We have now entered the Week-of-Comey as the former FBI Director has begun a string of press interviews about his soon to be released book “Higher Loyalty.” Obviously everyone is already talking about this and debating whether Comey is or isn’t credible. The White House is furiously arguing that Comey is compromised, political, lying and or self serving — but frankly in my own opinion they have that backwards on all accounts.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe Comey has made some mistake — several big ones — but if anything they have all come from the same place; a deep burning desire to do the RIGHT THING literally to a fault.
But I think many of the media have completely buried the lede here.
Clearly his decision to have make a big public statement about the FBI’s decision not to recommend any charges against Hillary Clinton is the most obvious and controversial of his actions, but we have to realize that it caused shockwaves inside the FBI and there was definitely a backlash. What followed after was the counter response to that backlash.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s decision following her infamous Tarmac Talk with Bill Clinton led to her stating she would follow the FBI’s recommendations, which led to Comey going out and publicly trashing Clinton which was just the first example of him going over and out of his way to not make the FBI appear to be partisan in favor of Clinton. He did that IMO largely because a fairly significant portion of the FBI was actually deeply partisan in favor of Trump.
His later sending a letter to Congress over the discovery of copies of Huma Abedine’s emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop was a similar case, he was again trying to do the “right thing” by showing the nation that the FBI was not soft-pedaling the case against Clinton because he was expecting her to win and he felt it would be harmful to the nation if this information came out later, which actually he was certain about because he expected partisans in the New York FBI Field Office to leak it if he didn’t do it himself.
Comey said that he feared “a pretty reasonable likelihood” that Clinton emails being discovered on Weiner’s computer would get to the press through the New York office.
“The team that had done the investigation was in the counterintelligence division at headquarters, of the emails,” Comey said. “And there were no leaks at all, very tight. But the criminal folks in New York were now involved in a major way—and I don’t want to single anybody out ’cause I don’t know where it was coming from, but there’d been enough up there that I thought there was a pretty reasonable likelihood that it would leak.”
It all comes down to an understanding of the nature of the office, Comey said: “Counterintelligence is different. They’re so used to operating in a classified environment. They’re much tighter. But once you start involving people whose tradition is criminal, and in New York which has a different culture, there is a reasonable likelihood it was going to get out anyway.”
That’s a fairly polite way of saying they were a bunch of Hillary-Hating Leakers, but the point is still made.
Much more over the flip.
The fact is that Comey isn’t wrong about his leak worries because it did leak via Rudy Giuliani who has direct links to the New York FBI Office since he used to be the mayor and also U.S. Attorney for the district.
Shortly before the election, Comey announced that he was reopening the probe into Clinton’s private server after more emails were found on the computer of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was married to a top Clinton aide.
A few days later, Giuliani went on Fox News and bragged that he knew in advance about the new emails.
“Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it,” said Giuliani, a prominent Trump surrogate and former New York City mayor. He added that he had expected the news to come out weeks before.
That’s leak #1. And there’s actually a bit more to this which has already been revealed via the Strzok and Page text messages. On October 7th Lisa Page and FBI Agent Peter Stzrok had the following exchange about the NY FBI Office.
Page: Yeah and I made the mistake of reading some stupid NYPost article about how some agents are ready to revolt against D [Director Comey] because on MYE [Clinton Email Investigation]. Now I’m really angry.
Strzok: There are a bunch of ignorant people out there blinded by their politics.
Page: Sometimes reminds me how how deeply politics, like religion, can blind objectivity.
Strzok: You can’t read that sh*t and frankly let them the b [Bureau] is better off without them.
Page: I can’t help it, it’s click bait. I emailed it to you.
Now, in all the things we’ve heard about Page and Strzok being “partisan Democrats who hated Trump” — in point of fact only Page is a Middle-of-the-Road Democrat who favored Clinton only because she felt she had too, while Strzok was actually a Mild Republican who favored John Kasich — never has anybody mentioned that they both agreed that some people tend to be “blinded by their politics”. These two may have personal political opinions where they not only trashed Trump, they also trashed Bernie Sanders, Chelsey Clinton, Ted Cruz and Eric Holder — which is their right as citizens — but there isn’t any evidence that they let their political opinions impact how they did their jobs. There were in fact highly critical of those people who did. And also note that Agent Strzok himself wrote the first draft of the letter to Congress about the Abedine/Weiner emails — so how exactly is he an “anti-Trump” partisan?
Veteran FBI agents say FBI Director James Comey has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his “cowardly” whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private email server.
Feeling the heat from congressional critics, Comey last week argued that the case was investigated by career FBI agents, “So if I blew it, they blew it, too.”
But agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation.
“In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews,” said retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit.
Instead of going to prosecutors and insisting on using grand jury leverage to compel testimony and seize evidence, Comey allowed immunity for several key witnesses, including potential targets.
So Comey was definitely feeling the heat from some internal agents, particular in NY which some have called “TrumpLand” during the election. while Page and Strzok both felt that this report was largely partisan and not factual.
Current and former FBI officials, none of whom were willing or cleared to speak on the record, have described a chaotic internal climate that resulted from outrage over director James Comey’s July decision not to recommend an indictment over Clinton’s maintenance of a private email server on which classified information transited.
“The FBI is Trumpland,” said one current agent.
This atmosphere raises major questions about how Comey and the bureau he is slated to run for the next seven years can work with Clinton should she win the White House.
The currently serving FBI agent said Clinton is “the antichrist personified to a large swath of FBI personnel,” and that “the reason why they’re leaking is they’re pro-Trump.”
The agent called the bureau “Trumplandia”, with some colleagues openly discussing voting for a GOP nominee who has garnered unprecedented condemnation from the party’s national security wing and who has pledged to jail Clinton if elected.
On October 30th Strzok and Page responded to a report in Washington Post saying that Comey’s letter defied DOJ Policy. This is Leak #3.
Page: This is all Matt. Justice Officials warned FBI Comey decision to update congress was not consistent with DOJ policy — The Washington Post.
Strzok: Yeah I saw that, makes me feel better about throwing him under the bus in the forthcoming CF article.
Page: Yep the tone is all anti-Bu (Bureau) Just a tiny bit from us. And serves him right, he’s gonna be pissed.
That report stated:
Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James B. Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department, according to officials familiar with the discussions.
FBI officials who work closely with Comey on Thursday contacted attorneys at the Justice Department. Their message: Comey intended to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails potentially connected to the Clinton email investigation.
Justice officials reminded the FBI of the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.
“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”
As we now know, Comey didn’t follow that advice.
Part of that particular exchange was mentioned in the recently released IG report on Andrew McCabe — who was Lisa Page’s boss — arguing that the “forthcoming CF Article” was really the WSJ story where McCabe had ordered the release of details of a phone call between himself and the DOJ where they were arguing over the continuation of the Clinton Foundation Investigation which the DOJ opposed, (Leak #4— this time by Page and McCabe)
According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use overt methods requiring Justice Department approvals.
