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Trump Says Comey 'Totally Protected Hillary' but Was Fired for Actions That Hurt Her

The president reverts to his original, highly implausible excuse for dismissing the FBI director.

C-SPANC-SPANDonald Trump says his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey is vindicated by the report that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released yesterday. "The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI," the president tweeted this morning. "Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him."

Since Horowitz's report criticizes Comey, Trump's claim is superficially plausible. But Horowitz's conclusions about the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's email practices as secretary of state are exactly the opposite of Trump's complaints about the investigation. While Horowitz says Comey treated Clinton unfairly, Trump has long argued that Comey let Clinton off easy. Which is it? Anyone who cared about logic or principle would have to choose, but Trump is either oblivious to the contradiction or assumes it will not faze his fans.

This is not the first time the president has asked us to believe he fired Comey because of actions that hurt Clinton, the woman whose imprisonment was a regular theme of Trump's campaign rallies. The initial explanation for Comey's dismissal, laid out in a May 9, 2017, memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and endorsed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, focused on the same two incidents that Horowitz found most troubling: Comey's July 5, 2016, press conference, during which he said Clinton should not be prosecuted but criticized her "extremely careless" handling of classified material, and his October 28, 2016, letter informing members of Congress that he had reopened the investigation in light of newly discovered evidence that ultimately added nothing to the case.

Horowitz says Comey's press conference was not only "extraordinary and insubordinate" but violated Justice Department norms aimed at protecting subjects of investigations that do not result in criminal charges. "We concluded that Comey's unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by, among other things, criticizing Clinton's uncharged conduct," the report says. According to Horowitz, the public reopening of the investigation 11 days before the presidential election was also a glaring departure from department policy and "a serious error of judgment."

Rosenstein said much the same thing in his 2017 memo. Sessions, who had never before criticized Comey for these decisions and had in fact defended both of them, nevertheless concurred with Rosenstein's conclusions. So did Trump, who appended Rosenstein's memo and Sessions letter endorsing it to the letter informing Comey that his services were no longer needed. "I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal," Trump wrote. "I have accepted their recommendation."

Trump dropped that pretense two days later. "I was going to fire Comey," Trump told NBC's Lester Holt. "Regardless of [the] recommendation, I was going to fire Comey." He also conceded that the Russia investigation was on his mind at the time, which helped explain his otherwise puzzling statement in the dismissal letter that "I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." According to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Comey's refusal to say that publicly was one of the main reasons the president fired him.

Now Rosenstein, who helped Trump obscure his motive for firing Comey, is overseeing an obstruction of justice investigation in which that motive looms large, and Trump is once again pretending that he, like Rosenstein and Horowitz, was offended by Comey's shoddy treatment of Clinton. That position seems somewhat at odds with Trump's insistence that Comey should have recommended charges against "Crooked Hillary," who was obviously guilty and got off only because of the FBI's anti-Trump bias. "James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton," Trump tweeted last October. "He was the best thing that ever happened to her!"

Horowitz, by contrast, found that the decision not to charge Clinton, who arguably violated a law criminalizing "gross negligence" in the handling of information "relating to the national defense," was "based on the prosecutors' assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice." The prosecutors concluded that the offense "likely required a state of mind that was 'so gross as to almost suggest deliberate intention,' criminally reckless, or 'something that falls just short of being willful,' as well as evidence that the individuals who sent emails containing classified information 'knowingly' included or transferred such information onto unclassified systems." While the decision not to bring that charge was controversial, Horowitz says, "we found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations."

Trump's reaction to Horowitz's report suggests that he thinks Comey was terribly unfair to Clinton, departing from Justice Department policy in ways that hurt her election prospects. Yet Trump also thinks Comey "totally protected Hillary," who belonged in prison rather than the White House. Can those positions be reconciled? Trump does not care, and neither do his supporters.

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  • Just Say'n||

    Resorting to defending corrupt FBI agents to own the cons. Libertarian-y af

    Where's the new Russia fever dreams? Maybe you can blame the IG report on the Russians or something else totally not insane, but most definitely insane.

  • Just Say'n||

    www.twitter.com/jaketapper/sta.....6610859008

    One aspect not discussed in the Vox explainer

  • Tony||

    Everyone knows it's traditional for employees of the FBI to lean Republican. As a matter of fact it's a crime for FBI agents to be Democrats!

    Oh no, it's not. That's just a shiny object you are chasing after to distract from the extremely criminal extremely incompetent leaders of the free world.

    What does taking the side of one group of government thugs against another group of government thugs have to do with libertarianism?

