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Trump May Commit a Felony to Cover Up Nonexistent Crimes

The president's implausible and gratuitous contradiction of Comey could be a crime if he repeats it to federal investigators.

White HouseWhite HouseDuring a press conference on Friday, Donald Trump claimed former FBI Director James Comey's Senate testimony last week showed there was "no collusion" between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives who tried to help him win.

Trump said it was also clear from Comey's account of his interactions with the president that there was "no obstruction" of the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

Comey's testimony did not in fact prove either of those propositions. They may nevertheless be true.

Based on what we know at this point, it is entirely possible that none of Trump's associates had anything to do with the Russian operation. It is also entirely possible that Trump's conversations with Comey did not amount to obstruction of justice. But Trump is now setting himself up to commit a felony by lying about those conversations to federal investigators.

Reiterating what his personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, had said the day before, Trump denied asking Comey to drop the FBI's investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. "I didn't say that," he said.

Trump is not merely saying that he never ordered Comey to drop the investigation. He is saying that he never said anything like the quotation that Comey attributes to him: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." As Kasowitz put it, "The President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that Mr. Comey 'let Flynn go.'"

Trump also emphatically denied that he had asked Comey for his loyalty. "I hardly know the man," he said. "I'm not going to say, 'I want you to pledge allegiance.' Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? I mean, think of it. I hardly know the man. It doesn't make sense. No, I didn't say that, and I didn't say the other."

Asked if he would be "willing to speak under oath to give your version of those events," Trump responded, "One hundred percent." Asked if he would repeat his denials to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian election interference as well as possible obstruction of that probe, Trump said, "I would be glad to tell him exactly what I just told you."

Assuming Trump follows through on that commitment and assuming that Comey is telling the truth (more on that in a minute), the president would be committing a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Notably, Trump maintains that it would have been perfectly appropriate for him to intercede on Flynn's behalf. "There would be nothing wrong if I did say it, according to everybody that I've read today," he said at the press conference, confusing the argument that he did nothing illegal with the argument that he did nothing improper. Trump takes a similar view of asking for Comey's loyalty. "No, no, I didn't," Trump said on Fox News last month. "But I don't think it would be a bad question to ask." (That is rather different from what he said on Friday, when he described the very notion as absurd.)

By Trump's own account, then, contradicting Comey's account of his statements is totally unnecessary. Yet that is what he seems determined to do.

Given Trump's unambiguous denials, there is not much room here for misremembering or misinterpretation. One of these men has to be lying. Despite the lack of firsthand evidence, there can be little doubt which one it is.

No one else was present for these conversations, and Trump's suggestion that they might have been surreptitiously recorded is almost certainly a bluff. "You're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer," he told a reporter who asked about the hypothetical "tapes" he mentioned in a May 12 tweet.

Yet Comey's reaction to the possibility of an audio record enhances his credibility. "Lordy, I hope there are tapes," he said in his testimony before the Senate Intelligene Committee on Thursday. "The president surely knows if there are tapes. If there are, my feelings aren't hurt. Release the tapes."

Comey took contemporaneous notes that are consistent with his testimony, and he apparently discussed the conversations with other FBI officials at the time. Several witnesses, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, can confirm that the president insisted on talking to Comey alone when they discussed Flynn and that Comey was uncomfortable with his overtures.

Trump's own son, Donald Jr., already has contradicted his father's account of what he said about Flynn. "When [my father] tells you to do something, guess what, there's no ambiguity in it," the younger Trump said in a Fox News interview on Saturday. "There's no, 'Hey I'm hoping.' ...'Hey, I hope this happens, but you get to do your job.' That's what he told Comey."

That defense is one way to rebut the charge that the president tried to obstruct justice. But it is not the defense that he and his lawyer have chosen. They are not saying that "I hope" fell short of a command. They are saying Trump never said it, period.

Of all the considerations that weigh in favor of believing Comey rather than Trump, the most important one is this: Only one of these men is a notorious liar, a man prone to prevarication about matters great and small, no matter how readily his statements can be disproved.

"I can definitively say the president is not a liar," Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday. "It's frankly insulting that that question would be asked." The briefing was off camera, so I don't know whether Sanders was able to say that with a straight face. As a counterproductive defense, "the president is not a liar" ranks with "I'm not a crook." If you have to say it, you are already in serious trouble.

Just how serious is apparent from Trump's insistence that Comey's testimony vindicated him. Kasowitz noted that Comey recalled Trump saying "it would be good to find out" if there were "some 'satellite' associates of his who did something wrong" in connection with Russia and the election.

Kasowitz also pointed out that Comey "has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told the president privately: The president was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference." Kasowitz wants us to view Comey as a reliable source when it comes to statements that count in Trump's favor and as a baldfaced liar when it comes to statements that make him look bad.

Yet Comey's willingness to concede points helpful to Trump—that he raised the Flynn investigation only once, for instance, or that he never broached the subject of the broader Russia investigation—makes his story all the more believable.

It's not clear why Trump is intent on contradicting Comey's account when he could agree with it and still mount a credible defense. But he seems to have trouble thinking clearly about anything related to the Russia investigation, which threatens his ego by raising the possibility that he might not have won the election without foreign interference.

"Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction," the president told reporters on Friday. "We are doing really well. That was an excuse by the Democrats who lost an election that some people think they shouldn't have lost, because it's almost impossible for the Democrats to lose the Electoral College, as you know. We have to run up the whole East Coast and you have to win everything as a Republican. And that's just what we did. So it was just an excuse. But we were very, very happy. And frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said. And some of the things that he said just weren't true."

Trump said that in response to this question: "Why [do] you feel that [Comey's] testimony vindicated you when it really boils down to his word against your word?" Logically speaking, the question of what Trump said to Comey about Flynn is distinct from the question of whether the Trump campaign was in touch with Russian email hackers, which is in turn distinct from the question of whether the embarrassing material they stole had a decisive impact on the election.

But it all seems to be jumbled together in Trump's mind, which may help explain why he could be on the verge of committing a felony to cover up nonexistent crimes.

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  • Rich||

    Assuming Trump follows through on that commitment and assuming that Comey is telling the truth (more on that in a minute), the president would be committing a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

    Meh. No reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.

  • mortiscrum||

    I'm guessing there's a few reasonable prosecutors who would...just a hunch though.

    Not that it really matters. Impeachment, the most present threat to a president who's acting improperly, doesn't have a lot to do with legality.

  • BYODB||

    We've already established that lying under oath isn't enough to remove a sitting President even after they've been impeached for these exact charges, RE: Bill Clinton.

    So, yeah, not sure why it matters if Trump did or didn't or does. I know impeachment doesn't necessarily rest on precedent, but we can literally point to another modern President who did the same thing and it went no where. Why is this one different, when the charges are literally the same charges? Obstruction of justice, and perjury. Right?

  • mortiscrum||

    Not sure what you're getting at with Clinton, as he was run out of office. It may not have gone through all of the procedural hurdles of impeachment, but it amounted to the same thing.

    Impeachment is an incredibly nebulous thing. The only real bar for impeachment is "does this make the president unpopular enough that Congress thinks it's political possible/advantageous to boot the president out?" Obviously, it hasn't gotten bad enough for Republicans to turn on their own party (which I can understand in a self-serving type of way, even if I don't like it). It's also just as obvious that if ANY president had the events swirling around them that Trump does now, and Congress was controlled by the opposition party, impeachment would be a hell of a lot more serious - if not formally underway.

