Comey Explains His Investigative Basis For Saying Trump Is “Possibly” Being Blackmailed By The Russians

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitI previously criticized former FBI Director James Comey for his declaration that President Donald Trump is “possibly” under the influence of compromising information held by the Russians.  There has of course been considerable speculation about “Golden Showers” and Russian prostitutes. However, when the person who once headed the investigation pointedly discussed the possibility, it suggests something more than speculation.   It turns out that it was based precisely on that . . . speculation.

Comey said that the first and foremost reason to believe that the allegation is that “the President is constantly bringing it up with me to deny it.”  He explained  to Jake Tapper that “In my experience as an investigator, it’s not an ironclad rule, but it’s a striking thing when someone constantly brings up something to deny that you didn’t ask about.” He then added “I think it’s unlikely, but I think it’s possible.”
What exactly does that mean?  It is unlikely but you decided to emphasize it on a book tour.  It is also possible that Trump is the last of the Romanov line.  Is that worth mentioning?
Comey’s second reason that he was “struck” by how Trump “wouldn’t criticize Vladimir Putin even in private, which struck me as odd.”
So that is it.  Comey, who portrays himself as the consummate professional, is selling books by enticing readers about the possibility that Trump held “Golden Shower” moments with prostitutions and is under the thumb of Moscow.  Is that what Comey means by his giving America’s back “ethical leadership”?

299 thoughts on “Comey Explains His Investigative Basis For Saying Trump Is “Possibly” Being Blackmailed By The Russians”

  1. Well, let’s face it, if the Orange one, with the white eyes, told me something and if Comey told me something
    I would go to the bank, with what Coney said.

  2. Is it ‘possible’ that James Comey is compromised and corrupt? Is it ‘possible’ that James Comey is a liar and had an ‘agenda’ of his own? Is it ‘possible’ that James Comey was part of a scheme to try to blackmail Trump by only letting him know about the dossier pee tape allegations and nothing else in the dossier? Yes, it’s possible.

  3. Comey Memo 1-6-17: Comey notifies Trump of salacious accusation and alleged “tapes” involving Russian hookers, observes Trump’s reaction, and writes down his observations minutes later:

    I said, the Russians allegedly had tapes involving him and prostitutes at the Presidential Suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow from about 2013. He interjected, “there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes.” He then said something about him being the kind of guy who didn’t need to “go there” and laughed (which I understood to be communicating that he didn’t need to pay for sex). He said “2013” to himself, as if trying to remember that period of time, but didn’t add anything. He said he always assumed that hotel rooms he stayed in when he travels are wired in some way. I replied that I do as well.

    I said I wasn’t saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [redacted] and that we were keeping it very close-hold. He said he couldn’t believe that hadn’t gone with it. I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports.

    He then started talking about all the women who had falsely accused him of grabbing or touching them (with particular mention of a “stripper” who said he grabbed her) and gave me the sense that he was defending himself to me. I responded that we were not investigating him and the stuff might be totally made up but it was being said out of Russia and our job was to protect the President from efforts to coerce him. I said we try to understand what the Russians are doing and what they might do. I added that I also wanted him to know this in case it came out in the media.

    (1) And Comey didn’t mention that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was behind the whole thing.

    While giving Trump this proposed blackmail information under the pretext of the FBI’s duty to “protect the President from efforts to coerce him,” Comey never mentioned Clinton involvement or other known information about how the salacious accusations and allegation of “tapes” had originated and been funded, handled, and employed to get a FISA warrant, which had alread been used to spy on his campaign and transition.

    Comey just pinned it all on Russia: “…it was being said out of Russia …”

    And he even deflected suspicion away from the ongoing investigation of Trump’s campaign by lying to the President and claiming “we were not investigating him.”

    (2) Comey is conducting a psy-op. He knowingly induced the reaction he is observing, by his choice of words and by the content of what he said and what he concealed. It was a surprise revelation of shocking and humiliating information and alleged corroborating “tapes,” and it was designed and intended to induce a reaction which Comey was ready and waiting to observe and record.

