. Let's just see where the evidence leads.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Dude, the game is up. We know you Dems don't really want impeachment, you're just trying to drag out the process and force the GOP Congress to defend Trump.

    It's likely that most of the GOPers in Congress want him gone and would personally welcome impeachment and removal, but they can't actually allow it to happen because that would piss off the base.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""It's likely that most of the GOPers in Congress want him gone and would personally welcome impeachment and removal, but they can't actually allow it to happen because that would piss off the base.""

    I don't think they will impeach. It would give a win to the opposite team. That violates rule #1 of partisan politics.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Only because it pisses off your own base.

    It's indisputable that the GOP would be much better off if Trump was out of the picture. They have to be hoping against hope that he resigns.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    And yet here I am, disputing it. Trump won that nomination, while every other Republican candidate lost it.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    That's one hell of a non-sequitur.

  • paranoid android||

    There's part of me that believes there has to be some limit, even theoretically. As badly as Republicans wouldn't want to be seen as giving Dems a win, they didn't spend all that money and energy getting themselves elected for the sole purpose of running damage control for Trump 24/7. Shit's gotta get exhausting.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Rule #1 of partisan politics is keep the rubes up in arms so they keep voting for the team. The two parties are necessary to drive the fervor. It's world wide wrestling, with all the players getting rich and the rest of us wondering if any of it's real or not.

  • Calidissident||

    Because clearly chemjeff must be a Democrat if he criticizes Trump.

  • x'); DROP USER Tony;||

    The binary, partisan mind at work. So logically primitive and fallacious it's almost adorable, like a kitten with three legs.

    Wooooooooow.

    Ok, I'm calling it, this HAS to be a joke account. It's hard to imagine this line coming from someone being serious, even if they are as delusional and full of shit as Tony or shrike.

    Seriously, considering 3/4 of this dude's posts are lobbing accusations of being a Trump diehard at anyone who doesn't swallow every conspiracy theory about Trump uncritically, this was just a little bit TOO on the nose.

    I'm calling it now, this is purely a leftist shitposting parody account. Maybe...Tulpa?

  • notJoe||

    It was originally (?) AddictionMyth (Google the site), then dijal. IIRC both were banned. It's funny how many tics it manifests -- there's no mistaking the repetitive sub-2nd grade name-calling that runs through its posts, no matter the handle.

    It's become increasingly unhinged this year -- now it usually just makes slurping noises and randomly giggles out "General Cheeto" like it thinks it's passing out comedy gold.

    Just don't feed the thing and maybe it'll go away.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    If you block it, it kind of goes insane(r) at not being responded to.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Of course not. chemjeff's comment history identifies him as a leftist.

  • chemjeff||

    Really? What about my comment history, in your view, identifies me as a "leftist"?

  • chemjeff||

    That is true. Although I did have some cheddar popcorn last night. My hands probably looked like I had nibbled some cheetos.

  • notJoe||

    Comedy gold ladies and gentlemen, comedy gold!

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Anyone that doesn't defend Trump is a leftist. It is known.

  • junyo||

    Obama did it fir... Wait, are we at that part yet?

  • chemjeff||

    First, I'm not a Dem. I find it a bit amusing that you think I am though.
    Second, I don't really want impeachment just for the sake of the incredible circus it would create. But let's see where the facts lead.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    What do you have against circuses, chemical jeffrey?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Interesting. You're always towing the Dem party lion in your comments.

  • ||

    chemjeff is not a dem.

    he's a nevertrumper.

  • chemjeff||

    I am a Nevertrumper, for sure. And it gives me more than a little satisfaction to see that I was right about Trump all along. That he is a 70-year-old man child with no self-discipline and that he would be a disaster that, in the long run, would set back any possibility of any sort of reform of government in either a conservative or a libertarian direction for decades. By shifting the Overton window in his direction and AWAY from conventional conservative positions like limited government and free markets, he will be making it that much harder later on to shift it towards these subjects in the future.

  • Rhywun||

    You don't know that any of that is "right all along". How about waiting for, oh, his second hundred days to finish first?

  • Rhywun||

    That was a reply to chemjeff

  • chemjeff||

    Well, I think the "70-year-old man child with no self-discipline" description is nonetheless spot-on.

  • ||

    so Hillary would have been better for libertarian or conservative purposes? I don't see it that way. She is clearly more hostile to the 1st and 2nd amendments and whadya know, I've been right about that all along.

  • notJoe||

    "Trumpkin"!

    Amazing, simply amazing. Where do you get your witticisms?

