Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Benjamin Wittes - The Inspector General of the Justice Department has determined that it is misconduct for a law enforcement officer to publicly disclose an effort to shut down his investigation. Michael Horowitz would probably not describe his findings that way. But that seems to me the inescapable message of the inspector general's report, released today, on former Director James Comey's handling of his memos on his interactions with President Trump.

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(T)he disclosure of Comey's memo added exactly one fact (which Sally Yates' public, DOJ-approved testimony did not): that the president had sought to shut the investigation down.

And it is that fact that Horowitz faults Comey for making public.

And there it is: the inspector general of the United States Department of Justice taking the position that a witness to gross misconduct by the president of the United States has a duty to keep his mouth shut about what he saw. Remember, after all, that Comey was a witness here as well as the former FBI director. That's an extraordinary position for a law enforcement organization to take. If that is what FBI policy and an employment agreement required of Comey under the extraordinary circumstances he faced, so be it. I'm glad both were given their due weight.

As usual, Wittes nails down the pertinent details with aplomb. This President's misconduct should not be divulged to the public.

Explains quite a lot, doesn't it?

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-29 08:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

An investigation that was a farce from the beginning, and should have been shut down.

I see Maddie is getting hits again, given this new disinformation, good for her. Her rating were dying without the collusion delusion.

She thanks you for your support TR.

#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-08-29 09:13 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

Explains quite a lot, doesn't it?
#1 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

Your double standards? Hypocrisy? Ignoring political favoritism?

Yes Tony, it explains much about you.

#3 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-08-29 09:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

"Benjamin Wittes - The Inspector General of the Justice Department has determined that it is misconduct for a law enforcement officer to publicly disclose an effort to shut down his investigation."

Horse crap. Do we want a transparent government or not? This is garbage.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2019-08-29 10:11 PM | Reply

Ho hum. Whatever.

#5 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-08-29 10:18 PM | Reply

Don't worry Nulli, we expected that level of intellectual depth from you.

#6 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-29 10:47 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

An investigation that was a farce from the beginning, and should have been shut down.

Tell me Andrea, are Trump's balls spray tanned too?

#7 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-29 10:48 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Don't worry Nulli, we expected that level of intellectual depth from you.

POSTED BY JPW AT 2019-08-29 10:47 PM | REPLY |

It's not even able to reach the bottom of a thimble these days. I think Andrea polluted his mind sadly.

#8 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2019-08-29 11:11 PM | Reply

A dearth of intellectual depth from the rwingers as per usual.

The respected legal journal Lawfare outs Trump's DOJ as a criminal organization dedicated to the rule of the dictator king rather than the rule of law, and their response?

"Ho hum. Whatever."

"Is the head of the government subject to the law, or above the law? This was the central question of the political crisis that caused the English Civil War in the 17th century, against the absolutist claims of King Charles I. The answer to this question is one of the foundations of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1644, the Scottish Presbyterian Samuel Rutherford published "Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince." The point of the title was that the law precedes the king; the monarch must obey the law. "Lex, Rex" refuted the royal absolutists who claimed rex est lex loquens " the king is the law speaking."

www.washingtonpost.com

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2019-08-29 11:18 PM | Reply

*yawn*

#10 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-08-29 11:22 PM | Reply

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Time to call the orderly, Nulli?

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-29 11:25 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

Dulli advances his argument from ho hum whatever to yawn.

For him, that's a major exercising of his intellectual capacity... such as it is.

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2019-08-29 11:27 PM | Reply

Because Comey made the whole thing up?

#13 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2019-08-30 12:54 AM | Reply

I read the summary of the report and skimmed the rest.

It didn't really bring anything new to light that wasn't already known.

It did cut into Comey pretty hard though.

And unlike for McCabe, this report didn't make a criminal referral for Comey, the report was pretty damning nevertheless.

Comey's actions blatantly violated FBI protocol. He was disgraceful and he set a very dangerous precedent,

To make matters worse, he did all of this as director, as someone who most certainly knew that what he was doing was bad/wrong and rationalized his actions due to his over-inflated view of his-self.

It's a shame to end a pretty solid career, when evaluated on the whole, on such a disgraceful note. What makes it all worse is that he's doubling-down on this.