  • Just Say'n||

    You're a good boot licker Tony. Even when your delusions don't comport with reality

  • Tony||

    I'm one of the few people here not licking the boots of the people in power right now.

    And it's so fucking easy not to considering how corrupt they are. It should be a libertarian wet dream right now. But, alas, no, that pesky (R). Must defend at all cost to credibility, for some reason.

  • Just Say'n||

    You are a boot licker for the FBI, because it's politically expedient. Like a good Leftist- principals before principles

  • Tony||

    I simply have no reason to believe they're engaged in a sham investigation. If you think that, you're the one doing the partisan thing and lying about it.

  • JesseAz||

    Believing that the FBI is infalliable or pure isn't being an independent thinker, it's being naive. Did Ruby ridge, Waco, anthrax investigation, etc ever happen in your world? Acting like the FBI political leaders don't have the ability to be corrupted is idiotic.

  • Tony||

    So the FBI isn't perfect, thus every one of its investigations is a sham?

    Or just this one, because you like the (R)s after the targets' names?

    Is it that you can't see the bullshit when it's piled so high around you?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Tony, if Hillary were the one being investigated, you would be whining and crying about it daily. You are such a fuckng hypocrite.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Jacob, the subhead for your article says that Trump's criticism about the FBI treatment of Hillary was "highly implausible". It is astounding to read that. It is the subhead that is implausible. Either you have done no research and know nothing about the investigation and the many complaints about it or you just totally ignore them.

    Jacob, do you have any kind of response to my points?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You're a good boot licker Tony.

    I wonder whether Just Say'n could remove his tongue from Trump's taint long enough to tell us what he figures Paul Manafort might be licking these days.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I'll bet you jerk off to that thought, don't you Arty. Probably while wearing a dress.

    Carry on Klinger.

  • ||

    Everyone knows it's traditional for employees of the FBI to lean Republican. As a matter of fact it's a crime for FBI agents to be Democrats!

    How about you pick out the 7,000 most right-leaning FBI agents and we'll, without question, fire the hell out of them, as long as we can fire 4:1 for any reason whatsoever.

    Then, when it comes 2020 and Trump runs (wins?) again, neither one of us has to wonder, "Will the FBI fuck with this election too?"

    Deal?

  • Tony||

    They're okay. We were all victims of Comey's preciousness, but that was hardly foreseeable. What's hilarious is how Trump is somehow the victim of the FBI when they made him the most powerful grapefruit in the world.

  • JesseAz||

    Tony, please cite evidence of pro trump bias in any report. Any. We have evidence of anti trump but you seem to be too fucking stupid to acknowledge it.

  • Tony||

    Just say you get all your information from Fox & Friends so I don't have to bother addressing specific instances of their bullshit when you regurgitate it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Progtard deflects by bringing Fox News into it.

    Answer the question faggot.

  • SunkCost||

    The IG report notes that NYC office leaked news of Weiner's laptop to Nunes within 3 days. Lynch and Comey, discussed the fact that any investigation was going to leak anyway so maybe their letter to Congress didn't matter much.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Everyone knows it's traditional for employees of the FBI to lean Republican."

    The Republican ruling class are from the right wing of the Globalist Uniparty. They're more opposed to Trump than most Democrats. Trump and the Republican base threatens to oust them them from power permanently. They won't even get to lose to the Dems. They'll just be out.

  • retiredfire||

    If it is so "traditional" for FBI employees to lean Republican, how did Mueller's team contain so many that contributed to HiLIARy and none that Contributed to Trump?
    Mueller's pit bull - Andrew Weissman - actually went to HiLIARy's election day party.
    Maybe rank-and-file agents lean conservative, but the leadership, mostly politically appointed or promoted, got that way through sucking up to 0blama's administration, over the eight years that he had corrupt AG's.
    It is like how your average cop is conservative but Chiefs of Police - political appointees - tend to be lefties, since the appointing officials - usually mayors - tend to be lefties.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    FBI agents like to fondle guns, lean authoritarian, and don't need advanced degrees. Not surprisingly, they tend to be Republican. Every FBI director has been a Republican.

    Prosecutors are required to have better educations. Fewer right-wingers from whom to choose in that bunch.

  • ThomasD||

    More Hillary water carrying?

    Why am I not surprised.

    TDS is a powerful, powerful thing.

    Might even explain why Comey decided to exonerate Clinton before the investigation was complete, or why her 'gross negligence- with its criminal implications - was scrubbed even from that.

  • Tony||

    Hillary Clinton has absolutely no power over you. Why are you fixated on wrongdoing she was legitimately exonerated from while the actual fucktards in power are still being investigated for stuff 10,000 more important?