The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant. Others said the Justice Department was simply trying to make sure FBI agents were following longstanding policy not to make overt investigative moves that could be seen as trying to influence an election. Those rules discourage investigators from making any such moves before a primary or general election, and, at a minimum, checking with anticorruption prosecutors before doing so.
“Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” Mr. McCabe asked, according to people familiar with the conversation. After a pause, the official replied, “Of course not,” these people said.
The IG report states that McCabe knowingly authorized this release and then falsely told IG investigators [supposedly as he passed them in the hallway and they asked a couple quick questions] that he “Didn’t do it or knew who did.” He also had said basically the same thing to James Comey who didn’t remember McCabe telling him that he said he did it either. McCabe later reached out to the IG and corrected the record by admitting that he was responsible arguing that he had simply been confused previously, but in the end they simply didn’t buy it, particularly in the wake of Page’s “serves him [the DOJ Official] right” which smacked more of a petty personal vendetta. On the other hand McCabe claims he has emails that prove that Comey was indeed informed and approved of his release despite both of their failing memories on the issue.
Strangely, none of the other leakers have been found yet to my knowledge. Curious.
Despite normal DOJ protocols Comey knowingly let Congress know about the Weiner/Abedin emails, and also despite DOJ objection McCabe let the press know that there was also an investigation of the Clinton Foundation then either forgot or possibly lied about it.
Yet somehow these guys and people on their staff are supposed to have been somehow “Pro-Clinton?” How exactly does that work out?
More from Strzok and Page on this from November 3rd concerning FBI leaks that were decidedly Anti-Clinton.
Strzok: An article to share, FBI agents knew of Clinton emails weeks before director briefed. Ok, now I’m getting angry.
Sorry Rybicki [Comey Chief of Staff James Rybicki] called. Time line article in the post is super specific and not good. Doesn’t make sense because I didn’t have specific information to give.
Page: What post article?
Strzok: Just went up. WaPo.
Page: Goddammed bills opaque comments. Can I send to team?
That report (Leak #5) went like this:
The FBI has obtained a warrant to search the emails found on a computer used by former congressman Anthony Weiner that may contain evidence relevant to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, according to law enforcement officials.
One official said the total number of emails recovered in the investigation into Weiner (D-N.Y.) is close to 650,000, but that reflects many emails that are not related to the Clinton investigation. But officials familiar with the case said that the messages include a significant amount of correspondence associated with Clinton and her top aide, Huma Abedin, Weiner’s estranged wife.
FBI agents investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state knew early this month that messages recovered in a separate probe might be germane to their case, but they waited weeks before briefing the FBI director, according to people familiar with the case.
That’s an internal FBI leak — the fourth one in a series — about on an ongoing case involving the Clinton’s which certainly didn’t come from Page or Strzok since they were complaining about it.
What we see here is a leak war going on between people in the DOJ who are leaking about the Clinton Foundation Investigation, FBI personnel — likely from New York — who are leaking about the Clinton investigation and also the Weiner Investigation mostly to make Comey look “weak” on Clinton. The FBI is not supposed to do politics, but clearly some of them were.
McCabe’s counter leak about the Clinton Foundation was clearly intended to send the opposite message, that the FBI wasn’t just letting Hillary off the Hook. Far from it, however they also weren’t going to railroad her on bogus charges. Similarly Comey’s letter to Congress was intended to do the same thing, counter the narrative being generated by these leaks.
I don’t believe either intended to harm Hillary’s candidacy — they just DID — in their effort to protect the image of the FBI. They were wrong, they both IMO deserve to be fired and hit with Hatch Act violations. So do the other guys.
Then on election day November 8th, the Fit hit the Shan!
Page. Oh God (Redacted) — [My strong suspicion is that it says “LYNCH” as in then Attorney General Loretta Lynch because it’s clearly a woman that is higher in hierarchy than Page, who at the time was McCabe’s Legal Counsel. Also in fairness it could also be “YATES” who was Lynch’s deputy at the time].
Strzok : What is she saying? She does realize that you’ve been in EVERY conversation that has been had about the case right?
Page: That we should have gone on the record saying that [then New York FBI Office Chief ]ames] Kallstrom and others may not be credible (which may be valid) but then saying we could pull his folks if we wanted to. Because she knows all about our policy of investigating members of the media.
Because she’s an expert who knows everything. I’m telling you it’s wildly infuriating. She has some good points but then assumes wildly impossible understanding of things to make groundless assertions. Told her twice she was either calling me stupid or a liar.
Strzok: What crime are we investigating? That’s a terrible idea, go to war with the formers? Jesus (redacted) that would make me blind with rage.
Page: “Leaking information about ongoing investigations. Which is incorrect information. By agents who don’t know about things talking to him.” See? That’s the thing, that we should have gone after agents talking harder and sooner, is not unreasonable. But the following discussions falls into uninformed assertions.
Comey and McCabe can technically leak under the rules what they want to leak within their best judgement and DOJ Guidelines, but in this case they both stepped outside the lines and DOJ [Either Lynch, Yates or both] WAS LIVID!
From what I can tell Page was then eliminated from future meetings and this is why she later made the snarky “secret society” comment because she was now out of the loop thanks to IMO Lynch. Strzok himself was later removed after the IG released the text messages [And it’s actually still a mystery how that happened…. leak leak…] The issue here is clearly that some FBI agents had been repeatedly leaking — just as Comey had predicted — and that they were apparently a big pack of Hillary Haters, particularly Kallstrom who on the one hand claims he’s “apolitical” but on the other hand calls the Clintons a “Crime Family.”
The man who now leads “lock-her-up” chants at Trump rallies spent decades of his life as a federal prosecutor and then mayor working closely with the FBI, and especially its New York office. One of Giuliani’s security firms employed a former head of the New York FBI office, and other alumni of it. It was agents of that office, probing Anthony Weiner’s alleged sexting of a minor, who pressed Comey to authorize the review of possible Hillary Clinton-related emails on a Weiner device that led to the explosive letter the director wrote Congress.
Hours after Comey’s letter about the renewed probe was leaked on Friday, Giuliani went on a radio show and attributed the director’s surprise action to “the pressure of a group of FBI agents who don’t look at it politically.”
Back in August, during a contentious CNN interview about Comey’s July announcement clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal charges, Giuliani advertised his illicit FBI sources, who circumvented bureau guidelines to discuss a case with a public partisan. “The decision perplexes me. It perplexes Jim Kallstrom, who worked for him. It perplexes numerous FBI agents who talk to me all the time. And it embarrasses some FBI agents.”
Kallstrom is the former head of the New York FBI office, installed in that post in the ’90s by then-FBI director Louis Freeh, one of Giuliani’s longtime friends. Kallstrom has, like Giuliani, been on an anti-Comey romp for months, most often on Fox, where he’s called the Clintons as a “crime family.” He has been invoking unnamed FBI agents who contact him to complain about Comey’s exoneration of Clinton in one interview after another, positioning himself as an apolitical champion of FBI values.