  • jmomls||

    *Not sure what you're getting at with Clinton, as he was run out of office*

    Greetings from your alternate dimension, where WJC didn't last two terms.

  • mortiscrum||

    There I go, looking like an idiot....

    I was 12 when it happened. I plead age.

  • BYODB||

    I won't mention that but I will mention that unless Republicans vote to remove Trump from office, which is pretty unlikely, that it has absolutely zero chance of happening. (2/3 majority of the senate required)

    So, yeah, there's that as well. Note that in Clinton's trial not a single Democrat voted to oust Clinton even though the charges themselves had merit.

    What democrats are essentially saying is, this time around the charges have no merit but that means that Trump has to go. A bizarre reversal of the way one would think it works, but there it is.

    I would educate yourself about Bill Cliton's impeachment though since I can virtually guarantee there are going to be comparisons to that flying pretty fast here. Well, at least I would expect that there would be except it's a Clinton so perhaps they'll prefer to leave that one down the memory hole. Sadly, I suspect it will be the latter option leaving voters with the same uneducated opinions. It will be obvious how much water they're carrying for the Clinton's should the comparison fail to make it onto the news.

  • JilliBrown||

    Wait...it was Gingrich who was run out of office, right?

  • Principal Spittle||

    This piece is better suited for Slate or buzzfeed.

    The click bait title is just dumb. No one would read it if you headed it up with "I think Trump is a liar" and contradicting law enforcement, even in sworn testimony is not a crime.
    I expect better from Reason.

  • Principal Spittle||

    This piece is better suited for Slate or buzzfeed.

    The click bait title is just dumb. No one would read it if you headed it up with "I think Trump is a liar" and contradicting law enforcement, even in sworn testimony is not a crime.
    I expect better from Reason.

  • BambiB||

    A Demoncrap prosecutor would... oh wait. You said "reasonable".

    Never mind.

    One of these men has to be lying. Despite the lack of firsthand evidence, there can be little doubt which one it is.

    Correction: One or more has to be lying.
    Personally, I think Comey is a very accomplished sleaze bag. Not because I'm a Trump fan. (I didn't even vote for him.) But when I look back at how Comey let Clinton of the hook for her 3,000+ criminal violations related to mishandling of classified information - trying to defuse the situation weeks prior to the election by giving all the information needed for a criminal prosecution - then saying "there's no crime"... That REEKS of political toadyism. It's akin to a murder investigation where they have a video confession, video of the murder being committed, a score of eyewitnesses, motive, opportunity, Hitlery's fingerprints on the murder weapon in the victim's blood (found in the hip pocket of her pants suit)... and declaring, "She obviously didn't do it."

    This was followed up when the Wiener investigation turned up thousands of classified emails a few days before the election. Comey moved quickly to dispel the notion that this was any evidence of Hitlery's wrong-doing. He's a Clinton flack, and as dishonest and flaky as they come. Trump did the right thing firing Comey... perhaps for the wrong reasons.

    You know, Trump may blunder his way into a halfway-decent presidency after all!

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh yeah. Sure. It didn't matter when a Democrat committed perjury. But now it matters when a Republican does? That just shows that Reason is a liberal rag. Just a bunch of progressive homos who smoke pot, but deep down are really all Democrats. Every single one. If they were real libertarians then they would have been all over Clinton when he did the same thing, but there weren't. I'm not even going to do any research to back up my assertion because I'm John and I know everything. Democrat rag!

    /Red Tony

  • Citizen X - #6||

    John's not here, man.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    +1 mind reading warlock

  • Hank Phillips||

    The very idea that one of _our_ looter politicians or gun-wielding bureaucrat-thugs might stoop to untruth is... is...

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    Clinton lied about getting a bj. He didn't pressure the FBI Director to not investigate a friend of his. And yet Republicans were eager to impeach him.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "But Trump is now setting himself up to commit a felony by lying about those conversations to federal investigators."
    "By Trump's own account, then, contradicting Comey's account of his statements is totally unnecessary. Yet that is what he seems determined to do."

    You are making the mistake of assuming that Comey was telling the truth about conversations he had with Trump. Trump does not have to speak with any Special Counsel, as he has Executive Privilege. If he does, maybe Trump does not want to lie by confirming what Comey said to the Senate.

  • ThomasD||

    Not a mistake, just a form of religious belief.

  • JilliBrown||

    The church of character judgement?

    We're talking the equivalent of Goofus and Gallant here. Denying reality and believing that a majority - or even a plurality - think trump is honest and comey is not, is pure delusion. People make character judgments, thats just reality, and on that account, trump is in a really deep hole.

  • Jerryskids||

    LOL - of all the shit Trump says his saying he'd be willing to testify under oath is the thing you choose to believe? Remember when Trump said he'd release his medical records and his tax returns and start acting presidential? Yeah, that shit never happened either.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Wait, so being a loudmouth narcissist suddenly isn't "acting presidential" anymore?

  • Discordia||

    I mean that's part of acting presidential but it isn't the whole shebang.

  • Jerryskids||

    Trump is certainly capable of offering to testify - under certain conditions. One of those conditions is going to include absolute immunity, including immunity from any charges arising from lying to Congress. IOW - Trump will agree to testify as long as he's given the right to lie his ass off as much as he pleases. When Congress rejects this offer, Trump is then free to attack them for not being willing to meet his perfectly reasonable requests, for so unfairly demanding that he walk into the trap that those lying liars have set for him. Sad! And Congress is stupid enough to fall for that sort of crap.

  • ThomasD||

    All that time hob knobbing with the Clintons had to rub off.

  • obijuan||

    Maybe audio tapes don't exist, but surely security footage does.

  • Rich||

    Like this?

  • Citizen X - #6||

  • damikesc||

    Trump is not merely saying that he never ordered Comey to drop the investigation. ...As Kasowitz put it, "The President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that Mr. Comey 'let Flynn go.'"

    We only have Comey's word, which isn't worth much. "Hand written notes" are, literally, no better than what somebody says.

    Given that the investigation did not stop, it is clearly not obstruction. If you think you'll prove a felony based on differences in interpretation of comments, you're delusional.

    Trump also emphatically denied that he had asked Comey for his loyalty. "I hardly know the man," he said. "I'm not going to say, 'I want you to pledge allegiance.' Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath? I mean, think of it. I hardly know the man. It doesn't make sense. No, I didn't say that, and I didn't say the other."

    And even Comey never claimed Trump said that. As we saw, as well, Trump would've been well-advised to fire the little shit. Because he was the prime leaker.

    Comey took contemporaneous notes that are consistent with his testimony

    How that is the same as actual evidence remains unanswered.

    The media, including Reason, has shat the bed this year, pimping a story that you KNEW was false for months as if it was a grand scandal.

    Nobody believes the media. Nobody cares what reporters say. You brought that all upon yourselves.

  • Tony||

    How furious were you with the New York Times when they were printing breathless accounts of Hillary Clinton's use of email, which turned out to be a giant nothingburger that nevertheless cost her the election? Were you really really mad at the media then?

  • damikesc||

    She DIDNT house her own personal server and sent classified emails on it?

    SHE ADMITTED SHE DID IT.

    Comey just seemed unconcerned. He seems fond of giving Dems benefit of the doubt.

    He said she lacked intent...which was immaterial to the crime she committed. Also ignored that erasing tens of thousands of emails was a bit illegal.