    Why do I ask questions I already know the answer to? TDS is the current designation for when anyone doesn't unthinkingly lick the nutsacks of people with (R)s after their names, correct?

  • ||

    Borrowing a trope:

    TDS is the current designation for when anyone doesn't unthinkingly lick the nutsacks of people with (R)s after their names, correct?

    ^This^ is what "It's OK for the FBI to fuck with elections as long as the wrong guy wins and no guilty parties are found responsible for their actions." looks like after editing.

  • JesseAz||

    Tony, hod did you end up so fucking naive? It's like saying Soros or buffet have no power even though they have far greater influence on left politicians than you care to admit. Hillary was able to corrupt state parties to launder contributions to her election. She has a sorority of corrupt billionaires backing her. She has the pockets of many current politicians. You saying she has no power is dumber than you can imagine. Loom at the number of journos still fellating her.

  • Tony||

    You're equally worried about the Koch brothers, I'm sure.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Why are you fixated on wrongdoing she was legitimately exonerated from"

    She was never exonerated from anything, ever. Comey said she shouldn't be prosecuted because she didn't appear to intend to break the law. The law in question does not have intent as a component for guilt. So Hillary is clearly guilty and should be in prison for that as a minimum. Plus so many other things the Clinton Crime Family has been involved with for decades.

    By rights, The Hag should die in a SuperMax facility in isolation.

  • Moo Cow||

    Do you snap to attention like a North Korean when the doddering dotard speaks? I guess he likes that and wants "his people" to do that too!

  • Sevo||

    Moo Cow|6.15.18 @ 8:45PM|#
    "Do you snap to attention like a North Korean when the doddering dotard speaks? I guess he likes that and wants "his people" to do that too!"

    I can't read your tripe though the drool; try again, loser.

  • Moo Cow||

    So the answer is "yes."

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Yes to what? You manning the glory hole on Saturday night?

  • SimonP||

    I am never sure whether the people who cast about the "TDS" accusation really mean to refer to themselves or those they disagree with.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Comey's actions in reopening the case were reported at the time to be in response to the fear that the rank and file at the FBI would rebel and leak like a sieve if he didn't do what he did regarding Hillary. They were apparently pissed off about the way Comey had handled his absurd exoneration of Hillary.

  • ThomasD||

    Or that he was afraid, once word got out that they'd been slow walking the classified emails on Weiner's laptop, that people would conclude the whole thing truly was a whitewash.

    Those were Hillary's emails on that laptop. That alone should have her and Huma doing time.

  • Hunthjof||

    That seems to be the word. That the NY Field Office was stomping up and down and getting no results back from DC. They might have been threatening to leak. That has been the standard though for all of this. Try to keep garbage hidden unless it will likely leak out and cause damage. It took Mueller weeks to notify Congress about Strozk and Page's shenanigans and firing. Why? That should have been reported immediately instead it was played down and released weeks later.

  • SimonP||

    Those were Hillary's emails on that laptop. That alone should have her and Huma doing time.

    The law doesn't work like that. You can't just say, "This looks kinda like something I sort of half-recall as being described as illegal," and have it be so.

    In fact, Hillary was investigated for potential violations under a few different laws, each with their own respective mens rea requirements and content requirements. Simply having classified documents on the wrong hard drive is not enough. It matters what the classified information was, the intent in placing the documents on the unprotected device, and the degree to which the device was unprotected. For various reasons, Hillary's actions apparently failed to rise to the requisite level of criminality under the various applicable laws, at least on the available evidence.

    It's really quite remarkable to me that the Shrillary types continue to describe Comey as "exonerating" Hillary when, in fact, his public statements on her actions were scathingly critical and extremely unprofessional. The main takeaway from his public statements is less, "She did nothing wrong," but, "I only wish I could lock her up." It's all been spun, re-spun, and mis-remembered by a contingent of true dotards who will believe whatever Trump wants them to believe.

  • ThomasD||

    Write all the multi paragraph nonsense you wish. Through her own gross negligence classified material in her posession came to be found on Weiner's laptop.

    People are doing time for much less.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Simply having classified documents on the wrong hard drive is not enough. It matters what the classified information was, the intent in placing the documents on the unprotected device, and the degree to which the device was unprotected"

    No, it doesn't. If you violate your national security agreements and break protocol, you're guilty. And as I said before, intent was and is not a component for the particular crime Comey said she shouldn't be prosecuted for.