Guilliani was a Trump surrogate who was in line to become his Attorney General f’r crying out loud, and Louis Freeh was a raging Republican partisan who plagued the Clintons for years and completely botched the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics. [Also in full disclosure, Andrew McCabe started his career in the NY FBI Field Office while Guiliani was mayor]
Comey, McCabe, Page and Strzok knew some of these guys or people working with them were leaking and that some of those leaks were partisan bullshit not related to the facts of the case. Those guys were at the time pretending the “real partisan” people were anyone who dared to disagree with their Clinton Hating ways, but that’s simply not the case.
This is what was going on behind the scenes while Comey was deciding whether to send the letter to Congress or not, and frankly while I think he should have done it, IMO he should have made the letter CLASSIFIED which should have handled his concern of trying cover the FBI’s ass from charges that they had wrongly “let Clinton go” without seriously looking at her case and also abided by DOJ guidelines. In that case Kallstrom and Jason Chaffetz would be the ones hoist on their petards for leaking classified information, rather than what has subsequently happened.
Comey, who was then FBI director, notified Congress on Oct. 28, 2016, that investigators were examining new emails discovered as part of an ongoing probe of Clinton’s private emails — and one congressman leaked the news.
Then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) forced Comey to comment on the new investigation — which ultimately turned up no evidence of wrongdoing — and inaccurately framed the news by tweeting about a letter the FBI director sent to lawmakers.
“FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.’ Case reopened,” Chaffetz tweeted.
It’s absolute fair to criticize Comey for this decision considering the consequence which even Kellyanne Conway finally admitted last night, although she since tried to walk it back, but it should be understood in full context.
“This guy swung an election,” Conway said to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “He thought the wrong person would win.”
She tried to walk the comment back in a later appearance on CNN, telling Chris Cuomo that Clinton was already set to lose the election and that Comey’s announcement had no bearing on her doomed campaign.
“I saw Jim Comey last night and I said: ‘this guy swung an election?’ I don’t think so,” she said. She continued to push back against Cuomo’s assertion that Comey’s announcement hurt Clinton’s chances.
In the end I think Comey made the wrong decision for the right reasons, although he was also being shoved from behind by Kallstrom — who would clearly have leaked the Weiner/Abedine emails to the New York Post — and then tripped on the other side by Chaffetz who went immediately to twitter with it. He should have anticipated that, but he didn’t and now we’re all paying for his mistake.
However when it comes to what he otherwise has to say about Trump, he’s been pretty much dead on and did just about as well as could be expected under the worst conditions.
Simply quitting in protest after his first sketchy meeting with Trump, which is a Jack Kingston talking point, would have gone against what he told John Kelly “we need people with integrity to stay”. And that makes sense because Trump has no integrity, nor does most of his staff, cabinet or his family.
This post is Update #46 for my Trump Russia Timeline Series — and here are this week’s detailed updates.
- April 10th —
- Vanity Fair reports that a friend of Trump claims he understands that John Bolton just might start a war, but he decided to fire H.R. McMaster anyway in order to push the constant news about Stormy Daniels off the air.
- Axios reports WH Sources says the Cohen raid ignited Trump’s ‘untethered’ rage: ‘I’ve never seen him like this before’.
- CNN reports that Trump is considering firing Rosenstein in retaliation for the Cohen FBI Raid, he may even be willing to fire Sessions or even Mueller as well. NYTimes also reports that Trump almost fired Mueller in December after he had subpoeoned the records of his transactions with Deutsche Bank.
- Madeleine Albright calls BS on Trump for blaming Obama for Syria.
- NYTimes reports that the FBI raid of Michael Cohen’s office, home and hotel room besides looking for documents related to the payoff of Stormy Daniels, were also looking for details on the “catch and kill” deal between American Media Inc (AMI) and former playboy playmate Karen McDougal, and Cohen’s collection of Taxi Medallions.
- Meghan McCain on The View responds to the raid on Michael Cohen by calling on Mueller to ‘wrap up’ Russia probe. [Which makes perfect sense since he didn’t conduct this raid, he’s got two pending trials against Paul Manafort still to deal with, 4 more guilty pleas to go to sentencing and 13 pending indictments against Russians outstanding. Also Benghazi took over 2 years to “wrap up”.]
- Rawstory reports some of the greatest hits of Michael Cohen besides the Daniels and McDougal cases.
- Sued a woman after she revealed details of Trump fixing a beauty contest. In 2012, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin revealed that Trump had fixed the pageant by pre-selecting the finalists. [Also his selections were racially biased too.]
- Cohen threatened to have a Harvard student expelled over a prank. Staff from The Crimson had told Trump they were considering endorsing him and stole a chair from the Crimson and brought it to Manhattan to pose with the future president. It was all a joke. Cohen threatening the students.
- Cohen tried to get $5 million from Bill Maher because of a joke. Bill Maher demanded that Trump present a valid birth certificate to prove that he’s not the product of his mother having sex with an orangutan, with an offer to write a check for $5 million to the charity of Trump’s choice.
- Cohen sued a man who rented him a 12,000-square-foot vacation home rental for $250,000—far more than he even paid. According to a report in the New York Post, “He ruined my summer!”
- Cohen defended his client by denying the existence of spousal rape… Michael Cohen responded to the allegation by denying the existence of spousal rape. “You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law,” he told the Daily Beast. [Yes, you can that’s not how the law works, it’s a crime in all 50 states.]
- …and then Cohen threatened a reporter who wrote about the alleged rape. when they contacted Cohen for comment. He responded by threatening to “mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet.”
- Cohen refused to stand up to his boss and boss’ wife Melania on birtherism. “I am certain that the president was born in Hawaii—I really am,” Cohen told ABC News.
- Cohen tried to bully his way out of the fraud lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
- White Sacramento man regrets call that led to Stephon Clark’s death. “I never want to call 911 again.”
- WH economics advisor Larry Kudlow claims Trump can manage scandals while traveling — moments before his overseas trip to South America canceled.
- WH dead-eyed monotone zombie hyper creep National Security Advisor Tom Bossert resigns. [Might this have something to do with the arrival of John Bolton and his vow to “clean house” inside the NSC?]
- Rudy Guilianni emerges from the caves of Mordor to announce that the Cohen raid is no big deal: ‘This is the way prosecutors get information’
- Laura Ingraham says the Advertising boycott is ‘Stalinist’. [Yeah, I don’t think he let people make their own choices in what to buy, or who would buy advertising with.]
- During an interview on Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox & Friends, Judge Anthony Napolitano noted that the U.S. Attorney behind the Cohen raid had been appointed by Trump and suggests that Cohen may have committed bank fraud with his payment to Daniels which prompted Trump go off on yet another “WITCH HUNT!” twitter rant.
- Michael Cohen tells Don Lemon on CNN that the FBI were “professional, courteous and professional” when they executed the search warrants on his office, apartment and hotel despite Trump’s claiming they “broke in.” “Do I need this in my life? No,” he said. “Do I want to be involved in this? No.” [Well, you are now pal, so buckle u, this ride is just starting!]