  • Tony||

    Your absurdly disproportionate reaction to both scandals was all I as getting at.

  • damikesc||

    One scandal occurred. It was real.

    The other one still hasn't shown a crime was committed. The opposite, in fact.

  • mortiscrum||

    For a libertarian website, there's an awful lot of commenters who are raring to give Trump the most ridiculous benefit of the doubt. Aren't y'all supposed to be generally suspicious of government? How is Trump not the worst iteration of a public servant, an example of the kind of figure that libertarians seem to assume other politicians are? But now that there's an actually flesh and blood version of the idiotic government bureaucrat, it's time to defend him from the evil left.

    At this point, the bar for wrongdoing for the Trump administration when it comes to Comey and Russia is, approximately, "do we have a time-stamp video recording of Trump personally swearing allegiance to Putin, while strangling a bald eagle and demanding that Comey kiss his ring."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am very suspicious of the government and have the knowledge to back up why with specific examples.

    Trump makes the people that I am suspicious about lose their minds. That is why I give him the benefit of the doubt.

    If he does something illegal and there is evidence of that, I will be there with my pitchfork. Until then, Trump rattling these bureaucrat's cages and having them squawk and howl is fine with me. Trump is doing what most politicians will not do- get bureaucrats to quit.

  • mortiscrum||

    It depresses (distresses?) me that the bar is being set at "legality." The president is of course the most powerful person in the country and has an enormous amount of resources and latitude to act in ways that people who are not the president can't. I would honestly be surprised if any president in American history did something that was expressively, 100% illegal.

    By saying you'll only turn on him when he's done something criminal, you're effectively saying you back him no matter what.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know that you want the USA to be a nation of men and not a nation of laws but we should not treat people as criminals unless they have broken the law.

    Even then, they are guaranteed Due Process, Equal Protection and fair trials.

  • mortiscrum||

    Oh c'mon, certainly you see the problem with this criteria as it applies to the POTUS? For the president to do their job, they can't be held to the same legal standard that ordinary citizens are. Instead, they are held to standards of morality and ethics, to be judged by Congress and indirectly by voters. Saying nothing matters until the accusations are criminal is just bonkers.

    BTW, how are these hypothetical criminal charges ever going to be met without stringent independent investigations? I've seen your other posts, you seem to be against not only the allegations but the line of questioning wholesale.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I can see where this is going.

    The left wants to delay Trump dismantling the Nanny-State by any means necessary. The right will not let this happen. As a Libertarian, I will not let this happen either.

    The left can ask questions all day long but they don't have a majority in Congress nor in the SCOTUS and certainly not the Presidency. Since they don't have that majority who cares what they say. If you have proof of a criminal act, present it. The left has had months and can produce no evidence of criminal act.

  • mortiscrum||

    I repeat, how can there possibly be proof of a criminal act if the investigations are being stone-walled?

    The left is indeed committed to protecting the government - though apparently not as committed as you are to burning it down.

  • BYODB||

    Odd, then, that the investigators have admitted that they aren't being 'stone-walled' at all nor have they felt impeded in their investigation.

    You may want to consider that 'collusion' never happened or, if it did, that there is absolutely zero remaining proof of it.

    If the NSA was able to locate Trump transition team members, remove the masking they were entitled to as U.S. Citizens in the course of a FISA warrant, and then distribute that information and leak it to the Press it would seem odd that they have absolutely zero proof of said collusion anywhere.

    It seems like the left wants to paint Trump as a mastermind of hiding evidence for things, while at the same time painting him as a barely functioning, semi-literate Neanderthal. Both can not be true, so I suppose you'll need to pick which fantasy version of Trump you want to believe in.

    The real Trump, I assume, is simply a giant dick narcissist just like Obama. It's pretty much the only true qualification for office outside of being the right age and being born on the right side of a fence.

    Pants shiting liberals are upset because they always assumed that the tools they invented to circumvent the constitution would always remain in their hands or a like-minded Republican. Oops, as it turns out the voters do still have the ability to vote in a giant orange idiot wrecking ball. Trump is the political manifestation of biting off your nose to spite your face.

  • Odiferous||

    So you are willing to stand with Trump because he is great at trolling liberals? Even though, he seems to be in all other respects, a despicable human being? Trump is not in favor of freedom and I see no evidence that he is dismantling any of the federal leviathan. I do see his administration talking about the war on drugs, threatening military action everywhere, and hobnobbing with regimes that have demonstrated that they are not our friends (Saudis). When was the last time you saw a Trump tweet about freedom, liberty, or non-aggression'?

  • BYODB||

    So, a ridiculous benefit of a doubt is the benefit of a doubt where there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any of the charges, real or imagined, have any truth to them whatsoever.

    I think that's also known as reasonable doubt, which is actually a thing that you sidestep neatly in your comment.

  • mortiscrum||

    Going only by Trump's statements and actions - i.e., firing Comey and then saying on national television that he fired him to end the Russia investigation - Trump is guilty of exactly the same that that brought Nixon down.

    No truth whatsoever? Nope. In fact, the truth is so known, and was so easy to get, we all feel like we don't know anything (now that's a Jedi mind trick!). Trump literally told us that he obstructed the investigation.

  • jmomls||

    * firing Comey and then saying on national television that he fired him to end the Russia investigation - Trump is guilty of exactly the same that that brought Nixon down.*

    thatswhereyourewrongkiddo.jpg

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You must have a link for Trump saying that. Google just did not seem to provide an article saying that.

  • mortiscrum||

    ........what?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. I watch the 2:00 video and Trump does not say that.

    Are you sure you are not confusing what the media is saying Trump said and what Trump actually said?

  • mortiscrum||

    It's the very first thing in the interview, starting at 0:00 of the video. Trump says "regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey," etc.

    This feels like a gaslight. Are you going to tell me that up is down and Antarctica is nice this time of year too?

  • BYODB||

    You must have missed the part where literally everyone in government was pissed at Comey and wanted him to either be fired or resign. Also, you must have missed the part where Comey implied that he wasn't going to step aside when he admitted that he wouldn't have left the bureau if he wouldn't have been fired during his testimony.

    The underlying charges are what you need to keep your eye on, that being the accusation that the Trump transition team conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC and release their emails to the public. That charges, in particular, has absolutely no proof to back it up whatsoever no matter how many squirrels the DNC has released into your brain.

  • mortiscrum||

    There's no proof that a "Russia collusion" happened, I will fully admit that. But -

    Since when has the criteria to start investigations been PROOF of the crime to be investigated? That's basically where we are now - people are saying there's no reason to investigate because there's no proof.....well duh, the investigation hasn't happened yet.

    If I'm willing to admit that there's no proof, would you be willing to admit there's an awful lot of "funny coincidences" when it comes to Trump, people loyal to Trump, and ties to Russia, the same exact country that helped him get elected (whether they colluded or not)? Obviously it could be entirely overblown, entirely circumstantial. But maybe it's not. And because Trump is the f@^%ing POTUS, I would like to know if there's anything to this.

    It's entirely accurate and fair to say liberals are getting ahead of themselves in their zeal to take Trump down. It's also entirely insane to say that all of it is nonsense and doesn't even rise to the level of investigation.

  • BYODB||


    Since when has the criteria to start investigations been PROOF of the crime to be investigated?

    Since they were already investigating, I'm not sure you really have any grasp at all on what's going on. You appear to be emoting things that aren't even remotely true.


