Monday, 15 October, 2018

No smoking gun, but James Comey shows he's a straight shooter

Francis Olson | 09 June, 2017, 13:13

The White House initially said Trump fired Comey on the recommendation of the Justice Department, citing as justification a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that criticized Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey also testified regarding his concerns his one-on-one conversations with Trump, which he said he felt the need to report in memos.

Comey held a packed and tense hearing room at attention as he recounted his version of the interactions leading up to his dismissal - and the steps he took after the president fired him, on May 9. Trump later contradicted his own staff and acknowledged on May 11 that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation probe.

Kasowitz added that Comey's assertion that Trump asked him for loyalty on multiple occasions did not coordinate with the facts. "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go". "He said, 'I hope'".

Detailing a dinner with the President on Jan 27, for instance, Mr Comey wrote: "My instincts told me that the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to. create some sort of patronage relationship". Comey says that he should not answer that question in a hearing open to the public, though clarifies he didn't mean to imply anything "nefarious". If there was a recording of the conversation, everyone would be able to hear exactly what happened, and Comey is asserting that he would be vindicated.

Comey related his sense of foreboding when he was asked by Trump to remain behind after after a wider meeting of White House and national security officials in the Oval Office. Comey said he told Trump three times that he was not personally under investigation.

Iran's Zarif Says Trump Comments on Deadly Attacks Are 'Repugnant'
The state-run IRNA news agency reported the increase Thursday, citing Ahmad Shojaei , the head of the country's forensic center. That statement of solidarity with the victims was notable because of the deep distrust between the USA and Iran.

At the end of previous year United States intelligence agencies said they believed Moscow's intelligence agencies had used hackers to try to sway the election in Mr Trump's favour and against his rival Hillary Clinton. Trump's understanding of how to be president isn't complicated - some might call it simplistic - but it's not going to be the shortest, either. "I was sacked in some way to change, or the endeavour was to change, the way the Russian Federation investigation was being conducted". Instead, the president's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, released a statement attacking Comey that revealed the precariousness of Trump's defense.

"The president never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that Mr Comey 'let Flynn go, '" said Kasowitz.

In Kasowitz's view, Comey's testimony also establishes that the president "was not being investigated for colluding" with the Russians, or "attempting to obstruct that investigation". At the time of his firing, Comey had been overseeing the federal investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia's election meddling, outraging Democrats who claimed the president was interfering in an active probe.

"I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that's a conclusion I'm sure the Special Counsel will work towards to try to understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offence". Since there's no law against a private citizen sharing unclassified information with a reporter, there's no potential violation of the law to investigate.

Trump himself was expected to dispute Comey's claims that the president demanded loyalty and asked the FBI director to drop the investigation into Flynn, according to a person close to the president's legal team who demanded anonymity because of not being authorized to discuss legal strategy. We now know there is one thing that can get the president to stop tweeting: the threat that his words will be used against him in a criminal investigation.

And in this moment, Comey spoke for all of America.

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