    As noted in the Inspector General’s report on Andrew McCabe, Comey understands the importance of
    deciding precisely what to say:

    IG report, page 16 (about release of FBI info):

    “Comey told us that the disclosure of the existence of a specific investigation would require much internal
    discussion on the form and wording …”

    In all likelihood there had also been “much internal discussion on the form and wording” related to the plan to disclose this information to Trump, as is apparent from (a) the decision not to mention anything about Hillary Clinton’s campaign having funded the project, (b) the fact that the Cinton campaign hid the payment from required campaign finance disclosure forms, and (c) Comey’s lie about Trump not being investigated while Comey was conducting this psy-op and preparing to write down his observations of the results.

    These are not “memos” regarding a casual conversation — these are records of an unauthorized psy-op conducted by Comey, the FBI, the DOJ, and the intelligence community against the President.

    1. And then leak the meeting to CNN (Clapper) to give the Dossier (which CNN already possessed) some legitimacy.

      It’s called an Insurance Policy according to the FBI.

      1. Exactly. And there’s also the part played by Brennan and Harry Reid. Brennan briefed Reid, and the Reid started spreading it around. And there’s the McCain factor. There are lots of components. But having Comey brief Trump, which made it official information, was what allowed CNN to publish it — not under the theory that it’s true, but as a fact that it had been briefed to the President.

        While warning Trump about CNN, Comey was actually establishing grounds for CNN to publish the story.

        1. CNN did not publish any of the details from the dossier on January 10th, 2016. However, Buzzfeed cited CNN’s report as an excuse for Buzzfeed to publish the dossier itself in every detail on the same day as the CNN report.

          1. I’ve already asked you not to reply to my comments. You published your opinion the other day that I cannot sue you because it would violate your privacy for Turley to disclose your identity. That put responsibility for your prior defamation on the publisher. And the publish of this website has been notified, here and by email.

            1. Perhaps you should start your own blog. Then you can ban me your own blog. And you won’t have to threaten to sue Turley for not banning L4D from Turley’s blawg.

  4. From the article..

    Why would Trump wonder about the FBI director’s loyalty? Perhaps because in their first meeting, the FBI director dropped the Moscow sex allegation on Trump, followed immediately by its publication in the media. It seems entirely reasonable for a president to wonder what was going on and whether the FBI director was loyal, not to the president personally, but to the confidentiality that is required in his role as head of the nation’s chief investigative agency.

    A few more things. We had known earlier that Comey briefed Trump about the dossier one-on-one on January 6, 2017. But it was not until an interview Thursday with CNN’s Jake Tapper that Comey revealed the conversation was only about the Moscow sex allegation. The other parts of the dossier — about Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, allegations of collusion — Comey did not mention to the president-elect. No wonder Trump associated the dossier with the Moscow sex story.

    We also know, from the new book Russian Roulette, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that immediately after the first Comey meeting, Trump thought the FBI was blackmailing him:

    “Trump had seen this sort of thing before,” they write. “Certainly, his old mentor Roy Cohn — the notorious fixer for mobsters and crooked pols — knew how this worked. So too did Comey’s famous predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, who had quietly let it be known to politicians and celebrities that he possessed information that could destroy their careers in a New York minute.”

    1. Also this…

      “Now, some journalists are suggesting that Trump was “obsessed with one particular passage in the dossier” — that is, the “golden showers” scene. Well, why would that be? Could it be that, of all the elements of the dossier, the sex scene was the only one the FBI director chose to tell Trump about in their first meeting?

      By the way, we know from Isikoff and Corn and other sources that the dossier’s compilers themselves — former British spy Christopher Steele and the opposition research group Fusion GPS — had little faith in the veracity of the Moscow sex story. Steele once reportedly said there was perhaps a 50-50 chance of the story being true, and Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson considered the Russia source of the story a “big talker” who might have made it up to impress Steele.

      But that is the story that the FBI director chose to tell the president on January 6, 2017. It is the story that was leaked and ended up in full public view not long after. And after all that happened, President Trump began to question the FBI director’s loyalty. How could he not?”