    If I'm willing to admit that there's no proof, would you be willing to admit there's an awful lot of "funny coincidences" when it comes to Trump, people loyal to Trump, and ties to Russia, the same exact country that helped him get elected (whether they colluded or not)?

    No, because you're literally question begging right now and assuming things to be true for which there is zero evidence. Not that they haven't been investigating since before Trump was even elected, mind you, even though you seem to believe they haven't investigated anything at all to date. That's a staggering level of stupid you've stumbled across, and implies you get your news from Slate.

    Do you know what a 'fishing expedition' or 'witch hunt' is, politically? It would seem you do not, and furthermore you appear to have no knowledge of the fact that a lot of these same people you believe colluded with Russia literally worked for Obama before Trump. Now, if Trump turns out to be guilty through some random twist of fate that would mean that Obama himself is also guilty for hiring the same people to do the same jobs with the same baggage.

    Idjit

  • mortiscrum||

    I'm not assuming anything, I'm metaphorically raising an eyebrow very, very high over the sheer amount of "coincidental" connections between Trump and Russia. Even if the connections were only through the political operatives that as you note also worked for Obama (which aren't the only connections), Obama was never in the position of having won the election due to Russian meddling. The two are not the same just because Flynn or whoever else worked for both administrations.

    Quoting David Frum: When it comes to Trump and Russia, there are secrets but there are no mysteries. We might not know every detail, but anyone who isn't willfully ignorant can see that there's something going on.

  • hello.||

    I'm metaphorically raising an eyebrow very, very high over the sheer amount of "coincidental" connections between Trump and Russia.

    Millions of morons metaphorically raised an eyebrow very, very high over the sheer amount of "coincidental" connections between Jews and 9/11. You being a conspiracy theorists, and a particularly dumb one who can't even spin a plausible conspiracy narrative, doesn't obligate everyone else to play along. Fuck yourself with a rake.

  • GeoffB1972||

    The standard for starting an investigation is reasonable cause. That doesn't mean proof, but it does require more than, say, a gut feeling that Trump couldn't have won on his own.

    If I announce I'm convinced you've been making people sick with expired tuna sandwiches and your aunt had a stomach ache last night, should we open an investigation?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    The problem for me is that the accusers come from the same set of people. And why do you expect me to believe that his accusers are noble patriots who are only doing this for the good of the country? To me, this just looks like the Crips squaring off against the Bloods.

    My "bar" is nowhere near as high as you claim; but it's higher than "because Rachel Maddow said so".

  • mortiscrum||

    For what it's worth, I don't watch Rachel Maddow.

    Just looking at the few things we know for sure - Trump fired Comey, Trump said it was because of the Russia investigation - and than throwing on top a whole bunch of related shit that has varying levels of credibility and support....it's absolutely baffling to me that anyone could take the position of "move along, nothing to see here."

    Whether all it adds up to impeachment is one thing and matter of legitimate dispute. Saying there's nothing out of the ordinary going on, and this is ALL "fake news"? C'mon.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    When did I say it's "ALL "fake news"? I'm only saying that I need to see evidence before I decide. What's so fucking weird about that?

  • mortiscrum||

    Nothing weird about that at all.

  • damikesc||

    Trump doesn't need a reason to fire Comey. He had basic incompetence as an option, though, but it is not needed.

    Comedy is an admitted leaker. That alone makes him worthy of being fired.

  • BYODB||

    I'm still baffled on why Comey wanted the investigation to become a criminal investigation instead of a counter-intelligence investigation. I suspect it's because Comey is enough of a narcissist and opportunist to recognize that even though there's a slim chance his name will be cleared, it's a better chance than he would have without leaking information to the press.

  • mortiscrum||

    Trump doesn't need a legal reason to fire Comey, but that's not the same thing as "no reason whatsoever, it's completely normal, presidents fire FBI directors all the time."

    Are you saying Trump is omniscient, that he knew Comey was the leaker and fired him for it? Come off it, that's post hoc justification.

  • damikesc||

    That everything EXCEPT he was not the subject of an investigation being leaked seems really, really suspicious.

    He also has a HABIT of leaking. He did so to Bush as well.

  • Mark P||

    In philosophy, to make claims without evidence is considered arbitrary, and the arbitrary is completely divorced from reason. When liberals make arbitrary claims against Trump out of hatred, they falsely assume that their arbitrary claims make it more likely that their claims are true. Actually, only claims based on evidence are plausible; and there is no specific evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians and no specific evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC computers? We know that the FBI was not allowed to inspect the DNC computer system. Was the DNC worried the FBI might discover an insider hack (Seth Rich?)? Taking the word of a high politicized agency such as the DNC is not evidence of Russian hacking--the DNC was the one who created the Russian story.

  • Mark P||

    This is not about giving Trump the benefit of the doubt--this is about impugning Comey and the FBI for politicizing their investigations (e.g. Hillary's private server, the Clinton Foundation, the IRS scandal, leaking the Flynn conversation with the Russian ambassador) engaging in unconstitutional and warrantless surveillance, and illegally leaking private information of American citizens. Both Ron Paul and Rand Paul were highly critical of Comey and defended Trump on this issue. Ron Paul has even called for the abolition of the FBI, as it serves only nefarious, politically motivated purposes.

    The USA is more powerful than Russia, so it is ridiculous to imagine Trump placing himself or his country under their power. The only leaders who have done that are heroes of the left: Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Hafez Assad, Yasser Arafat. The liberals don't condemn these leaders for kissing Russia's ass because they support their communist/socialist policies.

  • hello.||

    Since you admitted upthread that you are too young to have working memory of the Clinton administration and too stupid or disinclined to even Google the subject, maybe you should save the lectures and spend a little more time reading you stupid little bitch.

  • ThomasD||

    "For a libertarian website, there's an awful lot of commenters who are raring to give Trump the most ridiculous benefit of the doubt."

    Your lack of self awareness is well established. That you find this confusing is merely due to your confusion about libertarianism. Libertarians recognize that government is always a threat to liberty. That threat may very well extend to anyone. Especially anyone seen as being in opposition to existing government.

    More so, it is quite easy to recognize that that government, in the form of Comey et al. is not extending to Trump remotely the same 'benefit of the doubt' that they gave to Hillary Clinton over her clear violation of black letter law.

    Your inability, or tacit unwillingness to see the hypocrisy and abject inequityof the two sets of circumstances is indeed ridiculous.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Ultimately, whether Trump is impeached and how much of a big deal this is will be a function of how important this is to the voters.

    If the Democrats in Congress think they're going to pick up seats because swing voters in swing states will reward them for impeaching a President for lying about James Comey, then they're delusional. The Democrats are set to picks up seats in both houses in the upcoming midterms unless one of two things happens: 1) Trump launches a popular war (unlikely) 2) The Democrats impeach Trump over something that doesn't really matter to swing voters.

    If Mueller can prove that Trump lied about what he said to Comey, the worst that will happen is that the Democrat nominee for president will use it against him in 2020.

    Meanwhile, Mueller has credibility problems of his own in that he represents the FBI investigating itself--and Mueller was Comey's mentor at the FBI. Mueller investigating Comey and the FBI is like Bill Clinton being appointed to investigate Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All I can say is that any impeachment attempt against Trump better be for a good reason.

    The people who voted for Trump might just decide that a bureaucratic coup based on weak reason is the straw that broke the camels back and water that Tree of Liberty.

