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. @wildbill99 April 20, 2018 at 8:10 PM
        “Youtube videos, Autumn’s preferred news source.
        “That explains quite a lot…”

        What’s your preferred source of “information,” Bill?

        CNN and its “analysts” like James Clapper?

        CBS and its “analysts” like Mike Morel?

        The New York Times and its embedded “reporters” like Judith Miller?

        MSNBC and its politically savvy “hosts” like Joe Scarborough?

        Do you appreciate the consistency of the highly reliable Corporate Media, as demonstrated by the compilation, below?
        https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=compilation+of+corporate+media+talking+points&&view=detail&mid=4F279238145C33F2F8264F279238145C33F2F826&rvsmid=EB4BA37FE896D11C57B9EB4BA37FE896D11C57B9&FORM=VDRVRV

        P.S.
        When are you going to comment on the conspiracy theory of the DNC’s lawsuit against the Trump Campaign, WikiLeaks, and the Russian Government, as reported by the Corporate Media?
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/the-dncs-lawsuit-against-the-russian-government-trump-campaign-and-wikileaks/2302/

  1. Meanwhile sad sack DNC files lawsuit. Anything to distract and extract funds from the gullible “resistance” Welcome to the Twilight Zone!

    “US president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin in Vietnam on 11 November 2017.
    US president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin in Vietnam on 11 November 2017. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

    The Democratic National Committee has filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, Donald Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks, alleging a widespread conspiracy to help swing the 2016 US presidential election in Trump’s favor.

    The multimillion-dollar lawsuit was filed on Friday in federal court in the southern district of New York. The complaint asserts that senior officials within the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in a bid to damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and seeks damages for the hacking of DNC’s servers.

    “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.

    “This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for president of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency.”

    Named as defendants are the president’s elder son, Donald Trump Jr, son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. It also names WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidante who communicated with WikiLeaks, the website which published both the emails obtained from the hacking of both the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.”

    Entire article:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/20/trump-russia-wikileaks-sued-democrats-lawsuit

    1. It will be dismissed before discovery begins under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

      Alternatively:

      Judge: This court is now in session
      WikiLeaks: may we look at the servers?
      DNC: nope, but we have this report from a reputa
      Judge: Case Dismissed

  2. Here’s an article about Trump’s credibility from today’s WASHINGTON POST

    Apparently Trump has been inflating his personal wealth since the 1980’s. He actually threatened litigation to compel “Forbes Magazine” to publish inflated figures on an annual basis. They were leery of Trump’s claims but compromised with lower numbers that were ‘still’ greatly inflated.

    After Trump’s casino problems, bankruptcy courts arrived at estimates that pegged Trump’s wealth at far lower levels than official claims. Yet Trump succeeded in hyping his ‘billionaire’ status despite the bankruptcies.

    One can see from the article why Trump steadfastly refuses to show his taxes.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/trump-lied-to-me-about-his-wealth-to-get-onto-the-forbes-400-here-are-the-tapes/2018/04/20/ac762b08-4287-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html?utm_term=.b6bcfb603ec2

        1. I’ve got to wonder, is this the same WashPo that just praised knives AFTER the mayor of London implemented knife control to try and curb record knife crime in London?

  3. “Treason doth never prosper: what ’s the reason?

    Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

    ― John Harrington
    ________________________________________

    Comey is but one small cog in the wheel of the Obama DOJ/FBI “Deep State” coup d’etat in America.

    Congress must consolidate and accelerate the process of impeachment

    as Class or Mass-Action to accommodate the burgeoning lineup

    of co-conspirators.

    All roads lead to Obama.

    1. “Deep State coup d’etat”
      Double LOL.
      George loves his whacky conspiracies. Ask him about the JFK, RFK, MLK Assassinations.

      Good for a laugh…

  4. The swamp was indeed deep, my friends.

    This is where the “bad actors” turn on each other to try to save themselves.

    They all expected Clinton would be elected. Their every corrupt action was predicated on that one “sure thing ……..

    “I’m doing it because I hope we can negotiate an end to this for the good of the country” – Rudy Giuliani

    “First Meeting:

    Mueller: Hi Mr. Giuliani, I-

    Rudy: I know what was on Weiner’s laptop, Bob”

  5. It is irresponsible for Comey to be making such statements. As a former investigator, he should know better. I think he does know better, but suspended such reasoning out of political zeal.