  • chemjeff||

    "so Hillary would have been better for libertarian or conservative purposes?"

    Nope, she wouldn't have been better either. That's why I didn't vote for either of them.

  • ||

    so you don't think she would be worse than Trump on the 1st and 2nd?

  • chemjeff||

    "so you don't think she would be worse than Trump on the 1st and 2nd?"

    WHO CARES? They are BOTH AWFUL. Sheesh I am tired of this type of question. It is like asking "who are you going to hire in your business, the C- student or the D+ student?" MAYBE one is marginally better than the other, but in reality, BOTH fall far short of the standards and expectations for the job and I am at liberty to refuse to hire either one. Which is what I did when I refused to vote for either of them. Why try to rank two steaming piles of shit as to which is "less shitty"? It is pointless.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I think you are too pessimistic. Currently we have two parties that both stand for big government, just on different issues.

    The ideal situation in my mind, would be for the statists in both parties to join and make a single party, and then hopefully a small government opposition party would rise.

    I think it's the case that the GOP has had a massive re-alignment this time around. Maybe the axis will shift and my ideal situation will come about. That certainly wouldn't have happened with Clinton, Kasich, or any of the rest of the candidates for the last many years.

  • BYODB||

    Actually I'm pretty much 95% positive the Democrats do in fact want Trump impeached, they just know they don't have a snowballs chance in hell unless they can push these scandals 24/7 until the next election and use their own scandal-mongering as proof that they need more Democrats to 'get to the bottom' of the whole thing.

    It's a concerted effort to either put enough feelers out into the bureaucracy to see what surfaces or, if nothing is found, win back their seats and impeach him then. They don't really feel like they need a particular reason beyond Donnie isn't a Democrat anymore, apparently. It's obvious they don't believe their own hype on the Russia nonsense but it's also clear that they think something salacious enough to serve for a real reason might surface if they keep hammering.

    Pretty obvious to me, anyway.

  • Jerryskids||

    "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly."

    He just can't help himself, can he? He's always got to make these fat-head claims that he's the greatest, the best, the biggest, the world champion everything. He can't even add the caveat "that I know of", which would make the claim true given his world-class ignorance and incuriosity of the rest of the world outside of Donald Trump. Is he really unaware that character assassination doesn't hold a candle to the regular physical assassination that any number of politicians throughout history have experienced and that not all of them actually had it coming?

  • paranoid android||

    You know who else complained a lot about fairness?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Various children?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Fred James Cook?

  • Hugh Akston||

  • Citizen X - #6||

    -1 ear

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Scandanavian people who get bad sunburns?

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Netflix?

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    The evil queen in Sleeping Beauty, A Racist Tale?

  • B.P.||

    That was my thought too. "Well, Mr. President, a few of them have been actually whacked and stuff."

  • ||

    Yeah - just off the top of my head I'm gonna say Gaddafi might have gotten some slightly worse treatment, and that's pretty recent history, even.

  • crufus||

    Just a list of American politicians who were treated worse then Trump, not that a few of them didn't deserve it.

    Abraham Lincoln
    James A. Garfield
    William McKinley
    Huey Long
    Medgar Evers
    John F. Kennedy
    Malcolm X
    George Lincoln Rockwell
    Martin Luther King
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Marcus Foster
    Harvey Milk
    George Moscone
    Huey Newton
    Meir David Kahane

  • Adans smith||

    Jerry,he's just saying what almost every office holder thinks of themselves,he just says it out loud.

  • Calidissident||

    He's a narcissist with no filter, and what you see and hear is the end result of that.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    All politicians are narcissists, with varying but almost always large degrees of accompanying psychosis. The lack of a filter is relatively unique to Trump, however.

  • ||

    ^ This.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah I wasn't saying Trump's the first narcissist to hold office, but they usually have a much better filter than he does.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I am not sure Trump has a fitting for a filter.

  • Rhywun||

    The lack of a filter is relatively unique to Trump, however.

    And seemingly not the liability that progs and Beltway insiders think.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It's a liability to the dignity and prestige of the political class and its hangers-on.

  • Headache||

    The current political class is the enemy or the peoples' liberty.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Another one-sided anti-Trump article from Reason.

    If this request does not turn up any the memo in question, that would seem to prove that the memo never existed, the NYT report was a fabrication, and all the outlets that cited it (including Reason) were at best credulous dupes. Not that the left, the MSM, or probably Reason will accept such an outcome... they'll just say that the memo was lost, or Clinton supporter Andrew McCabe is hiding the memo for some reason.

    the various scandals and outrages over Trump's behavior

    None of these "scandals" have any evidence behind them other than the sayso of anonymous sources and long-discredited media outlets. As for the outrages, well, sorry you feel that way. Every president pisses some people off.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Another one-sided anti-Trump article from Reason.

