Patterico's Pontifications

6/13/2017

Sessions, Trump, and Executive Privilege

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 pm

Your thoughts here, since my post on the Ninth Circuit decision is getting overrun with comments on this topic.

112 Responses to “Sessions, Trump, and Executive Privilege”

  1. Obviously, a vast right wing conspiracy…what killed Hillary ?

    McKiernan (1a13e6)

  2. The only campaign collusion to steal a vote I’ve seen any proof of in the last year was Ma Clinton and the DNC taking out Bernie Sanders.

    harkin (485617)

  3. I’m not sure that it’s exactly “eat your cake and have it too”. As a witness, Sessions has an obvious conflict between testifying truthfully and completely, and protecting the President’s executive privilege when there is no one else there to interpose the objection on the President’s behalf. So he’s letting them know, in a nice way, that he won’t answer questions that might violate the privilege and relying on their courtesy not to push the issue. ?

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Patterico’s analysis and conclusion on the previous thread is spot on.

    But like Watergate, in the end, the truth will come out in time.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. Sessions is from Alabama, not North Carolina, but there is at least one Chairman(?) of a committee in Congress who thinks that if you once waive a privilege (it was the Fifth Amendment in that case), you’ve waived it for every further question. So that might be something, too.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. You have to understand that sessions is the outsider in Alabama politics even after 20 years of you want a go along figure you pick Luther strange.

    narciso (d1f714)

  7. Just to balance things out a bit, I did write about the Ninth Circuit decision — shall I repost it here??

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  8. I meant as far as their respective understandings of the law of testimonial privilege. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Now what is this brouhaha really i contend it has nothing to do with Russia and matters in another gulf entirely:

    https://thefederalist.com/2017/06/13/u-s-controversy-qatar-really-proxy-war-obamas-iran-deal/

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Except like dragon teeth they never go away

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/06/jeff-
    sessions-slew-the-innuendo-dragon-today/

    narciso (d1f714)

  11. Cadmus threw a rock among them and got them to fighting between themselves until only five were left.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. It wasn’t until very recently(what, 40 years after the fact) that we actually learned the major role Mark Felt played in Watergate and that his motives were by no means benign, as the Washington Post led Americans to believe.

    So no, there is little reason to think we will get to the truth anytime soon, at least if you think Watergate is the model.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  13. It’s all about the brand w/The Donald. Always protect the brand.

    If Mueller gets too close to hurting it, he’ll direct Rosenstein to fire him, setting up the Elliot Richardson scenario and the rest of the blocks will tumble until they land on a ‘Bork’ down the line who’ll carry out the directive. Given the impulsive disposition of our Captain– don’t rule it out.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. Exactly thor its like with snowden when they scrounged up boyce to vouch for him, I knew the gig was up.

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. This is why the narrative spun by the producer of concussion is airing in September and not the more messy tale told by max holland

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. Lawyer-client conversations are confidential, and the lawyer can only testify about them if the client affirmatively waives confidentiality and authorizes dusclosure.

    Is executive privilege like that? Does it exist as to all conversations and has to be waived, or does it have to be asserted before it exists?

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. From the prior thread:

    swc, I agree with your #418. Re your #422, in which you wrote:

    I like all the handwringing over his “I don’t recall” answers.

    I love those in a courtroom because its impregnated with an ambiguity.

    When you ask a witness about an event, and the response is “I don’t recall”, that is open to 2 interpretations unless it is cleaned up with another question or two.

    It took me years, but I now reflexively, automatically, always ask the following whenever someone says he doesn’t recall something that I’m asking about:

    Are you saying that sitting here now, you have a recollection, and that your recollection is that the subject of bronze dildoes definitely did not come up in your conversation? Or are you saying instead that sitting here today, you have no recollection one way or the other whether the subject of bronze dildoes came up in your conversation?

    I modify that appropriately for each particular case, of course.