#14 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-08-30 01:12 AM | Reply

#14

Your turn is complete. Such drivel unsupported by the facts. Comey wrote 7 personal memos, some documenting the misconduct of the President in requesting that Comey stop a counterintelligence investigation into the already publicized actions of Michael Flynn. While still director Comey classified two of the memos and after his firing gave one to a third party for release to the public. The only difference between Comey's memo and Sally Yates' congressional testimony regarding Flynn was that Comey divulged the President himself made illicit attempts to squelch the FBI's investigation personally.

So what Comey did was to whistleblow that fact, full stop. He released nothing classified, nor did he lie about anyone or anything. As director of the FBI, just who was Comey supposed to report Trump's conduct to after his firing? Should he have reported it to the Attorney General? Can't, Sessions was recused. The Deputy AG? The same guy who just wrote a memo outlining his own reasons that Comey should have been fired?

Just who exactly was Comey supposed to "report to" that the President he worked for not only violated his oath to protect and defend the laws of this nation, he also actively lobbied for the FBI director to simply walk away from a duly and fairly instituted counterintelligence investigation into the violation of US law involving illicit communication with a hostile foreign power, simultaneously being investigated for illegally influencing the very election of the same President?

The IG's tortured logic and ending hyperbolic ire eerily echoes the same thing that Comey did to Hillary when he took it upon himself to both exonerate and excoriate her at the same time over her emails. Both end with personal judgments created to blunt specific criticism and to fuel others, not to serve the constitutional prerogatives of this nation nor the furtherance of justice. The only salient crime here was this President's repeated entreaties that one of his handpicked officials be judged as above the law and that his transgressions should be ignored. For all of Comey's faults, making public non-classified information of Trump's repeated assault upon federal law and federal law enforcement simply undertaking its proscribed job of investigating evidence of crime when it's revealed to them, is not one of them.

When the epitaph of this Hindenburg of administrations is finally written, Comey's actions will viewed as morally principled and necessary based on the information he relayed and due to its importance. When a President asks his FBI director to abdicate the bureau's role in investigating lawbreaking, the President is in the wrong, not the person reporting the President's illicit, power abusing requests.

#15 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-30 07:06 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Comey knew that his agents who interviewed Flynn said they felt Flynn didn't lie but didn't disclose it. They also told Flynn he didn't need a lawyer which is a violation of his rights. Comey then used it to start a phony investigation that tried to derail a presidential investigation. This is just the tip of the ice berg. McCabe, who is a proven liar, that is why CNN hired him, is in big trouble. Wait for it.

#16 | Posted by fishpaw at 2019-08-30 07:28 AM | Reply

Can't wait for the next IG report that shows that Comey lied to FISA judges four times

#17 | Posted by homerj at 2019-08-30 08:15 AM | Reply

Comey knew that his agents who interviewed Flynn said they felt Flynn didn't lie but didn't disclose it. They also told Flynn he didn't need a lawyer which is a violation of his rights.

Was there anything legally wrong with Comey's and McCabe's duplicitous efforts to lull Flynn into a false sense of security, gain direct, solo access to him and not warn him about lying to agents? Nope. And that's why his attorney's probe of that angle went nowhere with the court.
_________________________________________

After months of silence and invisibility, Flynn walked into a federal courthouse in Washington DC on Friday morning and pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. Flynn admitted that he lied in interviews with FBI agents shortly after the inauguration about conversations he had held with the then Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak concerning US sanctions on Russia and other matters.

Your iceberg melted months ago. Perhaps you should catch up.

#18 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-30 08:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

the president had sought to shut the investigation down. - #1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-29 08:49 PM
I like that the 'fact' claimed in the quote is patently false. Trump, as President, absolutely had the power to stop the investigation by saying 'Stop the investigation'. It was entirely within his abilities. The fact (an actual fact this time) that he didn't do so proves that his intention was not to shut down the investigation.
If you want to claim that the president sought to apply undue pressure on Comey, while still allowing Comey to make decisions about the status of the investigation, at least it would be honest.
But claiming that the president chose not to exert his power to shut down the investigation in order to shut down the investigation is a claim that only someone dishonest or stupid would make.

#19 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-08-30 08:54 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#18 It was a plea after the heads of the FBI said they would go after his family if he didn't do so. Comey knew and admitted that his agents who interviewed Flynn said they didn't think he lied. They pressured Flynn into a plea knowing that they could distroy Flynn financially and distroy his family.