- Daniels’ lawyer Michael Amenatti says to Anderson Cooper that Cohen talking to Don Lemon was “beyond stupid”, that because of his fake tough talk he’s likely to fold on Trump like “cheap deck of cards” and reveals the Daniels is now cooperating with the FBI and has had some discussions with them. “They won’t need to do a no-knock warrant on us.”
- Preet Bharara says that Huckabee-Sanders claim that “Trump can fire Mueller” is flat out wrong. “She frequently says things that are demonstrably false.”
- Rachel Maddow reveals the former Acting Attorney General Dana Boente had generated hand written notes of his discussion with James Comey following his discussions with Trump that exactly mirror and confirm Comey’s own Senate testimony about being asked to “lift the cloud” over the administration regarding Russia and disprove the Trump claim that Comey “lied under oath.”
- Bloomberg reports that a small town Lake Arthur New Mexico mayor Ysidro Salazar has shut down his entire reserve police office program because Robert Mercer is a member and the program allows him a concealed weapons permit and a badge.
- NJ.com reports that Mueller is looking into additional meetings that took place in the Seychelles besides the one with Erik Prince, George Nader, Kirill Dmitriev and the Crown Prince of the UAE.
- Responding to Trump’s Tuesday morning declaration that “attorney-client privilege is dead” in the wake of an FBI raid on lawyer Michael Cohen, Kellyanne’s husband George Conway simply tweeted out a link to laws regarding obtaining search warrants for attorneys in the United States.[Oohh burn!]
- NBC reports that the Russian Troll farm promoted a phony Russian “sex tape” between Hillary and Obama on Reddit that was seen by 250,000 people.
- Chris Christie also responds to Trump: ‘Attorney-client privilege is not dead’. So does former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
- Huckabee-Sanders is asked “How is an FBI raid on Michael Cohen an ‘attack on our country.” and responds “The [Resident] has been very clear that this has gone on too far, and I have nothing else to add on that.] When one reporter questions the “Witch Hunt” claims noting that some of the Russians that were indicted by Mueller are the same ones who were recently sanctioned “So don’t you agree that some part of the Mueller investigation is legitimate?” — Sanders says that it’s “It’s insane to think the Trump campaign had anything to do with those Russians” However one of them is Oleg Deripaska who had paid Tens of $Millions to Paul Manafort and had been in communications with him through former GRU operative Konstantin Kilimnik who took credit for changing the Pro-Ukraine plank during the RNC so yeah those same Russians had something with the Campaign. Andrew Van Der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying about Manaforts partner Gates communicating with Kilimnick — that’s called “covering up collusion” sweetheart.
- Rick Wilsons suggests Mueller may have gotten those ‘long-sought tax returns’ from Cohen. [I would think he already has those, and that they probably weren’t part of this search warrant since it was mostly about Daniels and McDougal who didn’t get any money from Trump directly.]
- CBO projects that the deficits will ballon from $563 Billion to over $804 Billion this fiscal year prompting Democrats concern about impending Medicare cuts.
- Yulia Skripal leaves the British Hospital which has been in since being poisoned by a Russian chemical nerve agent along with her ex-Russian spy father.
- The Telegraph reports that Rupert Murdoch’s London Headquarters has been raided by authorities.
- WaPo reports that sources have revealed that Devin Nunes, Peter King and Jim Jordon have told colleuges that Rob Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray should be held in contempt of congress for failure to turn over documents to congress related to ongoing investigations.
- Sinclair’s CEO apologizes to his employees for having to endure ‘politically motivated attacks’ from ‘extremists’ [Which would be every other media outlet on the planet saying that Sinclair is actually the one that is “politically motivated.”]
- Schumer to Trump: ‘Don’t Even Think About’ Firing Mueller After Cohen Raid.
- Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wrote to Environment and Public Works Chairman Sen, Barraso (R-WY) about Scott Pruitt saying that “Documents provided to us by EPA official(s) suggest the agency has relied on questionable ‘threats’ to the Administrator, including reports of non-violent protests, negative feedback about the Administrator’s actions, or other First Amendment protected activity, to justify millions of dollars in additional security spending, including first-class air travel, as compared to his predecessors at the agency,”
- April 11th —
- Mark Zuckerberg is interviewed by the House over the exploitation of Facebook by Cambridge Analytica and the Russian Troll Farm.
- Trump rage tweets about Rosenstein and Mueller’s “fake and corrupt” investigation causing bad blood with Russia just before he announces a missile strike against Syria (and Russia) for their chemical weapons attack “soon.” Russia vows to shoot down any missiles fired against them and keeps their “thanks for the heads us bro” commentary for themselves. Trump also tweets a denial to a NYTimes story that claims that in 2015 he did a 20 minute Skype speech for Kiev after Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk who then made a $150,000 donation to the Trump Foundation. He doesn’t deny the speech or the donation but instead claims that he was invited to make the appearance by Fox “political pundit Doug Schoen, not a Ukrainian businessman.” [Both things could be possible at the same time.]
- Trump also tweet admits to obstruction of justice which he claims is merely “fighting back.”
- Paul Ryan announces that he won’t be seeking re-election this year and will leave congress in January because he says he doesn’t want his kids to grow up only knowing him as a “weekend dad.” [How about as a wild-eyed grinning granny starver?] He says he’s most proud of passing “tax reform” and responds the question that his tax bill will create giant deficits by saying he regrets that “entitlement reform” passed by the house [privatizing and cutting medicare] hasn’t passed in the Senate, he also claims that he’s received assurances from the WH the Trump won’t fire Rosenstein or Mueller. [Yeah… right.] Meanwhile the leading Republican running for Ryan’s seat is an avowed White Supremacist.
- Axios reports that the former FBI director Jame Comey compared President Donald Trump to a “mob boss” in the upcoming interview with ABC News for his soon to be released book, and one source tells the publication that the interview will “certainly add more meat to the charges swirling around Trump.”
- Politico reports that EPA staffer Mario Caraballo who was with the Homeland Security department was ousted after he determined that Sec. Scott Pruitt had not provided and “credible direct threats” to justify his $3 Million round-the-clock security detail. [Or for that matter his bullet proof desk, cone of silence of private jet travel simply because someone in an airport once told him he was “fucking up the environment.” Which he is.]
- Thinkprogress reports that Pruitt’s own EPA released analysis in November that shows, by itself, his effort to undo Obama’s climate plan could result in up to 100,000 premature deaths over the next few decades while causing millions of asthma attacks in kids.
- Politico reports that Devin Nunes has threatened Impeachment! for Rob Rosenstein and Christopher Wray as well as contempt of congress if they don’t turn over the unredacted two-page document that started the Russia investigation into George Papadopoulos’ interactions with Russians and knowing that they had “thousands of Hillary’s emails” without reporting it.
- Bloomberg reports that Mueller has requested 35 blank subpoenas — with names to be filled in later — for witnesses he plans to call in the June 10 Manafort trial.
- NPR reports that a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has revealed just over $2,500 in total Russia-linked donations from at least 23 persons including Alexander Torshin were made to the NRA since 2015, although the organization says that most of those donations were “routine payments” for membership dues.