    With apologies in advance for what seems like quibbling over small distinctions, our host wrote (#423):

    Sessions is indeed invoking executive privilege, then. His honest position (as an attorney would take) is: until the holder of the privilege waives it, I am invoking it.

    That’s not quite accurate and I would never say it in those terms. The invocation of privilege may have consequences beyond just preserving it to avoid an accidental waiver. As you point out, it sometimes looks to observers like one’s being defensive, in which event saying that “I invoke this on my client’s behalf” — without instructions from the client to do so — could be the very opposite of what’s in the client’s best interest, as determined by him after getting private advice and opportunity to consider it. The client not only has the right to assert the privilege, the client has the sole and exclusive right to decide whether to decline to assert it and instead waive it. The correct answer is the one Sessions made, which is that he can’t answer the question as asked because it calls for a determination on the assertion or waiver of privilege, a determination that belongs to the client.

    Our host continued:

    I don’t think, however, that a lawyer could get away with taking the position: “I am not answering the question, but I am not invoking attorney-client privilege.”

    He would if he finishes that statement with: “I am instead going to decline to answer that question unless and until my client has a reasonable opportunity to make an informed decision whether to waive or assert any applicable privileges, or he otherwise releases me to answer, or I’m compelled to answer by a court of competent jurisdiction after I’m satisfied that my client has had notice and opportunity to be heard.” If that doesn’t keep the lawyer out of jail, then to jail he goes, a risk that goes along with the bar card.

    (He should then make his one phone call to a lawyer buddy, asking him to start working on a habeas petition, because it’ll be granted. I haven’t been exactly in that situation, but I’ve been a lot closer than most folks would imagine, on a Christmas season morning in a federal courthouse in 1982 — but that’s a long story I’ll save for another time.)

    Our host then wrote:

    Where am I wrong here? It seems to me they are trying to eat their cake and have it too.

    You’re right about the having and eating, but with a different “they” than you meant. The Democratic senators were satisfied with a hearing at which Sessions was not under subpoena, but had made a voluntary appearance with no implied or express commitment to waive any privileges or reveal any confidential communications from within the Executive Branch. Now, for the most transparent, craven, and hypocritical of political purposes, they want to pretend as if there were such an obligation. There isn’t.

    If they’d signaled in advance an intention to play hardball, with a demand that he make advance written commitments not to decline to answer, or if they’d said they intended to test every assertion of privilege or refusal to answer, then Trump could (and certainly would) have refused to permit Sessions to appear at all, unless and until the Dems had gotten a court order compelling it as a remedy for contempt of Congress. Or he could — as many POTUSes have done in the past — have agreed to permit Sessions to testify only via written answers to written questions, with answers being provided only after all privilege questions are spotted, subject to decision by the POTUS as principal, asserted or waived, and if asserted then tested in court. The Nixon tapes scenario, basically.

    I think there’s utility to both Congress and the Executive Branches in operating a little more informally, a little more quickly, and with a whole lot less bad-faith grandstanding and hypocrisy. I repeat, let them have their ranking member issue a subpoena if they’re serious. It ain’t gonna happen.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  18. Thoughts on the stunning admission by Sessions that he has not been briefed at all on Russian interference in the election?

    And that he’s not sure whether Russians meddled in the election because he’s only read newspaper reports about it?

    KING: Do you believe the Russians interfered with the 2016 elections?

    SESSIONS: It appears so. The intelligence community seems to be united in that, but I have to tell you, Senator King, I know nothing but what I’ve read in the paper. I’ve never received any details, briefing on how hacking occurred or how information was alleged to have influenced the campaigns.

    I find this a mind-boggling admission of incompetence.

    Apparently we have Trump playing Commandant Klink, with Sessions as Sgt. Schultz (“I see nothing! I hear nothing!”). The only difference is that here Col. Hogan (Putin) is trying to help the bumbling bad guys.

