A Higher Priority: The Investigation of James Comey Raises Serious Questions Over His Leaking Of FBI Material

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the reported investigation of former FBI Director James Comey for his removal and leaking of memos related to the Russian investigation.  The release of the memos already contradicts critical aspects of Comey’s explanation for his leaking of the information.  What is troubling is that many have worked mightily to avoid the clearly unprofessional aspects of Comey’s conduct.  Comey could well be accurate in his account of Trump and justified in his concerns over Trump’s conduct but that does not excuse the actions that he has exhibited in both the leaking of the memos and the timing of his book.  Comey’s best-selling book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, could prove tragically ironic if Comey showed a higher loyalty to himself in responding to his own firing rather than the investigation that he once headed. In the very least, there remains a serious question of Comey’s priorities in these matters.

Here is the column:

One day after the disclosure that the Justice Department inspector general has recommended criminal charges against former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, it has been confirmed that fired FBI director James Comey is under investigation by the same office for leaking information to the media. This disclosure followed the release of the Comey memos, which seriously undermined both Comey and his cadre of defenders. Four claims by Comey are now clearly refuted, and the memos reaffirm earlier allegations of serious misconduct.

James Comey was a leaker

For more than a year, various media experts have advanced dubious defenses for Comey, including the obvious problem that the man charged with investigating leaks became a leaker himself when as it suited him. Clearly, Comey removed the memos and did not allow for a predisclosure review of the material. Moreover, the memos were withheld by Comey’s surrogate, a Columbia University law professor, who reportedly read the information to the media.

If taking and disclosing memos were perfectly proper, why the surrogate and subterfuge? More importantly, Comey did not disclose the memos to Congress or hold copies for investigators. If Comey was not a leaker, then any fired FBI agent could do the same with nonpublic investigatory material. If the inspector general agreed with that position, then federal laws governing FBI material would become entirely discretionary and meaningless.

The memos were FBI material

Various media experts and journalists also defended Comey by portraying the memos as essentially diary entries. When I argued that the memos clearly were FBI material subject to limits on removal and disclosure, the response was disbelief. Legal expert and former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa said that these constituted “personal recollections,” and CNN legal expert and Brookings Institution fellow Susan Hennessey wrote, “It’s hard to even understand the argument for how Jim Comey’s memory about his conversation with the president qualifies as a record, even if he jotted it down while in his office.”

The plain fact, then and now, is that it’s hard to understand that it would be anything other than a record under federal rules. These were memos prepared on an FBI computer, in the course of an FBI investigation. All FBI agents sign a statement affirming that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties with the FBI and all official material to which I have access remain the property of the United States of America” and that an agent “will not reveal, by any means, any information or material from or related to FBI files or any other information acquired by virtue of my official employment to any unauthorized recipient without prior official written authorization by the FBI.”

The memos themselves now confirm their obvious status. These were not memos “to the file” or to Comey himself. He wrote them to the FBI as part of the investigation, specifically addressing the disclosures to McCabe, FBI general counsel James Baker and chief of staff James Rybicki. FBI director Christopher Wray has confirmed these were FBI documents. While Comey continues to maintain these were personal papers, it is demonstrably untrue on the face of the memos themselves.

There was no need to leak

In past columns, I have questioned Comey’s claim that he had to remove and leak the memos in the public interest. When Comey took the memos, he knew he was certain to be called before Congress within weeks. He simply could have told Congress about the memos, or even given copies to one of the intelligence committees. More importantly, he knew copies already were in the hands of other FBI officials and were certain to be reviewed by investigators.

Instead, Comey removed seven memos and gave four to his friend, Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman, to leak information to the media. If the memos already were in the hands of other FBI officials, including McCabe, then why leak them? It would not assist the investigation. To the contrary, by disclosing the information, Comey alerted President Trump to the record of their conversations, making it less likely that Trump would contradict such a record.

Why? The reason is obvious: It benefitted Comey. He was able to control the media narrative after his firing and shifted the focus to Trump’s conduct rather than his own. The inspector general recently concluded McCabe leaked information for his personal interest, not that of the public. It’s difficult to envision how the inspector general could come to any other conclusion about Comey’s leak.

The memos were classified

The memos clearly reveal that Comey was aware they likely contained classified information. Comey wrote in a Jan. 7, 2017, memo that “I am unsure of the proper classification so I have chosen secret.” He then left it to his staff to correct that classification. As director, Comey had authority to determine what was classified, although he leaked the FBI documents after he was fired. It turns out that four memos, including two given to his friend to leak to the media, were later found to be classified.

So Comey was no longer director when he removed the memos from the FBI without review. He then gave four memos, including classified ones, to an uncleared individual specifically to leak to the media. Among other people prosecuted for such conduct, former FBI agent Terry Albury is now looking at a sentence of four to five years in prison in an unrelated case.

In his new book, Comey writes, “Ethical leaders choose a higher loyalty … over their own personal gain.” Yet, he opted for personal advantage in the leaking of his memos. He also rushed his book to print, even though the investigation he once headed is ongoing and he is a key witness. Even more remarkably, he never conferred with special counsel Robert Mueller, if nothing else as a courtesy, and especially since Comey’s public references to both disclosed and undisclosed evidence is obviously not beneficial to that investigation.