    The only reason she wasn't prosecuted for what she did is her name and political clout. Anyone else without that kind of cover would be rotting in federal prison.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    Anyone else without that kind of cover *is* rotting in federal prison.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    And others who didn't serve time or were sentenced to time already served received probation, fines, and revocation of their security clearance (being able to qualify for that security clearance is something that is generally considered a requirement for a future President of the United States).

  • SunkCost||

    You do realize that the current President regularly uses an unsecured phone, right?

  • DJF||

    The only time secured phones are required is when discussing clasified information and even then the President can declassify information whenever he wants because he is President

  • buybuydandavis||

    The noise now is that Comey assumed Hillary would win and wanted to preserve her credibility as President when the dirt inevitably came out.

  • ThomasD||

    Pretty much this.

    Comey thought he needed to put an exclamation point on the Case Closed! statement, because had the Weiner laptop issues carried over into a Clinton Presidency then she'd be the one dealing with a Special Prosecutor.

    And the only way he could successfully negate that evidence of criminality was to re-open the "matter."

    Matter.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    While Horowitz says Comey treated Clinton unfairly, Trump has long argued that Comey let Clinton off easy. Which is it? Anyone who cared about logic or principle would have to choose, but Trump is either oblivious to the contradiction or assumes it will not faze his fans.

    I don't agree that there is a logical contradiction. Comey treated Clinton unfairly by treating her the way he did on certain things, but Trump is suggesting she was let off easy on other things, and should have been treated more severely. An example is the release of the email conclusions by Comey. The timing of that was "unfair" ( I agree it was poorly done). Trump is suggesting that she was let off easy on the investigation/questioning part of the process. This could also be true.

    So, while there may in fact be a logical disconnect, I don't agree that it is inevitable.

  • JesseAz||

    No where in the report does horowitz say Hillary was treated unfairly. In fact he States that the laws regarding classified material have never required the men's rea proof Comey inferrrled was needed for Hillary. The IG was very clear Hillary was treated to a much higher standard for guilt. The assertion from the article is quite frankly stupid.

  • ThomasD||

    Poor Hillary, she is the real victim here.

    /sarc

  • Bubba Jones||

    Sounds like Comey deserved to be fired.

    And if he hadn't been fired, he couldn't have gotten is book deal.

    So now we are going to parse the distinction between the stated reasons and the valid reasons?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Comey should have been fired day one for the absurd exoneration of Hillary.

  • ThomasD||

    Interesting that Comey, faced with the possibility of bringing Federal charges against a Presidential candidate, decides to give her a pass. But when presented with the possibility of foreign influence involving another candidate rather than simply warning the candidate about the dangers, instead conducts an a clandestine infiltration of the campaign seeking to find evidence of criminal activity.

    No indication of political bias there.

    History will not be kind to you Gillespie.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Reread the author's name.

  • ThomasD||

    Thanks, that's what I get for flipping between multiple pages.

    Apologies to Nick.

    Coming from Sullum this is less surprising.

  • Just Say'n||

    Sullum is the Nick Gillespie of columnists anyways

  • Zeb||

    He should stick to drugs and guns.

  • ThomasD||

    Always a healthy combination.

  • Hunthjof||

    I keep hoping people especially at a supposedly Libertarian publication might finally realize this wasn't some basic counter intel op going after some schmuck selling secrets to country x. This was covert surveillance of a political campaign opposite party of the one in power. The utter lack of professionalism and transparency is astounding. How many more times do we need to read emails texts reports that directly contradict sworn testimony by these goobernuggets for Reason etc to have a slight concern something bad happened. I know their TDS is bad but come on guys if they are willing to do this to a Presidential Candidate what do you think they would be willing to do to average Joe. I half expect Reason to run an editorial right now back the Democrats bill to keep current troop levels in South Korea.

  • ThomasD||

    Principals trump principles when the principal enemy is Trump.

  • josh||

    It's a little disingenuous to criticize Comey for not following protocol, when the reason he didn't follow protocol is because the AG went out of her way to make sure that Justice was compromised.

    I won't say Comey is a white knight or anything, but I actually think he navigated the political waters pretty well when everyone around him wanted to make the FBI and Justice their own personal political pinata. But he did mess up by not recommending an indictment against Clinton. I'm so damn tired of hearing she didn't have any intent when that was the easiest part of the case to prove.

  • ThomasD||

    Also the part that was not an element of the crime.

    She agreed to handle classified materials in the prescribed manner, and also agreed that failure to do so - for any reason - risked criminal sanction.

  • Hunthjof||

    You cannot imagine how many times I have had to explain that intent is not required for it to be a crime. Especially to people who I know should know better. But they were so in the 'We're with Her" camp they didn't care. Then again I shouldn't be surprised with the number of Bernouts who went to the "We're With Her" camp who still deny what the DNC did to him.

