Today’s Trumpbomb

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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  1. c u n d gulag  •  May 16, 2017 @8:19 pm

    There’s no incentive for the Republicans in Congress, to try to stop the fire.

    In a more rational time and country – like, say, the USA used to be before the GOP lost its soul more and more the more “Christian” it became, and the consevatives went from revering William F. Buckley, to worshipping Cotton Mather (sans Mather’s interests in science) and George Wallace – the system of checks and balances would have kicked in, to minimize t-RUMP’s damage before it got really serious (we blew past that point a while back).

    So, again, I ask, where are their incentives?

    By the 2018 mid-term, Republicans will have suppressed even more votes, so they’re not sweating overly hard right now.
    And then, add the fact that American voters have the memories of May Flies, and there’s still a better than even chance they will hold the House and Senate.

    In the meantime, the GOP’s only complaint with t-RUMP, is that he’s holding back their desired regression back to before the 20th Century.
    Like, say, back to 1899, 20 years before women could vote.
    Or, better yet, back to 1849.

    Already, Obamacare’s half-way to being replaced by t-RUMP-DON’T-CARE.
    Puul Ryan is masturbating 24 X 7, dreaming of privatizing/eliminating Food stamps, Medidicaid, Medicare, and, THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE:
    That’s been the wet-dream of every conservative for 80 years. *

    And don’t kid yourselves.
    They just need to finally figure out how to maneuver those as budget items, so that the Democrats won’t be able to filibuster.

    And as for the sods, sots, knots, fools, bigots, dim/half/nit/fuck-wits,rubes, marks, etc…, who are part of what t-RUMPLE-thin-sKKKin calls “my people,” if somehow t-RUMP ends up leaving begore 4 or 8 years are fone, they will blame the “usual suspects:”
    Fake news.
    And the whole DC establishment swamp!

    Why not switch to Pence, since he’ll gladly sign the same horrible laws, and kill any safety net programs?
    I think they want him as untainted as possible, from t-RUMP’s actions.
    The GOP can blame the rancid shithole this country will likely be in a couple of years, on t-RUMP!
    Then, Pence can quietely become El Jefe of the remaining nuclear 3rd World American Banana Republic!!!
    Where our military and police protect the rich, from thevrest of us, sick, dying, starving, mass, formerly known as “We the People…”

    * An as for the white consevative fucks… uhm, sorry… folks, well, they’ll feel like they won, because the people they hate (and fear), eill be worse off than they are.
    No refrigerator boxes under the overpass for “them.”
    Maybe there’s some wet leaves they can huddle under, outside!

  2. moonbat  •  May 16, 2017 @8:33 pm

    Michael Moore is working on Fahrenheit 11/9, referring to the day after Trump was elected.

    “No matter what you throw at him, it hasn’t worked,” Moore said in a statement. “No matter what is revealed, he remains standing. Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him. Even when he commits a self-inflicted wound, he gets up the next morning and keeps going and tweeting.

    “That all ends with this movie.”

    The Weinsteins added: “There is no greater part of what we can do right now than to have the power to bring Michael Moore to a mass audience. When we had the opportunity to work with him on ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ we were so persistent that we ultimately had to part ways from Disney and we lost our beloved Miramax, named after our parents, because we believed so strongly in the message.

    “The movie broke all records then, and we plan to do so again. This movie will have one of the most innovative distribution plans ever,” the statement continued. “Now more than ever, Michael’s appetite for the truth is crucial. We are ecstatic to be a part of this revolution.”

  3. uncledad  •  May 16, 2017 @9:22 pm

    “The degree to which Republicans will attempt to brush this off will be a precise measure of their own corruption”
    I don’t practice religion and really have no belief of a higher power but this endless stream of bad news for Trump seems like some immovable force is working endlessly to expose Trump and by definition the GOP’s blatant hypocrisy……..Karma?

  4. Swami  •  May 16, 2017 @9:25 pm

    The more I hear about Trump’s antics the more the image of him in my mind’s eye melds into the character of Trump played by Alec Baldwin on SNL. It’s becoming harder and harder to tell them apart. Hopefully his gross ignorance and his severely debilitating narcissism will be his undoing. He’s a sick sick man-child who is eroding the foundations of decency.

  5. Doug  •  May 16, 2017 @10:14 pm

    Gulag – The incentives are a ticking clock. There are elections in 2018 & 2020. Trump is polling well with republican voters – a 2 point drop since he fired Comey. But independents are getting turned off. The polls show 55 to 60% don’t like Trump or his policies.

    GOP leadership saw this week – Trump is stupid enough to spill secrets to the Russians for nothing! We got nothing back and the move sent shock waves to our allies who won’t share crap with the US now. Trump is also stupid enough to blurt to the media that he committed obstruction of justice. On TV.

    If there was a good chance that the GOP leadership could conceal Trump’s stupidity and proclivity for chewing on his own foot – defending Trump is a good political strategy. He’s self destructing – how firmly do you want to tie your lifeline to the Titanic?

    In purely crass political terms, they have an option – Pence. Railroad Trump on the Emollients Clause, which leaves Pence free and spend three years winning over the GOP voters who loved Trump. Otherwise, if Trump does a Trump just before the election, the Housel will be lost.

  6. Doug  •  May 16, 2017 @11:09 pm

    I am not saying it’s over BUT-

    Jason Chaffetz – (my old buddy) grew some balls and asked for the FBI memo which the NY Times broke the story on.Plus any & all related materials re Trump/Commey communications.

    John McCain said tonight it’s reaching “Watergate Size and Scale”.