    You read the piece and came to that conclusion?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Yes. The fact that he doesn't go full Robby and call for impeachment does not make it a fair or balanced article.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Except he is just reported the story.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Also, he just reported the story.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Not only that, he just reported the story.

  • paranoid android||

    Reporting straightforward facts about ongoing events is now evidence of mendacious bias if the author declines to spend at least 50% of the article entertaining the possibility that all of the facts presented within are lies invented by a conspiracy consisting of the New York Times editorial board, Hillary Clinton, Lena Dunham, and/or Descartes' genius malignus.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Genius Malignus was my nickname in elementary school.

  • chemjeff||

    You left out The Jews. C'mon, they've gotta be in on the conspiracy somehow!

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Well, the Israelis did purportedly provide some "intelligence" to Trump ...

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Why do you fine chaps bother?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    As the president of the local Fine Chaps organization, allow me to answer: it's fucking annoying, and most of, it's boring, and I would like it to stop.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    The same reasons to ignore him.

    It's been a while since I've gone through my Tulpadex, but he either is Tulpa or aspires to be.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    The same reasons to ignore him.

    This is true. I will bring this up at the next gathering of the Fine Chaps.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Assless chaps are the finest chaps.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Aren't all chaps assless? They just go around the legs.

  • Nyarlarrythotep||

    I learned just a few days ago that all chaps were assless, and from someone who knew. I was chagrined.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Fine Chaps was what they called me on the rodeo circuit.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Bullshit. He reported part of the story and mixed it with his opinion, all from the viewpoint of whether Trump will be impeached.

    He also claimed that Trump has had scandals, which is bullshit.

  • paranoid android||

    He also claimed that Trump has had scandals, which is bullshit.

    Wait, are you thinking of those shoes you wear to the beach? Those are sandals. I don't know of any reporting on whether or not Trump has any.

    We're talking about scandals, which are periods of intense negative press coverage following a prominent figure doing or saying something underhanded or very stupid, like Trump has virtually every day. I can see how you made the mistake.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Scandals are identified by what the observer considers to be a credible reason for outrage. They are not social phenomena that exist regardless of the substance justifying the conniption.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Let's see what Miriam Webster has to say about that:



    Definition of scandal

    1
    a : discredit brought upon religion by unseemly conduct in a religious personb : conduct that causes or encourages a lapse of faith or of religious obedience in another

    2
    : loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety : disgrace

    3
    a : a circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with itb : a person whose conduct offends propriety or morality a scandal to the profession

    4
    : malicious or defamatory gossip

    5
    : indignation, chagrin, or bewilderment brought about by a flagrant violation of morality, propriety, or religious opinion

    Definitely not 1, 4, or 5. 3 would require a disgraceful act or statement, which there is no proof of. The closest you're going to get is with 2, as it allows for an "apparent" violation rather than an actual one, but with zero evidence the accusations don't even rise to the level of apparentness.

  • creech||

    "any evidence behind them"

    Since when did notes compiled after (or even during) a meeting, by a participant, automatically become
    evidence? Sounds to me like "he said, she said" kind of evidence.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    At this point it's actually "he said, somebody said somebody said somebody said she said"

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Since there was a big-to-do regarding Robert Mueller's notes about Comey's visit to John Ashcroft's hospital room.

    The FBI's notes are held in high esteem.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    As is police testimony in criminal cases.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Then again, maybe not.

    In 1807, Burr was brought to trial on a charge of treason before the United States Circuit Court at Richmond, Virginia. His defense lawyers included Edmund Randolph, John Wickham, Luther Martin, and Benjamin Gaines Botts. Burr had been arraigned four times for treason before a grand jury indicted him. The only physical evidence presented to the Grand Jury was Wilkinson's so-called letter from Burr, which proposed the idea of stealing land in the Louisiana Purchase. During the Jury's examination, the court discovered that the letter was written in Wilkinson's own handwriting. He said he had made a copy because he had lost the original. The Grand Jury threw the letter out as evidence, and the news made a laughingstock of the general for the rest of the proceedings.
  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""The FBI's notes are held in high esteem.""

    Albeit not the FBI, but it was Scouter Libby's notes that got him convicted. What notes say can make the difference.

  • Headache||

    Not relevant. It's not Trump's note/memo.

  • Calidissident||

    Testimony (if the memo is real and Comey stands by it) is considered evidence, but it isn't proof without corroboration.