Comey insists he wrote his book because he believes the country desperately needs “ethical leadership” — his, apparently — and that ethical leaders “don’t hide from uncomfortable questions.” If true, Comey will be a busy man when the inspector general comes calling.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

244 thoughts on “A Higher Priority: The Investigation of James Comey Raises Serious Questions Over His Leaking Of FBI Material”

  1. Corey’s usage of a surrogate and the roundabout way in which he released the memos indicates he knew what he was doing was wrong. Isn’t that one of the indications that someone was competent and not legally insane in the committing of a crime? If they used exculpatory lies or otherwise tried to hide their involvement? That indicates they knew right from wrong.

    By all means investigate him for leaking classified information. However, what about his handling of the Clinton investigation? What about changing the phrase “gross negligence” to “extremely careless”? What about stating that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges when that was not the FBI’s job? What about working with the DOJ to protect a subject of a criminal investigation from prosecution? What about the DOJ’s phone call criticizing the FBI for investigating the Clinton Foundation? What about the different ways in which the Flynn investigation was handled in comparison with anyone connected to Hillary Clinton, or McCabe, or Comey? The FBI found that Flynn’s conversations were entirely legal. However, he told the ambassador to basically hold off taking action agains the US to give the President a chance. He told Pence and investigators he had not mentioned sanctions, but that conversation did try to soothe Russia’s diplomatic channels over sanctions. For that he pled guilty to lying to federal investigators. Meanwhile, Comey, McCabe, Hillary Clinton, Huma, and a list of others lied to federal investigators about classified information.

    What about the politicization of the investigative arm of the government, which benefitted one political party and targeted another?

  2. Turley, excellent observations about the memos being records. Nobody is paying attention to rules, but rules are law, and law matters. Good job being a lawyer!

  3. Here’s some meat from Andy McCarthy:
    “The Obama Justice Department “guidance” about the Clinton Foundation probe reminds us of their approach to the Clinton emails caper — call it a “matter” not an investigation; do not use the grand jury; instead of subpoenas, try saying “pretty please” to obtain evidence; do not ask the co-conspirators hard questions because they’re lawyers so that might infringe attorney–client privilege; let the witnesses sit in on each other’s interviews; let the suspects represent each other as lawyers; if someone lies, ignore it; if someone incriminates himself, give him immunity; have the attorney general meet with the main subject’s former-president husband on the tarmac a few days before dropping the whole thing; oh, and don’t forget to write up the exoneration statement months before key witnesses — including the main subject — are interviewed.”

    With the Clintons, though, enough is never enough. Obama Justice Department officials, figuring they were only a few days from succeeding in their quest to become Clinton Justice Department officials, decided to try to disappear the Clinton Foundation investigation, too.

    After nearly two years of digging, there is still no proof of Trump-campaign collusion in Russian election-meddling. But we have collusion all right: the executive branch’s law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus placed by the Obama administration in the service of the Clinton campaign. To find that, you don’t need to dig. You just need to open your eyes.”


    1. “To find that, you don’t need to dig. You just need to open your eyes.”

      The MSM need to report the facts not the liberal redistributionist propaganda.

      1. George, I personally the one person who appears to be in for some deeper digging is Loretta Lynch.

        1. Lowretched Flynch said she would leave the decision to Comey while Strzok and Page were texting that she “…was a profile in courage…” in doing so because she and they had already made a decision on prosecuting Hillary and it was a great big political “NO.” The entire FBI leadership had been criminally politicized and knew it would need an “insurance policy” if Trump won because they would all be found out…ALL THE WAY UP TO OBAMA.

          They have been.

  4. Professor Turley seeks to keep readers focused on the actions of James Comey and Andrew McCabe. The professor feels that their selected leaks to the media somehow discredit the entire Russia Probe. Last week I allowed that James Comey seems to be functioning as a ‘Joker’ of sorts. First Comey sabotaged the Clinton campaign, then he sabotaged Trump’s fledgling presidency. And now Comey seems to undermine the Russia Probe he helped trigger.

    But there is another Joker worth noting: CONGRESSMAN DEVIN NUNES (R) Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. On March 22, 2017, when Comey and McCabe were still at the FBI, Nunes dramatically descended on the White House for a press briefing with Classified Intercepts that he claimed were proof the Obama Administration spied on Trump’s campaign.

    Nunes actions were in support of Trump’s wild contention that Obama had ordered surveillance of Trump Tower. Nunes never proved Obama took part in such a plot. What’s more, Nunes’ press conference was completely inappropriate for a House Intelligence Chairman. And quite arguably those intercepts Nunes bandied were still classified at the time.

    Again, one should note that Comey and McCabe were still FBI officials at the time. Quite arguably James Comey felt Republicans were employing extralegal tactics in defending Donald Trump. This may have been the point where Comey felt that Trump had created a hyper partisan climate where anything goes.

    Nunes has continued to play a hyper-partisan role. The so-called ‘Nunes Memo’, released earlier this year, was selectively edited for hyper-partisan reasons. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee had no input regarding said memo.

    With regards to Trump, his wild contention that Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower remain a wild contention. No new president ever lobbed charges of that magnitude at a predecessor. Trump has never bothered to account for that and the media never held him to account.