#20 | Posted by fishpaw at 2019-08-30 09:36 AM | Reply

#20

You're talking about mitigating circumstances versus whether or not Flynn broke the law. Do you have a scintilla of evidence that Flynn did not break the law? His conversations with Kislyak were caught on signals intel that was surveilling the Russians. Having leverage to pressure a suspect is not criminal. It may be coercive, but it's not illegal or unethical. You seem to imply that an NSA head should be exempt from federal law because the FBI had the audacity of catching him in the act. He lied to the FBI and that is against the law. Flynn was a career intelligence official and was well versed in protocols and the law. No one with his level of security clearance is unaware of how the FBI investigative process works and that the Russian ambassador to the US always has his communication surveilled. Flynn was not an idiot.

If Flynn and his son broke the law, then that fact alone does not absolve them of their own culpability regardless of what pressure was brought to bear in seeking a plea instead of undertaking an expensive trial that would most certainly have led to the exact same result.

#21 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-30 10:06 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Comey knew and admitted that his agents who interviewed Flynn said they didn't think he lied."

What they were really saying is that Flynn was a good liar:

No, the FBI did not say Michael Flynn did not lie, as Donald Trump said

Our ruling

Trump said of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, "The FBI said he wasn't lying."

Trump is taking FBI agents' impressions completely out of context. The agents who interviewed Flynn about his contacts with the Russian ambassador before Trump became president said he did not appear to be lying " meaning, he didn't seem nervous or exhibit the usual traits of deception.

That's quite different from their factual conclusion: Flynn lied to them. Flynn pled guilty to intentionally making false statements and is awaiting sentencing.

We rate this False.


www.politifact.com

#22 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-08-30 10:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The fact (an actual fact this time) that he didn't do so proves that his intention was not to shut down the investigation.

That's not an accurate portrayal of reality at all.

Multiple sources stated he attempted to but was rebuffed by staff who are smarter and far less impulsive than he is.

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-30 10:59 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

Comey's actions blatantly violated FBI protocol. He was disgraceful and he set a very dangerous precedent,

#14 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

So, what were his alternatives? He thought that his political superiors were subverting justice by trying to influence and/or shut down an investigation into the wrongdoing of people that those politicians were acquainted with.

Are you defending that behavior? Saying that is how our system SHOULD work? Or are you saying he had better and/or more effective alternatives that he could have followed? A better way to combat the political interference?

If you are going with "not acceptable behavior" and "no better alternatives" then what I am hearing is that the system is broken. That Comey was put in the position of violating protocols or allowing justice to be subverted.

If that is the case, then while an analysis of Comey is appropriate, the big takeaway should be how the system, or protocols, or safeguards need to CHANGE so that someone in a similar circumstance to Comey in the future is not put into the same position of doing what is "right" (or less "wrong") vs doing what tradition or "protocols" or whatever say they are supposed to do. The system should be designed so that you are "supposed to do" the "right" thing. If that is not the case, then the system needs to be changed.

#24 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-08-30 12:09 PM | Reply

An investigation that was a farce from the beginning, and should have been shut down.
I see Maddie is getting hits again, given this new disinformation, good for her. Her rating were dying without the collusion delusion.
She thanks you for your support TR.
#2 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

How many indictments now?
How many convictions?

And are you saying the Russians didn't offer dirt to Trump's campaign which he failed to report?
Are you saying the Russians didn't hack the DNC and leak the emails?
Are you saying Russia didn't have trolls farms mainly helping Trump?

No seriously, don't run from this. Tell us what you believe.

#25 | Posted by Sycophant at 2019-08-30 01:11 PM | Reply

Your turn is complete. Such drivel unsupported by the facts. Comey wrote 7 personal memos... -Tony

I stopped reading right there. Did you even read the conclusion of the IG report?

I'm not even going to waste my time until you have. Your attempt to spin Comey's actions isn't going to fly.

#26 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-08-30 01:17 PM | Reply

the president had sought to shut the investigation down. - #1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-29 08:49 PM

That is an allegation not supported by the Mueller report.

#27 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-08-30 01:18 PM | Reply

So, what were his alternatives?

#24 | POSTED BY GTBRITISHSKULL

The IG report lays out his alternatives.

Please don't try to defend the indefensible.

#28 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-08-30 01:20 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The IG report lays out his alternatives.

#28 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

And they were???