  • ThomasD||

    "Especially to people who I know should know better."

    At this point in the whole scandal, unless you are talking to a twelve year old, that sort of 'misunderstanding' can safely be taken as an expression of bad faith.

    They don't know because they never wanted to know.

  • BYODB||


    While Horowitz says Comey treated Clinton unfairly, Trump has long argued that Comey let Clinton off easy.


    This is a dumbass simplification.


    Their biggest error was their underlying assumption that Clinton would win the Presidency, since I think their biggest fear was nation wide rioting. At the time, Clinton was presumed to win in a landslide. This is a likely reason why they essentially admitted that she was guilty, and should be in jail, but were not going to prosecute her for it. It was an explicit 'the rules are for little people' statement, and the reasoning is because they were afraid of what rabid supporters would do nation wide if the preferred candidate was jailed by the state. Recall these are hardcore 'law and order' types only with little emphasis on the 'law' bit.


    Basically, Comey was playing politics because he was far more concerned about the optics and what it might mean for his agency instead of what it might mean for justice.


    How this relates to the rest of the shenanigans during the last election is pretty much anyone's guess since, so far, we're not even really sure what statutes in particular Mueller is investigating infractions of let alone what might be beyond the scope of his investigation. With such a wide net, he's found awfully small fish.

  • Overt||

    So here is my theory:

    Strzok gets the laptop info and sits on it, because he is absolutely in the tank, anti-trump, pro-hill.

    At some point this info gets to Comey, and he is faced with a choice: Let that information get out in a leaky manner where they cannot control the message, or get out in front of it. He is already accused of whitewashing the investigation, and he is sure that a leak, or revelation after the election will be the nail in his coffin. He will be the fall guy for congress because Congress will force Clinton to DO SOMETHING or they will spend years questioning what happens.

    So Comey's hands are tied. Had Strzok told him about this earlier, they could have done the investigation quickly and reported it in the final few weeks. Instead, he was forced to quickly issue an announcement, and then rush to defuse it.

    Finally, it isn't at all clear to me that this whole laptop debacle killed Hillary. If people were so swayed by the announcement of the laptop, why weren't they equally swayed a day or two before the election when he further announced, "No Foul"? Are we really to believe that after months of the email hearings blasting on the press, it was this one announcement that a laptop was found that suddenly caused people in key, blue-collar counties to flip their vote? Really?

  • retiredfire||

    Overt,
    your last paragraph says it all.

  • WillPaine||

    I've read his book, twice. James Comey, in my view, is a good man who did the best with what he was upholding; the law. A good leader will take the hit; he has gotten many. It has been said he should have consulted with others; ya think? Of course he "consulted with others". Such a case investigation doesn't happen in a vacuum; and beware those who would try to influence Justice in some political way. He is, and was Independent; called : American law. His intent was good; perhaps someone's karma, not so much. And a good leader takes the hit. James Comey might have, unknowingly, and unintentionally "exposed" the corruption of both the Democrats, and Republicans, in our great Republic And Democracy. We have had much good done, and being done by our great institutions of justice. Yes, there is a tainted history there. But, and they are us; friends, family, neighbors and loved ones. You know the beauty in your heart when you were a child. Hold onto that vision, teach your children that vision; have joy, be happy; find the things that do so for the happy in you.. Are you vegetarian yet?..gotta have fun; it's easy..peace..#:-)

  • Hunthjof||

    You can't be serious Comey is far from a good leader. The misbehavior of Senior level officials such as MaCabe Strozk Page etc do not occur over night. They happen from a horrendous leadership environment that takes years to develop. He either indirectly approved through ignorance meaning he was incompetent or directly by willfully ignoring tit meaning he was corrupt or some combination there of. These are not some rookie agents in a far away field office these were people he interacted with on a near if not actual Daily basis. In his book he even contradicted sworn testimony he gave.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Government power, and in particular law enforcement power, is a trust.
    Comey betrayed that trust.

    In Dante's Inferno, the deepest layer of hell is reserved for the betrayers of a trust.

  • Sevo||

    "...Yes, there is a tainted history there. But, and they are us; friends, family, neighbors and loved ones. You know the beauty in your heart when you were a child. Hold onto that vision, teach your children that vision; have joy, be happy; find the things that do so for the happy in you.. Are you vegetarian yet?..gotta have fun; it's easy..peace..#:-)"

    Do they let you out on weekends?
    What a steaming pile of shit.

  • TeamsterX||

    "I've read his book, twice. James Comey, in my view, is a good man "

    Do you honestly think he was going to write a book about what a shmuck he is?