    My father told me that FBI and CIA just worked the job. That does not appear to be the case any longer. Perhaps they are returning to the days when they abused authority to target MLK, Jr. Unlikely, but possible. Maybe I should write a book about it…

    1. “I think he does know better, but suspended such reasoning out of political zeal.”

      Or — being the main witness against McCabe, maybe Comey’s intentionally destroying his own credibility to mess up any case against McCabe. Having no credibility doesn’t seem to bother Comey, as long as he rakes in the book-money.

    2. @Karen S April 20, 2018 at 12:29 PM
      “My father told me that FBI and CIA just worked the job. That does not appear to be the case any longer. Perhaps they are returning to the days when they abused authority to target MLK, Jr. Unlikely, but possible. Maybe I should write a book about it…”

      I hope you do. In the meantime, many have already been published, including these two, reviews of which I encourage you to read: David Talbot’s The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government; and Curt Gentry’s J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets.

    1. Jill and Natacha in the convertible, Jill gunning the engline, Darren Smith running running running making a futile effort to save them.

      1. I thought maybe it was Hillary and Debbie Wasserman Putz in the car being chased by Uncle Joe Biden.

  6. “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.”

    Why should Turley be surprised? Comey is a liar. Instead of calling it the ‘Trump abyss’ Turley should be referring to it as the ‘Comey abyss’ and refer to Trump as the reasonable honest broker in this affair.

    1. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Turley to give up his anti-Trump moralistic attitude. I think perhaps his supposed interest in civil liberties is a reflection of subconscious desires directly opposite — similar to those of a robed grand inquisitor galloping over the countryside, dispensing summary moral judgment.

      1. Turley is an academic and academics have a different view of the world. Add to that his leftward leanings. Between the two he is doing better than one can generally expect. He is a civil libertarian and actually thinks. I am hoping that all these revelations will make him recognize where the left leads. I came to this blog with knowledge of his leftist leanings but recognized how hard he seemed to try to act in a manner consistent with a civil libertarian absent other ideologies.

        1. Yes, I’ve known about Turley’s political leanings possibly longer than he has — but since the advent of Trump, Turley’s been steadily transforming himself into a righteous upholder of some weird code of morality concerning which he’s set himself up as the judge and jury. Holy Inquisitions were conducted by such men. Just ask Galileo.

          And he almost never addresses issues of actual law any more. I can’t remember the last time I read one of his articles in which he even mentions the law.

          Maybe it was the “Judge” Roy Moore business that got to him. That’s where I first became aware of his legal theory, that if you don’t sue, the accusation must be true.

          If he’d been the person he is now when I first became aware of him, I’d passed along by — nothing to see here.

          There’s nothing civil-libertarian about the way Turley’s been casting moral judgments about Trump. He doesn’t get Trump — that’s obvious — and he thinks it’s Trump’s fault that Turley doesn’t get Trump. It can’t be Turley’s fault.

              1. Don’t argue. There is a difference between one’s moral positions and the law.

                However, I should have added that I too expected a lot more discussion of the law on this blog. For that reason alone the blog is a disappointment.

                1. Turley’s “morality” prevents him from seeing things, and makes him focus on matters that are relatively irrelevant. The same thing happens to all ideologues. The ideology creates a form of blindness that lets ideologues see only what they want to see. It’s that simple

                2. Profsblawg has legal discussions, some of them tedious. This is a venue for Turley’s opinion writing, which touches upon the law. However, the law isn’t the content, and unless you were a legal professional, you wouldn’t much care for it if it did. Same deal with Althouse, which is composed of a law professor’s apercus on that day.

                  1. I expected a bit more law though not necessarily of in-depth law.

                    His opinions are translated into his personal income so I understand his motivations.

          1. hahaha WB

            “That’s where I first became aware of his legal theory, that if you don’t sue, the accusation must be true.”

            Turley is definitely no Dershowitz.

            1. Yeah — I don’t think Turley ever disappointed me more than when I read about that theory. Those are my words, though. That’s not the way he expressed it. But if you go back and read a few of his Judge Roy Moore articles, the argument is there. I just sort of put it in the “If the glove don’t fit” line of legal poetry.

