COVFEFE LIVEWIRE: Comey Crazy Sweeps DC Swamp
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Shock: Fmr FBI Director Admits Orchestrating Leak…
…But! Never Leaked Trump *Not* Under Investigation
One of the most interesting new disclosures today in the Comey hearing was the admission by former FBI Director James Comey that he intentionally used a “friend” on the Columbia law faculty to leak his memos to the media. Comey says that he did so to force the appointment of a Special Counsel. However, those memos could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation.
Notably, Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman as a faculty webpage that says that he is “currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.” Richman specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure.
The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memo to file suggests that these are arguably government documents. Comey admitted that he thought raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress. They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.
The admission of leaking the memos is problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration. Indeed, it creates a curious scene of a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.
Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information. Assuming that the memos were not classified (though it seems odd that it would not be classified even on the confidential level), there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”
What do you think?
18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records
Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or
Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate, combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Former FBI director James Comey began his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday by suggesting that the question of whether President Donald Trump had committed obstruction of justice was one for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate.
But under questioning by Sen. James Risch (R-ID), Comey all but destroyed any hope Democrats had for bringing a case of obstruction of justice against President Donald Trump.
Their exchange was as follows:
Risch: I want to drill right down, as my time is limited, to the most recent dust-up regarding, allegations that the President of the United States obstructed justice. And, boy, you nailed this down on page page five, paragraph three, you put this in quotes. Words matter, you wrote down the words so we can all have the words in front of us now. There’s 28 words that are in quotes, and it says, quote: “I hope” — this is the president speaking — “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Now, those are his exact words; is that correct?
Risch: And you wrote them here and you put them in quotes.
Risch: Thank you for that. He did not direct you to let it go.
Comey: Not in his words, no.
Risch: He did not order you to let it go.
Comey: Again, those words are not in order.
Risch: No. He said, “I hope.” Now, like me, you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases, charging people with criminal offenses. And of course you have knowledge of the thousands of cases out there where people have been charged. Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or for that matter any other criminal offense where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?
Comey: I don’t know well enough to answer. And the reason I keep saying his words is, I took it as a direction.
Comey: I mean, it’s the President of the United States with me alone, saying, “I hope this.” I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn’t obey that, but that’s the way I took it.
Risch: You may have taken it as a direction, but that’s not what he said.
Risch: He said, “I hope.”
Comey: Those are exact words, correct.
Risch: You don’t know of anyone that’s been charged for hoping something?
Comey: I don’t, as I sit here.
Risch: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Democrats have hinged their hopes for impeachment — and reversing the 2016 elections — on the idea that Trump committed obstruction of justice. That case has now been smashed beyond repair.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Dershowitz: Comey’s statement fails to deliver the smoking gun Democrats craved
June 8, 2017 by Alan Dershowitz
Former FBI Director James Comey’s written statement, which was released in advance of his Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, does not provide evidence that President Trump committed obstruction of justice or any other crime. Indeed it strongly suggests that even under the broadest reasonable definition of obstruction, no such crime was committed.
The crucial conversation occurred in the Oval Office on February 14 between the president and the then director. According to Comey’s contemporaneous memo, the president expressed his opinion that General Flynn “is a good guy.” Comey replied: “He is a good guy.”
The president said the following: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this thing go.”
Comey understood that to be a reference only to the Flynn investigation and not “the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to the campaign”
Comey had already told the president that “we were not investigating him personally.”
Comey understood “the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.”
Comey did not say he would “let this go,” and indeed he did not grant the president’s request to do so. Nor did Comey report this conversation to the attorney general or any other prosecutor. He was troubled by what he regarded as a breach of recent traditions of FBI independence from the White House, though he recognized that “throughout history, some presidents have decided that because ‘problems’ come from the Department of Justice, they should try to hold the Department close.”
That is an understatement.
Throughout American history — from Adams to Jefferson to Lincoln to Roosevelt to Kennedy to Obama — presidents have directed (not merely requested) the Justice Department to investigate, prosecute (or not prosecute) specific individuals or categories of individuals.
