Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Beware the righteous man with power. That's the great lesson of James Comey, as the 79-page report by the Justice Department IG makes clear.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

That J. Edgar Hoover comparison is not only spot on, but is going to leave a mark.

#1 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-03 02:07 PM | Reply

Yup.

Fmr Dir Comey acted as if the end justified the means.

The DoJ OIG corrected that erroneous thinking.

... They show again why Mr. Trump was right to fire him. ...

No, they don't.

Why Did Trump Fire Comey?
www.factcheck.org

But that's probably a whole 'nuther thread. :)

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-03 02:58 PM | Reply

#2

It does deserve another thread, but that Factcheck article from 2017, in light of the IG reports on McCabe and Comey, is horribly outdated.

#3 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-03 03:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Treason

#4 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-09-03 03:14 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

The question that lingers for me is the following:

What should have fmr Dir Comey have done? In all the op-eds I've read criticizing fmr Dir Comey, I've not seen one suggestion about how fmr Dir Comey should have handled the situation.

His superiors were looking to obstruct justice, i.e., shut down the investigation. Who could he go to?

My guess might be a House or Senate committee chairman. I'm not sure which one, though.

Would fmr Dir Comey have gotten into trouble if he had taken that approach?

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-03 03:22 PM | Reply

#5

The IG report castigates him for not going to the DNI, but that could have been politically unpalatable, so maybe going to the Minority Leaders might have been the way to go.

That being said, Comey going to one of his lawyers and leaking the reports mainly with the intention to have it leaked to the NYT seems to indicate that he sought embarrassment more than the administration of justice IMO.

#6 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-03 03:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Comey and Hillary both assumed her ascension, where the coup would be permanently buried in the Deep State.

After the Great Cankle Collapse, political panic created fake news, chaos, and Russia hoax for the cover up.

#7 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-09-03 03:53 PM | Reply

@#7 ... the Deep State. ...

www.realclearpolitics.com


A figment of the imagination of many.

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-03 04:40 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

*Cricket chirping*

-Tonyroma

#9 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-03 08:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Someone help me out here because I really don't get it. Is it Hillary Clinton supporters who hate Comey because of the way he screwed her over by revealing ongoing investigations of her email issues? Or is it Trump supporters who hate Comey for his role in getting a Special Prosecutor appointed? Which side hates Comey? Both sides? Does anybody like him? Dislike of Comey seems to transcend Party. Everybody maligns the guy. So whats the problem?

#10 | Posted by moder8 at 2019-09-03 08:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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@#10

You've hit the nail on the head.

It must really suck to be fmr Dir Comey nowadays.

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-03 08:57 PM | Reply

@#10 ... So whats the problem? ...

He does what he feels is the correct thing to do, regardless of the legal or political ramifications in doing so?

btw, I am one who thinks that his revealing of the email investigations had an effect upon the elections a few days later.

But I didn't hold it against him because of the reason he gave for doing so.

He was damned if he did, and damned if he didn't.

If he had not released that information, the Republicans would have accused him of hiding something unfavorable towards fmr Sec of State Clinton in the days before the election.

Of course, that he did release the information before election day sort of blows the whole Republican "deep state" bugaboo out of the water.

#12 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-09-03 09:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Ends justify the means without regard to the law.

#13 | Posted by visitor_ at 2019-09-03 11:41 PM | Reply

#10 | POSTED BY MODER8

It has little to do with "sides".

Was his conduct on the up and up or was it not?

It clearly was NOT according to the IG report.

That's the bottom line.

#14 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 12:08 AM | Reply

Kudos to Rcade for moving this to the front page.

#15 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 12:09 AM | Reply

"Kudos to Rcade for moving this to the front page.

#15 | POSTED BY JEFFJ "

I hope his hamsters are staying dry. Dorian should be about directly offshore from him before the night is over.

#16 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-04 12:12 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I hope his hamsters are staying dry. Dorian should be about directly offshore from him before the night is over.