    2. Allan – according to the released Comey memos, Trump says he was never in a hotel in Moscow. He just flew in and out. He asked Comey to check that for him. The honorable Comey seems not to have done that because he had a different agenda.

    1. It doesn’t seem likely that the DNC will be allowed to participate in discovery, unless it can produce all of the documents that Hillary deleted, and present her email server for inspection in a condition unaltered and in the condition in which it existed prior to being Bleachbitted.
      And the DNC would likewise have to turn over its allegedly-hacked device(s) in the condition it was in at the time it was allegedly hacked.
      I don’t see any of that happening, so it would be pretty easy to get this frivolous lawsuit dismissed.

        1. I don’t think they really know what they’re doing, and one would have to apply abnormal psychology to figure it out.

          1. Lee Camp, star of RT America? RT America being a propaganda arm funded by the Russian government?
            Autumn, you really should be more cautious in selecting your videos.

            Cordially, Bill

  7. It was fun watching the Nunes-led strategy about the Comey memos explode in the GOPs faces. They must have hoped Rosenstein would not comply, thus giving Trump an excuse to fire him. But that fizzled and then the immediately released memos corroborated Comey’s sworn testimony.

    And then there’s the Rudy v Mueller “negotiation.” Did Rudy ever prosecute the mob? Dunno, but Mueller did.

        1. He was — Southern District.

          Plus there’s this from Wikipedia:

          In the Mafia Commission Trial (February 25, 1985 – November 19, 1986), Giuliani indicted eleven organized crime figures, including the heads of New York’s so-called “Five Families”, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) on charges including extortion, labor racketeering, and murder for hire. Time magazine called this “Case of Cases” possibly “the most significant assault on the infrastructure of organized crime since the high command of the Chicago Mafia was swept away in 1943”, and quoted Giuliani’s stated intention: “Our approach is to wipe out the five families.”[43] Eight defendants were found guilty on all counts and subsequently sentenced on January 13, 1987 to hundreds of years of prison time.

          1. W. Bayer…,
            – I remember at the time some were drawing comparisons of Guliani with Thomas Dewey, who became a major political figure after high profile prosecutions in New York in the 1930s and 1940s.
            Offhand, I can’t think of any other prosecutors in American history who were as well known as Dewey and Guliani.

            1. Nor can I. In terms of dealing with the mob, the only other name that stands out is Eliot Ness — but he wasn’t a prosecutor.

                1. LOL — I haven’t seen them. Are they still available? — and would I want to see them?
                  I didn’t follow the OJ trial — when it began I’d just begun what was to become 12 years of civil and criminal litigation (with two cases pending in the court of appeals when the OJ trial started) — so I didn’t have much time to pay attention and, frankly, wasn’t interested in trials as a way to take my mind off of my own trials.

                  1. W. Bayer…,
                    I suppose the photos of Ckark are probably online somewhere….the news stories that I read about it just showed her from the shoulders up, so to the defree that it was covered by the MSM it was pretty discrete.

                    1. William Bayer – Hustler used to have some pretty low amateur standards. 😉

                    2. Now I’m confused. So you’re saying the Marsha Clark photos ARE Hustler material?

                    3. William Bayer – I have no idea. I just know that Hustler had no standards. 😉

                    4. Ah, but having no standards IS a form of having standards. Tom described what he knew of the photos as “discreet,” which wouldn’t meet Hustler’s “standards.”
                      Not that I’ve ever seen Hustler Magazine, mind you (wink wink) — I’m just guessing.

                  1. Paul and William,..
                    I think the photos were given to the media after the OJ trial, but it might have been during the trial.
                    Seems like it was an angry ex who leaked the photos, but I’m not sure.
                    I think she kept her “day job”…she didn’t use the publicity to launch a new career in porn.

                    1. I was curious about when the Marcia Clark photos were published….it was DURING the OJ trial.
                      Her ex-husband’s mother sold them to the National Enquirer.

                    2. “a new career in porn” — I think you mean a career in a different kind of porn. Sorry, but I spent enough years in court that I feel entitled to take shots at lawyer for the rest of my life. Some great people — keyword “some.”