  • paranoid android||

    Well then, Trump might be saved by his legendary honesty and fastidious adherence to the truth.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Testimony (if the memo is real and Comey stands by it) is considered evidence

    The memo has not been provided and neither Comey nor anyone else with a name has testified. So my statement that "None of these "scandals" have any evidence behind them other than the sayso of anonymous sources and long-discredited media outlets." is correct.

    I know you reflexively disagree with everything I say, but come on.

  • Calidissident||

    I wasn't even responding to your comment. I was commenting in response to creech's question about the notes (written by a participant, meaning Comey and not a third party fabrication) being "evidence" or not, which obviously is working under the assumption that the notes in question exist and Comey stands by them.

    I don't see why Reason has to wait until if/when the memo is provided or acknowledged by Comey to even comment on the story. The allegations are news, and Shackford has been pretty clear about not assuming the allegations are valid.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    The allegations are news,

    Kinda like Tawana Brawley, yes?

  • chemjeff||

    "long-discredited media outlets"

    You realize that this is just a form of the ad hominem fallacy, right? A claim ought to be evaluated on its merits regardless of the source.

  • paranoid android||

    $10 says he wrote that in between sharing Breitbart articles on Facebook.

  • BYODB||

    Making bets is dangerous in these here parts...

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Hard to believe you can be this stupid and not be a Dem.

    The NYT isn't making a logical argument from first principles, or citing empirical evidence that can be independently evaluated. They are making an unverifiable and unfalsifiable claim about what some unidentified person told them. So considering their credibility is hardly an "ad hominem".

    By your logic, you should never consider the credibility of any source of any information ever.

  • chemjeff||

    No, you want to dismiss an NYT story because it was published in the NYT ("discredited media outlet"). That is the ad-hominem fallacy. Of course we should be skeptical of anonymous sources. But the fact that it was published in the NYT doesn't make it any less or more true or false.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Like I posted in another thread, the interesting part will be Comey's response about why he didn't report this in the first place, as he was legally and ethically obligated to do, if he thought that Trump's comments constituted obstruction in any way. If he thought this was obstruction, and sat on it for weeks instead of reporting it right away, he's in deep shit, too; if he didn't think it was obstruction at the time of the conversation, then it's going to be difficult for the Dems to make a legal case for bringing impeachment proceedings that doesn't look like a personal vendetta, and the Intelligence Committee is probably going to get pissed off that the FBI ended up wasting everyone's time.

    So Trump either drags Comey down with him, or the FBI gets its bell rung by Trump after this for conducting what amounts to a palace coup by the surveillance state.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, if the memo is real Comey will need to explain why he didn't act on it. And if he says it's because he didn't think it was obstruction then the line of attack is harder, but I suppose you could use hindsight to argue that given Comey's firing, it should be viewed as such. But it's a harder case to make. And if he says he did think it was, then he's putting himself in a vulnerable position.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I suppose you could use hindsight to argue that given Comey's firing, it should be viewed as such. But it's a harder case to make

    With that line, they'd probably get into whether he did put forth an official request for more resources before he got canned, but we haven't even seen an actual memo or email string on that leak, either, and McCabe already went on record saying that wasn't the case.

    It's starting to look like whoever conducted the leak did so without actually considering the legal and political ramifications, because there is incredible potential for some serious collateral damage to occur here.

  • Adam330||

    What law would have required him to report this? And to whom?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    See below where I poke holes in your stupid argument.

  • Dizzle||

    "Under the law, Comey is required to immediately inform the Department of Justice of any attempt to obstruct justice by any person, even the President of the United States. Failure to do so would result in criminal charges against Comey. (18 USC 4 and 28 USC 1361) He would also, upon sufficient proof, lose his license to practice law. "

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion.....owder.html

  • BYODB||

    Hate to point it out, but there are plenty of people who would absolutely not mind it one bit if both Comey and Trump were thrown onto a pyre.

    That alone has me concerned regardless of all the other very concerning things like lack of evidence, lack of corroboration, or the fact that a witch hunt is going on and no one seems to give a shit that it originated with wiretapping done by the government that sucked up Trump campaign conversations that should have an expectation of privacy.

    Unless we're all fine with the State keeping records of who all politicians talk with, 'just in case' those politicians decided that they want to reduce funding to the NSA or FBI.

  • Calidissident||

    Where have they accepted it as clearly true? This article doesn't assume it's true, literally all it does is report on the news that the House and Senate committees have asked for memos. Shackford says at one point that he's not speculating on if it's a legitimiate issue, and the one he wrote yesterday was pretty explicitly clear that it should not be assumed that all the allegations were true.