    2. From what we know of Trump’s character, can we automatically dismiss any claims that he participated in reprehensible acts no matter how foul?

      Trump himself makes these claims believable. In the end we will know the truth, but the only possible surprise will be if he didn’t do it.

  5. I went out with a waitress… that I always knew.
    How was I to know… she was with the Russians too?

    –Wareen Zevon. Lawyers, Guns and Money.

    Lard get me out of this! On Sunday its Lard. On Monday it’s Crisco.

  6. Comey is a selef-serving book peddler. An ethical and fair lawman would have responded: “We have no evidence of that”.

  7. Get real Turley! The article immediately after this uses the word “suspicion”, which you seem to have no qualm with.

    1. I have a few problems with this article myself, but I believe the point of zeroing in on Comey using the word, “possibly,” is that there’s no evidence to support the belief, so why even mention it. It’s also possible — and closer to probable — that Russians have blackmail information about Hillary, the one that had a “personal” email server filled with Above Top Secret information and which could have been hacked by a 12-year-old.

      Anything’s possible. It’s possible that zebras teach algebra on the fourth moon of Jupiter — but it would be more than a little stupid for a reasonable person to actually cite it as a possibility as if it were reason for concern.

      And When Comey says it’s merely “possible,” it’s actually a confession to felony conduct, because the standard for submitting information to the FISA Court is that the information MUST be verified, and nobody has produced any information suggesting that Russians, or anyone else (other than the democrats who fabricated the information), possesses any of the information to which Comey is referring.

      1. There was no FISA warrant on Trump. There was a FISA warrant on Carter Page. There was, at one time, speculation in the press that there might have been a FISA warrant on Paul Manafort. But there wasn’t a FISA warrant on Paul Manafort. And the speculation in the press to the contrary may have been driven by Devin Nunes and Trump, himself.

        1. Everyone knows how the FISA warrant was employed. In investigated Page, private contractors that the FBI unlawfully gave access to raw NSA data used unlawful search terms to locate any information about Page’s associates. That’s how the raw intelligence concerning many others besides Page got unmasked in bulk quantity. This has all been verified, beginning with the 99-page FISC (FISA Court) Memorandum that was declassified on April 27, 2017. I’m putting this response up for the page, not you. Please crawl back in your hole.

          1. There is nothing in the cited document to tie the 702 abuses to the FISA warrant on Carter Page nor to any of the Trump campaign members who were unmasked. There are, however, and as I’m sure you already know, frequent references to count-terrorism investigations in the document. The document has numerous redactions and some of the dates coincide with the investigation of Page and the unmasking of Trump campaign members. But the numerous references to counter-terrorism investigations strongly suggest that you may be misreading the document that you’ve cited. In the spirit of charity, I presume that your interpretation of the document is offered in good faith.

            1. Buster, I’m not gonna read any more of your garbage. Please stop replying to my comments. You’ve been warned about your behavior, as have others.

    1. @Christine Alford April 20, 2018 at 3:28 AM
      “Maybe you have to have been an Irish Catholic School Girl to recognize an Irish Catholic School boy’s ‘liar face’..but if you have seen Comey, you’ve seen it.”

      Ouch. You really know how to hurt a guy. 🙂

      1. Ken Rogers – is that the face you use when you say Sister, I was not in that broom closet with that girl.

        1. @Paul C Schulte April 20, 2018 at 3:36 PM
          “Ken Rogers – is that the face you use when you say Sister, I was not in that broom closet with that girl.

          Could be, but having never been an Irish Catholic School boy, I’m unqualified to say.

          I am, however, qualified to say that I got a huge kick out of Christine Alford’s apropos observation from personal experience. 🙂

          1. Ken Rogers – which part are you unqualified about? The Irish? The Catholic? Or the School? 😉

  8. Remember the lather that some members of the media and the Democratic Party, got into when Trump criticized the leadership of the FBI? It seems Trump was spot on.
    Just like when he claimed to being “wiretapped”, Trump may be crude and imprecise in his language but he does seem to be right. Even his reference to the Russia investigation as a hoax seems to be proving out. He could have been more articulate and called it a coup but he does seem to have a point.

