James Comey

Kushner Was ‘Freaked Out’ About Comey

Vanity Fair: “According to sources familiar with the matter, the person in Trump’s orbit who may have the most to be worried about in Priebus’s testimony is Jared Kushner. Priebus has knowledge of Kushner’s proximity to the controversial decision to fire Comey during a weekend at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in early May, which, hypothetically, is the lynchpin of an obstruction case against the president and his advisers. Trump was accompanied for the weekend by Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Stephen Miller. At the club, Miller drafted an angry letter to Comey justifying his removal… The following Monday, after returning to Washington, Trump told other advisers, including Priebus, of the decision to oust Comey during an Oval Office meeting.”

“Kushner’s closeness to the discussion of firing Comey continues to be much discussed by current and former Trump administration officials, who see it as one of the main drivers of the administration’s present legal travails. Two sources familiar with the matter told me that prior to Comey’s dismissal, Kushner expressed concern to West Wing officials about the investigation. ‘He’s all over us,’ Kushner told one official in February, according to two sources briefed on the conversation. ‘He was freaked out about Comey from day one,’ one Trump adviser said.”

Clinton Says Comey Was Deciding Factor In Election

Hillary Clinton told the Today Show that she was “dumbfounded” when former FBI Director James Comey reopened the investigation into her email server right before Election Day.

Said Clinton: “The determining factor was the intervention of Comey… it stopped my momentum, it drove voters from me.”

She added: “I feel very strongly that he went way beyond his role in doing what he did.”

Original Letter Gave Different Reasons for Firing Comey

Special counsel Robert Mueller “has obtained a letter that President Trump and a top political aide drafted in the days before Mr. Trump fired FBI director James Comey which explains the president’s rationale for why he planned to dismiss the director,” the New York Times reports.

“The May letter had been met with opposition from Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, who believed that some of its contents were problematic… Mr. McGahn successfully blocked the president from sending Mr. Comey the letter, which Mr. Trump had composed with Stephen Miller, one of the president’s top political advisers.”

“A different letter, written by the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, and focused on Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, was ultimately sent to the FBI director on the day he was fired.”

Comey Has a Book Deal

Former FBI Director James Comey signed a book deal, the AP reports.

“Comey will write about everything from allegations of ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server… Comey will draw upon his career in government as he writes about ‘good, ethical leadership’ and how it influences sound decisions.”

The book is currently untitled and scheduled for publication next spring.

Kelly Considered Resigning After Comey Firing

“New White House chief of staff John Kelly was so upset with how President Donald Trump handled the firing of FBI Director James Comey that Kelly called Comey afterward and said he was considering resigning,” CNN reports.

“Comey, who took Kelly’s call while traveling back from Los Angeles to Washington, responded to Kelly by telling him not to resign… The sources said Comey and Kelly are not close friends but that they had a professional relationship and a deep mutual respect for each other.”

Comey Is Writing a Book

James Comey, the former FBI director who was fired in May by President Trump, is writing a book, the New York Times reports.

“The book will not be a conventional tell-all memoir, but an exploration of the principles that have guided Mr. Comey through some of the most challenging moments of his legal career. Among those are his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server during a contentious election, and his recent entanglement with the president over the F.B.I.’s inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”

Trump Will Postpone Filing Complaint Against Comey

“Donald Trump’s lawyers will postpone filing a complaint against former FBI Director James Comey with the Justice Department, according to a person familiar with the decision — a bid to stop antagonizing the special counsel who’s investigating ties between the president’s campaign and Russian officials,” Bloomberg reports.

“The president’s lawyers still intend to file a complaint at some point, the person familiar with the matter said…. The delay is a professional courtesy to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and a signal that the White House understands he needs space to do his job.”

Trump Says Mueller-Comey Friendship Is ‘Bothersome’

President Trump told Fox News it is “very bothersome” that the man investigating possible ties between his presidential campaign and Russia is good friends with fired FBI director James Comey.

Said Trump: “Well, he’s very, very good friends with Comey, which is very bothersome. But he’s also — we’re going to have to see. I mean we’re going to have to see in terms — look, there has been no obstruction. There has been no collusion. There has been leaking by Comey.”

He added: “But that’s been no collusion, no obstruction and virtually everybody agrees to that. So we’ll have to see. I can say that the people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters. Some of them worked for Hillary Clinton. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous, if you want to know the truth, from that standpoint. But Robert Mueller is an honorable man and hopefully he’ll come up with an honorable solution.”