  8. For over a year, I’ve been asking “What is the FBI’s Standard Operating Procedure for foreign election interference as it intersects with a Presidential candidate and campaign?” And, “Was it followed in 2016?”

    Thanks to the detailed chronology Donna Brazile gives in her book “Hacked”, we can now answer this question. As soon as the Russian threat materialized, the FBI reached out to help the DNC defend against covert Russian attacks. The same protection was NOT offered to help the Republican candidate — it was withheld. Instead, the FBI took up a distrustful surveillance approach. The FBI waited 6 months, until the transition, to arrange its first meeting with the Trump campaign (when the dossier was presented by Comey).

    As we think about 2018 and 2020 elections, we need to be asking more questions about the asymmetry in the way the federal counterintelligence establishment interacted with both campaigns.

    The model for treating all candidates and campaigns can be found in the way the FBI/NSA/CIA reached out privately to the DNC in a timely manner. This should become the Standard Operating Procedure. Even though Debbie Wasserman Schultz declined to take up offers of cybersecurity help from FBI, her more competent successor Donna Brazile immediately set up a cyberdefense team and they utilized a cooperative, trusting relationship with the FBI to understand the Russian threat and organize defensive countermeasures.

    The Russian attack on the Trump campaign took a different shape. Trained special ops spies were tasked with nurturing a covert relationship and gaining influence. Why didn’t Comey and McCabe reach out to the Trump campaign in July 2016, and build a cooperative Russian-spy-thwarting effort? This is the question that must be put before Comey and McCabe. There’s no record of the FBI asking for a private meeting with Trump until January 2017 during the transition, and sensitive discussions from this meeting were promptly leaked to the press, undermining the goal of building trust with a private meeting.

    1. @pbinca April 20, 2018 at 11:43 AM
      “Why didn’t Comey and McCabe reach out to the Trump campaign in July 2016, and build a cooperative Russian-spy-thwarting effort?”

      If you’re seriously and open-mindedly asking this question, look at the corpulent and growing body of evidence that agents of the Military-Industrial-Intelligence-Financial Complex, aka the Deep State, have done everything in their power, pre- and post-election, to aid and abet Hillary Clinton and to damage and discredit Donald Trump.

      A retired 27-year member of the Deep State asks the following question:

      “Will Congress Face Down the Deep State?
      January 30, 2018
      By Ray McGovern

      “With the House Intelligence Committee vote yesterday to release its four-page memorandum reportedly based on documentary evidence of possible crimes by top Justice Department and FBI leaders, the die is cast. Russia-gate and FBI-gate are now joined at the hip. [Emphasis added]

      “The coming weeks will show whether the U.S. intelligence establishment (the FBI/CIA/NSA, AKA the ‘Deep State’) will be able to prevent its leaders from being held to account. Past precedent suggests that the cabal that conjured up Russia-gate will not have to pick up a ‘go-to-jail’ card. This, despite the widespread guilt suggested by the abrupt way that several senior-echelon DOJ and FBI rats have already jumped ship.

      “Not to mention the manner in which FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, was unceremoniously pushed overboard yesterday, after Director Christopher Wray was given a look at the extra-legal capers described in the House Intelligence Committee memorandum.

      “Granted, at first glance, the Deep State’s efforts to undercut candidate Donald Trump at first seem so risky and audacious as to be unbelievable. By now, though, Americans should be able to wrap their heads around, one, the dire threat that outsider Trump was seen to be posing to the Deep State and to the ease with which it held sway under President Barack Obama; and, two, expected immunity from prosecution if Deep State crimes were eventually discovered after the election, since ‘everybody knew’ Hillary Clinton was going to win. Oops.” [My emphasis]
      https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/30/will-congress-face-down-the-deep-state

  9. Jon: that’s how a criminal investigation begins. There are facts suggesting that a certain person may have committed certain crimes, possibly in collusion with others. Until the evidence is developed, it is speculation, but that doesn’t mean it is without any foundation whatsoever, nor does it mean that an investigation shouldn’t be conducted. That’s how white collar crimes happen: there is literally no smoking gun with fingerprints on it. The evidence is still being developed.Trump has established ties with Russians. Trump will not criticize Putin, even when Putin has former Soviet spies murdered on British soil. His refusal to turn over his tax returns and his growing fury with the Mueller investigation and every kind effort to try to stop it point to liability. The only reason he hasn’t fired Mueller or Rosenstein is because he at least listens to people who have told him that would end his vainglory tour once and for all.