#16 | POSTED BY GOATMAN

What a sobering thought. It also applies to Kanrei and Danni (and surely others we know). Best wishes to all of them. This storm is nasty.

#17 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 12:46 AM | Reply

#17 Kanrei and Danni are out of danger. The hurricane is well past southern Florida. I don't know of any other retorters in Florida other than rcade who will be affected.

I'm going to be kissed by Dorian this time tomorrow night here in Savannah with his fury increasing until dawn.

www.nhc.noaa.gov

#18 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-04 12:54 AM | Reply

#18 That's great to hear, Goat.

#19 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 12:57 AM | Reply

The problem that DOJ prosecutors faced was more fundamental: was the information in Memo 2 classified when Comey gave it to his attorneys? It was undeniably not marked as classified, nor does Comey agree that it was classified. It was designated as classified information only after the fact.

Comey was not an ordinary intelligence employee, and that is where the greatest complication arises. In order to be properly classified under the law, a piece of information has to be designated as such by an "original classification authority" for one of various reasons which are not relevant here. Comey was an original classification authority, meaning that he had the authority to designate something as classified or unclassified on his own initiative. In other words, when he wrote Memo 2 and decided that it contained no classified information, that was an official decision that he had the specific authority to make.

Moreover, Comey was no ordinary original classification authority; he was the FBI Director. As such, his authority flowed from the President through the Attorney General, and more importantly, the authority of the officials who retroactively classified the information flowed through him (or, more accurately, through the FBI Director). This means that, even if one of those officials had wanted to designate this information as classified at the time Comey wrote it, Comey could have overridden the decision, meaning that any decision made by such a subordinate would essentially be futile.

In other words, when Comey wrote Memo 2 and did not classify it, it was not classified. When he gave it to his attorneys, it was not classified. When it was later classified by other FBI officials, that designation did not apply retroactively because it went against the official decision of an original classification authority who was also their senior in the hierarchy. Therefore, Comey could not be charged with mishandling classified information because at the time he allegedly "mishandled" it, it was not classified information. He could not be charged with mishandling unclassified information, because that is not a crime.

In short, the Comey IG report is a perfect case study for a class like Law of Secrecy, because it touches on almost every issue the class covers, and exemplifies the exquisitely intricate ways that all of these topics intertwine with each other.

Kel McClanahan - Executive Director of National Security Counselors, a Washington-area non-profit public interest law firm which specializes in national security law and information and privacy law, and through which he often represents Intelligence Community employees and contractors. He is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School and the American University Washington College of Law, where he teaches various topics in national security law. He sits on the Board of Directors of the National Military Intelligence Foundation, the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and the Steering Committee of the BADC Committee on National Security Law, Policy, and Practice, and is a charter member of the Security Clearance Lawyers Association.

He received his Master of Arts cum laude in Security Studies from the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, his Juris Doctorate from the American University Washington College of Law, and his Master of Laws in National Security Law from the Georgetown University Law Center.

#20 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-09-04 06:24 AM | Reply

I'm going to be kissed by Dorian this time tomorrow night here in Savannah with his fury increasing until dawn. - #18 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-04 12:54 AM

We've been prepping the carrier (USS George HW Bush) for any winds here in Hampton Roads, but I'm betting it'll be a big nothing.
(totally sidetracking this: Are you originally from Savannah? I'm an Augusta native. I'll actually be in Statesboro next week doing recruiting duties at GA Southern)

#21 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-09-04 10:04 AM | Reply

#20

Which directly contradictory to the finding in the report, which cites US law in saying that because Memo 2 contained classified information and was written by a senior level official in the DOJ, it was automatically classified and Comey knew that, which is why he leaked it to the NYT through his attorney.

I get it though, since Justsecurity is still wiping off all the eggs that crashed in their faces when the Russian Collusion Basket broke over their heads, they need something to shift focus to. Maybe they can get tips from Dean Baquet on how to pivot to racism.

#22 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-04 10:36 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Do the rules apply to him?