    One should add that Trump never bothered to account for his contention that the “election would be rigged”. Yet Trump repeated that assertion many times including an instance during the presidential debates. No presidential candidate ever made such a wild charge! It was a stunning display of willful contempt for accepted norms. But strangely the mainstream media never held Trump to account. In a normal America the entire campaign would have ground to a halt until Trump supported that contention.

    I believe Professor Turley was dead-on when he said that Donald Trump brings out the worst in everyone. Trump brought out the worst in James Comey and Devin Nunes as well. Though one should note that Nunes dove-off the deep end first.

    Here is link to a piece from the legal blog “Lawfare”, which is published in conjunction with The Brookings Institute. Said piece is dated 3/22/17, the day Nunes descended on the White House for his highly questionable press conference.


  5. FFS, bring back Stormy Daniels. L4D and her traveling trolls need new material.

    1. It’s an honor to serve. But it’s also an honor just to be nominated.

  6. The only way this investigation makes sense is by beginning with an assumed conclusion and then trying to piece together evidence that will get there. The problem is, other than process crimes, all evidence is leading to a different conclusion. The anti-Trump crowd is bitterly clinging to the assumed conclusion and irrationally ignoring actual evidence. Of course anyone that actually cares about the rule of law won’t ignore the evidence. They won’t assume crimes might exist for their political foes while all the evidence points squarely to their political allies. Liberals and Conservatives will always have competing political agendas, but we have to agree not to weaponize our government agencies to achieve them.

    1. but we have to agree not to weaponize our government agencies to achieve them.

      The people who weaponized government agencies have no long term goals. Like Veruca Salt, they want what they want, RIGHT NOW! There’s no agreement to be had with them. You can only crush them.

      1. There’s no agreement to be had with them.

        I agree. To be clear, I’m not interested in crushing those who I disagree with over the ends. I will however seek to crush anyone weaponizing government (lawfare) as a means to their ends.

    2. Did you feel the same way Olly, when the republicans weaponized against Obama and HRC? I too would love to see the justice handed out equally. Give it time, the truth will come out sooner or later.

      1. Did you feel the same way Olly, when the republicans weaponized against Obama and HRC?

        I’ve consistently been against the weaponization of government regardless of party. I’m registered Independent specifically because I believe political parties make make for lazy and uniformed voters.

        I too would love to see the justice handed out equally. Give it time, the truth will come out sooner or later.

        Your posts would not indicate that. The truth has already come out with actual evidence of crimes, so why wait for justice? Given your post history on this blog, we apparently need to wait for Mueller to finish looking for a crime to determine what equal justice needs to be handed out.

        1. Ya made sense at first because I too am a independent, I write against Trump for one reason only, he is a straight up con-man all the way. And I knew years ago when he floated political ambitions he would be the one who gets caught. Rudy G protected him years ago and it looks like he’s doing again. There IS a reason why no lawyer worth his salt won’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.

          1. I write against Trump for one reason only, he is a straight up con-man all the way.

            This is what you fail to understand. Not everyone that supports President Trump does so because they support the man. I opposed him all the way up to him securing the nomination. He had no record of public office to determine how he would honor the oath. As a result, he deserves intense scrutiny. But don’t mistake scrutiny as a license to obstruct the function of the office. Clinton will always be relevant in discussions regarding Trump’s fitness for office. They will always be tied together. As much as I remain concerned that President Trump may exceed the power of the office, I have absolutely no doubt Hillary Clinton would have continued her disdain for the limits of the office and wielded power in the same way as Barack Obama.

            1. Obstruct the function of office? Well I guess you were against the attempts of Republicans that held up the Birther, Jade Helm, FEMA Camps, lapel Pins, Muslim Brotherhood, Transvestite Wife, Sharia Law, and his constitutional right to have his judges and appointments heard by Congress?

              1. What the hell are you talking about? You seem to be whining about ends and completely ignoring means. Do you have examples of constitutional authority being abused? If so, I oppose it.

              2. I repeat FishWings Do you have examples of constitutional authority being abused?

                Your silence on that question is an answer.

                1. You want answers, but you never answer. I asked you to show me how many grand juries and indictments HRC faces right now……And to yours, it’s called the Emoluments clause.

                  1. I asked you to show me how many grand juries and indictments HRC faces right now….Emoluments clause.

                    Excellent comparison. In the former, clear evidence of crimes committed and yet no criminal referrals, grand juries or indictments…that I’m aware of. In the latter, what violations has Trump done under the Emoluments clause?

                    Are you suggesting the failure to indict warrants defending Clinton’s actions? Because if Trump has abused the power of his office then I will want him impeached. Under that same standard, do you want Clinton prosecuted?

    3. Here’s a great example of evidence of violating the law. How would any rational person defend these FEC violations.

      Yet even with the overwhelming evidence of tsunami-level campaign-finance criminality—more than $84 million—the media instead chases the cloud cast over President Trump because of the $130,000 payment his attorney, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels, and claims that payment constituted an illegal campaign contribution. One wonders what it will take to break through the mainstream media blackout. Maybe a few pointed unpresidential tweets from our commander-in-chief?


      1. OLLY, MSM blacked out most of Trump’s so-called business deals. Anybody that lives in the NYC and NJ areas knew that he was a con-man from the get go and MSM shed very little light on any of them. Most MSM outlets cover the sizzle and not the steak. And please if you and others keep throwing out the HRC card, please show me the guilty pleas and indictments of her time as a public official. How many grand juries? How many convictions?