I did not have time to read through the whole report. Can you point me to which section lays out the proper procedure for Comey to spur the appointment of a special counsel? Or, in general, to prevent political pressure from derailing an ongoing investigation?

#29 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-08-30 02:30 PM | Reply

Just go to the conclusion of the report. I think it's page 56.

#30 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-08-30 02:42 PM | Reply

--I did not have time to read through the whole report

Hahahaha. How many times have Leftists posted:

#ReadTheReport

#31 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-08-30 03:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Tldr;
Comey is innocent.

#32 | Posted by bored at 2019-08-30 03:06 PM | Reply

And are you saying the Russians didn't offer dirt to Trump's campaign which he failed to report?
Are you saying the Russians didn't hack the DNC and leak the emails?
Are you saying Russia didn't have trolls farms mainly helping Trump?
No seriously, don't run from this. Tell us what you believe.

#25 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2019-08-30 01:11 PM | FLAG:

Russians offered dirt, not against the law to take it or is not considered a campaign contribution.
Still not proven it was the Russians that hacked the DNC. No hard evidence and the strongest evidence is it was an inside job, pissed off Bernie supporter. And before you go psycho, why did the DNC refuse to give the fbi their servers to investigate the hack?
Troll farms? BFD, a bunch of crappy Facebook pages, some asking for votes for Hillary.

How about Hillary paying Christopher Steele who has ties to Russia to write the Russian Dossier?

#33 | Posted by fishpaw at 2019-08-30 03:36 PM | Reply

That is an allegation not supported by the Mueller report.

#27 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

You didn't read it so you can kindly drink a big frosty glass of STFU.

#34 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2019-08-30 03:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

And are you saying the Russians didn't offer dirt to Trump's campaign which he failed to report?
Are you saying the Russians didn't hack the DNC and leak the emails?
Are you saying Russia didn't have trolls farms mainly helping Trump?
No seriously, don't run from this. Tell us what you believe.
#25 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2019-08-30 01:11 PM | FLAG:
Russians offered dirt, not against the law to take it or is not considered a campaign contribution.
Still not proven it was the Russians that hacked the DNC. No hard evidence and the strongest evidence is it was an inside job, pissed off Bernie supporter. And before you go psycho, why did the DNC refuse to give the fbi their servers to investigate the hack?
Troll farms? BFD, a bunch of crappy Facebook pages, some asking for votes for Hillary.
How about Hillary paying Christopher Steele who has ties to Russia to write the Russian Dossier?

#33 | POSTED BY FISHPAW

1. "Russians offered dirt, not against the law to take it or is not considered a campaign contribution."
Actually it's illegal to take it from a foreign government and yes, its a campaign contribution. How could you not know this? Literally the FEC just said this.
www.vox.com

2. "Still not proven it was the Russians that hacked the DNC."
The FBI, CIA, DHS, DOJ, FEC, Pentagon, Mueller, and everyone else disagrees with you. So you know better?

3. "Troll farms?"
It was a million dollar budget at one point. Glad you admit it was illegal though.

4."How about Hillary paying Christopher Steele who has ties to Russia to write the Russian Dossier?"
RNC paid him first actually. And it is completely legal to pay a third party to investigate and gather information on an opposing candidate even if they use contacts in a foreign government to gather information for the report. So...did you have a point?

To be okay with Donald Trump, you have to live in a different universe with different laws and facts.
Thank you, Fish, for proving the point.

#35 | Posted by Sycophant at 2019-08-30 03:57 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Just go to the conclusion of the report. I think it's page 56.

#30 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Uhh... this is all that I see mentioned about "other lawful options available" in the conclusion.

Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the
appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the
disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive
investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order
to achieve a personally desired outcome.

There is no "other lawful options" given (that I could see), it just says that "other lawful options" exist. To save time, can you just copy and paste these "alternatives" that you say you saw listed in the IG Report so that we can discuss them? (I wouldn't DARE suggest that they don't exist, because that would imply that YOU have not READ THE REPORT.) Or, barring that, you could list what "other lawful options" YOU think he had that were sufficient.

Because that is the debate I was trying to start with my original post. Are the "other lawful options" sufficient, or was there no "good" option? In that case, calling him "disgraceful" might be a little over the top? And the system needs to be changed so that sufficient "other lawful options" exist.