#23 | Posted by Sniper at 2019-09-04 11:24 AM | Reply

" Are you originally from Savannah?

#21 | POSTED BY AVIGDORE "

No, I'm originally from Texas and still live there. My Dad moved to Savannah 40 years ago, long after I got out of high school. I came out here to take care of his place because he was in Uzbekistan on business (yes, amazing -- he is 84 years old). At this very moment he is on a flight from Istanbul to Atlanta and will be there about 7:00 PM today. But the inbound interstates are closed for contra-flow evacuation, so I won't see him until after the storm

#24 | Posted by goatman at 2019-09-04 11:24 AM | Reply

Do the rules apply to him?

#23 | POSTED BY SNIPER

If the rules don't apply to his boss they do not apply to him.

If it is true like visitard says, The Ends justifies the Means without regards to the law.

#25 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-09-04 11:31 AM | Reply

If it is true like visitard says, The Ends justifies the Means without regards to the law.

#25 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY AT 2019-09-04 11:31 AM

This got cut from the summary when the thread moved to the front page, but its good to know that you, Comey and J. Edgar Hoover are all on the same page:

"Translated from the bureaucratic prose: Mr. Comey thought he was above the rules because he wanted to save the country from Mr. Trump. No doubt J. Edgar Hoover felt a similar afflatus as he wiretapped Martin Luther King."

#26 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-04 11:37 AM | Reply

One analogy by a former US Attorney is that castigating Comey for this would be like reprimanding Paul Revere for violating curfew when he went out to warn that the British were coming.

#27 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-04 11:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

One analogy by...

#27 | POSTED BY JOE

That's a really bad analogy. WAY off the mark.

#28 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 11:51 AM | Reply

Says the king of terrible analogies. I'll take your criticism as a compliment.

#29 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-04 11:53 AM | Reply

Don't defend the indefensible, Joe.

The IG blasted Comey for a reason.

His actions aren't justifiable because Trump.

#30 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 11:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The IG blasted Comey for a reason.

The IG is going to point out any violation of policy, procedure or law. It isn't the IG's job to consider the context or circumstances, that's up to you and me. If you want to pretend life operates in a vaccuum feel free, but i don't have to join you in rightwing fantasyland.

#31 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-04 01:10 PM | Reply

The IG is going to point out any violation of policy, procedure or law

And he did so, in a scathing manner.

It isn't the IG's job to consider the context or circumstances, that's up to you and me.

Yep. Comey was attempting to undo the outcome of the election vis a vis a meme that Trump was in cahoots with Putin - a meme that couldn't be proven in any way after over 2 years of investigation between "Crossfire Hurricane" and the Mueller report.

If you want to pretend life operates in a vaccuum feel free, but i don't have to join you in rightwing fantasyland.

#31 | POSTED BY JOE

I'm not the one pretending that Comey didn't do anything wrong here. Your choice of words is ironic to say the least.

#32 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-09-04 01:27 PM | Reply

Comey was attempting to undo the outcome of the election

Uh huh. Tell me more about how Comey made investigative efforts of Clinton public and kept investigative efforts of Trump private so Clinton would lose the election all so he could try to undo it later on, it all makes such perfect sense.

You're delusional. There's no other word for it.

#33 | Posted by JOE at 2019-09-04 02:05 PM | Reply

I'm not the one pretending that Comey didn't do anything wrong here. Your choice of words is ironic to say the least.

#32 | POSTED BY JEFF

Oh noes!! Turns out Comey is not perfect!!

Did he break the law?? I think not or there would charges.

What Comey did was more right than it was wrong.

In fact, he was obviously TOTALLY EXONERATED!!

#34 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-09-04 03:04 PM | Reply

What's that you say donner?

No charges will be filed?

Why that means Comey did NOTHING WRONG and this whole IG investigation was an illegal Witch Hunt and Comey was Totally Exonerated!! Investigate the investigation!

Welcome to Trumplandia.