    Senator Angus King (Ind) is saying the word ‘impeachment’.

    While it’s true the rats haven’t left the sinking ship, they are looking over the rail.

    What about republican talking heads against Trump?

    It includes –

    Ann Coulter
    Charles Kratthamer
    Glenn Beck
    David Brooks
    George Will
    David Frum
    Eric Erickson

    If the House Oversight Committee turns up evidence, I think we’re going to see serious fractures in the GOP in the House and in the Senate. We may see major republican resistance to a Trump stooge getting to 50 in the Senate. If Trump has struck the berg and is sinking, any GOP Senator who aids and abets by opposing an investigation will be hung in the next election, (’18, ’20 or ’22) though possibly in a primary.

  7. uncledad  •  May 17, 2017 @12:17 am

    Ann Coulter is against Trump? Hallelujah, Deliver us Lord!

  8. Swami  •  May 17, 2017 @1:42 am

    Chaffetz has his subpoena pen ready. OOOH, scary stuff. I think it’s getting close to the time where Trey Gowdy the legal beagle/ investigator extraordinaire needs to get called into action. Sic ’em, Trey!
    I guess we can expect Trump to nuke North Korea in an effort to change the current news topic.

  9. bernie  •  May 17, 2017 @8:19 am

    Doug, if I may borrow the Titanic metaphor. I think in this case only one part of the ship will sink, or that is how they are playing it.  How many parts it is breaking into I is questionable, but it may be more than two.  For sure much scurrying is going on and the curse of the interesting times has fallen upon them.  

    That George Will has jumped the ship or the shark just saves us from his horrid and pathetically boring and non-insightful ramblings about baseball.  An old love of mine used to call him Mr. Constipation.  David Brooks has a following and readership.  These are generally first class passengers who are a bit elitist and can and do still read.  He can and does both read and write with some level of taste if you can stand the bias.  As we used to say in the boy scouts, better to have him in the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.  Ann Colter needs to be in a totally separate campground for fascists, or to revive the Titanic metaphor on the least stable and expendable remnant of the ship.  This part of the ship should have many closets that she and her followers should return to and remain in.  Glen Beck will remain on the amusement part of the ship with the emotional roller-coaster ride.  As to the rest on the list I will leave that to others.  

    Jason Chaffetz is an enigma.  Is he looking for the part of the ship with the moral high road?  Is that road still intact and at all serviceable?  It is going to need bridges if the parts survive.  At that, Doug,  I will return your metaphor in the worn and damaged state in which I left it.  Thanks, I had fun with it.  

  10. Doug  •  May 17, 2017 @8:41 am

    Jason can be described in one word – ambitious. He’s obviously decided he wants to be on the team that brings Trump down because he thinks a leading role in the event will serve his future plans.

  11. goatherd  •  May 17, 2017 @9:31 am

    Bernie, I can’t remember the source, but, my favorite description of George F. Will is “dyspeptic Tory.”

    I’ve been reading Yuval Noah Harari’s, “Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind.” I tend to apply the contents of a book to whatever experiences I’m having at the time. But, the first few chapters offer some insight into our current unpleasantness, and so far, it’s a very good read.

    The people jumping ship on the right have seen that they might salvage their cause by making this about Trump’s abnormal psychology, and in a lot of ways , it IS. But, this allows them to isolate the disease and distance themselves from it. Trump didn’t appear out of thin air. He’s their golem.

  12. bernie  •  May 17, 2017 @1:40 pm

    Well goatherd, you sent me to my reference material with that one.  Golem a new term to me, and quite interesting.  I suppose Jason might have to orchestrate the activation of the off switch.  As I understand from the Modern Jewish History site this entails “…to make a golem come alive, one would shape it out of soil, and then walk or dance around it saying combination of letters …To “kill” the golem, its creators would walk in the opposite direction saying and making the order of the words backwards.”  This should make for some fine C-Span footage.

  13. Ed  •  May 17, 2017 @2:17 pm

    Since when does “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.” = “Trump asked James Comey, while Comey was still FBI director, to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn.” ?

  14. JDM  •  May 17, 2017 @3:48 pm

    The Republican problems are that they have to try to distance themselves from Trump long enough before the mid-terms to try to keep from being tarred by their association with him (may not be possible at all, but they have to try). But if they do so they are really likely to lose the crazies that still support him, and will likely support him no matter what, and those crazies make up a really big proportion of their base. Without them they have little likelihood to win an election of any sort.

    And they’re not getting as much of their agenda enacted due to Trump’s craziness giving voice to their opponents. As commenters have pointed out in this thread, they’re certainly close, and they’re getting a lot of hard to fix crap pushed through anyway, but not what they’d like. And that won’t sit well with their crazy base either.

    In short, they’re facing a lot of crap choices, and like Trump’s problems they’re virtually all self-inflicted. If it weren’t hurting a lot of people (and will continue to hurt people for decades to come) it could be fun to watch happening. But it is hurting people, and the ripples will continue for decades.

  15. JDM  •  May 17, 2017 @3:49 pm

    As has been pointed out by others, Ed, the statement by a Mafia guy “Nice business you got here; shame if anything happened to it” is essentially the same as the President of the United States (reputedly a powerful position) saying what Trump said to the guy he can fire at will.

  16. Bill  •  May 17, 2017 @4:13 pm

    Could The Donald be a puppet for even darker powers? Regardless, a good outlet for that growing number of citizens on either side of the aisle who want the corruption to stop could be the Represent.Us organization which Doug referred to some time ago.