  • Chili Dogg||

    What are you smoking, bruh?

  • TxJack 112||

    Are you freaking serious? A "good man"? He is an egomaniac who has to always be the center of attention. Everything he did was not for the good of the country, but himself. No law enforcement officer at ANY LEVEL holds a press conference and tells the world that someone will not be charged because "no reasonable prosecutor would charge them". If a law enforcement officer ever makes any public statements about any case, the one thing they NEVER do is discuss the facts of the case. They will announce an arrest, how the arrest occurred, the circumstances of the crime and maybe a few other minor details, but they NEVER discuss the actual evidence of the case. That is simply not done. When Comey made his declaration no reasonable prosecutor would charge her, he prevented any further action. If any prosecutor charged her, they would be attacked by the Democrats and media as politically partisan, would have had their lives and careers ruined and almost certainly lost the case because a fair trial would have been impossible. He is not a "good man". He is a self serving, grandstanding POS.

  • WillPaine||

    P.s. I watched all but the first ten minutes of the hearing; I found him to be a good man who did his best. I doubt anyone else I know could have been as clear in the name of justice as James Comey, a good man

  • ThomasD||

    OBL, is that you?

  • WillPaine||

    Pps; Believable; as a retired justice/counseling person, I would know; I've seen them all; sorta..#:-)

  • Sevo||

    What a steaming pile of shit.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "While Horowitz says Comey treated Clinton unfairly, Trump has long argued that Comey let Clinton off easy. Which is it?"

    Seriously? Seriously?

    She got treated unfairly favorably. You think it isn't unfair to whitewash somebody?

  • retiredfire||

    Indeed.
    To call her treatment - being given every possible benefit of every doubt - "unfair" is a mis-characterization.
    Horowitz goes through all the decisions as to how this "matter" was to be conducted and, in every case, the least rigorous of the choices was made. He calls them understandable, but when you add them up, you get kid-glove treatment and an early, unshakable decision on the outcome.
    Meanwhile, when it came to the Trump/Russia investigation, all the stops were pulled.

  • ThomasD||

    Horowitz repeatedly, when presented with gross deviation from accepted practices, declares "no bias" but offers no plausible alternative explanation.

    This is beyond credible and evinces it's own pattern of bias in favor of the federal bureaucracy.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, he doesn't declare 'no bias'. He declared that he couldn't prove bias was the reason for the misbehavior. Not at all the same thing; They might have acted the same even without the bias.

    Granted, there's some serious refusal to connect the dots going on here. But he wasn't denying the dots were present.

    The real takeaway from this ought to be that burner phones and anonymous private email accounts work. They really do let you conspire and not get nailed for it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The president reverts to his original, highly implausible excuse for dismissing the FBI director."

    The only excuse the president needs to fire the FBI director is "I didn't like the cut of his jib". I'm opposed to an unaccountable federal apparatchik class.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well government jobs are different. Firing a government worker is inconceivable.

  • ThomasD||

    Amen. The only way we can affect these people is via POTUS.

    Anyone who doesn't recognize and accept that is not remotely libertarian.

    Because unelected and unaccountable is not beneficial to liberty.

  • wreckinball||

    Lack of Reason
    LOL
    The reasons for firing Coney are infinite
    Pick one
    Dumb fucking Reason article of the day
    Maybe Nick can follow up with a " both sides@ article

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No kidding: Firing Comey was over-determined. BOTH sides of the political spectrum thought he had to go, before he actually did get fired.

    Conducting a sham investigation of Hillary. Holding a press conference to announce the results of an investigation FBI protocol said he was to just quietly pass to the AG, explaining why she was guilty, before clearing her. Sitting on the discovered emails until the agents threatened to leak, then announcing a new investigation, then clearing her again.

    Dude couldn't even bring himself to competently whitewash her, he had to try to split the difference between hiding and telling the truth!

    Then he tells everybody secretly that the President isn't under investigation, (Which is kind of a lie, because they are investigating him, they just don't want to admit it.) but refuses a direct order to say so publicly.

    There are about a dozen adequate reasons to fire him, Trump's only mistake was not doing it from the podium at his inauguration.

    And then the final irony: Rosenstein writes a memo recommending Comey be fired, then uses the firing as a pretext to appoint an independent counsel!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "No kidding: Firing Comey was over-determined. BOTH sides of the political spectrum thought he had to go, before he actually did get fired."

    Bingo. Both sides had declared him corrupt and unacceptable. He should have been out day one. A complete no brainer.