- Redstate’s Erick Erikson says that an unnamed Republican Rep confided in him about Trump “If we’re going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker,”
- Meghan McCain berates The View audience for applauding Paul Ryan’s retirement screaming ”You Deserve Trump”, because Ryan is “a sincere, decent conscientious conservative” and they’re running out of those. [No, he’s really not, he’s a fascism complicit black hearted Ayn Randian granny starver whose “greatest accomplishment” just blew the deficit up to $800 Billion while the GDP and DOW slowly crumble,]
- NYTimes reports that the search warrant for the Cohen raid also included records linked to the Access Hollywood tape from 2006, which was released on October 7, 2016 the same day that the Intel Community laid the blame on the DNC on Russia Officially, and the Podesta Emails began to be dumped.
- April 12th —
- Trump backtracks on his “Nice, New and Smart” Missile attack on Syria saying it could be soon, “or not” since no actual attack plan has been drawn up or worked out. He also tweet praises his own ‘historically cooperative, disciplined approach’ to the Mueller probe although it’s also reported that WH staff are preparing talking points for firing Rosenstein.
- The Associated Press and the New Yorker report that AMI and the National Enquirer performed another “Catch and Kill” when they paid a former Trump Tower doorman Dino Sajudin $30,000 in late 2015 for his story about a rumor that Trump had a child with a Trump Tower house keeper. AMI says the story wasn’t published because they didn’t find it credible, but they also didn’t offer the money, as well as a $1 Million disclosure penalty, until after Sajudin had passed a lie detector test.
- Trump again attacks the NYTimes as “Fake News” for their report that he has planned to fire Mueller in December “If I’d wanted to fire Mueller in December, I would have.” although the report actually says that the issue was discussed and the fact is that only Rod Rosenstein, his successor, or Session’s successor can fire Mueller and only for legitimate cause or misconduct, but Trump can’t do it himself.
- WaPo reports that Steve Bannon has been pitching a “Fire Rosenstein” strategy to the WH in retaliation for the Cohen raid and to end the Mueller probe — which makes no sense since the probe will still go on without Rosenstein, or even Mueller since it now involves multiple US Attorney offices and also some state prosecutors. He also says Trump should fire his last competent lawyer Ty Cobb — also nonsensical — and stop cooperating with Mueller completely by calling for “retroactive” executive privilege for all WH staff who’ve already testified or been interviewed. [Just. not. possible.]
- NYTimes reports that Scott Pruitt wanted to take the EPA logo off their signature souvenir coins and replace it with his own name, which is just weird.
- Evangelical Trump judicial nominee Wendy Vitter — who happens to be the wife of former Louisiana Senator and DC Madam Client David Vitter — refuses to give an answer to the question from Sen Blumenthal “Do you agree with Brown v Board” during her confirmation hearings. “Agreeing or disagree with previous SCOTUS decisions is a slippery slope” which again, is just a weird over-the-top way to avoid admitting she opposes Roe v Wade.
- During his confirmation hearing to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State Former CIA Director Pompeo refuses to answer if Trump had asked him and DNI Dan Coats to back off on the Russia probe when asked by Sen Bob Melendez (D-NJ) saying he will not discuss any conversations with the WH Resident to protect giving him honest advice. With McCain being treated for Cancer and Ron Paul already a committed “No” Pompeo’s nomination will need at least Democrat to get out of committee. He also claims that a “couple hundred” Russians were killed during Trump’s previous Tomahawk missile strike in retaliation for Syria’s last chemical weapons attack last year.
- The RNC launches a new lyincomey.com website full of quotes and complaints Democrats over his handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails to discredit James Comey in advance of his new book which is scheduled for release next week.
- Axios reports that Deputy National Security Adviser Ricky Waddell will leave the Trump administration following NSC spokesperson Michael Anton, WH homeland security adviser Tom Bossert and Nadia Schadlow, the deputy national security adviser for strategy as new NSA Director John Bolton continues to clean house — but he also isn’t hiring new replacement for those he ousts.
- Leaks of Comey’s book and interview on ABC’s Good Morning America with George Stephanopoulos begin to drop.
- He says that when he and other Intel heads briefed Trump and his staff about Russia meddling and interference during the election that instead of asking what they could do to protect the nation in the future they immediately began to try and spin the news for the press and the public.
- They repeatedly asked, almost rhetorically, that the meddling hadn’t changed the outcome [So basically Russia didn’t put him in the WH, right?] But at least twice James Clapper had to say that the Intel Community hadn’t made that determination one way or the other because that’s not their job. He would say that they didn’t think they artificially changed the vote results tho, but in reality they really didn’t check that either at the time and they still haven’t.
- His impressions of Trump was that he was unethical, egotistical, self serving, untethered to truth, unfit for office, used a tanning bed with googles that gave him orange skin with white raccoon eyes, [Yeah we’ve noticed] had normal sized hands even though they were smaller than his own, and his hair helmet was his own [as is the giant bald patch he’s covering up in the back]. Trump and his staff reminded him of mobsters from his earlier career in the FBI like Sammy The Bull with their reality warping, living in their own bubble and demands for loyalty to the “group” over facts or the law or the nation.
- He says that on the day he was fired then Homeland Secretary Gen. John Kelly had called and threatened to quit because the “Dishonorable People” who would fire Comey “made him sick” [Those “dishonorable people” would be TRUMP] but Comey had told him he needed to stay because he was honorable. [So he’s a hostage to honor then?] Comey’s Former Special Assistant Josh Campbell who now works for CNN confirms this call live on the air since he was present with Comey at the FBI Field Office in LA when Comey was fired.
- He says that when he briefed Trump personally on the Steele Dossier and the Russian hookers allegation he had an “out of body experience.” Trump kept denying that it happened saying “Do I look like I need hookers?” while Comey said that he didn’t have confirmation of whether the allegation was true or not, he was just telling him because Russia might be making these claims. Trump later brought up the “Pee Tape” portion of the allegation, which Comey hadn’t briefed him own directly, at least four times saying he it wasn’t possible because he a germophobe while Comey felt it was still possible because of the size of the Moscow Ritz Carlton Presidential Suite [Which is 1390 Sq Ft can host 3 adults with a roll away bed available upon request, a Living and Dining area for 6 people, a Dressing and Bathroom as well as the default King Size Bed in a separate Bed Room.]. Also Trump kept asking if the FBI could investigate it to disprove the claim because if Melania thought it was just a 1% chance of being true it would hurt her terribly. [Saving your marriage is not their job, man!]
- Stormy Daniels Lawyer Michael Avenatti reveals that Michael Cohen has told the court that he plans to plead the 5th Amendment in their civil suit and will attempt to quash the entire thing.
- Don Lemon shuts down Jason Miller’s diversionary rant of talking points in mid spew “Don’t lie to the American People. Being on here is a privilege — it’s not a right.”
- CBO reports that 80% of the benefit from the Trump Tax cut will go to companies that are overseas rather than improve workers benefits and wages, and that it will blow a moon-sized hole in the deficit of $804 Billion for FY2018. “Nearly one-third of the U.S. stock market is owned by foreign investors, which means they’re benefiting from the $238 billion increase in stock buyback authorizations since the tax law passed. An analysis of Fortune 500 companies found that corporations have spent 37 times more on stock buybacks than on American workers’ bonuses and wages.”