  • Hank Phillips||

    By Tree of Liberty are we talking Kristallnacht and Night of the Long Knives?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You mentioned socialists damaging Jewish property and then murder of political rivals.

    I thought you didn't revere Liberty.

  • Tony||

    Typing furiously on Breitbart. Maybe a trip to the front porch on their Medicare scooters to shake fists.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yeah. Keep thinking that. Another reason you lefties did not see Trump beating Hillary. You think all Trump voters are old people who cannot overthrow the US government.

  • Tony||

    Have at it. Maybe this time we'll really salt the earth with you morons so you'll actually figure out that you lost the war (again).

  • Tony||

    Comey isn't under investigation.

    I see you're already in the bargaining stage of doomed Trump support. That's progress. You're right that impeachment is a delicate political situation (it backfired badly the last time Republicans did it). One might suppose that Congress will simply have no choice given the likelihood of how voluminous the collection of crimes and coverups is going to be.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I noticed you used the words "is going to be".

    I thought for sure you would have used "he has committed".

  • BYODB||

    You can't be a progressive without believing in future thought crime being a justification for authorization of force today!

  • jmomls||

    *The Democrats are set to picks up seats in both houses in the upcoming midterms unless one of two things happens*

    Wrong. They are defending more Senate seats than the GOP and they are defending in states Trump won, by and large.

    So they'll lose Senate seats, for certain.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Trump is not merely saying that he never ordered Comey to drop the investigation.

    It should also be noted that not even Comey is alleging that Trump ordered him to drop the investigation.

    No doubt Mueller will want to find someone's scalp to put on his wall to justify his budget, but Trump telling a lie that doesn't even contradict what Comey alleges isn't likely to accomplish that. It'll just make it look even more like Mueller's got nothin'.

    Trump is going to get in trouble for telling a lie that doesn't contradict Comey--based on an investigation that he colluded with Russia to hack Hillary's server and the DNC--a charge for which there is no evidence?

    Even if the Democrats were to control both houses of congress come 2018, they probably won't risk impeaching Trump over that.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    To even try to pull off an impeachment--let alone secure a conviction--the Democrats would need to be able to make a specific accusation of a specific crime that A) voters can understand and B) more important, voters give a shit about.

    The latter has been a serious weakness in the Democrats' message overall. The Dems go on about stuff like letting men in dresses pee in the ladies' room, and a lot of the voters look at that and wonder "I haven't had a job for three years; why the fuck are you haranguing me about trannies in bathrooms?"

  • Tony||

    You shouldn't make fun of the rubes who fall for Republicans' concocted moral panics and then blame Democrats. Don't they suffer enough under the policies they unwittingly endorse by falling for that crap every single time?

    The choice may come down to Republicans starting impeachment and being able to control the outcome pre-2018 or Democrats being in charge post-2018 and being able to do things their way. I'm not saying get ready for President Pelosi, but that's only because Democrats don't have a spine.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Way to miss the point, Tony. The "rubes who fall for Republicans' concocted moral panics" have nothing to do with what I'm saying. I'm talking about the people who don't pay attention to those issues--regardless of which side they fall on--because they're just trying to survive. You know, people you pretend to care about.

    That's why it's important for the Democrats to put together a case that people who don't spend every waking minute on D.C. politicians can understand. Randomly flinging shit against the wall isn't going to get the attention of such people.

    I hope they can make a good case and impeach Trump. His flaws aside, I would like to see the precedent set that a president can be removed from office. I wish it had been done a lot sooner; any president in my lifetime deserved to be sacked. Right now the president has immense power--far more than he ever should have--and he can wield it without fear of any consequences. That's a recipe for disaster. If Trump doesn't cause said disaster one of his successors will.

  • Tony||

    I agree in part. Put another way, if Trump can't be removed from office then what could possibly justify any future attempt?

  • hello.||

    The actual commission of a high crime or misdemeanor while in office?

  • Tony||

    Is treason either one of those?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    To even pull off an impeachment, Democrats have to win a majority in the House.

    They get farther and farther from that each election.

  • jmomls||

    Even if they flip the House in 2018, they'll lose Senate seats just based on math & geography; therefore, they can impeach but not remove.

    Snoooooooozzzzzzeeeee

  • Delius||

    Assuming Trump follows through on that commitment

    Now that is cute.

  • WakaWaka||

    Since Russiagate has fully collapsed, do you think any 'journalists' (I use that term exceptionally loosely) will be reprimanded by their employers for pursuing a fever dream or "what difference does it make at this point"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You surely don't fire people for being good at propaganda and fighting for lefty causes. Completely delusional useful idiots do not grow on trees.

  • Tony||

    Where the hell do you people get your news? Just tell me so I can stop guessing.

    The Russia investigation is only just beginning. Let's check back here in a few months and see who was right.

  • damikesc||

    Did you miss Comey's testimony?

    It was bullshit from Day One. We even know who started it.

  • Tony||

    Hang onto that thought if you need it to get through the day. Not too tightly.

  • ThomasD||

    Comey was all about his feelings.

    Feelings are not facts.

  • WakaWaka||

    What feeling was being expressed when Comey said that President Trump was not under investigation with regards to Russia?

    You keep chasing fever dreams

  • Tony||

    He wasn't at the time Comey was employed. He almost certainly is now. As of today he's also being sued for violating the constitution as well.

    The Trump-defense talking points sound desperate and lame because they are. Try formulating your own ideas maybe?

  • Free Society||

    At best he's being investigated for his firing of an employee. Which part of the Constitution was violated again, Tony?

  • Tony||

    I was referring to the emoluments clause and the fact that his company flagrantly sells political access to foreign countries in exchange for CASH.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny thing about two blue state attorney generals suing the President for "violating the Constitution" is that if team blue ever gets to sit in the White House, team red states can sue that president for "violating the constitution".

    Unfortunately for team blue, there is not remedy in the Constitution for this lawsuit. Impeachment is the remedy for removing politicians from the Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch and Executive Branch.

  • WakaWaka||

    "sued for violating the constitution"

    Dude, you are beyond retarded.

  • Tony||

    I realize that FOX has a big thick filter over its programming right now, but luckily for them they've long ago programmed its sheep viewers to think that any other source of information is part of the conspiracy to elect Oprah empress of the galaxy or whatever the fuck.

    Link

  • damikesc||

    He wasn't at the time Comey was employed. He almost certainly is now.

    Based on the continuing lack of any evidence.

    As of today he's also being sued for violating the constitution as well.

    Gee, like every President ever. Stunning.

    The Trump-defense talking points sound desperate and lame because they are. Try formulating your own ideas maybe?

    OK. Given how close they are, shouldn't Mueller be recusing himself from anything involving Comey?

  • Tony||

    Why should he recuse himself for being associated with Comey? He's investigating Russian ties. You think it the president should be able to force a refusal of the special counsel by obstructing justice?

  • damikesc||

    Why should he recuse himself for being associated with Comey?

    Why should a close professional and personal friend recuse himself from investigating his friend? You're seriously asking this question?

    And you have the whole problem of him asking to investigate his aides and that he didn't, you know, stop any investigations.

    That might be a stumbling block for your theory.

  • damikesc||

    Also, any thoughts on Comey being caught lying about not taking memos for prior Presidents? It is known he did so with George W Bush as well.

    He only seems to not need to take notes with Democrats. Even after they pressure him on his investigations. Funny.

    Perhaps a perjury charge should be forthcoming...