    I'm curious on what exactly you think their reaction should have been short of kneejerk "clearly fake news and slander against the God-Emperor!"

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Shackford's articles weren't as bad as Robby's, but they're all part of the Reason family and all stick up for each other.

  • Calidissident||

    Robby hasn't written any articles on this topic, are you talking about his tweets?

  • BYODB||

    Robby did indeed write an article a few days ago stating that we all know that Comey asked for more resources for the Trump investigation before being fired, and so he should be investigated.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Seriously?

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Dude, stop. Seriously.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    Fact: Red Rocks is Bodhi.

    Sorry about Grommet!

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    As a shame to my generation, I've never actually seen that movie.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    I've never been more disappointed in a Reason commenter.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Fortunately, the day isn't yet over.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Point Break was the finest piece of mainstream homosexual erotica since Top Gun.

  • chemjeff||

    "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly."

    Senator Charles Sumner was unavailable for comment.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Sumner was an asshole who slandered people in his speeches on the Senate floor, and then hid behind the constitutional protections against slander claims when anyone threatened legal actions. All that's been whitewashed from history books of course, just like Lincoln's support of a constitutional amendment to protect slavery from a federal ban.

  • Calidissident||

    Oh no he slandered the poor innocent Southern plantation owners, he clearly had it coming!

    Why am I not surprised to see you defend this?

  • Chip Your Pets||

    Bad people still have rights.

  • Calidissident||

    The right to not be criticized on the floor of Congress isn't one of them.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    You don't read too good. Slander is not the same thing as criticism.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    And I wasn't defending the beating of Sumner, just pointing out that he continually provoked it and blocked the normal peaceful means for settling such disputes.

  • Calidissident||

    He provoked it by calling out the Southern slaveowners and their enablers as the shitheads that they were. He didn't block anything peaceful, Brooks wanted to duel him for insulting his cousin by decided to beat him when told that you should only duel someone of equal social standing.

  • Chip Your Pets||

    He did criticize slavery, a criticism with which I obviously agree, but he went beyond that and made slanderous statements about members of Congress and their families.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, living down "Moobs" your whole life ain't easy.

    Oh...

  • damikesc||

    Man, you are Jonesing HARD for impeachment, ain't ya Scott?

  • B.P.||

    If impeachment goes down, the right (or whatever Trump's constituency is) may actually get as street-violent as the left.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Street Violence was my nickname in college.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Depending on the street.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Castro?

  • colorblindkid||

    Nope. The actual "alt-right" is a tiny internet movement dispersed around the country. We won't see the types of mass violence and protests from the right.

  • Tak Kak||

    I don't think that's what was said, the alt-right isn't the bulk of Trump's constituency. They're actually getting in fights with them (literally in some instances)

  • Chip Your Pets||

    No way. The right will scream on talk radio and make shitloads of YouTube video about how the media perpetrated a coup, but they won't get violent. They have non-government jobs (ie no union time off for political activity) and families to take care of. There really is no right-wing equivalent of a black bloc.

  • DOOMco||

    *swings by gun store*

  • Chip Your Pets||

    it's a buyer's market right now....

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Been one for years.

  • Adans smith||

    'Look,I wrote this in my little book,he said it' Did not' 'Did too,just ask Clapper!' Trump's saving grace may be that is enemies are incompetent,liars,or both.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    How much does it pay?

  • colorblindkid||

    And who, in your demented mind, is an "honest and objective" observer?

  • Tak Kak||

    The NAP isn't real.

  • Ecoli||

    Is there any evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians?

  • x'); DROP USER Tony;||

    We have yet to even see any evidence of the Russians alone.

  • Brian||

    It's funny that this is what bothers people: leaks of conversations behind closed doors, the kind of which practically everyone who isn't naive would assume happen every day with everyone in DC. Or foreign business interests? Gee, that's never happened before.

    Anything to avoid talking about actual policies.

    Because the presidency was dominated by Josiah Barletts until this fellow Trump came along, acting completely inappropriately.

    And now the powers that be will scream and shout until Trump goes away, and our long national nightmare ends, and we can go back to all the usual Josiah Bartletts that lead us from D.C., and life can go on, as usual, just as Americans want.

    Popcorn is delicious.

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    I WISH JOSIAH BARTLETT COULD BE OUR PRESIDENT!