- April 13th —
- CNN reports that the WH plans to counter Comey’s book by casting Rosenstein’s decision to assign Mueller Special Counsel as “payback” for his “good friend” Comey being fired — which makes no sense because firing Comey was Rosenstein’s own recommendation and they weren’t really good friends, but they are both Republicans.
- WaPo reports that Cohen was known for keeping digital copies of his business and political conversations on his computer and that the FBI may have seized these recordings along with everything else. That means they probably have records of Trump’s conversations with his own lawyer, which will reveal what he really thinks about what’s been going on for the past two years. Some of that may be protected by attorney client privilege if it involves legal advice, but the business deals and political advice isn’t. Chris Hayes describes how this could be bigger than the Nixon Tapes during the Watergate scandal. WaPo reports that the Cohen tapes have the WH “Terrified.”
- Trump finally responds to Comey’s book via tweet again denying the “Pee Tape” and saying “It was my great honor to fire Comey” because he’s a “Slimeball, Liar and a Leaker.” and claims he should be prosecuted for something or the other even though no one has disproven anything he’s said under oath or in his book.
- NBC news reports that talks between Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb and Mueller for a one-on-one interview have broken down in the wake of the Cohen raid. Cobb had a full proposal ready before they were scheduled to meet and discuss the scope of the interview the morning before the Cohen raid, then things went sideways as Trump’s people felt betrayed. On the other hand, without the interview — and potentially because of the Cohen raid — reports are that Mueller is nearly ready to move forward on his final obstruction of justice report, although that probably won’t be the only report he generates.
- Rachel Maddow says Meuller’s report on Trump and Obstruction will cover four major areas and will soon be ready for release:
- The Intent to fire FBI Director James Comey.
- His role in crafting the public statement about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
- Talk of pardoning witness who might testify against him.
- Pressuring AG Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
- Rachel also has a physical copy of Comey’s new book and reads extensive passages from it on the air.
- Fox and Friends hints that bombing Syria just might be a bigger story than Comey’s book. Kellyanne Conway says on FOX that the “pee tape” is none of Comey’s business [So that’s why Trump kept asking him to disprove it?] and that’s he’s a “self-aggrandizing,” “disgruntled ex-employee,” who’s only interested in “selling books.”
- Cohen is reportedly planning to file a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against the FBI over the materials they collected under warrant arguing that it involved attorney-client privilege, even though the DOJ has a “taint team” which will cleanse those materials before prosecutors see any of it. However instead of Cohen, Trump’s new set of lawyers show up in court to file the motion claiming only the client — Trump — can assert or waive the privilege, which is true but weird since he didn’t “know anything” about the Daniels payment made by Cohen.
- Russia warns that an attack against Syria might lead to a full-on U.S.-Russian war.
- Steele prices have begun to rise 5% as a result of Trump’s tariffs which is beginning to impact Trump Country Farmers.
- CNN reports that test samples smuggled out of Douma Syria indicate the presence of Chlorine and a nerve agent confirming that it was indeed a chemical attack despite the denials by Asaad and Russia.
- WH says Pence will soon meet the Peruvian President even though he resigned in disgrace three weeks ago.
- ABC News reports that Trump has already signed off on a pardon for Scooter Libby who was convicted of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice after undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity was revealed by the Bush WH for as political pushback against her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson’s criticisms about the bogus “They bought Yellowcake Uranium” rationale for the Iraq War. Libby had been prosecuted by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald who had been assigned his position by then Assistance Attorney General James Comey.
- Trump is now suddenly a fan of the TPP — Surprise!
- According to Vice, Makan Delrahim — the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice — and David Bernhardt — who is currently the No. 2 official at the Department of the Interior — were registered lobbyists for Access Industries, a holding company under the control of Soviet-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, who is a naturalized dual U.S.-U.K. citizen. Access Industries’ owns a large stake in sanctioned Russian Businessmen Oleg Deripaska and Vikor Vekselberg’s Russian aluminum company UC Rusal,
- WSJ reports that a White House insider who has spoken with Trump claims the firing of both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is imminent. Mueller, “appears to have gone from looking at Russian meddling to a quixotic search for the blue dress.” [Actually Stormy did say she kept the mini-dress she was wearing that night which was shimmering gold.]
- WSJ reports Trump lawyer Michael Cohen arranged for a $1.6 million hush payout to a former Playboy model on behalf of Republican Party Fundraiser and Donor Elliott Broidy who had impregnated her last year, before she ultimately had an abortion.
- Several news outlets including the AP were aware of the doorman Dino Sajudin’s secret baby allegations but they didn’t report it because they couldn’t independently confirm it.
- CNN reports that the FBI has already had a current month’s long criminal investigation of Michael Cohen which had a grand jury empaneled and had previously gone thru several of his email accounts via a surveillance warrant, The “Filter Team” had already been through these emails and they revealed that he only has one client — Trump — whom he hardly does any legal work for meaning just about none of the seized materials are protected by attorney-client privilege. In court Cohen’s attorney couldn’t name any other clients of his besides Trump.
- WH sources tell CNN that Trump’s anger is ‘beyond what anyone can imagine’ He’s “pissed, flailing and upset.”
- Parkland education board member smears David Hogg as a “brownshirt” [Can these guys get another line already?”]
- Trump Pardons Libby. Fox’s John Roberts say that he may have pardoned Libby to send a message to Mike Flynn. [Which is too late since he’s already pleaded guilty and has been cooperating for months — Mueller has what he needs from him by now.]
- DOJ Inspector General releases their report on Andrew McCabe:
- They argue that he had a “lack of candor” regarding his reasons for sharing information with the Devlin Barret at the WSJ about the Clinton Foundation investigation which the INSD had investigated as an “unauthorized leak”
- McCabe had authorized his then Special Counsel (Linda Page) and his Assistant Director for Public Affairs (Mike Kortan) to share with Barret information about a phone call between himself and the DOJ’s Principal Associate Deputy AG (Karl R. Thompson) which was intended to counter the narrative that he had terminated the Clinton Foundation investigation under pressure from the DOJ.
- McCabe had recused himself from part of the Clinton Foundation investigation which involved Governor Terry McAuliff because his wife had accepted money from his SuperPAC during her own run for office in Virginia.
- The Journal reported: on October 30th that McCabe had allowed the Washington FBI office to continue investigating the Clinton Foundation, after his recusal, even after DOJ Prosecutors had refused to authorize subpeonas or a grand jury as they felt the evidence was weak:
- In a meeting with Comey on October 31st after the WSJ article McCabe had supposedly said he didn’t authorize the disclosure to Barret and didn’t know who did it, and that he had repeated these denials to the IG office twice more on May 9 and July 28, 2017, then he reversed these claims during a recorded interview on November 9th saying that he did admit to authorizing the disclosure to Comey, and that he had denied having denied authorizing it in his previous IG interviews and that his answers were because 2 IG agents had pulled him aside and asked him a couple questions about the article.