  • Lester224||

    Comey told Trump he was not under investigation. However, he would not announce publicly that Trump was not under investigation. Comey said that the reason he would not "lift the cloud" publicly (as Trump kept asking him to do) is that he didn't want to have to "take it back" if in the future Trump was being investigated by the FBI.

    The head of the FBI is not supposed to be a publicity hound making all sorts of statements about who is under investigation and what is being investigated. He violated that policy for HRC because he thought he would get in all kinds of trouble with Republicans for not announcing that there were some newly discovered emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop which, in the end, were not relevant to the whole email security issue. By not commenting publicly about Trump, he was covering his ass again but in a more prudent way.

  • GeoffB1972||

    If only he had given as much attention to doing his job as he did to covering his ass and shining his halo.

  • jmomls||

    *Let's check back here in a few months and see who was right.*

    You've been wrong about everything since the moment you were born. Why waste more time to see similar results?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    That's a lot of words for "Trump is about to shoot himself in the dick for no apparent reason."

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Considering it's still not enough to get the message to some people, more or better words (the best!) may be needed.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The important take-away is the theory that a non-communist Russia might have taken steps to defeat the candidate backing the former Soviet policy of shutting down American access to energy. Youtube videos today show a different Russia from the Hoovervilles that were the norm in the Democratic People's USSR, so Russian priorities may have shifted as coercion there became less widespread. The other take-away is that arguments from disjunction are weak even when Sullum is framing them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hello!

  • ThomasD||

    The long term take away is that Russian influence on US elections is only a crime when it harms the Democrat.

    Either that, or it's just rank hypocrisy and Democrat/media collusion.

  • jmomls||

    Obama and Clinton and they're media hack water carriers all assured us, on numerous occasions, that there was NO WAY FOR THE ELECTION TO BE HACKED, RIGGED OR OTHERWISE AFFECTED BY FOREIGN ACTORS.

    Oh, that was when they were for sure going to win?

    Neveremind.

  • Cloudbuster||

    The whole thing seems like much ado about nothing. It's more revealing about the nature of the people who are desperate to be outraged and to find wrong-doing over what is essentially a very trivial private conversation about a trivial, pointless investigation.

  • Tony||

    The crimes he's going to ham-handedly attempt to cover up are probably existent.

    And you know when he's lying because he'll follow the lie with a form of "But even if was true..."

    In totally unrelated news, his biographer quotes Trump as saying "I am the same person I was when I was 7 years old."

  • Free Society||

    So the Russian's meddled in the election by releasing sensitive, yet true, information? We can't have truthful information about Democrats get out, that would be unDemocratic.

  • Tony||

    Propaganda works. If it didn't, nobody would do it.

    In retrospect we are all aware that the DNC leaks was a nothingburger with a side of risotto, but the hysteria some of the details caused ate up just enough media attention to fuck with the outcome. It was timing more than content. Unless you want to say that for some reason the American people were making a choice based on who was less corrupt but somehow chose the guy with mafia ties.

  • hello.||

    Propaganda works.

    Mostly just on retarded faggots with a sub-80 IQ like you. Now run back to HuffPo for another dose.

  • Tony||

    Aw did you build a tinker toy. Do your mommy say you were special?

  • Brian||

    I get it:

    Trump has conspired with the Russians.

    Trump is guilty of treason.

    Hillary Clinton's scandals are all big nothing burgers.

    Hillary Clinton will be our next president.

    Yadda yadda yadda.

  • Tony||

    It's not my fault Trump is a big fat dumb treasoner.

  • Brian||

    I know.

    It's your fault that you live in Oklahoma.

  • Tony||

    At least I'm not on the internet defending Donald Fucking Trump.

  • Brian||

    Small victories are a gift.

  • hello.||

    Yeah, you're a sophisticated and enterprising Oklahoma faggot white knighting an 80 year old woman whose smallest crime this election cycle was ordering the murder of Seth Rich and who was such a grating cunt that she lost in a landslide to a reality TV star. Joke's on everybody but else you.

  • Tony||

    "Landslide" being the signifying code word that you're a sheep-fucking Trumptard. Question, and be honest: Sean Hannity, smarter or dumber than Isaac Newton?

  • fafalone||

    You know there are lots of people who believe they're *both* treasonous unethical criminals who ought to be locked in the same cell together.

  • Happy Chandler||

    We know that his National Security Advisor was on the payroll of a foreign country, did not declare it, and lied to investigators. Those are all crimes.

    We know his attorney General lied under oath to Congress. That's a lie.

    His campaign manager was listed in illegal, off the books payment records from an autocratic dictator.

    There's a lot to cover up, and you're truly naive if you don't think there is more and that it likely implicates the president.

  • Tony||

    This is the libertarian flagship magazine Reason, where the most powerful government employee on earth always gets the benefit of the doubt, even and especially given blatant evidence of autocratic tendencies and rampant corruption.

    Because lower tax cuts on billionaires is just that important.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, you left out lower taxes for everyone too.

    Since this is a Libertarian-ish website, we make sure the lefties don't spread too many lies without the truth attached.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Yet, somehow, after months and months of investigating, nobody's been indicted for anything. I guess Comey was just too afraid of Trump.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Flynn was employed by Obama while on payroll from Russia.

    Trump would be a hero is he had Sessions indict Hillary and Obama.

  • BYODB||

    Look, we all know that Flynn only just started taking any money he might have received from the Russians in the short period of time (shortest in history, actually) he was employed by Trump.

    This isn't about Obama, who employed him 'for reals' and lets ignore that those supposed payments happened...under Obama.

    That would just be awkward, and you can't talk about Jesus like that!

  • Tony||

    Obama fired Flynn basically for incompetence. The first thing that got Flynn in trouble with respect to Russia was his calling the ambassador in December to promise easing of sanctions once Trump takes office (a call monitored by US intelligence). The whole administration lies about the content of the communications until they can't sustain the lie, and Trump fires Flynn. Then Trump tries to coerce the head of the FBI to take it easy on him.

    But this is somehow Obama's fault. I'm almost impressed.

  • BYODB||

    No, I'm pointing out to retards who Flynn worked for before Trump. You're clearly more than ready to start carrying water that says that Flynn only because a despicable traitor after he was employed by Trump for a few days. Normally, you'd think that would be a clue that maybe they were doing bad things for years beforehand.

    "Obama fired Flynn basically for incompetence."

    Are you sure that was the reason? Is Flynn incompetent, or is he a traitor working for a foreign country? You apparently think it's both.

  • Tony||

    As far as I know he wasn't colluding with Russia before Trump was elected, but who can say.

    But Obama!!!! How fucking pathetic is this.

  • hello.||

    Pretty pathetic. You're the most pathetic piece of shit that's ever fucked another man in the ass in Oklahoma. Just imagine how pathetic that is.

  • Tony||

    Highly, highly unlikely.

  • Johnimo||

    Please, tell me how "Oklahoma" is pertinent to your comments? This ought to be good!

  • Trigger Warning||

    Orangetard and His Magic Wall would be a good, or stupid, name for a rock band. Either way.

  • meta||

    The only thing this redic circus show proves is how desperate the communists are, er I mean the Democrats. The majority of people just don't give a shit about it bc its all absolute bullshit, but press on press on.

  • Mark P||

    The DNC obstructed justice by refusing to allow the FBI to inspect their computer system. The FBI could have determined whether or not the Russians hacked the DNC, but now this determination is being made by the DNC, a politically motivated group who would obviously try to cover up an internal hack (Seth Rich?). Reason magazine is incredibly naive to believe the DNC and assume that the Russians hacked their emails, especially when the DNC and the allies made up the Russian story.