Not that I disagree with you in general. His influencing the election with his ham-handed handling of the email investigation was also "disgraceful". But just because he was disgraceful then, does not mean that we should pile on with the name-calling in other situations (such as this one) where it may not be warranted.

#36 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-08-30 04:20 PM | Reply

And before you go psycho, why did the DNC refuse to give the fbi their servers to investigate the hack?

#33 | POSTED BY FISHPAW

Uhhh... how did Giuliani (a member of the Trump campaign) know about the "new Hillary emails" on Weiner's laptop before Comey did?

Sounds like there was a little "deep state" action going on in the FBI trying to get Trump elected.

So, no. The DNC was perfectly justified in NOT giving the FBI its servers (with politically sensitive information on it) to the FBI when they have a proven problem with a right-leaning (ie. "Trump-leaning") deep state.

#37 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-08-30 04:25 PM | Reply

That is an allegation not supported by the Mueller report.

The Mueller report is not the be all and end all as it pertains to Trump repeatedly asking Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn that was ongoing. Comey's undisputed notes and his contemporaneous sharing of the information with other high ranking FBI officials has not been disputed by anyone other than Trump himself.

The unstated premise of Horowitz's report is that Comey should have handed his information over to Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, the two men who had just assisted Trump in what was certainly a substantive corrupt, if procedurally licit, termination, and simply done nothing to alert the country to what had happened.

This is frankly absurd.

(T)he reality is that Comey was acting as whistleblower. Ignoring the context of his actions is at the center of Horowitz's presentation. It is a dead certainty to anyone with their eyes open that he did the right thing in bringing those memos to public light.

Let's remember where things stood. President Trump entered office with abundant (and later confirmed) evidence that he and his campaign had carried on extensive and highly abnormal contacts with an adversary foreign power that aggressively interfered in the presidential election on Trump's behalf.

More evidence came to light on that front in Trump's first months in office. Trump repeatedly pressured Comey to end a criminal investigation into his current (and then former) National Security Advisor who was at the center of that Russia/campaign story. Indeed, Trump took any number of steps to block active investigations into what had happened during the 2016 election. Having failed to end the investigation, Trump then fired Comey with a series of bogus and later discredited cover stories.

The report confirms the legally significant point: he broke no laws. But of course Comey was not simply within his rights but had an affirmative obligation to bring this information to light. Critically, he had no reason to believe that the others in the existing chain of command weren't compromised by Trump's corruption and efforts to end the investigation. Indeed, what we have subsequently learned gives every reason to believe they were compromised. The only reason this isn't obvious is that we've had Trump's denials, lying and gaslighting in our collective heads for the last two plus years.

Of course Comey had to bring this critical information to light. In every substantive sense, he was acting as a whistleblower in what amounted to a national emergency. Only collective amnesia and denial can suggest otherwise.

#38 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-08-30 04:35 PM | Reply

TPT conveniently finds TPM to protect his Narrative.

#39 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-08-30 09:51 PM | Reply

#26 | POSTED BY JEFFJ
I stopped reading right there...

That ----- is Goatman stuff, Jeff. Just say that you have your fingers in your ears and are chanting 'La la la la'. It is more honest.

This is what you have become.

Own it.

#40 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2019-08-31 11:16 AM | Reply

"Did you even read the conclusion of the IG report?"

"The IG has basically faulted Comey for speeding on his way to tell the village that a fire was coming,"
~Matt Miller

#41 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-08-31 11:59 AM | Reply

The fact (an actual fact this time) that he didn't do so proves that his intention was not to shut down the investigation.
That's not an accurate portrayal of reality at all. - Multiple sources stated he attempted to but was rebuffed by staff who are smarter and far less impulsive than he is. - #23 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-30 10:59 AM

Ohh....you think that firing Comey or Mueller is the same as ending the investigation.
Smarter people realize that only stupid people think that.

#42 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-08-31 02:49 PM | Reply

#35 | Posted by Sycophant at 2019-08-30 03:57 PM

1. Actually it is only illegal to accept the information if it was a donation. Since there is no evidence that it was intended to be a donation, it was not illegal.
2. Russia hacking the DNC was an illegal act. We should definitely continue to pursue the indictments that Mueller made.
3. Troll farms were not illegal. The ID theft was illegal.
4. That is a lie. At no point was the RNC involved with any Steele action. He was not hired by Fusion until after the Republicans pulled out. Why can't you be honest?

#43 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-08-31 02:54 PM | Reply

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