        1. MSM blacked out most of Trump’s so-called business deals.

          Is this the same MSM with a virtual blackout of any good President Trump has done?

          1. Well, giving tax breaks to people that didn’t need it was good I guess for some. Oh, and corporations cause they are people too.

            1. Well, giving tax breaks to people that didn’t need it was good I guess for some.

              Well that answers my question. At some point you may want to demonstrate your independence beyond your voter registration, because what you are selling is pure Democrat partisanship.

              By the way, what do you have against the average taxpaying citizen keeping more of their earned income? Or is this something the MSM hasn’t reported to you?

              1. Better look at the tax tables pal, average taxpayers did not get the bulk of the money. And I know that some here do not have a sense of humor, my post was in jest, cause I could not think what the hell he has done for average Americans.

                1. Average taxpayers don’t pay the bulk of the taxes. But average workers, like those at WalMart, did get raises, which I assume made them at least a little bit happy, no?

    4. Olly: what “evidence” is the “anti-Trump crowd” (defined as most Americans) ignoring? Today’s headlines are that Trump lied to get a high place on Forbes’ millionaires’ list by exaggerating his income, bit, more germane to today’s topic, he DID spend at least 2 nights in Moscow, despite denying he was ever there overnight. Airports keep track of the movements of aircraft. Unless he walked home from Moscow, he was there for 2 overnights. Even if he tried to say he walked home, his jet left 2 days later and he landed, so that story won’t fly, either.

      The narrative that “our” government agencies have been weaponized is repeated nightly by Fox News, bolstered by endless bitching by Hannity and that snarky bottle blonde making baseless accusations against anyone and everyone associated with Trump who has given information to the Mueller investigation. Trump’s family met with Russians during the campaign in order to get the goods on HRC, proven by Jr.’s emails. One of the people involved was a Russian attorney with ties to the Russian government. Trump lied about staying at least 2 overnights in Moscow. It cannot be disputed that Russians interfered with our election in 2016. Russians have weaponized Facebook to give Trump an advantage. These are not opinions–they are facts.

      1. Today’s headlines are that Trump lied to get a high place on Forbes’ millionaires’ list by exaggerating his income, b

        Yet another item in the file marked: “Natacha cannot read a news article with the slightest bit of skeptical reserve”

  7. It would clarify much to know what Comey advised his professor friend in sending him the memo to be leaked. I doubt any experienced lawyer would see appointment of special counsel warranted by the contents of the memos. It also seems to me that the Flynn discussion is a type familiar to all prosecutors who regularly are questioned as to whether or not they can cut someone a break from the consequences of minor crime because the person is a “good guy” or for family reasons, etc.

    1. John G. Ryan, there’s some question as to whether Flynn was acting on his own or following Trump’s orders. Trump was bad-mouthing Flynn to Comey at the same time that Trump was asking Comey to overlook Flynn’s conduct. It’s a tad suspicious.

  8. This may go to the top.
    Obviously the our Intelligent Communites have become corrupt.
    How far up does this go?
    Who gave the permission to act this way?
    Those underlings who are in trouble now; may point to him.
    Let’s hope so; because there is no doubt the Obama Admin and Clinton tried to frame Trump just for winning an election.
    Hillary, her life long dream to be President; Obama; his insistence that his pathetic legacy live on.
    It’s about to get interesting.

    1. It’s been feeling like “its about to get interesting” for a long time. Let’s hope it really does and soon.

  9. It is understandable that supporters and defenders of Trump would argue that the OSC is obligated to investigate a suspected criminal conspiracy that may have taken place in 2016 and is therefore precluded from investigating any ongoing criminal conspiracy that might have begun during the Trump transition and might still be in progress during the Trump administration. Since I’m still not a lawyer, I have no way of evaluating the legal limitations on what the OSC can and cannot investigate.

    Nevertheless, rather than lifting or easing the sanctions on Russia, a system of back-channel communications between the Trump administration and the Russians could be used to establish novel money-laundering schemes unbeknownst to The State Department, The Treasury Department, or any other federal agency charged with enforcing the sanctions against Russia in just such a way as altogether to bypass the sanctions and especially so if enforcement of the sanctions were also relaxed.

    Perhaps it’s time to double-check and see what sort of calendar-date limitations may or may not have been placed on the authorization for the OSC.

  10. “Why? The reason is obvious: It benefitted Comey.”

    It seems to me that Comey felt the President’s behaviour was so improper that it was essential to inform the American people of what had transpired without delay. I don’t see how it benefitted Comey himself, indeed it could open him up to prosecution.

      1. Comey might know things about Flynn that we don’t know. For that matter, Trump might know things about Flynn that we don’t know. Trump raises questions about Flynn’s judgment during Trump’s conversations with Comey that Comey memorialized. Flynn could have been acting on his own. Or Flynn could have been acting on Trump’s orders. Trump’s conversations with Comey as described in the relevant memos suggest that Trump is trying to put distance between himself and Flynn while at the same time asking Comey to overlook Flynn’s conduct. If Flynn was acting on Trump’s orders, then asking Comey to overlook Flynn’s conduct is more suspicious than it otherwise would have seemed.

    1. Comey poses in a rented leotard and cape, gazing skyward with his hands on his hips, and you forget all about the hypocrisy of the anti-leak-chief leaking, the mendacity of him using a surrogate, the duplicity and stupidity of interfering with ongoing investigations. Instead, you believe his self-serving, thoroughly contradicted claims of altruism! Astonishing!