    1. Rosenstein has pretended that his initial commission to Mueller to conduct a counter-intelligence investigation now covers a criminal investigation. He’s never defined the crime to be investigated per the requirements of the law governing special counsels. See Andrew McCarthy on this point.

      Again, the investigation has been ongoing for 21 months and still no defined perimeter.

  10. My unfamiliarity with the urolagnia fetish precludes me from offering my own speculation regarding its prevalence among persons of great wealth and political power. I would add, however, that I am not surprised by much of anything anymore.

  11. I think Professor Turley was dead-on yesterday when he said that Trump brings out the worst in everyone. Comey, like Trump, has become a joker creating waves of chaos.

    First Comey sabotages Hillary’s campaign. Then Comey sabotages Trump’s presidency. And now Comey is sabotaging the Russia Probe he helped trigger.

    With regards to the “Pee Party”, Trump was probably honest when he said that would have grossed-him-out. But the girls may have done it anyway as part of the extortion plot. That’s how those things go; just when the client is reaching a point of ecstasy, the girls do something unspeakable!

    One should note that Trump had affairs with a porn star and Playboy Playmate. His wife, Melania, posed for soft porn in a ‘modeling career’ still shrouded in mystery. Trump is on tape bragging that he likes to “grab pussy”. And several women have complained about unwanted advances by Trump.

    Therefore it is perfectly believable that Trump indulged a group of women at a Moscow hotel. But unbeknownst to Trump, those women had handlers whose agenda was to compromise Donald Trump!

    1. I think Professor Turley was dead-on yesterday when he said that Trump brings out the worst in everyone.

      No. Comey is who he is, Mueller is who he is, McCabe is who he is, and Rosenstein is who he is. They’re finished products and, with scant doubt, their worldviews are pretty similar one-to-another. It’s a reasonable inference that McCabe and Mueller had a tonier upbrining than Rosenstein and Comey and McCabe, Rosenstein is suburban Jewish, and McCabe is at least notionally a Southerner. Mueller’s a good deal older than the other three. Otherwise, you get confused because their biographies are so similar.

      1. “I think Professor Turley was dead-on yesterday when he said that Trump brings out the worst in everyone.

        No. Comey is who he is, Mueller is who he is, McCabe is who he is, and Rosenstein is who he is. ”

        As I said yesterday, Trump greases the sliding board and those fools jump on. Take the bait… whatever…

    2. @Peter Hill April 20, 2018 at 10:58 AM
      “Therefore it is perfectly believable that Trump indulged a group of women at a Moscow hotel. But unbeknownst to Trump, those women had handlers whose agenda was to compromise Donald Trump!”

      Apparently unbeknownst to you, your willingness to auto-erotically regurgitate any rumor, no matter how specious, so long as it derogates Trump, compromises the value of your commentary to somewhere in the vicinity of nullity.

      Just saying.

  12. “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 means that Comey intentionally induced the reaction by Trump which Comey has recorded in his “memos” so that he could use his own subjective interpretation of Trump’s reaction as a fraudulent means of suggesting that the allegations might be true — even though no other information corroborates the salacious information that had been generated at the behest of the Clinton campaign.

    Do ya think Trump might have had a different reaction if Comey had said, “Oh, buy the way, Hillary paid for this information and hired a British spy to write it up as if it were an intelligence report”?

    If Comey and others aren’t prosecuted for this scheme — which he’s continuing to push forward per that interview with Jake Tapper — then we might as well dig a hole in which to bury the entire FBI and DOJ.

      1. Me too — just divide by 3. And I’ve probably known how to do that since I was three.
        Or, I could just measure my lifespan by years as measured on Jupiter or Neptune.

  13. “Comey’s second reason that he was “struck” by how Trump “wouldn’t criticize Vladimir Putin even in private, which struck me as odd.”

    Why would anyone say anything about anyone in private or otherwise to a guy who will call his professor friend to leak it to a hostile press. Get rid of Sessions too.

