Saturday, June 17, 2017

James Comey testimony vs. Trump vs. Watergate

Note: I do not trust James Comey, especially when he makes unsupported claims against President Trump after being fired.

Former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee alleged that Trump asked him, when discussing the investigation of General Mike Flynn, to “let this go.”

The president has legal authority to dismiss the FBI director, as Comey testified, and even to direct what the FBI does and does not investigate.

Yet the FBI holds itself to be “independent”? 

Trump views the federal bureaucracy as the enemy.

Comey testified that Obama attorney general Loretta Lynch “directed me not to call it (Hillary Clinton destroyed eMails) an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me.” 

Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton on a runway tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona prompted Comey to expand his role leading the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s activities ... into taking over the Justice Department's duty to decide whether Clinton should be prosecuted ... which was unprecedented. 

“In an ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department,” he told Sen. Richard Burr.

Comey told Sen. Joe Manchin, “if Hillary Clinton was elected, I might have been terminated.” 

Comey's  job was not likely to last whether Trump or Clinton won the election!

Comey admitted to illegally leaking his memo of his talk with Trump about Flynn. 
" ... I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself, for a variety of reasons. But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. And so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”

Any disgruntled FBI man or other government intelligence insider who wants to damage a president, or sabotage an elected leader’s agenda, he has the means to do it. 

Mark Felt did so as “Deep Throat” -- his leaks allowed Woodward and Bernstein to break open the Watergate scandal. 

Mark Felt did not act only out of public interest -- he was angry at President Nixon for failing to make him the next FBI director.

Comey did not take Trump’s wishes regarding General Flynn as an order. 

He did not consider resigning (as he had once earlier in his career during the George W. Bush administration). 

Trump allegedly raised the Flynn matter only once. 

Trump did not try to shut down the investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election.

There is no known crime at the heart of the Trump-Russia collusion charges affair.

No hush money changed hands.

Comey affirmed in his testimony that he told Trump more than once that he (Trump) was not a target of investigation in the Russia inquiry. 

Comey did say that Flynn was in possible legal jeopardy, as a result of his interactions with foreign officials and what he told the FBI. 

Flynn violated rules for foreign lobbyists, like many people do.

If he lied to the FBI, he would be subject to prosecution. 

Trump violated norms if he really suggested to Comey that the FBI should “let go” of the investigation into Flynn, but that was NOT a crime.

The only possible "scandal" here is Trump’s disregard for Washington’s norms ... which is what got him elected. 

Today none of the institutions of government or media, except the military, has popular support. 

The differences vs. Watergate:
There was a real crime at the heart of the Watergate affair -- the burglary of DNC offices in the Watergate complex.

More crimes were committed as part of the cover-up. 
Nixon knew that his staff was paying hush money to the burglars. 

The hush money was important for convincing members of Congress that impeachment was justified, although Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.