      1. Debbie Barnhart, thanks for not mentioning anything about–you know–heroes with clay feet. It’s our lot in life.

    2. It seems to me that Comey felt the President’s behaviour was so improper that it was essential to inform the American people of what had transpired without delay.

      No, that’s what a child does when they want to rat out their sibling; not the head of the premier law enforcement agency on the planet.

  11. Why is the mainstream media so racist? Why do they hate black people who actually think for themselves? The answer, is, of course, that mainstream media is a Leftist operation serving the interests of the Deep State. And the Deep State agenda calls for blacks to continue on the self-destructive path that the Deep State set out for them long ago, implementing policies that they knew would result in the destruction of black families, and make the great masses of them dependent on the Government. In short, it’s all about CONTROL of the population. And, of course, many of the Leftist posters here have no idea that they are simply programmed automatons of the Leftist agenda, incapable of any thought or reasoning ability.

    So, kudos to Fox News for having the guts to feature Candace Owens. Of course, I will not be surprised in the slightest that the many racist, anti-Trump Leftists inhabiting this blog will reflexively and compulsively attack Ms. Owens. I understand. You’ve been programmed by the Deep State to do so.

    1. Another whacky conspiracy theory from Ralph, because whacky conspiracies are the only way he can deal with reality.
      It’s a serious disability we really ought not to laugh.😂🤣😂

      1. WildBS, I find it personally insulting that you would deign to use the visage of the great Hoagy Carmichael as your avatar. Carmichael was a great talent and a wonderful person and he composed some of the greatest ballads of all time. I don’t mind attacks from mindless Leftists like you and David Benson on anything that goes against your preprogrammed Leftist agenda. I know that’s all you’re capable of doing. As I’ve pointed out, “You’ve been programmed by the Deep State to do so,” and you are merely proving my point yet again by doing exactly what I said you’d do. But please delete the Hoagy Carmichael avatar, even though you’ve also been preprogrammed to do the opposite of what decency requires you to do.

        1. Kudos for recognizing Hoagy.
          Perhaps someday the scales will fall from your eyes and you will realize that the whacky conspiracy theories that guide your life are nonsense.

          1. Ole buttermilk sky
            I’ma keepin’ my eye peeled on you
            What’s the good word tonight?
            Are you gonna be mellow tonight?

            Ole buttermilk sky
            Can’t you see my little donkey and me?
            We’re as happy as a Christmas tree
            Headed for the one I love

            I’m gonna pop her the question, that question
            Do you darling, do you do?
            It’ll be easy, oh, so easy
            If I can only bank on you

            Ole buttermilk sky
            I’ma tellin’ you why, now you know
            Keep it in mind tonight
            Keep a-brushin’ those clouds from sight

            Ole buttermilk sky
            Don’tcha fail me when I’m needin’ you most
            Hang a moon above her hitchin’ post
            Hitch me to the one I love

            You can if you try, don’t tell me no lie
            Will you be mellow and bright tonight
            Ole buttermilk sky?

  12. Why can’t a “leaker” just stand on the rear porch and take his pee? Why do they have to pee all over Washington DC?

  13. Brennan wanted the dossier published and they could not do that without Comey only briefing Trump on the pee part of the dossier. This gave them clearance to publish. Brennan had Comey do his dirty work for him. Comey is not an ethical person, he hated the President as did his family who marched against him.

    1. Malicious prosecution, violation of the public trust, abuse of power, conspiracy, fraud, usurpation,

      corruption, leaking, mishandling of classified material, dereliction, subversion, election fraud, etc., etc., etc.

  14. The question remains:

    Why have prosecutions not been instituted against, among others, Ms. Paige, Messrs. McCabe, Comey, Brennan, Clapper and Strozck?

    Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Is there a Democratic Party?
    Is there a Republican Party?
    Is there a “small” ( relative term ) group of people ( irrespective of political party and political ideology ) with control of the United Stated?
    Did Hillary R. Clinton, the Democratic Presidential candidate, say, before, during and after the campaign, “Henry Kissinger is my very good friend and confidant?”

    The Modern Trinity
    Oligarchy, Monopoly, kleptocracy

    Once the Oligarchy is above the law, the Republic is already dead.

    Restore the Rule Of Law
    Restore the Constitution
    Reclaim the Republic

    dennis hanna

    1. “Why have prosecutions not been instituted against, among others, Ms. Paige, Messrs. McCabe, Comey, Brennan, Clapper and Strozck?”

      Well, first, an investigation has to be complete to identify what laws they broke. That has been ongoing now for some time and the IG report is due out on May 8th.

      Then, referrals are made to a prosecutor (Huber) to determine if criminal charges are appropriate. That has been going on parallel to the IG investigation since November.

      Then, a grand jury is shown evidence and is tasked with making a decision on indictments. That has already been ongoing for some time as well.

      Finally, indictments are based on the grand jury findings on the evidence presented by the prosecutor.

      If you want it done ‘right’ – patience is a virtue……..

  15. I just hope the FBI, DOJ, Horowitz in particular, aren’t protecting comey, that will make me sick. He seems pretty cavalier for a man we are told could face charges. Makes me wonder….