  14. Comey wants to sell books. What’s wrong with that? JT knows that FOX has done a good job of turning a chunk of the public against Comey. Comey comes across as very credible. His detractors do not.

    1. How credible is an FBI director who misleads President-Elect by not disclosing HRC funding of Steel Dossier? Arrogant P thought he had God-like powers to pick and choose what he reports to President-Elect. Arrogant P also took it upon himself to act as AG with the HRC destroyed emails evidence.

        1. billmcwilliams–Based on your judgment regarding Comey’s credibility, you probably think that Putin and Assad are Sunday school teachers…..

          1. Lawrence

            Ever take a course in logic? That’s okay. I’ll still respond to your special interest. Putin is very popular in Russia, and he’s held in high regard by most leaders around the world. Assad is the democratically elected president of Syria. Six million Syrians marched in Damascus to demonstrate their support of him a few years ago.

            Have some more Kool aid.

            1. @billmcwilliams April 20, 2018 at 10:45 AM
              “Putin is very popular in Russia, and he’s held in high regard by most leaders around the world. Assad is the democratically elected president of Syria. Six million Syrians marched in Damascus to demonstrate their support of him a few years ago.”

              That may very well be, but Syria is on the list of seven countries that the all-wise, democracy-spreading imperialists who engineered the brilliantly successful invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq want to see regime change in:

        2. @billmcwilliams April 20, 2018 at 9:28 AM
          “BM
          “With your skills as a mind reader, you could make a lot of money in Vegas.”

          Everything Bill Martin wrote above at 9:13 AM are matters of public record.

          No clairvoyance is required.

          Nor is any required to know that if you’re going to try to defend Comey’s credibility, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

    2. You’re being facetious, aren’t you? Comey sounds ridiculous every time he opens his mouth. He comes off as just another Leon Panetta Yes-man.

    3. I think that it was true at one time that Comey was seen as credible, I remember a couple of people I think of as politically astute going to bat for him and his integrity. But even before Trump, we’d seen inklings that he had started to sway…. I’d say it was slightly before he reinvented the law surrounding classified material to include a mens rea standard to negligence so he could punt the Clinton investigation.

      I’m not even sure that Comey’s fall from grace is the product of a lack of credibility… But it’s the lack of something, and my next guess would be competence. He has made so many missteps this last couple of years that if he isn’t making them for political reasons, then he simply cannot have a good handle on what he’s doing, and this book is just the newest indicator of it.

      1. Yes to everything you wrote. And about “… we’d seen inklings that he had started to sway…. I’d say it was slightly before he reinvented the law surrounding classified material to include a mens rea standard …”:

        I began to notice it at the beginning of the email “investigation,” not at the end. When the FBI allowed Hillary to maintain unlawful possession of her email server containing federal records (subpoena or no, but particularly given that the records were under subpoena), it was clear that Hillary was being given special treatment.

        The excuse for allowing Hillary to continue her unlawful possession of federal records was that that Hillary had the unlawfully-possessed federal records mixed in with her own personal correspondence (about “yoga” and “wedding planning,” etc.) and needed to separate the federal records from her own personal correspondence.

        The problem there is that Hillary waived the privacy of her personal correspondence when she knowingly mixed them in with federal records, and then waived the privacy of her personal correspondence again when she failed to separate the records from her personal correspondence before leaving office.

        The excuse to allow Hillary to maintain those records — long enough to destroy them — was bogus on its face. And it’s particularly bogus in light of the way Mueller just gets pre-dawn, no-knock warrants to seize documents he considers potential evidence.

        When Comey didn’t have Hillary’s server impounded the moment it was learned that it contained federal records that she’d concealed from the National Archives and FOIA requests for years after leaving office, I knew that something was up.

        Through all of the investigations, nobody has ever mention the most applicable law:

        18 U.S. Code § 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally: “*** (b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, *** willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.”

        There was immediate probable cause concerning 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) concealment of federal records when it was discovered that Hillary had tens of thousands of records that the National Archives didn’t even know existed, per response to a FIOA request claiming “no such records exist.”

        And yet the FBI allowed Hillary to keep possession and control of the records long enough to destroy them.

        That weren’t no accident nor negligence. It was intentional obstruction of justice by the FBI and Hillary acting in complicity.