The Comey What If

Byron York: “A key lesson emerged from the testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week: Without the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, the Trump-Russia investigation would be on a downward trajectory. The collusion charge, originally the heart of the investigation, would be fading for lack of evidence. Investigators would be going down side roads involving Flynn and Manafort in which the public would have little interest.”

“But not after Comey. At the Sessions hearing, Democrats had nothing new on collusion. They barely seemed interested. Instead, they focused to a great extent on trying to get Sessions to reveal what the president did or did not say in private discussions — about Comey. On the Democratic side of the hearing — and much of the Republican side, as well — the issue was Comey, Comey, Comey. In the end, it could be that the president’s impatience to get rid of Comey in order to shorten an investigation that he believed to be going nowhere resulted in a new investigation that could last the rest of Trump’s time in office.”

Grassley Rankles GOP with New Comey Investigation

“Republicans are wary of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) decision to launch a Judiciary Committee investigation into the firing of former FBI director James Comey,” The Hill reports.

Said Grassley: “There should be no improper interference with FBI investigations to favor any elected official or candidate of either party.”

“Grassley’s announcement took his Republican colleagues by surprise, and several said they are uncomfortable with the addition of yet another investigation that could target the Trump White House.”

Putin Offers Comey Asylum

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is ready to offer James Comey asylum if the former FBI director faces political persecution, Politico reports.

Said Putin: “If Comey will be under the threat of political persecution, we are ready to accept him here. It sounds very strange when the head of the security services writes down a conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks it to the media through his friend.”

Why Republicans Are Worried About Mueller

Mike Allen notes that with the Washington Post bombshell report that the obstruction probe is in full swing, White House officials and Republicans sweating profusely for several reasons:

  • “They know Trump talked to countless people about ending the Flynn probe, so they assume Comey’s version of events is true.”
  • “They assume he did, indeed, ask Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, if they could help derail the Flynn probe, as the WashPost reported. They also assume he said similar things to other officials.”
  • “Nobody has privately mounted a straight-faced argument to us that Trump didn’t say this stuff to Comey or to Coats/Rogers. That’s telling in itself. The fact that the Trump public position — that Comey is a perjurer — isn’t being argued in private.”

Also troubling: “Any obstruction probe requires context, which means investigators digging into the finances of Flynn, Trump and Jared Kushner. This is the phase of the probe many Republicans have always feared most.”

Voters Trust Comey More Than Trump

“Voters have greater faith in former FBI Director James Comey to tell the truth than in President Donald Trump, who has disputed the veracity of Comey’s sworn testimony before a Senate committee last week. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted in the days following Comey’s appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 45% of voters said they trust Comey more to tell the truth, compared to 32% for Trump. Twenty-three percent have no opinion.”

Comey Leaves Trump Under Cloud of Investigations

Bloomberg: “By neither exonerating nor convicting the president, Comey laid down during his Thursday appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee a road map of questions for special counsel Robert Mueller to follow about Trump’s conduct, a path it could take Mueller months, even years, to follow. At the same time, the head of the panel said its investigation is just getting started, and a second committee may summon Comey to testify.”

“While Republicans hope to move past Comey’s revelations and get back to their agenda, having a president under a ‘cloud’ — Trump’s word — with tarnished credibility, diminished political standing and distractions galore won’t do anything to bring his health care, tax or infrastructure proposals to the finish line.”

New York Times: “Thanks to Mr. Trump’s own actions, the cloud darkened considerably on Thursday and now seems likely to hover over his presidency for months, if not years, to come.”

David Frum: “Friends of the president will reply that the Comey hearing did not produce a smoking gun. That’s true. But the floor is littered with cartridge casings, there’s a smell of gunpowder in the air, bullet holes in the wall, and a warm weapon on the table. Comey showed himself credible, convincing, and consistent. Against him are arrayed the confused excuses of the least credible president in modern American history.”

Mike Allen: “There is no way to spin away this was a very dark and damning day for Trump. The head of the FBI testified he so distrusted his own president and White House that he took detailed notes of his conversations to prove he felt pressure to drop an investigation of collusion with the Russians. He then felt so strongly he leaked those notes to the press to force a special prosecutor.”