#35 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-09-04 03:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Which directly contradictory to the finding in the report, which cites US law in saying that because Memo 2 contained classified information and was written by a senior level official in the DOJ, it was automatically classified and Comey knew that, which is why he leaked it to the NYT through his attorney.

It's explained in much detail that Comey had the legal right bestowed upon him by the constitutional hierarchy of power to designate Memo 2 as non-classified, which is precisely what he did under the "original classification authority." Since Comey at that time had the highest authority in the FBI, even if a lower level official reviewing the memo had wanted to classify the 6 words, Comey had the power to overrule such a judgment. Comey was the most senior official in the FBI and had every right to designate his own memo and his good faith execution of his position lies in the fact he did classify various parts of memos which he never released.

Comey was an original classification authority, meaning that he had the authority to designate something as classified or unclassified on his own initiative. In other words, when he wrote Memo 2 and decided that it contained no classified information, that was an official decision that he had the specific authority to make.

Moreover, Comey was no ordinary original classification authority; he was the FBI Director. As such, his authority flowed from the President through the Attorney General, and more importantly, the authority of the officials who retroactively classified the information flowed through him (or, more accurately, through the FBI Director). This means that, even if one of those officials had wanted to designate this information as classified at the time Comey wrote it, Comey could have overridden the decision, meaning that any decision made by such a subordinate would essentially be futile.


It was only after the fact that those six words were retroactively classified and that did not change the reality that Comey had every right not to classify them while he was director and his dissemination of the memo is not a violation of the law for the reasons stated. The IG report did not delve into how "classification authority" colored their ultimate findings and their inability to charge Comey with any violation. Considering how badly the President and current AG wanted Comey to be prosecuted the fact that he cannot be speaks far louder and with more clarity than any contorted rebuke written to provide more red meat to the rabid hordes does.

#36 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-09-04 03:51 PM | Reply

The IG is going to point out any violation of policy, procedure or law. It isn't the IG's job to consider the context or circumstances, that's up to you and me.

It's ironic that the IG has pretty much followed in the footsteps of Comey as it regarded his exoneration/excoriation of Hillary Clinton when that was not his job. In both cases the political forces influenced the public framing of the outcome because one side was so invested in the conclusion that the targets of investigation were indeed guilty. Now in both cases their actions were deemed not to be prosecutable. That is the only substantive conclusion that matters under the rule of law.

#37 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-09-04 04:02 PM | Reply

#36

LOL, I love the verbal twister you buy hook line and sinker and then regurgitate to excuse Comey for his actions, now he has "de-classified" Memo 2 after he wrote it because Trump.

If Comey knew that it now wasn't confidential because of his "de-classification" of same, why use his lawyer to leak it to the NYT? Why didn't he just call up Dean Baquet and say "look at what I got"?

I can't wait to see the knots you tie yourself into when the Denham Report comes out.

#38 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-09-04 05:00 PM | Reply

Comey knew what he was doing was not legal, only he considers himself above the law - i.e., the ends justify the means.

#39 | Posted by MSgt at 2019-09-04 06:03 PM | Reply

Well, we can't have someone in a high government position thinking the rules don't apply to them!

#40 | Posted by Xzapno_Mapcase at 2019-09-04 06:07 PM | Reply

Mueller report taught me that no charges must mean no crime... totally exonerated?

#41 | Posted by 503jc69 at 2019-09-05 07:57 AM | Reply

Comey knew what he was doing was not legal

#39 | POSTED BY MSGT

If it was not legal, then arrest him and charge him with a crime.

If it was legal, then you are correct in that the rules don't apply to him. Because there is nothing you can do to punish him more than Trump already did (by firing him for not falling in line).

#42 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-09-05 02:02 PM | Reply

"WSJ Editorial: Comey Thought the Rules Didn't Apply to Him"

Newsflash: Most liberals and absolutely everyone in D.C. believe the same thing. Time to start locking up a few elected officials and a whole bunch of un-elected bureaucrats.

#43 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2019-09-05 05:46 PM | Reply

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