  16. There is no question that Mr. Comey leaked work product to the media via his friend. He told us he did. So will he face consequences? How can he not due to recent events:


    So we will see if the DOJ is consistent with their prosecution. I cannot state with any certainty if this would require prison time, but at the very least, his entire FBI pension should be forfeited. Same as Mr. McCabe.

    1. Mueller doesn’t need Comey. Mueller doesn’t need McCabe. Comey doesn’t need McCabe. Mueller has Flynn, Papadopoulos and Gates. Mueller might have Manafort, eventually. Go ahead on and throw the book at McCabe and Comey, if it’ll make you feel better about Trump’s chances for a while. Mueller will not let Flynn go. Mueller will not let Papadopoulos go. Mueller will not let Gates go. And Mueller is never going to give up on Manafort, either.

      1. L4D, maybe what you have a hard time understanding is that many of us have not seen the equivalency of investigation. The obvious differences between the Clinton email and now Russian election interference queries. On one side, you have multiple examples of unusual FBI methods, such as no subpoenas, interviews without recordings, destroyed evidence and premature exoneration statements. On the other side, we have establishment of a Special Counsel (for no evidentiary reason), Congressional investigations, a 4 am raid, subpoena of an attorney’s life work and massive anonymously sourced material.

        You truly wonder why there is outrage?

        1. That is because the actual criminal investigation(s) are being done with integrity (i.e. no leaking) ……..

          You can thank Horowitz, Huber and Sessions for that.

        2. You’re a good sport, Mike Peterman. However, I have read every last complaint that you just lodged above a great many times over in the past ten months or so since I’ve been following Res Ipsa Loquitur. I am not unfamiliar with the outrage. As for equivalency of investigation . . . You know what? I’m not going to say anything about that because you are a reasonably good sport, for the most part.

      2. Diane – the question is not what Mueller is going to do with Flynn but rather what Judge Sullivan is going to do with Flynn.

        1. Why did Flynn assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid a subpoena to testify before Congress? For that matter, why did Flynn’s lawyer tell Congress that Flynn wanted a grant of immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before Congress?

  17. The only difference between the drama and cat fighting of any two individuals is their pay grade and position in society. Whether it is between two farmers at each other’s throats over the cow breaking down the fence or two world leaders fighting over politics the underlying absurdity is exactly the same.

    1. I think they should be punished. It is no small thing that they’ve given no thought to the people. For over a year we didn’t know if the election is going to be declared invalid. And then what? This has already cost a fortune for the tax papers. I think everyone considered for some incarceration should wear an ankle lock and confined to their home. Why should taxpayers be on the hook for many thousands of dollars to put these people in prison? I don’t want to pay for all their meals.

    2. BIG difference!!
      What Comey and his band of anarcist have done, tears at the fabric of our Republic. It makes the inner workings of our most sensitive departments meaningless

    3. BIG difference!!
      What Comey and his band of anarcist have done, tears at the fabric of our Republic. It makes the inner workings of our most sensitive departments meaningless .

  18. Comey’s Quandary

    “Hillary couldn’t be proven guilty without proving the president guilty as well.”

    – National Review

    All roads lead to Obama.

    1. Yes, that is what has been driving Mueller’s team crazy. To totally fulfill their mission, Obama’s hands are dirty. Just don’t tell us there is no conviction of anyone. We are not stupid.

  19. Although the Mueller Witch Hunt has turned up absolutely nothing regarding any purported collusion between Donald Trump and members of his staff with Russians regarding the US election, they have been very busy destroying and covering up evidence of their OWN culpability. But putting that aside, the tens of millions of dollars that Mueller has spent in his worthless “investigation” has yielding some astonishing material nonetheless. Thanks to a leak in Mueller’s office, we now finally have very damning evidence against Trump. Trump will have a whole lot of ‘splainin to do regarding this incriminating video:

    1. “Although the Mueller Witch Hunt has turned up absolutely nothing regarding any purported collusion between Donald Trump and members of his staff with Russians regarding the US election”

      Ralph – One of us is going to be highly disappointed at the final Muelly Report in addition to whatever the US Attorneys from the Southern District of New York find. Of course, you’re probably right given how calmly Trump is taking recent events. Oh wait, he’s freaking out!
      In addition to the conspiracy (because as people point out, collusion is not a crime) that so far involves Manafort, Page, Gates, Papadoupolos, Prince, Trump, Jr, and Kushner. (I think the legal case against Sessions is pretty weak despite the lies)
      Then we have the obstruction, and would you really bet against money laundering, foreign bribes, and more? Why would he be worried about Cohen flipping (not to mention audio tapes) if there’s nothing to find?

      1. Why don’t you explain how there could be obstruction charges? There haven’t been any reported Trump folks who have not subjected themselves to interviews. Over 1 million documents have been turned over. All Congressional investigations proceeded. The FBI investigation never stopped. Mr. Mueller is still conducting his investigation.

        No collusion, no obstruction. The other possible charges would have occurred before being President so he cannot be prosecuted until he’s out of office.

        And you describe Pres. Trump is freaking out. What inside info have you acquired for that opinion?

        1. How many “Trump folks” have shown up for interviews, refused to answer questions without citing executive privilege. To almost anyone, this would be an obviously coordinated plan. They claim complete cooperation while providing no answers. It helped of course that the House, in particular, refused to get subpoenas or call relevant witnesses.