    1. Trump may be crude and imprecise in his language…

      He’s certainly not an experienced politician that knows certain words or phrases commonly used outside the political arena may have different meanings within it. However Comey would, Which brings me to this whole issue regarding loyalty. Did Comey ever bother to ask Trump what he meant by the word loyalty?

  9. “Your comment is awaiting moderation” — I take to mean I used a word that is prohibited by the word filter.

    So here’s a second try, using two words misspelled to see if that was the reason for the “moderation.”

    For Comey to pretend that Trump’s denial of the peee nonsense is indicative — per Comey’s investigative experiences — that the allegations may be true is one of the most preposterous statements ever made.

    The obvious reason for repeated denials, even when nobody brought the subject up, is that aside from being untrue, the allegation is extraordinarily humiliating. It was clearly designed and intended to be humiliating, and I’d say it was cooked up by Hillary’s people. That’s how they roll. Sid Blumenthal’s and/or Cody Shearer’s fingerprints are probably all over that nonsense.

    The intent was to drag Trump, his administration, and the rest of America down into the toilet where Hillary lives.

    Comey is one of the most treacherous and disgraceful bastaaaards ever to hold public office, and aside from the fact that briefing the President about this trash was the excuse CNN needed to report it as viable news (which was Clapper’s plan), my guess is that Trump’s reaction to the news was that his own FBI Director was informing him that he was being blackmailed — not by Russians, but by the FBI and the “intelligence community.” And in fact, that IS what they were doing.

    And Comey’s theory about the denials being indicative of the truth of the allegations is speculation that might — keyword “might” — be appropriate for a clinical psychologist, but not for a jackass lawyer.

    Having expertise in one field, and using that expertise to express opinions and speculation in a completely different field would never be allowed in court, and yet it’s almost all that lawyers (including JT) do in the media — and per Comey, now they apparently even do it during unlawful counterintelligence investigations.

    Why does the legal community remain silent about this grotesque and unprofessional behavior by lawyers that the pubic is subjected to daily, often hourly? The legal community’s silence on these grotesque abuses of their own licenses is deafening.

    Here again, JT publishes an article with ZERO law in it — NONE — when he had an opportunity to point out some of what I just mentioned about lawyers sticking to their field of expertise and the illegitimacy of expert opinion outside of one’s field of expertise. I agree with what Turley wrote here, but I could get that kind of information from the cashier at the supermarket the next time I buy potato chips.

    The legal community needs to take ten giant steps backward and ask itself what it thinks it’s doing, including by remaining silent about this sort of misconduct which has become the rule, not the exception.

  10. i think that this blog should investigate the role of J Edgar Hoover in the murders of JFK, MLK, and RFK.

  11. Comey Comey bo boney,,,
    bananna fanna fo foamy..
    fee fi moe bomey…

    If the first two letters are ever the same,,
    You drop them both and say the name..
    Like Bob, Fob, friggin F so Rob..
    Or Mayy, Mary, be so hairy..
    That’s the only rule which is contrary…

    Say Comey with a C. And bannana fanna fo.

  12. There is no there-there. This is how poor investigators work. If you deny it, you are guilty, if you don’t deny it enough you are guilty. Regardless, you are guilty.

    1. It’s also how poor lawyers work. They get a license to practice law, and then use that license to practice psychology. It’s a thoroughly corrupt profession that’s supposed to police itself and almost never does. That’s not so say that there aren’t good and honest attorney’s out there, but the profession — the legal community as a whole — stinks worse than a barn that hasn’t been cleaned in decades.

      1. Mr. Bayer: your points are well said. Unfortunately, the legal profession will never clean its stable because far too many lawyers (like Comey and Mueller) bath in muck.

  13. So let’s look at the real reasons why Trump sacked Comey. What did Comey do to deserve being fired?

    Officially, the President has held the power to appoint and dismiss the director of the FBI at his or her discretion since 1968.