  • Dizzle||

    Not just reason BUT THE FBI are relying on claims from a private 3rd party company, I forget the name, that the dnc hack shows signs of similar methods used by Russian hackers in the past. Not even real evidence, just that it was a copycat of past similar attacks thought to be Russian in origin. Because phishing schemes to reset apple passwords and open backdoors (hi podesta!) have never been attempted outside Russia.

    I should start a tech company that claims the Powerball was hacked by russia and I'm the rightful winner. According to the FBI I should be a millionaire right now! No need to verify!

  • Memory Hole||

    ""I have done that," says my memory. "I cannot have done that" -- says my pride, and remains adamant. At last -- memory yields." Friedrich Nietzsche on Donald Trump.

  • Mark P||

    Ron Paul and Rand Paul--the two most influential libertarians--have both commented on the Trump-Comey conflict, and both were highly critical of Comey and both defended Trump on this issue. Both believe that the FBI should be abolished for its highly politicized activities and unconstitutional surveillance. Both Comey and Mueller are highly politicized bureaucrats engaged in unconstitutional activities. The libertarian credentials of Ron Paul and Rand Paul are clear. What are the libertarian credentials of this author?

  • BYODB||


    "But Trump is now setting himself up to commit a felony by lying about those conversations to federal investigators."


    I thought we had already established, RE: Bill Clinton, that perjury isn't actually a big enough offense to remove a President from office though (he was impeached for it, but ultimately not removed from office. So no no foul here, right?). Are we not doing precedents anymore? Anyone? I might need Tony to demsplain this one to me.


    Is no one going to come forward and say that lying under oath is only ok when you're sexually molesting staffers?


    Interesting. I guess there are really four sets of rules in the United States. One for the Democrats, one for the Republicans, one for those who suffer from affluenza, and then the rest of us.

  • Tony||

    Only a Democrat has been impeached in recent history so what are you whining about.

  • BYODB||

    So I take it you have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about the impeachment of Bill Clinton or the charges that triggered impeachment, or what the ultimate findings were in that impeachment. I suppose that tracks with your overall lack of knowledge about...well...everything really. Since you're such a child, here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Billy Boy's impeachment that may prove enlightening.


    The trial in the United States Senate began right after the seating of the 106th Congress, in which the Republican Party began with 55 senators. A two-thirds vote (67 senators) was required to remove Clinton from office. Fifty senators voted to remove Clinton on the obstruction of justice charge and 45 voted to remove him on the perjury charge; no member of his own Democratic Party voted guilty on either charge. Clinton, like Johnson a century earlier, was acquitted on all charges.

    In other words, so fucking what Tony? There is literally zero chance that Trump will be removed from Office. It's not going to happen, unless a smoking gun comes out of left field that shows Trump was literally working as a spy for Russia. That's it. Any Republican that might try and vote guilty can expect to be not a senator any longer, and they don't have that kind of spine.

  • BYODB||

    Note the charges, and then research that both charges were essentially proven, and realize that none of this makes one single iota of difference whatsoever.

    Billy Boy walked out from under both perjury and obstruction of justice, and while Trump isn't smooth enough to get an intern to fuck him in the White House I imagine he's smooth enough to not end up being found guilty either. Especially considering the supposed investigation that he's supposedly trying to influence is an investigation into something that everyone agrees didn't happen.

    Now, I know you'll try to bring up the fact that Clinton was lying and covering up for two of his previous sexual escapades and not over being a Russian spy, but lets be honest for two seconds and admit that Trump is absolutely not a Russian spy kiddo. It's a farce, backed by a soft coup attempt within our own intelligence services. That's it.

  • Tony||

    Clinton got caught in a perjury trap set by longtime Republican witchhunters, and everyone now thinks it was not only an ugly partisan episode but a colossal political mistake for Republicans.

    You may be right that Trump won't be removed from office, but that's the equivalent to saying that Republicans are partisan hacks without even a shred of principle even during the most dire of circumstances. You didn't need to remind me of that.

  • BYODB||

    ...and to fall into a 'perjury trap' one needs to first do what, one wonders?

    As a matter of fact, what is a perjury trap? Might it be a question that the person under oath would be likely to lie about? Isn't the out to such a trap to merely plead the 5th, instead of proving that you have no compulsion against lying under oath even though you're a fucking lawyer and you absolutely know the rules?

    Seems like you have a pretty big double standard going there, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Seems like you, far more than me, thinks that scoring points for your team (R) matters more than anything actually going on in the world.

  • EscherEnigma||

    When it comes to impeachment, no, there isn't precedence.

    Because it's not a legal trial, it's "what can we get away with".

    In Clinton's case, the house thought they could post the president with the "lied to Congress" thing. But as the Senate saw, most Americans didn't care about lying to cover up an affair.

    So that's what the question will be in 2019, and only if Democrats win back the house and Senate. Not "did he lie", but "do Americans care". So far, based on President Trump's favourability ratings? Americans do care. But we have (at least) two years to see if it sticks.

  • hello.||

    The heroic Democrats in 2019 have a country mile left to go in getting past the "did he lie" part, let alone "does anybody care". Meanwhile, you lie every time you post on here, and nobody in your hopeless, pathetic worthless little piece of shit life gives a fuck if you live or die, so there's that.

  • Mark P||

    Ron Paul and Rand Paul--the two most influential libertarians--have both commented on the Trump-Comey conflict, and both were highly critical of Comey and both defended Trump on this issue. Both believe that the FBI should be abolished for its highly politicized activities and unconstitutional surveillance and leaks on the personal information of Americans. Comey is a highly politicized bureaucrats engaged in unconstitutional surveillance and illegal leaking. The libertarian credentials of Ron Paul and Rand Paul are clear. What are the libertarian credentials of this author?

  • Free Society||

    it is entirely possible that none of Trump's associates had anything to do with the Russian operation.

    Okay, so you're assuming without evidence that such an operation did happen in the first place. I guess because Hilary lost and that's one of the excuses she offered. Yet there are still those who doubt that Reason magazine's primary purpose is the procurement of invitations to the happeningest cocktail parties.

  • Tony||

    If almost every single person in your circle of pals and employees has some connection with Russian oligarchs, and more than one has been caught lying about it, wouldn't you expect some suspicion to be cast your way?

  • Free Society||

    Oh so you don't have anything beyond "this guy once spoke to a Russian"? Sounds like a criminal conspiracy for sure!

  • Brian||

    Democrats recently forgot that diplomacy exists.

  • Tony||

    Republicans forgot that they're supposed to be working for the United States.

  • Brian||

    You win brownie points for earnestness.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Because suspicion-run investigations are exactly what lefties want.

    *Lets run a suspicion investigation on Obama for conspiring to aid Hillary in mishandling classified information.
    *Lets run a suspicion investigation on HIllary and Obama when Bill Clinton bagged $500,000 for a Moscow speech paid for by a Kremlin-backed bank while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
    *Lets run a suspicion investigation on Hillary Clinton's when her campaign chairman's Joule energy company bagged $35 million from Putin's Rusnano.
    *Lets run a suspicion investigation on Hillary Clinton for hidding $2.35 million in secret donations from Ian Telfer, the head of Russia's uranium company.

  • Tony||

    The thing is you would cheer them on, each and every one, no matter how ridiculous and debunked. (Seriously, do you people not have Google or what?)

