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Friday, June 9, 2017

What World Do They Inhabit?

The New York Times has a banner headline today about yesterday's Comeypalooza extravaganza.  It seems as if the Times reporters saw a different hearing than I did.  Let's look at a bit of the testimony:

1.  Comey said that the big New York Times story revealing information from high government sources about the investigation into President Trump was "for the most part untrue".  He went further and said that the "vast majority" of the story was false.  What was the Times response?  I would put it this way:  The Times ignored the "vast majority" of Comey's testimony on this point "for the most part." 

2.  Comey confirmed that he told the President three times that Trump was not being investigated by the FBI.  He was not asked about this by the President; Comey told Trump anyway.  All those articles and innuendo about the ongoing FBI investigation into President Trump were false.  Remember, it was that supposed investigation that led to the media storm in the first place, and who broke the story of the investigation:  it was the NY Times.

3.  Comey said that contrary to endless stories in the Times, he did not have a practice of writing memoranda about all his important meetings.  Indeed, he did not write memos about previous meetings with the President of the United States.  He only started writing memoranda after meetings with President Trump.  Why?  Comey says that Trump is a liar.  He repeated that the President is a liar in a show of anger over his being fired by Trump.  The one thing that Comey didn't do, however, during his testimony is to identify any statement Trump made to him in nine separate interactions that Comey believes to be a lie.  After nine meetings or phone calls, you would think that there would be at least one lie Comey could identify.  After all, the fear of these lies supposedly led Comey to start writing memoranda about these meetings/calls.  Today, the Times emphasizes that Comey called Trump a liar; the Times, however, is completely silent about what lies, if any, Comey identified.

4.  If you combine Comey's testimony from yesterday with his answer to senator Hirono a few weeks back, it is clear that President Trump did not try to squelch the investigations into possible Russia ties.  Comey said this explicitly yesterday.  He told senator Hirono that he had never been directed to stop any investigation that was underway.  Comey also recounted what he claimed were Trump's exact words about the investigation into General Flynn's statements about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador.  Except in the minds of those who don't understand either the President's constitutional powers or the nature of the crime of obstruction of justice, Comey's statements put the issue of obstruction to bed; there was none.  Comey also had no real explanation for why, if he thought President Trump had been trying to stop the Flynn investigation, he failed to report it to Attorney General Sessions which would be his duty under the law.  Comey said that he thought Sessions might recuse himself (and he did three weeks later).  So what!  That is not a valid excuse for Comey breaking the law by failing to report the conversation.  When the new Deputy Attorney General was appointed, Comey also did not report the conversation.  He just kept a memo about it to leak if something were to happen to him.  The Times ignores all this.

5.  Then there's the leaks by Comey himself.  He seems to have been a copious leaker, something that has been obvious for a while.  Still, it was jarring to hear him admit it so clearly.  The problem, however, is that Comey's story on the leaks doesn't work.  He claims he leaked his stories after the President tweeted about possible White House tapes of Trump/Comey meetings.  Comey said that this meant there might be corroboration to his story.  The problem, of course, is that the first article in the NY Times which details the material in Comey's memos came the day before the Trump tweet.  In fact, the Trump tweet was sent out in response to that story.  The Times ignores this too, since Comey's story is obviously false.

This is not a difference of opinion about how to view evidence.  That happens all the time.  It is why we have juries and courts.  This is Fake News being pushed by the Times.

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