  • the_strickler||

    Let me reconcile....
    .
    Comey's actions were influenced by the fact that:
    1. Hillary is a powerful Democrat.
    2. Hillary was a Presidential candidate.
    3. The election was eminent.
    4. The AG was compromised by Bill Clinton.
    5. They had botched the investigation.
    6. New and devastating evidence had been found (Weiner's laptop)
    .
    So, Comey hurt Hillary with the public announcements. He never should have said anything publicly.
    .
    But, Comey helped her by botching the investigation and declaring her not guilty even though that was not in his authority and even though it clearly wasn't true.

  • TxJack 112||

    Comey never expected Democrats to attack him as they did after making his statement in July. He thought the fact he cut the legs off prosecutors and made it impossible for them to charge Clinton would make him a hero, not a pariah in Democratic circles. The only reason for the October statement was the revelation of the emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop, some of which were classified. The FBI sat on the info for over a month, but Comey had no choice but make another statement when the NYT found out about the existence of the emails on the laptop.

  • the_strickler||

    Comey helped Clinton criminally but hurt her electorally. There it is reconciled.

  • ThomasD||

    Comey's announcements in the last weeks of the election did not cost Hillary anything. Her idiotic campaign decisions in the mid-west, coupled with the media's obvious and failed attempt to hide her significant - but denied- health problems cost her more votes than Comey's Three Card Monte act.

  • buybuydandavis||

    But everyone assumed Hillary was inevitable.

    He was trying to preserve credibility when she did inevitably win.

    If she had won, as all the ruling reptiles believed was inevitable, they would be praising him for how he protected the credibility of the FBI and the electoral process for Hillary's win.

    She was not supposed to lose. We were not supposed to find out about how the #DeepState was spying on the opponents of the ruling party, in collaboration with the ruling party.

  • TxJack 112||

    The only person who hurt Hillary electorally is Hillary. When she set up the server to sidestep archiving regulations for government info, when she repeatedly lied about the existence of the server, her actions to cover up its existence and then the destruction of subpoenaed information on it as well as the destruction of other devices are all the things that led to her loss. Every time Hillary opened her mouth to explain something that was revealed, rather than come clean, she lied. Ironically, even though she was part of the investigation team during Watergate, she failed to learn the most important lesson from that entire event, tell the truth. In the midst of Watergate, the most damaging aspect to Nixon was not his knowledge of the burglary, but the fact he lied and attempted to cover it up. There is no way to know if telling the truth would have prevented his resignation, but if he had been honest, he would not have left office in disgrace. If Hillary would have been open and honest from the start, people would have forgiven her. However, she is a sociopath and incapable of telling the truth because to her, the ends always justify the means. She is obsessed with power and will do anything or say anything to get it and hold it. Trump is a narcissist and boorish, but Clinton is by far a 1000 times more dangerous.

  • Jayburd||

    Libyan foreign policy strategy outlines right next to dick pics in between pay for play donor appointments. Some of you people voted for these TOP WOMEN.

  • ravenshrike||

    The IG only reaches conclusions given to him by hard evidence or witness testimony. Only an idiot would think that these people would leave hard evidence lying around or rat on each other without significant leverage against them. Leverage the IG does not have access to.

  • Lee Moore||

    "Trump's reaction to Horowitz's report suggests that he thinks Comey was terribly unfair to Clinton, departing from Justice Department policy in ways that hurt her election prospects. Yet Trump also thinks Comey "totally protected Hillary," who belonged in prison rather than the White House. Can those positions be reconciled?"
    .

    Very easily. Comey's intervention in announcing the Weiner stash of emails may have hurt Clinton, but was intended to minimize the greater damage that would have occurred if NY FBI agents had leaked the fact that the emails existed and had been ignored by Comey's little head office team for a month. In fact those leaks had already started to trickle, so Comey nipped them in the bud and defused the sitting on them for a month issue which would have fueled the already strong suspicion that it was a non-investigation.

    .
    As for Comey "totally protecting Hillary" Trump obviously doesn't think that the prosecutors' decision not to charge her was the right one. Nor does Horowitz say that it was – he simply says that it was "based on the prosecutors' assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice." Trump, incidentally, is hardly the only one who thinks the prosecutors view was absurd. Andrew McCarthy – no friend of Trump – has written that roughly 100 out of 100 prosecutors, outside the head office team, would have decided to prosecute.

  • Lee Moore||

    Moreover, Comey's own stated reason for his week before the election announcement was (a) political and (b) favorable to Clinton. He didn't want her election as President sullied by suspicions that the FBI had suppressed evidence against her. (Which, of course, it had.)