- They determine that McCabe was authorized to disclose the information to the WSJ, but not if it advanced his personal goals
- McCabe wasn’t clear on whether he had spoken to Comey before authorizing the disclosure, but when talking to Comey he stated that he wasn’t informed ahead of time and didn’t authorize it.
- Text Messages between Page and Strzok indicate they blamed Thompson for a WSJ article claiming that Comey’s letter to Congress was outside DOJ policy, and that the disclosure about the Clinton Foundation investigation dispute was “pay back
- In an interview McCabe had said he wasn’t aware of Page being authorized to talk to Barret, but he later sent an email on Aug 1st, 2017 correcting that issue saying that he HAD authorized her contacts with Barrett. He later repeated this corrected recollection during the November interview.
- Ultimately the IG argued that McCabe didn’t just “forget” or make a mistake when first talking to them because he apparently made the same mistake talking to Comey — although they seem to still call it a lie when he finally tells them what they their research of his phone and text records show is the truth, he authorized the disclosure.
- McCabe’s lawyer argues that having him fired based on the “vague and unspecific” recollections of Comey is entirely unfair and unjustified.
- Trump tweets about the IG Report: “DOJ just issued the McCabe report – which is a total disaster,”“He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!” [Actually the reports says that he lied TO COMEY when he said he didn’t authorize the disclosure to Barret about the Clinton Foundation Investigation continuing, it doesn’t suggest any “Control of McCabe by Comey!”
- Huckabee-Sanders claims that Comey is a “repeated liar and admitted leaker” and when asked specifically what he lies about claims:
- “Comey claimed re-opening the Clinton investigation was done on the merits, now he says it was based because of poll numbers” — Actually opening the investigation again was based on finding Huma Abedine’s emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop which was “merit based”. Sanders is wrongly conflating that with Informing Congress publicly with the letter written by Agent Strzok which was based on the idea that if Clinton won the election, which he expected, and he hadn’t been forthcoming to Congress as he’d promised it would have damaged her Presidency. In then end it violated DOJ protocols not to disrupt elections within 30 days of the vote and destroyed her Presidency. So yeah, Democrats are pretty critical of that.
- “Even the press has reported that he leaked 4 memos with classified information” — however Comey actually only leaked 1 memo to the Press through his friend Colombia Law Professor Daniel Richman out of the 7 that he wrote concerning Trump . The FBI determined 4 of those memos had some classified information in them, but not the one he gave Richman which is what prompted the assignment of Special Counsel Mueller. The other six memos went to Mueller, not the Press.
- “Comey said the President told him to ‘stop investigating Flynn’ after he previously testified that “no one told him to stop investigating” — This is a flat-out lie. Comey has always said that Trump said “Flynn is a good guy, could you see a way to let him go?” Which doesn’t specifically mention anything about ‘stopping an investigation” which is what he’s always said and testified to. You don’t have to “stop” an investigation if you’re ultimately going to not recommend any charges — just like they didn’t recommend any charges against Clinton. Unfortunately for Flynn — and Trump — it was out of Comey’s hands after he was fired.
- “Legal organizations have found that Comey’s leaking was grounds for firing” — Comey was already fired May 9th and he didn’t “leaK” anything -— actually the Colombia Prof. did the leaking — until May 16, 2017. So how can you justify firing him for leaking before he leaked anything?
- RNC head Ronna McDaniels-Romney goes on CNN and trashes Comey — surprise — and whines that the media gives nothing but non-stop negative coverage to Trump, so thats why they have to have the “LyinComey.com” website up.
- Citing “several” people close to President Trump, the NYTimes reports his “advisers have concluded that a wide-ranging corruption investigation in New York of Michael Cohen poses a greater and more imminent threat than even the special counsel’s investigation.” [Yep, could be]
- CNN reports that Former AMI/National Enquirer editor Jerry George reportedly said that AMI CEO David Pecker, a longtime friend of Trump’s, would routinely quash any story that cast the then-businessman and reality television host in an unflattering light. Pecker would also sometimes require that pitches be run by Trump Organization officials. George added that Pecker liked to point out to Trump the favors that he did for him, and that Trump recognized Pecker’s loyalty, tweeting that he should be named editor of Time Magazine.
- Scott Pruitt tell climate deniers that he’ll stop counting the value of regulations in saved lives.
- Federal Judge rules against DOJ rules to rewards police for cooperating with ICE.
- Acting CFPB head Mick Mulvaney blatantly lies in Senate hearing to attack his own agency’s work.
- 12 senators send a letter to Ajit Pai calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate Sinclair Broadcasting for “deliberately distorting news by staging, slanting, or falsifying information.”
- McClatchy reports that Mueller’s investigators have information about Cohen taking a trip in the summer of 2016 to Prague — an allegation about Trump’s attorney included in Steele’s controversial dossier. [OH FUCK!! This allegation is connected to Cohen supposed paying off some of the Romanian Hackers [such as hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin who was arrested in Prague in 2016 just three days before the Obama administration officially accused Russia of hacking the DNC] to help relocate them to avoid the FBI before the election. Besides the “pee tape” portion this was one of the key items that Trump had claimed was “FALSE” about the Steele Dossier, with this confirmed we are now closer to confirming nearly everything.] Apparently Cohen entered through Germany which allows transportation the Czech Republic without a passport, whether he met with Russian foreign affairs committee member Konstantin Kosachev while there or negotiated the hacker payment still remains unconfirmed. Exactly where the leave the defamation lawsuit Cohen filed against Buzzfeeed and his “point by point” refutation of the Steele Dossiers allegations remains in question.
- ABC news reports that the FBI has Cohen recordings of conversations he had with his clients and business partners including Keith Davidson who had represented by Porn Star Stormy Daniels, Playmate Karen McDougal and also the Playboy Playmate who had been impregnated by RNC Fundraiser Elliot Broidy who was paid $1.6 Million in a deal orchestrated by Cohen.
- As Trump announces in an official statement on Live TV U.S. Forces along with British and French launch an early morning attack on Syrian chemical weapons manufacturing and storage facilities using over 100 Tomahawk and standoff missiles fired from air and sea. Collateral Damage is reportedly minimal and all three targets are completely destroyed.
- April 14 —
- Trump pats himself on the back for “Mission Accomplished” in Syria echoing Bush’s tragically premature Aircraft Carrier Banner from 2003. Technically these strikes are a far more similar to the strikes ordered by President Clinton in 1998 against Iraqi chemical weapons facilities which destroyed their ability to produce new weapons at that time.
- In response to the Syrian attack and Trump’s harsh criticism of Russia and Iran the Russian embassy responds: “We are being threatened,” the Kremlin claimed. “We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.”“All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris. Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,” the statement warned. However reportedly no Russia targets are hit during the attack, so all they have are hard feelings.
- Ivanka Trump is slammed as a “Fake Secretary of State” while visiting Peru.
