Comey testimony thread

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by sezna, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,534
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Ok, here we go - this is what Comey said in the hearing:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/08/full-text-james-comey-trump-russia-testimony-239295

    That actually jives pretty well with the sequence suggested by the newspaper coverage. The story that Comey had been pressured by Trump to pledge loyalty broke on the 11th (notable here is that the NY Times coverage makes ZERO mention of the fact Trump asked Comey to "let it go" on the Flynn investigation, which is FAR more notable than asking for his loyalty). Trump tweeted on the 12th saying Comey had better hope he didn't have tapes, and actually kind of got lucky when he accused Comey of leaking, as Comey ultimately turned out to be the source of the leak of the memo on the 16th. The existence of the memo was reported on the 16th, as well as the fact that Trump had pressured Comey to drop the investigation.

    I think the critical part, though, is that word of the *memo* didn't leak until the 16th, after Trump's tweet, and that a lot of additional, and far more damning, detail only came out then.

    EDIT - I mean, his lawyer's whole argument falls apart under any scruitiny. Obviously Comey knew the story about their meeting was out when he encouraged his friend to share the ecistence of that memo - why would Trump be tweeting that Comey better hope he didn't have tapes, if the fact they'd had a private conversation wasn't already in the news? What Comey did was call Trump's bluff, and bring the full content of the conversation out to the public eye.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
    JSanta and vilk like this.
  2. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,022
    Likes Received:
    1,592
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Time makes Trumps of us all.
     
    StevenC likes this.
  3. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    105
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm very disappointed in the reactions from both sides. Conservatives are using the word "vindicated" to describe Trump, which they shouldn't, and liberals are saying that the R senators were attacking Comey on the basis that "hope" does not constitute obstruction. I saw plenty of R senators being plenty bipartisan yesterday, but if I were to read the media today, I'd think I was the only one....
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,534
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    To a certain extent I agree with you here.

    I think there WAS a concerted attempt on the part of the GOP to mitigate the damage to Trump by arguing the "hope" statement wasn't the same as a directive, and one or two Senators, Blunt in particular, really pushed this line. However, there were also profound examples of bipartisan inquiry; Republican Senator Collins was the one who gave Comey the opening to elaborate that he believed Trump's words were intended to be a directive, for one. I was pleasantly surprised by the relative lack of partisanship I heard yesterday, compared to what I'd expected and grown used to (though, I'll also note that the Senate committee has already earned a reputation for being reasonably bipartisan and taking their obligations much more seriously than the House committee).
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    13,403
    Likes Received:
    1,458
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    Well, if my boss came up to me at work, told everyone else to leave the room, the proceeded to tell me that he hoped I would stop working on project X, I would take that as a extremely clear message that I was to stop working on project X. You know? I mean, communication is 99% about the context. If a friend told me that he hoped I would stop spending so much time playing guitar, that's totally different than my boss, or my boss's boss, clearing the room during a meeting and telling me that he hopes I would stop doing something.

    Then again, I don't really even understand how that's even a point to debate, since the surrounding evidence is already quite clear. :shrug:

    In terms of obstructing justice, I do think that it's very very complicated. Trump is the PotUS. He seems to think that he's the king, and in some ways, he wields the power of a king, yet there are still checks and balances in effect. Criminal investigations are not really one of those things that have built in checks and balances, though. The president has the official power to start and stop investigations, the power to give direct orders to the people who oversee all federal policing agencies, and the power to pardon whomever he pleases. Congress would have to impeach him to guarantee and Obstruction of Justice charge would stick at all, and I really don't think that they have a situation where impeachment would result in anything actionable at this point. If Trump gets caught in some web of his own lies, that doesn't get him removed from office. If Trump gets caught trying to obstruct an FBI investigation (is "FBI investigation" a redundant term?), I don't think that would be enough to get him removed from office, either.
     
  6. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,534
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Well, yes and no. The President has the authority to start and stop investigations, however, there's also clear legal precident that even taking valid, legal actions can be considered an unlawful obstruction of justice if they are done out of personal interest and to protect onesself from an investigation. The obvious precursor is Richard Nixon - he had full legal authority to order the AG to fire the special prosecutor investigating Watergate, and then to fire the AG when he didn't follow a presidential directive. It was still at the same time a clear obstruction of justice, since the special prosecutor was investigating Nixon, and Nixon was later impeached, and would have very likely been removed from office had he not resigned, for violating the presidential oath of office and for obstruction of justice.

    So, intent matters. Of course, so too does politics, and I don't think we're yet at a point where Trump is worth more to the GOP dead than alive.

    Also, this is interesting:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...?utm_term=.717b361c0fe9&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

    tl;dr - while Trump may very well have already obstructed justice, filing a complaint with the DOJ about Comey, especially because it's extremely unlikely he broke any law but to the prior point potentially even if he HAD done something illegal, Trump may be both in violation of federal whistleblower protections, as well as obstructing justice all over again by using his executive authority to try to punish Comey.

    ...

    And, let's rewind - I think what's at the heart of obstruction of justice is the fact that the person in question DOES have the authority to do what they're doing, but shouldn't be using that authority because they are doing so not in their official capacity but for personal gain. It's about abuse of power. You can't very well obstruct justice if you don't have the power TO obstruct, you know?
     
    Explorer likes this.
  7. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    105
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    So, Putin offered asylum to Comey. Global trolling?
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    26,534
    Likes Received:
    1,972
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Yup.

    Interesting move, since Comey is not YET being persecuted by Trump for anything. Makes you wonder what Putin's play is - it seems awfully random.
     
  9. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    105
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    I kinda think he is just poking the US in different places and seeing where it hurts.
     

Share This Page