  15. Kompromat loses its value as leverage once it becomes public knowledge. Disinformation works either to mislead an adversary or as propaganda if it gains wide public circulation. Had the Russians intended to use the salacious allegation as kompromat against Trump, they would not have planted that disinformation with Steele–not even to mislead him. Given that the Russians planted that disinformation with Steele, it follows that the salacious allegation was never intended as kompromat against Trump.

    BTW, Steele knew that the salacious allegation was most likely planted as disinformation and said so in the dossier. Given that Comey read the relevant memo in the dossier, it follows that Comey knew that the salacious allegation was most likely planted as disinformation either to mislead Steele or to become propaganda in the public press.

    Of course, the salacious allegation has also been repeatedly used to discredit the dossier. And that, too, may have been the principal motive for planting the salacious allegation in the dossier. Steele had four Russian informants. Only one of whom was a source for the salacious allegation. And the salacious allegation was the only information that that informant provided Steele.

    1. Dear Late: You took us for a roller coaster ride with your comments and not clear what the point is. So I will make a point here: Comey did not disclose to President-Elect that Steele-Dossier was financed by HRC campaign because that was not Comey’s “goal” of disclosing hooker allegations. Comey was “duty-bound” to disclose this and any other relevant information to his incoming boss. Arrogant Comey tries to wordsmith his way out of this blatant relevant omission and talks about his “goal”. This is all about James Comey and his feelings/goals. We are better off without that girly-man serving as the nation’s top cop.

      1. Bill Martin, the point is not too difficult. The main purpose of what you call “the hooker allegation” and what I called “the salacious allegation” (Turley’s preferred usage) is that one, and only one, of Steele’s Russian informants planted that disinformation with Steele either to mislead or to discredit Steele. The remaining three of Steele’s Russian informants had nothing to do with “the salacious hooker allegation.” And the informant who planted the salacious hooker allegation was not a source for anything else in the dossier.

        As for your point, you may be right. All I know is that Comey had to disclose the source of the dossier for the application for the first FISA warrant on Carter Page. I have no idea whether or not Comey was “duty-bound” to make the same disclosure to The President-Elect, Trump. But I’m prepared to take your word for it, Bill, since you’re a much better sport than you-know-who.

    2. I don’t think that Steele himself has been allowed in Russia for c. 25 years.
      My understanding is that he had (paid) Russian comtacts, who in turn contacted informants; it was the informants’ claims that comprised the Steele dossier.
      When Late4Dinner cites “four Russian informants”, it’s not clear if she’s talking about the number of Steele’s Russian contacts, or the number of total sources that Steele’s Russian contacts relied on.
      It’s not clear what the goal was in including the “pee story” in the dossier.
      Late4 Dinner’s roller coaster ride traverses a maze, and suggests that it was included to discredit other parts of the dossier, somehow implying that the rest of the dossier must be true.
      One can just as easily claim that the pee tape shows that Steele wasn’t that careful about the allegations he put in his Russian dossier, and therefore that everything else in the dossier is suspect.
      Without knowing who Steele’s contacts were, or who the contacts used as informants, I don’t think it’s possible to draw conclusions about the motive(s) for including the “pee tape story” in the dossier.
      I could start up the roller coaster, navigate it through the maze, and take it right back to the conclusion ( the starting point) that I wanted to draw in the first place.
      So you’re right about the roller coaster, Bill Martin; you just forgot to mention the maze that it traveled.😉😊

      1. Tom Nash said, “My understanding is that he had (paid) Russian comtacts, who in turn contacted informants; it was the informants’ claims that comprised the Steele dossier.”

        Your understanding is the same as my understanding, Tom. The United Kingdom has granted asylum to a fair number of Russian defectors who used to be informants for MI6. It’s one of the reasons The Brits have such bloody good intelligence on Russia. Steele’s contacts are presumed to live amongst that group of Russian exiles and they relay intelligence reports to Steele from communications that they maintain with active informants still working in Russia.

        The sourcing on each memo in the dossier is reasonably clear without disclosing the identity of the informant. The salacious hooker allegation has just one source and that informant is not a source for any other intelligence in the dossier. And that means that the remaining three sources for the dossier had nothing whatsoever to do with the salacious hooker allegation.