  • Brian||

    YOU DONT DESERVE JOSIAH BARTLETT BECAUSE YOU MESSED UP DEMOCRACY, AMERICA!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The ideal is The West Wing, but the reality is straight up Veep. You think Sean Spicer's never invented a dog so that he had an excuse to go home early?

  • Crusty Juggler aka "Chad"||

    C.J. NEVER INVENTED A DOG, AND SAM NEVER CHOKED A CAT!

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    For the record, I am a nevercatchoker. But I do invent dogs at times. For example, I once invented a Dachsund/Great Dane mix to take all my orphans to market.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    NEVER CHOKED A CAT

    Chicken, mebbe, but never a cat.

  • DOOMco||

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    A small but important detail:

    "How fast does reason.com load?

    Slow (2.253 Seconds), 65% of sites are faster".

    Jammed up with squirrels and sock puppets, no doubt.

  • chipper me timbers||

    what wonderful theatre this all is. Just amazing. I couldn't have hoped for better when Trump was elected. I mean, I had my hopes that it would be an entertaining circus show but this has really surpassed all my expectations.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I expect government to be destructive.

    I'm appreciative when they are entertaining...

  • GILMORE™||

    An op-ed points out some obvious facts about 'obstruction of justice' which make the memo effectively useless as "evidence" of anything

    To wit = If Comey had perceived any attempt by Trump to obstruct justice (which is the secondhand claim made by someone interpreting Comey's notes) it would have been Comey's responsibility as an officer of the law to IMMEDIATELY document and report it to other law enforcement officials. Failure to do so would be a crime. (18 U.S. Code § 4 – Misprision of felony)

    Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

    IOW, an interpretation of the notes as evidence of obstruction of justice *requires* assuming the Comey intentionally broke the law by failing to report it. The fact he failed to report it is prima facie evidence that no such perception existed.

  • GILMORE™||

    as the op-ed author put it =

    by writing a memo, Comey has put himself in a box. If he now accuses the President of obstruction, he places himself in legal jeopardy for failing to promptly and properly report it. If he says it was merely an uncomfortable conversation, he clears the president of wrongdoing and sullies his own image as a guy who attempted to smear the man who fired him.

    Its also something that any outfit like the NYT should have already known prior to publishing their claims.

  • colorblindkid||

    Can you imagine the NYT reporting on a story about Obama based solely on a friend of Comey reading a note over the phone, without ever seeing the note itself?

  • Adam330||

    Bull. First, the case law on that statute requires the person to take affirmative steps to conceal the crime of the principal. United States v. Goldberg, 862 F.2d 101, 104 (6th Cir. 1988). "Mere knowledge of the commission of the felony or failure to report the felony, standing alone, is insufficient to support a conviction for a misprision of a felony." Second, according to the NYTimes story, he did tell other FBI officials. Third, he himself was the a person in civil authority.

  • GILMORE™||

    standing alone, is insufficient to support a conviction for a misprision of a felony."

    Simply because its 'insufficient to convict by itself' doesn't at all affect the point of how one would interpret the memo.

    iow, the idea that the memo presents evidence of obstruction is highly doubtful, considering that the FBI director never made a single mention of it in any other capacity, despite being obligated to do so by law.

    according to the NYTimes story, he did tell other FBI officials

    [citation needed]

  • GILMORE™||

    the NYT report says he "shared the existence of the memo" with others.

    That says absolutely nothing about reporting a claim of obstruction of justice.

  • Adam330||

    Keep reading. I know it's hard.
    "After writing up a memo that outlined the meeting, Mr. Comey shared it with senior F.B.I. officials. Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump's comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret — even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation — so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation."

  • GILMORE™||

    It still says nothing about reporting a claim of obstruction..

    they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret

    Again = if they actually believed there were any obstruction attempt, keeping this secret was a violation of law.

    the entire point which you seem to miss is that the only person who considered these memos evidence of a crime are the flaks at the NYT who *never even saw it*

  • Adam330||

    are you serious? They are the head of the main federal law enforcement agency? are you actually saying that the senior leaders of the fbi have a legal obligation to go announce to congress or the public or someone else everytime they have evidence of a felony? that's so insane that i can't believe anyone could believe it.

  • GILMORE™||

    are you actually saying

    No, that's a strawman. Go back to post #1 and start over.

    There is zero evidence of obstruction. If there were, they would have documented it beyond some thirdhand interpretation of a memo which no one has seen.

    Claiming it is evidence of obstruction is prima facie implausible because it assumes the FBI director has kept evidence of a crime secret, which is a violation of law.

