Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, May 16th, 2017.


Today’s Trumpbomb

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Trump Maladministration

The New York Times is reporting that Trump asked James Comey, while Comey was still FBI director, to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn. This happened in an Oval Office meeting in February, and Comey had documented this request in a memo written shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” Trump said to Comey, according to the memo.

The NYTimes also says “The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation.”  Comey had shared the memo with senior FBI officials and close associates, one of whom read it to a Times reporter.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Josh Marshall:

With the latest revelation – that President Trump straight up asked James Comey to end the Flynn investigation – this is starting to feel like a prize fight where one boxer just took three straight punches to the head. It’s hard to know how much longer this can go on. But I suspect the answer is this: a lot longer.

We talk a lot about smoke and fire. But this isn’t smoke. This is the fire. It’s not clear to me what more we need to know. The only question is whether we decide to put it out or just let it keep burning. As I said above, I bet we’re going to let it burn for quite a while longer. …

… Firing an FBI Director while such an investigation like this is afoot is something like that, breaking a fence. In theory, the President has every right to fire an FBI Director. But doing so while such an investigation is underway has the look of trying to end the investigation. But in this case, asking Comey to end the probe itself doesn’t break one of the fences. It’s the thing itself. There’s no question of intent or misunderstandings. It’s the hand in the register. There’s just nothing more to know. It’s the thing itself.

However, with a Republican majority in Congress there’s not exactly going to be a stampede to write up articles of impeachment. (And if Hillary Clinton were POTUS and got caught doing the same thing today, those articles would be on their way to the Senate already.) The degree to which Republicans will attempt to brush this off will be a precise measure of their own corruption.

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David Brooks Redeems Himself

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Trump Maladministration

Best sentence he ever wrote:

We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

See also Digby at Salon.

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