        It is, of course, perfectly understandable that Trump and his supporters and defenders would seek to discredit the whole of the dossier on the basis of the salacious hooker allegation. Unfortunately, Steele, himself, cast reasonable doubt on the salacious hooker allegation in the relevant memo from the dossier on the grounds that it could be disinformation. And, therefore, Comey also knew that the salacious hooker allegation was probably disinformation.

        BTW, if a video tape of the salacious hooker allegation ever surfaces it will be accompanied by dozens of other video tapes also purporting to depict the salacious hooker allegation. The thing was never intended to be kompromat against Trump. The business deals and suspected financial crimes are the likeliest form of kompromat that the Russians might have against Trump.

        1. L4D,…
          So Steele had ? number of contacts getting information from 4 sources?
          And everything eccept for the “pee tape” allegation is based what on Steele’s contacts got from 3 sources?
          I think we’re drawing the same distinction between Steele’s contacts, and the sources/ informants who the contacts dealt with.
          I’m just trying to clarify the issue of the number of soutces/ informants, v. the number of Steele’s contacts who worked with the informants.

          1. The number of Steele’s contacts in The United Kingdom is not stated in the dossier. The sources for the intelligence reports in the dossier were each described as living and working in Russia at the time of the intelligence reports.The descriptions of the sources recur consistently throughout the dossier in just such a way that that we know that there were four sources in total. All of the remaining allegations in the dossier have at least two sources and some have all three sources saying the same thing. The salacious hooker allegation has just one source that provided no other intelligence reports to Steele besides the salacious hooker allegation. The probability that that allegation was planted as disinformation is very high. The probability that any of the remaining allegations in the dossier were planted as disinformation is comparatively low. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the remaining allegations are true. All it means is that there were at least two and sometimes all three sources saying the same thing throughout most of the dossier except for the single, one-time only source for the salacious hooker allegation.

              1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                So, three sources with differing perspectives claim to have specific knowledge of the
                incident. Two of them appear to be connected with the hotel; one is Trump’s ‘close
                associate’. A Russian official also claims to have enough material on Trump to be able
                to blackmail him but doesn’t say what the material concerns. Neither of the hotelrelated
                sources are described as having any formal relationship with the Russian
                authorities. It is entirely possible that the authorities pressured the hotel employees
                into confirming the allegations, but again, that doesn’t explain why Trump’s ‘close
                associate’ made the same allegations. The incident remains unverified, but from an
                intelligence perspective the reporting of it is at least well-sourced.

              2. Also Excerpted from the article linked above:

                There’s a further allegation that ‘the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team
                valuable intelligence on his opponents.’ This claim is made by the Foreign Ministry
                source and confirmed by another source, described as a ‘close associate’ of the
                President-elect, who organised Trump’s visits to Moscow and accompanied him on
                them. The Russians might have confected the allegations and fed them to Steele in
                order to discredit Trump; but that argument can’t account for why one of Trump’s own
                people repeated them, unless we suppose he had been suborned by the Russians.

            1. OK…Thanks for clarifying that.
              Let’s assume that Steele has no political biases that would influence his choice of contacts and sources.
              So we trust that Steele is not trying to come to a particular conclusion at the start of his project.
              From there, you’d also need to assume that his contacts have no incentive, financial or otherwise, to gather damaging information Trump from their informants.
              Let’s call that the “second layer of trust”.
              Then you have the informants who are feeding information to their contacts.
              You in turn have to trust those informants’ reliability and motivations.
              And neither the informants nor the contacts are identified, so they are not known, and they can’t be questioned by U.S. investigators.
              So in order to believe the key allegations in the dossier, you now have to have that 3rd layer of trust in the informants.
              There seems to be a lot that can go wrong with this kind of project/ operation, and to find its result credible, it seems to require a leap of faith/ trust in all levels involved in the project.

              1. Yes. That’s true. That’s why the raw intelligence has to be analyzed and investigated. And that, in turn, is why Steele filed his memos with the FBI.

                P. S. Thanks for not busting my chops about Arthur Snell whose article I garbled rather badly. I hope you read it, Tom.

              1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has dropped libel lawsuits against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed News, the organizations responsible for creating the Trump dossier and publishing it, respectively, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues confirmed.

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