    Go read nick's piece. I think you need some TDS therapy

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump's comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret — even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation — so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation

    Are they seriously arguing that revealing a President's supposed attempt to affect an investigation would harm the investigation? You dopes are arguing that the President committed what amounts to an impeachable offense, and Comey and his deputies just sat on it for weeks. That makes no sense at all, unless you want to take the position that the head of the FBI is willing to overlook actual lawbreaking just to keep an investigation supposedly pristine.

    are you actually saying that the senior leaders of the fbi have a legal obligation to go announce to congress or the public or someone else everytime they have evidence of a felony?

    You mean like when Comey did exactly that with Hillary's emails to Huma a week before the election?

  • Adam330||

    Except he was not obligated to report it by law. You're making that up. And you can go read the times story for yourself.

  • GILMORE™||

    he was not obligated to report it by law.

    Who to trust? The actual letter of 18 U.S. Code § 4 , or you? hmmmm

  • Adam330||

    or the sixth circuit.

  • GILMORE™||

    again, your cite has nothing to do with how one can plausibly understand the contents of the memo, and has to do with a standard of evidence for prosecution.

    if you're a lawyer, you're a pretty fucking dense one.

  • Adam330||

    You're right. I'm just too dense to understand how he could have violated a statute that didn't require him to report anything and, even if it did, he complied with by reporting the conversation to multiple senior FBI officials. I'll leave that to legal eagles like you.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I'm just too dense to understand how he could have violated a statute that didn't require him to report anything

    Your words earlier:

    requires the person to take affirmative steps to conceal the crime of the principal.

    From the article you cited:

    Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump's comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret

    "Look guys, this may be obstruction of justice, but we'll just keep this hidden so it doesn't affect the investigation." So what the article and you are saying is that Comey and his deputies thought it *might* be obstruction, but hedged their bets by keeping the conversation a secret. Either they weren't sure if it was obstruction, which you'd think they'd have enough experience to discern and will effectively dampen this memo as evidence, or they knew it was and decided to sit on it, which would constitute an affirmative action to hide felonious behavior. Either way, you're not exactly covering yourself in glory here.

  • GILMORE™||

    a statute that didn't require him to report anything

    wrong

    and, even if it did, he complied with by reporting the conversation to multiple senior FBI officials

    Wrong again. all you have any evidence of is that the existence of a memo was shared. Nowhere is there any claim that the memo is by itself documenting a claim of obstruction of justice; that interpretation is being made entirely second and third-hand by anonymous figures and NYT reporters.

    Not only did Comey not make any specific claim of Obstruction to his peers, he testified the opposite only 2 weeks ago.

    To believe your bullshit rationale, Comey had to have

    - told his colleages that he believed a crime occurred, but neither he nor any of these (anonymous, FWIW) colleagues actually made any record of this claim beyond retaining a highly subjective memo...
    - And that all of them kept this a secret for 3 months...
    - and that comey lied under oath to congress when he said there had been no pressure on his investigations.

    Yes, I think you're pretty fucking dense.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    ^Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

  • Sevo||

    DanO.|5.17.17 @ 9:45PM|#
    "^ Times Derangement Syndrome"
    ^ DanO the Imbecile Syndrome.
    Oh, and did I mention you should fuck off?

  • BYODB||

    "Today the senators sent a letter to acting FBI head Andrew McCabe requesting copies of any and all memos that Comey "created memorializing interactions he had with Presidents Trump and Obama," as well as current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and other top Justice Dept. Officials."


    Uh oh, well someone might get in trouble but I wonder if it will be the person everyone expects?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly."

    Jesus, and I thought Hillary at my commencement speech was narcissistic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would Trump ever think that the left and media calling for impeach within 120 days of a new presidency based on completely legal behavior by the President?

  • Sevo||

    And DanO is stupid enough to mention al the irrelevant issues!
    DanO: Imbecile of the
    uh, a very, very long time...

  • ||

    You know if any country wanted to invade the US it would when its populace and so called leaders were so focused on 'fighting' each other they would not notice them.

    Have we not got more important things that our 'leaders' should be thinking about. A bipartisan suggestion.

  • Galane||

    We should believe notes Comey wrote about a meeting he had with Trump, and nobody else? Why?

    Since Comey refused to go after Hillary when it's crystal clear she broke some real serious laws and regulations just by using an insecure e-mail server outside government security control for Secretary of State correspondence, there's no reason for anyone to trust him on anything.

  • Scott S.||

    Updated with the news of the special counsel appointment.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Mueller will answer to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and has been asked to investigate in three semi-specific areas...