    The fact that Comey had presided over a non investigation is demonstrated by the fact that he'd been drafting his "no prosecution" statement for months before he made it – months in which actual witnesses including Clinton were to be questioned. He claimed that he'd been forced to make the statement because of the Bill C– Lynch tarmac meeting, but that was obviously a lie – that meeting happening long after he'd started drafting the statement.

    There is no evidence, and no claim from Comey of his friends, that he ever starting drafting a statement saying she was going to be prosecuted. There was never any possibility that she would be indicted.

  • Lee Moore||

    However, Comey despite being a political animal, is first and foremost a drama queen. So knowing he had been presiding over a non investigation, and knowing that most people would see it that way, he still wanted to present the image of a clean cop, just doing my job, ma'am. Hence instead of silence, we got the July statement. Which both helped and hurt Clinton. It criticized her extreme carelessness ™, but generated an explicit statement that she'd done nothing worth prosecuting her for. At the time of that July statement, team Clinton was not unhappy with it. It was the October statement they didn't like.

    Whatever Trump's reasons for firing Comey, the one thing that all reasonable people can agree on, is that Comey is not the sort of man who should be in charge of the FBI.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    Well said.

  • TxJack 112||

    Exactly. Everything Comey did was for the benefit of one person, Comey. He is a grandstanding, self serving partisan hack who never should have been trusted with leading the world's premier law enforcement agency and as a result of that idiotic decision, it has been crippled and will take years to repair. The decay started under Mueller who moved it from law enforcement to intelligence and then under Comey it drove right off the cliff. Comey made sure the journey to the dark side was completed.

  • Mark22||

    Trump Says Comey 'Totally Protected Hillary' but Was Fired for Actions That Hurt Her

    Well, and he even told us why: he assumed that Clinton was going to win anyway, and his conduct was intended to ensure the legitimacy of her presidency.

    So, Comey was corrupt and biased, but he also was deluded and incompetent. These behaviors are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they frequently coincide.

  • jjsaz||

    Cognitive dissonance much?

    Lynch improperly met with Billy Boy! Comey had decided she was not going to be charged before she testified (not sworn), Comey improperly decided to announce she wouldn't be charged. Comey decided to give everybody in her camp immunity. Comey agreed to call the, "Investigation," a, "Matter."

    What in God's name are you blathering about? Comey only hurt her when he reopened the case to shield himself. Everything else was to her benefit.

    The reason he gave for not charging her ass was that she had no mens rea, but there is no mens rea component to the law she broke. the whole thing was a white wash.

    That said, Trump is not what one might term, "Consistent," nor, "truthful."

  • Chili Dogg||

    Jacob, are you saying that the new president should have disagreed with the Deputy AG's description of FBI policies with regard to Comey speaking publicly about his findings about Hillary mishandling classified information and stealing government property? That doesn't make sense. So what if President Trump is politically opportunistic in accepting Rosenstein's findings? Trump opportunistic?? I'm SHOCKED, SHOCKED, I TELL YOU!! He still had legitimate grounds to criticize and fire Comey.

    Jacob, you are conflating 2 different aspects of the Hillary investigation. The first is the investigation process, in which, for example, the FBI wrote drafts exonerating her before they even talked to her, removed information about her emailing with Obama from foreign countries, and said she had to have intent when actually just gross negligence was adequate for a charge. Also, a lead investigator in the Hillary investigation, Strzok, was manifestly anti Trump. The 2nd feature is Comey's public statements about the case in July and Oct., 2016. Why is it unreasonable to agree with a Deputy AG who says that Comey did not follow FBI policies in doing making those statements? Rosenstein knows FBI policies better than I do, so I will take his word for it. You seem to think that it is impossible to criticize the investigatory process and also agree with Rosenstein that Comey went against FBI policy. Actually, it is very possible and reasonable to come to this conclusion.

  • TxJack 112||

    Seriously? One issue has nothing to do with the other. Comey did protect Hillary by assuming the role of prosecutor and making a decision about whether she would be charged for her mishandling of classified info. After he made his public statement, it was impossible for any prosecutor to charge her, even if they believed what se did was a crime. The public outcry would have been so vicious and constant, a fair trial would have been impossible. However, the mere fact that Comey took such actions is why he was fired. As was clearly stated in the IG report, his actions were inappropriate and far outside the norms for a person in his position. He usurped the role of prosecutors and the AG and tied their hands. So the President's rationale is not implausible is you step back, take off your partisan glasses and look at the entire issue objectively.

  • Allan214||

    Comey is a crook.

    Kevin

  • Allan214||

    Comey is a crook.

    Kevin

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