          As far as Trump freaking out, the “inside information” would be his tweets! There are various untested opinions as to whether a sitting President can be prosecuted, he can certainly be impeached, although those that supported Roy Moore won’t be bothered by anything Trump’s done. What crimes are you willing to live with?

          1. You didn’t complain when your foreign ideology had your sort do exactly the same thing. What a phony hiding behind what? How many staff members of the Clinton cartel cited nothing more than the 5th Amendment in a document you seek to destroy and otherwise ignore. Sorry. The bugler sounded deguello.

              1. Know you didn’t, you presented a really thin argument with no legal precedent.

                1. If several witnesses from the White House come to testify yet refuse to do so without citing Executive Privilege, I submit that reeks of a coordinated strategy designed to obstruct justice. You may choose to see it as coincidence?

            1. Translation:

              “I can’t defend the idiot Trump on this, but perhaps I can change the subject to the Clintons and/or President Obama”

              1. wildbill99, if I didn’t know better, I’d suspect that the Trump crowd is already tired of talking about Comey and McCabe.

            2. “You didn’t complain when your foreign ideology had your sort do exactly the same thing.”

              What the Hell does that mean? Assuming it makes some sort of sense at all.

          2. How many police officers, district attorneys, judges at any level gave any credence at all to the still umproven charges against Moore? to this date? None. Not One. At any level. Not even Gloria All Red could do anything except use a temporary filing in order to justify getting her thirty pieces of crossed her palm from the budget not used by her own daughter .and all that’s left is alleged, purported, reportedly and other dodge’em words that mean nothing. But All Red et fil took their payoff and went home. But not one law enforcement officer, not one prosecuting attorney not one judge agreed NOT ONE.

          3. None that has been reported. A couple did claim that they held back some answers to Congress due to the leaks and instead told their stories to Mr. Mueller. But no reports of anyone speaking to Mr. Mueller that used executive privilege so if I’m wrong, please pass them along.

            Pres. Trump’s tweets haven’t changed much since he first started. Hard to detect from written words if he’s laughing or yelling while writing.

            Not a question of what crimes I’m willing to live with. It’s a question of what crimes are actually proven or at this point, even charged. I am not claiming he’s innocent of anything besides collusion and obstruction. But so far, there’s nothing.

            1. So far there’s nothing you know of, matter of fact you’re not supposed to know until we see more indictments and guilty pleadings, I think we’re at 19 now? Sooner or later we’ll get to real numbers?

              1. EIBC, exactly my point. Nothing that we know of. The 19 indictments do not include any Team Trump members involving election interference.

            2. Hope Hicks and Steve Bannon off the top of my head, refused to answer questions without citing Executive Privilege, then Sarah Huckabee Sanders touts “full cooperation” because they showed up. A pretty low bar.

              1. That sounds about right but those folks were in front of the House investigation claiming executive privilege, not in front of Mr. Mueller. We haven’t heard of anyone pleading the Fifth. And the Mueller team haven’t been choir boys/girls when it comes to leaks, so I believe we would have heard something.

        2. Mike Peterman said, “No collusion, no obstruction.”

          Mike the way you say it seems to imply that without an underlying criminal conspiracy there could be no obstruction of justice. I’m not a lawyer, so I won’t grapple with that question. Instead I’ll take you up on the offer. If Flynn was not a rogue actor doing his own bidding for himself, but following orders that Trump had given to Flynn, then there could be an underlying criminal conspiracy. If Flynn testifies to an underlying criminal conspiracy, then there could be obstruction of justice.

          1. L4D, thank you for inquiring about my thought process, All we know about Gen. Flynn at this point, is that he’s pleading guilty to lying about a meeting. We don’t know the conditions allowing him to plead to the process charge. There may be something else he has agreed to, but no facts to back that up as of now. We all love to do some assuming, so I will give you this. He is scheduled for his plea next month. Once that is on the record, he will make for a lousy witness because he’s admitting to lying.

        3. Mike Peterman said, “The other possible charges would have occurred before being President so he cannot be prosecuted until he’s out of office.”

          If Trump laundered money for the Russians before he took office as POTUS, then the Russians could exploit their knowledge of Trump’s money-laundering as kompromat to extort favors from The POTUS, Trump. If Trump cannot be prosecuted for money-laundering while serving his one and only term of office as POTUS, then the Congress would be hard-pressed to explain to the American people why they wouldn’t impeach, convict, remove and disqualify from office A POTUS who could not get a security clearance any other way than by getting himself elected POTUS.

          1. L4D, we haven’t seen Pres. Trump remove any sanctions. A Russian embassy was just closed in Seattle and many ‘diplomats’ sent home. Twice, has made life for Russia harder in Syria. We are now exporting more fossil fuel than ever before, competing with Russia to sell our product, hitting them in the pocketbook. While way too many argue that he didn’t initiate the Congressional sanctions passed in 2017, one can easily argue they are an excellent negotiating tactic to help with NK denuclearization attempts. We do need their cooperation for the NK situation.

            House members have already conducted multiple attempts to impeach. So obviously many of them are also in the speculation business. As abhorrent as I feel the Mueller investigation is, why don’t we all wait to see what he comes up with before proclaiming money laundering.

            1. Mike Peterman said, “As abhorrent as I feel the Mueller investigation is, why don’t we all wait to see what he comes up with before proclaiming money laundering.”