    First Trump asks the FBI not to investigate, now Justice is asking them to investigate. Why won't everyone just stop putting pressure on the Bureau??? It's tearing them apart!

  • josh||

    "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly."

    Didn't they shoot politicians once or twice?

    Plus, not that the Coast Guard is necessarily the Marines, but complaining about how unfair people are to you before a bunch of military is a special kind of low, even if people are out to get you.

  • Sevo||

    DanO.|5.17.17 @ 9:48PM|#
    "Poor Trump."

    Poor DanO. No poster here has ever been so imbecilic.
    Oh, and did I mention fuck off?

  • The Divine Reactionoid||

    Good doggy. Now if only we could house train you.

  • Agammamon||

    Trump responded with a statement that there was no collusion between his campaign and any foreign entity and hoped the whole investigation would conclude quickly.

    So does that mean that once the investigation is concluded - and finds no misconduct - then Trump will still spend 2 years in jail for a 1001 violation?
  • paranoid android||

    I think the best outcome would be the investigation concluding in a few months with an announcement that while Trump was very careless and may even have acted illegally, there was no clear intent to break the law, and no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.

  • Brian||

    At this point, I'm getting pushed in Trump's camp.

    Sure, he's an asshole, and he's no libertarian. Normally, is be warning people to look out for him.

    But, to watch the powers that be's heads explode in union over he course of 100 days, as they feign concern and outrage over issues you know they don't really care about, except for hating Trump: I'm starting to lean his way. Maybe I made a mistake, and we should give this Trump guy a chance.

  • Sevo||

    Brian|5.17.17 @ 11:34PM|#
    "But, to watch the powers that be's heads explode in union over he course of 100 days, as they feign concern and outrage over issues you know they don't really care about, except for hating Trump: I'm starting to lean his way. Maybe I made a mistake, and we should give this Trump guy a chance."

    If you log on to IE (which I do for this site only), you'll get a constant stream of 'Trump is a poopyhead and now some other worthless critter agrees'.
    Good. Let those folks rip their hair out screaming about how Trump is totally disorganized, causing all sorts of problems with the amount of funding here or there, appointing people who don't really like the agencies they are to lead.
    Stir it up! Make those gov't junkies dance! Make it so uncomfortable, they decide to try to find a job!

  • chemjeff||

    Oh you've got to be kidding me. You are feeling sorry for Trump the Victim? The most powerful man on the planet?

  • Brian||

    Not really. It's more like my bullshit detector is going off just as much for both sides now.

    Trump may talk out his ass, but at least he isn't claiming we need to oust his every political opponent from congress on the grounds that, yes, really, they're worse than Adolf Nixon.

  • Brian||

    Seems like the whole world thinks paranoid hyperventilating is high brow political discourse.

    Sorry: you don't get to be the adult in the room acting like a drama queen.

  • Brian||

    Yes, but you have silly nicknames for politicians you don't like, and seem to have some bizarre, obsessive, butt-hurt vendetta against the commentariat here.

    Not exactly an unbiased, reasoned, mature observer of fact, now, are you?

  • Brian||

    I'm actually just fine, thanks.

    You on the other hand...

    Pro-tip: "obsessed commenting" isn't a good look.

  • Brian||

    Sure: sounds like you've reached your response content limit.

  • The Divine Reactionoid||

    It watched several TV channels for perspective, this demonstrates it's sophistication.

  • Sevo||

    "The Justice Department announced this afternoon they have appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the investigation into any sort of relationship between the Russian government, President Donald Trump's associates during the election, and any sort of possible effort to manipulate the election."

    Anyone care to put this into concrete statements?
    "Any sort" of "possible effort" to "manipulate the election".
    WIH does that mean? Did Putin fart in the Hag's general direction?

  • Sevo||

    Sorry I haven't cruised 200+ comments; has Tony showed up to scream "TREASON!!!!"?
    Has he yet gotten around to defining what that means, other than he doesn't like Trump?

  • The Divine Reactionoid||

    Yeah those Republicans are really shitting their pants, while they pretty much control all of the Federal government right now.

    Quaking in their boots at the incredibly remote possibility of replacing one Republican with another Republican.

    God damn, you're fucking stupid.

  • eyeroller||

    Is it possible that media execs are paying Trump to say the things he says?

    NYTgate?

  • The Divine Reactionoid||

    So the World's Smartest Man owns horses? So this guy must be rich too?

    Again... god damn, you're pathetic at this.

  • Lester224||

    I'd like to see Trump impeached just because he is so damm embarrassing. They have to adjust their presentations at international meetings to fit into his 3 minute attention span.

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