    There were more Benghazi hearings in four years than there were hearings for 20 years of terrorist attacks against Americans. A bigger report than the 9/11 Commission. Millions of dollars spent. Nothing turned up but exactly what everyone knew from the start who wasn't a psychotic partisan shill.

    I bet you were practically throwing your hot pocket at the TV during that farce.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    After America helped overthrow Gaddafi in Libya, the USA set up covert CIA facility with not enough security. Hillary was secretary of state at this time and was responsible along with President Obama. Former Libyan CIA compound guards threw bombs over the wall and the situation was deteriorating so much that the British removed all consular staff. The US Ambassador and security staff were concerned about the situation.

    The US never sent help.

    Americans died.

  • hello.||

    WHAT DIFFERENCE AT THIS POINT DOES IT MAKE?!

    Clinton cackling about getting 4 people killed is debunked old news. The FBI director saying that Trump isn't under investigation of any kind is a real totally non-debunked scandal.

    It's too bad you're such a disgustingly ugly piece of shit that you can't get fucked. It'd be great if you died of AIDS.

  • Tony||

    Mean drunks shouldn't drink.

  • hello.||

    If almost every single person in your circle of pals and employees has some direct, personal connection with partisan political operatives who keep turning up dead in mysterious ways just before giving testimony that would be unfavorable to your political career, wouldn't you expect some suspicion to be cast your way?

    Wait, no, that's the Clintons and that's just crazy conspiracy theorizing.

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    Reason's whole existence can only be explained if you think of it as a libertarian neckbeard fishing expedition for leftist poontang.

  • josh||

    If I were the Special Prosecutor, the moment Trump volunteered to testify, I would've sent a letter agreeing to take him up on the offer.

    I know you don't want to rush things, but it's too delicious an opportunity to turn down.

  • josh||

    And if Trump did lie about what he told Comey, that specific perjury would arguably be enough for me to support removal. At a minimum, it's enough for impeachment. Clinton's perjury was different in my mind because of the context, even though I'm fine with him having been impeached.

  • hello.||

    Clinton's perjury was different in my mind

    Which is weird because you're definitely not a Democrat shill who makes up his mind based on rank partisan talking points and confirmation bias.

  • josh||

    "Which is weird because you're definitely not a Democrat shill who makes up his mind based on rank partisan talking points and confirmation bias."

    Aw, shucks....you're a sweetheart.

  • ThomasD||

    The context is material facts. Clinton was an attorney. If, rather than give false answers, either he or his attorneys had challenged the material nature of the question(s) he could have possibly avoided perjuring himself.

    Yet somehow he wasn't able to do that.

    It's a mystery.

  • Amogin||

    The minority president cannot accept that his own dream version of the truth is just not so. He did win the electoral college but not the popular vete. There just aren't that many illegal immigrants willing to risk deportation to vote for him, The Russians did interfere with US elections to Trump's benefit and no amount of spin wiill change that fact. Prehaps the Presdient is totally innocent of colluding with the Russians and prehaps he isn;t but attempting to interfere with the investigation won't clear that matter up.

  • Africanis||

    These damn cheatin ruttin tuttin Russians suck, why didn't they fix the popular vote too. They should have hacked it properly so Trump won the vote by 60 million votes.

  • Denan7||

    "The Russians did interfere with US elections to Trump's benefit and no amount of spin wiill change that fact."

    If you have actual proof of that, tell Hillary and her people, because per the new book written by Hillary campaign insiders, Podesta, Hillary, et al, made up the whole "Russians Did It" Big-Lie.

  • UCrawford||

    But Trump is now setting himself up to commit a felony by lying about those conversations to federal investigators.

    Because Comey wrote on a piece of paper what he claims Trump said? They're going to convict on perjury on a he-said/he-said conversation for which there is no evidence? Are you really that fucking stupid, Sullum?

    No, scratch that...it's post-election Reason Magazine. Of course you're that stupid.

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    This. Reason has been reduced to toilet paper since Trump was elected. I expected them to go opposition, but they seem to be desperately fishing for leftist poontang. One can only assume that the Koch brothers are too busy making money to pay attention to this bullshit.

  • LEAPGuyAZ||

    What's Trump's favorite wine?
    I won the election, I did, I really really did win....

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    "... and assuming Comey is telling the truth ..."

    In other words, your whole article is a pointless waste of space drawn from baseless assumptions because you don't like Trump.

    I get not liking Trump. But stop making shit up. It's pointless, and it just makes you look stupid.

  • تنزيل العاب||

    You surely don't fire people for being good and assuming Comey

  • Big Ed's Landing||

    They better be careful to ask him if there are "recordings", not "tapes". No one uses tapes any more, but he'll parse your words and deny there are tapes, even if there are recordings on solid state memory or maybe DVD, and believe he's not lying.

  • Johnimo||

    This is one of the most tortured pieces of tripe that Reason has yet published. For whom, pray tell, are they writing? Taking sides between Comey and Trump is not worth the effort necessary to choose either. Some at Reason seem to be nincompoops, intent upon writing the most boring parsings of the insignificant.

  • CZmacure||

    Where the hell do you people get your news? Just tell me so I can stop guessing.

    The Russia investigation is only just beginning. Let's check back here in a few months and see who was right.
    My recent post: AIWIS Review
    My recent post: XIDIO Video Templates Review

  • iowantwo||

    Explain why there is a Russia investigation. Their meddling in elections has been going on decades. The investigation has been going on for at least 12 months, according to the Obama Administration cabinet level chiefs. As late as May, no evidence to any, in the Trump campaign having questionable contact with Russia. Comey has testified repeatedly that no person with ties to the Trump administration, or campaign has ever tried to direct, alter, suppress, or end, any investigation. That testimony is after any communications with President Trump.
    The President cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice for carrying out actions enumerated as a power, in the constitution.

    Mueller as far as I can tell, has no stated crime to investigate, as required by the statute, creating the position of special counsel.

    These are the facts. They show your 'opinions' fail to grasp the simple facts

  • CZmacure||

    And if Trump did lie about what he told Comey, that specific perjury would arguably be enough for me to support removal. At a minimum, it's enough for impeachment. Clinton's perjury was different in my mind because of the context, even though I'm fine with him having been impeached.
    My recent post: Poolside Profits Reloaded Review

  • Mark22||

    Given Trump's unambiguous denials, there is not much room here for misremembering or misinterpretation. One of these men has to be lying. Despite the lack of firsthand evidence, there can be little doubt which one it is.

    Yeah, it's obviously Comey!

  • Denan7||

    "It's not clear why Trump is intent on contradicting Comey's account when he could agree with it and still mount a credible defense. But he seems to have trouble thinking clearly about anything related to the Russia investigation, which threatens his ego by raising the possibility that he might not have won the election without foreign interference."

    Gee, maybe Comey, the self-described 'leaker', is.. lying? Why would a rational person who did no wrong "agree" with a senior law-enforcement official who is lying as part of a larger effort to take down a sitting president?

    Trump does not have the burden of proof in this matter - Comey must prove that Trump said and meant as Comey would have America believe - not vice-versa.

    The sense of superiority and dripping condescension in this article is palpable.

  • تنزيل العاب||

    esterday showed no collusion
    https://www.softnet32.com/download-pc-games/

  • تحميل العاب _||

    have trouble thinking clearly about anything related to the Russia investigation
    https://4-download-games.blogspot.com

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