              Mike, seeing as how waiting is all that any of us can do–besides guessing–I don’t really have any choice but to wait and see–whilst guessing to my heart’s content. Trump faces no legal jeopardy from L4D, let alone L4D’s guessing game. (It’s irresistible to me)

              1. Yes L4D, it is always fun to speculate. But even our speculation should be somewhat factual. I get why people want Pres. Trump removed from office. But it would be nice for the haters to turn it down 10 notches so one can have a civil discourse.

                1. Mike Peterman, hate is too harsh. Try spite, instead. I think it fits better. Remember: Spite comes from the Old Norse word spit, which was a sharpened stick used to prod cattle.

                  P. S. While The POTUS (any POTUS) only needs to garner 270 or more electoral votes in order to be granted a security clearance directly from We The People, it still seems to me that getting elected POTUS is the one and only way that Trump ever could get a security clearance. If you’d like, you could think of the Special Counsel’s investigation as a security background check on Trump. Or not. I said I wasn’t going to say anything about equivalency of investigation. Oh well. I guess I lied to myself about that. But at least Mike Peterman is still a good sport.

          1. Not only that, but it’s 15 minutes of speculation from the Mouth of Sauron, er Trump, a thoroughly discredited source.

            1. It wasn’t Trump, whose speculation would have been incoherent. It started out with the supposition that Comey and Mueller conspired and then went on to consider all the possibilities from there.

      2. “Oh wait, he’s freaking out!” If you continuously provoke somebody and string them along with baseless accusations, then natural reaction is to push back. Mr. Enigma, I would expect you to push back if you were wrongfully accused of something as you would expect that of yourself. When Trump stays silent on an accusation, Left counts minutes until he responds and if no response they say he is guilty, if he pushes back they say he is guilty.

        1. “Baseless accusations?” If we only looked at the alleged Russia collusion, which seems to be the only area some people think legitimate for the Special Counsel to look at given his mandate (ignoring money laundering, foreign bribes, etc.). How many meetings with Russians and subsequent lies and real estate transactions does it take for there to be an actual base?

          1. That’s right, enigma, a special counsel investigation requires a specific commission. That’s the law. You can’t use it for internet ass-pulls even though ass-pulls amuse you.

            1. His actual crimes, uncovered during the investigation are well within the purview of the Special Counsel. If the Mueller final report finds no crimes, I will be right here to give a Mea Culpa and admit how wrong I was.
              My expectation when actual crimes are revealed will be an outcry of; “Hillary and Obama did worse,” “The crimes were outside the scope of the investigation,” “They kept looking until they found something… so unfair,” “The laws broken are bad laws, to begin with,” and of course, “Fake News.”

              1. Enigma. you may be right, again. But I’m putting my money on the claim, “Money laundering ought not to be against the law in the first place.”

              2. His actual crimes, uncovered during the investigation are well within the purview of the Special Counsel.

                See Andrew McCarthy on Rosenstein’s failure to adhere to the law on this point. He has given Mueller a blank check and Manafort is challenging that in court, as he should.

                The McCabe clown posse and Mueller’s collection of high-priced Democratic Party donors have been hunting this snark for 21 months. Tick tock.

                1. You may disagree with what the law is… but the Special Counsel arrangement allows him to pursue damn near anything he runs across. That’s how we got to Monica Lewinsky from Whitewater which was a real estate deal.
                  Now I believe Mueller should stay away from Stormy Daniels as much as possible, except for those FEC violations because if a President is going to be impeached, it ought to be for more than being an adulterous slimeball, although sexual assault and child rape would be worthy charges.

                  1. Yeah, those potential FEC violations should not get a pass. Speaking of FEC violations, what’s your take on this under-reported story?

                    That lawsuit, filed last week in a DC district court, summarizes the DNC-Clinton conspiracy and provides detailed evidence from Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings confirming the complaint’s allegations that Democrats undertook an extensive scheme to violate federal campaign limits.


                    1. I did read through the entire article. The way the writer tells the story there seems to be a possible case here although there may also be explanations. Blaming the Democrats for lack of a full FEC Board and noting the Senate only confirms members in pairs, seems a little shallow in that the Republican-controlled Senate can do and has done whatever they want and could at least confirm a Republican member, bringing the number to 5.
                      I think the lawsuit should proceed and if found to have merit, the issues should be dealt with.

    2. One has to stretch their lack of moral fiber far far far to come up with that conclusion. But then the left is trained to do exactly that. Protect and advance The Party first and last regardless of all else. And this is what we’ve become after the efforts of our fore fathers and founders? Turned into just another bunch of sad lackeys and serfs of those who temporarily hold or think they hold the largest sword? They soon forget they have no real power and have yet to face the ultimate defense put in place by the founders. Those who do honor their oath of office. But who once turned loose do not deal with civil rights for this kind. The arrogant asses even codified it in the Patriot Act. Suspicion of, arrest, and a final sentence. Written in their own arrogant hands as they could not envision those rules being used against them. All it takes is a declaration of an act of terrorism. Just a suspicion. In their own words. The country is then put back under the Constitution and that is the end of their revolution.

      1. Michael Aarethun, are you suggesting that Trump is going to declare his political opposition “terrorists,” on the basis of suspicion, then lock them all up???

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