It is only recently that the tradition of an independent Justice Department and FBI has emerged. But traditions, even salutary ones, cannot form the basis of a criminal charge.
It would be far better if our constitution provided for prosecutors who were not part of the executive branch which is under the direction of the president.
In Great Britain, Israel and other democracies that respect the rule of law, the Director of Public Prosecution or the attorney general are law enforcement officials who, by law, are independent of the Prime Minister.
But our constitution makes the attorney general both the chief prosecutor and the chief political adviser to the present on matters of justice and law enforcement.
The president can, as a matter of constitutional law, direct the attorney general, and his subordinate, the Director of the FBI, tell them what to do, whom to prosecute and whom not to prosecute. Indeed, the president has the constitutional authority to stop the investigation of any person by simply pardoning that person.
Assume, for argument’s sake, that the president had said the following to Comey: quot;You are no longer authorized to investigate Flynn because I have decided to pardon him.” Would that exercise of the president’s constitutional power to pardon constitute a criminal obstruction of justice? Of course not. presidents do that all the time.
The first President Bush pardoned Casper Weinberger, his Secretary of Defense, in the middle of an investigation that could have incriminated Bush. That was not an obstruction and neither would a pardon of Flynn have been a crime. A president cannot be charged with a crime for properly exercising his constitutional authority
For the same reason President Trump cannot be charged with obstruction for firing Comey, which he had the constitutional authority to do.
The Comey statement suggests that one reason the president fired him was because of his refusal or failure to publicly announce that the FBI was not investigating Trump personally. Trump “repeatedly” told Comey to “get that fact out,” and he did not.
If that is true, it is certainly not an obstruction of justice.
Nor is it an obstruction of justice to ask for loyalty from the director of the FBI, who responded “you will get that (‘honest loyalty’) from me.”
Comey understood that he and the president may have understood that vague phrase — “honest loyalty” — “differently.” But no reasonable interpretation of those ambiguous words would give rise to a crime.
Many Trump opponents were hoping that the Comey statement would provide smoking guns.
It has not.
Instead it has weakened an already weak case for obstruction of justice.
The statement may provide political ammunition to Trump opponents, but unless they are willing to stretch Comey’s words and take Trump’s out of context and unless they are prepared to abandon important constitutional principles and civil liberties that protect us all, they should not be searching for ways to expand already elastic criminal statutes and shrink enduring constitutional safeguard in a dangerous and futile effort to criminalize political disagreements.
COMEY CHRONICLES: BOMBSHELL CLIPS FROM SENATE HEARING
Former FBI director’s testimony was full of devastating revelations
June 8, 2017
Comey took Trump’s “hope” that he would “let go” of Flynn investigation as an order.
Former FBI director James Comey openly admitted before the Senate Intelligence committee that he leaked memos to the press.
It seems like every Senator has been able to get Comey to contradict his sworn testimony that he was ordered by Trump to halt the investigation.
Under questions from Senator Diane Feinstein former FBI director admits he is a coward and was afraid to tell Trump he was not following proper procedure.
Comey confirmed that a New York Times article about Trump colluding with Russia was based on false information.
Here ‘Contradicting Comey’ tries to rationalize why he did not inform the public that President Trump was not under investigation.
During his testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee today, James Comey repeatedly stated that President Trump effectively ordered him to stop his investigation into Micheal Flynn.
This statement, however, directly contradicts the testimony he gave to the FBI Oversight Committee on May 3rd of this year.
LEAKER! Comey Admits He Leaked Trump Memos To Press
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It Never Happened – 36 Seconds with James Comey and Senator Hirono
BREAKING: WHEN ASKED ABOUT LORETTA LYNCH, WHAT COMEY SAID NEXT LEFT THE ROOM SPEECHLESS
BREAKING: COMEY’S ‘HOPE’ TO CRUSH TRUMP JUST GOT DESTROYED WITH 1 EPIC QUESTION – WATCH THIS!!!
BREAKING: TRUMP DROPS 3-SENTENCE BOMBSHELL AFTER COMEY’S TESTIMONY
President Trump said he felt “completely and totally vindicated” by Comey’s testimony
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