PBS NewsHour / YouTube WATCH LIVE FBI Director James Comey...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube


The James Comey transcript from yesterday’s hearings just dropped. It features the desperate hobbling of invalid canards as “lame duck” GOP representatives search for nonsense related to their favorite shibboleth — jailing HRC for emails stolen by… wait for it… Russians that were solicited by GOP supporters. And even Pizzagate makes an appearance, as is the meme of the Strzok — Page liaison. More useful is the entering of Trump tweets as official statements from POTUS*.

They’ll try again in two weeks.

Mr. Raskin. Okay. President Trump has kept up his drum
beat against his former lawyer. Most recently, the attacks were
in response Mr. Cohen’s plea deal with the special counsel’s
office in which he admitted to lying about the Trump Tower Moscow project in contact with Russian Government officials during the 2016 campaign.

The President responded within hours tweeting, quote:

  • Michael Cohen asks judge for no prison time. You mean he can do all of the terrible unrelated to Trump things having to do with fraud, big loans, taxes, et cetera, and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a great and already reduced deal for himself and get his wife and father-in-law who has the money, question mark, off scot(sic)-free. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a complete sentence.

I would like to draw on your years of experience as an organized crime prosecutor and senior DOJ official and head of the FBI to unpack some of the prosecutorial methods that are under attack by the President.

First, why do criminal defendants such as Michael Cohen decide to change course and flip?

Mr. Comey. I can only answer that in general not about the
case in particular.
Mr. Raskin. In general.
Mr. Comey. Because they conclude that it’s in their
self-interest to try to obtain a reduction in their sentence by
providing substantial assistance to the people of the United
States by helping solve other crimes.
Mr. Raskin. Yes. At certain points, I think the President
has meditated the possibility of making it a crime to flip or
saying it should be against the law to flip. What do you make
of that suggestion, as a prosecutor?

Mr. Comey. It’s a shocking suggestion coming from any
senior official, no less the President. It’s a critical and
legitimate part of the entire justice system in the United

Mr. Raskin. Does the government routinely grant
defendants who cooperate with the government and render honest testimony reduced sentences in exchange for their cooperation?
Mr. Comey. Routinely, the prosecutors ask the judge to
take that substantial assistance into account and reduce their
Mr. Raskin. Okay. So it’s not directly up to the
prosecutor —
Mr. Comey. Correct.
Mr. Raskin. — but they will recommend to the court, if
the person follows through —
Mr. Comey. Right, if they tell the truth and provide
substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of
Mr. Raskin. Yes. You know —
Mr. Comey. That’s how we make mob cases, terrorism cases,
child abuse cases, drug cases, kidnapping cases. It’s essential
to the workings of our criminal justice system.
Mr. Raskin. Yes. It may be difficult to extricate ourselves from the last couple of years, but if we were to go back to a more innocent time, would you agree that it’s dangerous or would you disagree that it’s dangerous to have a sitting President commenting on active criminal proceedings and investigations and trying to interfere in them?
Mr. Comey. I think we have become numb to lying and attacks
on the rule of law by the President, all of us have to a certain
extent, and it’s something we can’t ever become numb to.

Mr. Raskin. Okay. I will close with that. Thank you very
much, Director Comey



For those needing a reminder of the “stolen DNC emails”. meant to be obscured by some imagined HRC emails that were deleted.

“Roger Stone’s led a career filled with lies and I don’t know why anyone would believe any account that he would offer now.” www.salon.com/…
“Which is why I find one other silence quite interesting: Stone makes no mention of the Peter Smith operation to find the emails, purportedly related to the Clinton Foundation, deleted from Hillary’s server. As I noted here, along with reaching out to multiple suspected Russian hackers and advising those with emails that might be Foundation emails to share them with WikiLeaks, rat-fucker Smith also pushed GOP operatives like rat-fucker Stone to reach out to Guccifer 2.0” .www.emptywheel.net/…
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