- UN Ambassador Nikki Haley “U.S. is locked and loaded if Syria uses chemical weapons again.” — I’m sorry but that last attack was supposed to make it impossible for them to have any weapons left, are you admitting possible “Mission Failure?”
- April 15 —
- Huckabee-Sanders says “she’s not aware” of any plans to fire Mueller or Rosenstein.[So, she’s just plain strategically out of the loop — Like Kelly.]
- Avenatti states “I expect a criminal indictment of Cohen within 90 days.”
- Trump tweet storm warning: Heavy Comey, with gusts of Syria and Cohen. He calls Comey a “slime ball” for saying the Hillary was going to win, even though that’s what every poll said at the time also. He also claims the FBI may now go after his other attorneys and that ‘All lawyers are deflated and concerned!’: [No, they’re not unless they’ve also been paying off pornstars and playmates with their own money without their clients knowledge during the middle of an election…]
- He asks why he gave up classified information. [He didn’t — his memos were written to be “unclassified” and even the one he did leak via Daniel Richman was unclassified according to the FBI. Why’d you leak code-word classified information from Israel to the Russians?]
- He asks why did Comey lie to Congress? [He didn’t. Why do you lie to the American people every day?]
- Why did the DNC refuse to give the FBI their server? [They were currently using it during the campaign, Crowdstrike had already analyzed it and given their info to the FBI so they really didn’t need it]
- Why the phony memos? [They’re not phony, they match the memos of Dana Boente, and very likely those of Andrew McCabe,]
- Why McCabe’s $700,000 or more. [That was a campaign PAC donations to his wife, not to McCabe. Where’s the rest of the $107 Million from your inauguration donations?]
- Comey claps back at Tropical Tweet Storm Trump: ‘My book is about ethical leadership’.
- Page Six reports that in 2015 Cohen had once rented out one of Jarvanka’s swanky Trump Park Ave apartments to Russian-Born Taxi Magnate Evgeny “Gene” Freidman who was Cohen’s partner in operating 32 taxi medallions that Cohen owned which have become a subject of interest to FBI investigators. Friedman was in need of a place to stay after he was ordered to stay away from his estranged wife after he allegedly assaulted her. One month later she sued for divorce, and Freidman was eventually able to move back into their townhouse after she departed. Cohen and Friedman reportedly had a falling out when allegations emerged that Friedman — his business damaged by Uber and Lyft — stopped paying taxes on the medallions.
- James Comey’s first of his interview tour is aired on ABC including an hour of what was actually a 5 hours of discussion. He says he released information about the restart of the Clinton investigation in order to protect the integrity of the election — even though the release went directly again DOJ guidelines, he states that “Trump is not morally fit to be [WH Resident]” because of the way he lies about things large and small and treats women like meat. He also says that he isn’t sure that Trump obstructed justice, but says “It’s possible.” He also says it’s possible that Trump Moscow Hotel story might be true and that Russia might have compromising material on Trumop, but that he doesn’t think Trump should be impeached because that’s a “short circut” and the American people should be the final judges on whether Trump’s administration should continue.
- April 16 —
- Kellyanne Conway goes on a rampage across the news networks screaming that Comey is a “leaker and a liar”, claiming that he lied to Chuck Grassley about “never leaking” [However what he actually said was that he’d never been an “anonymous source” for a story and in fact sharing one memo with a Columbia Prof friend doesn’t make him an “anonymous” source, it was pretty clear whose memo it was) and also yadda yadda yadda. But she also claims that “Comey swung the election for Trump.” [Whoops! Slipped into a Truth-chasm there didja?]
- Rawstory reports that Comey doesn’t deserve sole blame for his letter to Congress about the Weiner/Abedine emails because in fact, it was likely former Rep. Jason Chaffetz who leaked that letter to the press.
- Trump tweets again. “(Comey) committed may crimes!” [Not as many as you asshole.]
- Stormy Daniels shows up in court along with Michael Cohen as their lawyers wrangle over whether a “Special Master” will be used to isolate any privileged materials from what the FBI seized last week before it goes to prosecutors.
- Cohen’s first two clients over the last year have been Trump and Eliott Broidy for whom he negotiated a $1.6 Million Hush Payout for his pregnant Playmate girlfriend. The Judge in the Michael Cohen case forces them to reveal who his third mystery client is; and it turns out to be Sean Hannity. And the room audibly gasped.
- Meanwhile the Daily Beasts reveals that long before Comey compared Trump to a “mafia boss” Cohen had said he was the “Godfather of Politics” in an old interview.
- Hannity states live on the radio as his name is brought up in the case and slapped on the bottom of Fox News Chyrons that he “was never invoiced, or payed Cohen for any legal work” however he does admit that he occasionally “discussed legal issues” with Cohen during the last year. So while Trump constantly promotes Hannity’s show, and Hannity spends every minute on the air trying to stop Rosenstein and Mueller in order to protect Trump— they. have. the. same. attorney. [What a coinky dink!!?]
- The Cohen Judge rejects request by Trump and Cohen to review FBI-seized files before government prosecutors. [OH Damn, that’s a burn]
- Hannity opens his Fox Show yelling for an hour about James Comey then Alan Dershowitz goes on Hannity’s show and publicly scolds him for not disclosing that he is represented by Cohen.
- Gateway Pundit: “So it has gone from Russia collusion, to a St. Petersburg troll farm, to Stormy Daniels,to Michael Cohen, and now, Sean Hannity?” a post written by Jim Hoft, the founder of the far-right Gateway Pundit blog, read. “Where does it stop and what the hell does this have to do with the Russia collusion?” [it doesn’t stop, because the corruption is everywhere.]
- The Governor and California Nation Guard tell Trump to “Go Spit” over the Border Wall. U.S. officials announced Monday, that California is now refusing to send their troops as a resource because the work is too closely aligned with immigration enforcement according to the Associated Press.
- The Trump obsessed Canadian mosque shooter says he only wished he’d killed more people during his attack. [Yeah, but of course he does.]
- Philadelphia Starbucks manager who called cops on black customers is no longer employed at company. [Thank heaven for baby steps.]
- Kendrick Lamar wins a Pulitzer. I’m just saying, Dayum.
- Ali Soufan — the real hero of the FBI after 9/11 — states to Don Lemon that “Comey is an honorable man, sometimes he gets it wrong but he always tries to do the right thing.”
I don’t bring this up everyday but I’m not totally clueless and a layman about these things. I held a Top Secret/SCI Clearance for over a dozen years and was periodically briefed and interviewed by the FBI on counter-intelligence in support of maintaining that clearance while I was an employee of Northrop-Grumman.
I get the imperative to protect classified data probably a little more than the average person since one co-worker I had at the time is now serving two life sentences for his attempts to sell classified information to Russia through the embassy in San Francisco.
I think Comey could have informed Congress and fulfilled his promise to Jason Chaffetz without violating DOJ protocols, he just didn’t.
Yes, the leaks would have kept coming but I doubt they would have been nearly as devastating to the Clinton campaign as Comey himself verifying the Weiner/Abedine email investigation restarting in violation of DOJ protocols.
I think he made the wrong choice, but I do understand the pressures he was under.