    However, the only FBI Director to be fired was William S. Sessions by Bill Clinton and that was for serious misconduct. Did Comey participate in any similar serious misconduct? I don’t think so.

    So, what are the reasons for Trump firing Comey? Well, as Trump said, it was officially because of Comey’s handling of the Clinton e-mails but later in an NBC interview, he said he was going to fire him regardless because it was “this Russia thing”.

    Here is the Trump – Lester Holt NBC interview:

    1. ivankinsman,

      You might not have been aware, but this web blog is configured so that only two links are allowed per comment. This is done mostly for anti-spam purposes. I edited your comment to allow it to post by dereferencing the hyperlinks.

      If you want readers to view more than two links, this may be accomplished by using multiple comments.

    2. How about some non-MIC sources for your declaration. Why do people talk about the failure of the press in the Iraq debacle, yet choose to cite them when it is convenient (other than for partisan reasons, of course…)?

        1. Hearing this and that bad tiding for over a year. Still waiting. “But… but… porn star!” doesn’t cut it.

          Maybe examine the veracity of your source material before you attempt to use it as a shield.

            1. No, but you won’t stop hoping.

              At this juncture, he’s secured indictments for process crimes, for matters irrelevant to the campaign which could have been handled by the U.S. Attorneys or the Criminal Division, and an indictment of a collection of internet trolls that he’ll never have to defend in court and which even he admits had no connection to the Trump campaign.

              Now consider previous investigations:

              Whitewater Phase I: Investigation begins January 1994, indictments of the main perpetrators secured by August 1995 (for bank fraud). – (19 months)

              Iran-Contra: Investigation: investigation begins in October 1986. Indictments of the main perpetrators secured in March 1988 (17 months).

              Watergate: investigation begins in June 1972. Multiple sets of indictments on matters of primary interest. Last set secured in March 1974 (21 months).

              Well, this investigation has been ongoing for 21 months and you have bupkis, basically harassment charges against people who were ingenuous enough to talk to FBI agents without an attorney present. BTW, there is no analogue to these sorts of federal charges in New York law, to take one example. No one’s even quite sure what crime Mueller’s office is investigating.

              1. TRUMP election officials colluding with the Russians in the 2016 election. Let the due process of the law run its course. Even the majority of Republicans agree about this.

                1. Again, even Mueller is not contending Trump ‘colluded’ with Russian internet trolls under indictment. That aside, you’ve not identified the crime.

    3. What did Comey do to deserve being fired?

      He was the supervisor of McCable, Ohr, and Sztrok/Page. Start there.

  14. If you saw Comey on Maddow, he was very measured and particular about his choice of words and any accusations (unlike you, sir: hint). He explained his positions. He said the book was submitted to the FBI for approval before being published (unlike your columns). He is plainly a flawed individual, particularly with regard to the HRC email business, but overall he seems like an ethical guy confronted with a completely unethical POTUS. You are just ranting about him without presenting his case in a fair and balance way. And guess what? You’ll never sell as many books as he does, no matter how hard you try. Sad!

    1. And Comey will never sell as many books as Larry Flynt has sold skin mags. You have a warped method of measuring of quality.

  15. Mr. Comey continues to demonstrate his lack of ethical thought. Throwing smoke and lighting a few embers to satisfy whatever question is thrown his way. At least Sec. Clinton has competition in who can lay out the most dribble.

    How the mighty have fallen.

    1. “… How the mighty have fallen.”

      Wow, you’ve certainly hit that on the head. I’m embarrassed by the level of professionalism our tax dollars have paid for.

      Time to roll back out the The Weekly World News and have a cover photo of Trump shaking hands with an alien (extraterrestrial, that is for [for the smaller thinking and reasoning contributors here]). Oh yeah, Comey will be behind the curtain looking at the scene FBI cloak and dagger style, because he just knows it’s true.

      I guess we’ll never bring up the DOCUMENTED ACTS with EVIDENCE held in limbo that makes a real case against the Democratic party (I forget about “situational ethic” and “relativism”–but I refuse to let anyone hide behind those perverse facets of arguing either).

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