    Dave (711345)

  19. @ DRJ (#17): Yes, the analysis for who owns the privilege and who therefore has the exclusive right to waive it is the same for privileges generally. The determination of what communications the privilege may properly be claimed for is different, however as to each.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  20. It’s dissapointing he’s affirming the crowdstroke report, but it’s just reports

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. Dave @ 19

    He’s recused from everything dealing with the campaign. Which means he should know nothing beyond what’s public knowledge. It’s not incompetence. It’s abiding by his recusal.

    kishnevi (10c258)

  22. I watched a good deal of that hearing on C-SPAN. I thought Sessions did well. And I was surprised to see Sen. Feinstein was pretty good herself. I had heard Sen. Kamala Harris on the radio and had though she was rude and obnoxious. But seeing the video she actually smiled and accepted the mild chastising from McCain. Mark Warner and a few others were idiots.

    The LA Times and other Dem supports are pushing this meme that Harris is a victim of old, white patriarchy. At the last hearing, she clearly prevented the Deputy Attorney General from answering the question. It wss rude and obnoxious.

    AZ Bob (f7a491)

  23. 19 – I would say that by recusing himself he did exactly that and stayed the hell away from the investigation. This is a repeat of the Plame nonsense on a bigger scale.

    harkin (485617)

  24. sleazy clueless jeff session’s poor judgment in recusing himself calls into question everything he says really

    I’m surprised Attorney General Rosenstein hasn’t asked for his resignation

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  25. There’s nothing there, if fact the parallel that comes to.mind with this sideshow is not watergate but Jim garrison,

    narciso (d1f714)

  26. The last thing Sessions or any of these witnesses want to do in any of their answers is open u[ a can of worms by making any reference or analogy on national television in a congressional hearing to Nixon, his tapes– and thus introduce discourse about Watergate into the Q&A. The blow back in the responses would be a PR disaster.

    Get in, get through the flak and get out w/minimal damage– that’s what Jefferson Beauregard did.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. @ AZ Bob: Her small smile was anticipating how she can use the footage that came just before that, deceptively edited, in her fundraising materials between now and 2020. She’s utterly transparent, utterly one-dimensional, and utterly repulsive — the model 21st Century Democrat!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  28. WATERGATE WATERGATE WATERGATE

    Only a whiny, attention-seeking child would continue to think that this phrase from 1972-1974 still holds totemic power, such that it must be avoided in any discussion of executive privilege among reasonable adults in 2017.

    JIM CROW SLAVERY THOMAS JEFFERSON’S MISTRESS!

    There. There’s your counter-shamanic phrasing. Go watch an episode of “American Gods” and figure out which one you’re most like, and which one you just want to worship.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  29. He’s recused from everything dealing with the campaign. Which means he should know nothing beyond what’s public knowledge. It’s not incompetence. It’s abiding by his recusal.

    Crazy talk. Recuse means “to disqualify oneself as a judge in a particular case”.

    His recusal should keep him from making decisions in matters connected to his role as an adviser during the campaign. It should not prevent him from being briefed about ongoing threats to national security.

    Unless he would rather not know about them, of course.

    Dave (711345)

  30. @23. I had heard Sen. Kamala Harris on the radio and had though she was rude and obnoxious. But seeing the video she actually smiled and accepted the mild chastising from McCain.

    She was aggressive. ‘Course MSNBC this evening couldn’t help but note it was also McCain who interrupted her last week as well– and Sessions’ irritation w/her questioning, implying race and sexism issues at play. That might be a bit over the line.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. Yes I don’t go and on, about last of the list although quite a few of those senators could double for sleestaks but we know how the whole Plame matter went through.

    So panama turns firmly to Beijing with martinelli in cuffs

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. WATERGATE WATERGATE WATERGATE

    Only a whiny, attention-seeking child would continue to think that this phrase from 1972-1974 still holds totemic power, such that it must be avoided in any discussion of executive privilege among reasonable adults in 2017.

    Ditto. Why not Monicagate where Clinton committed both perjury and witness-tampering — lying in court about what Monica blew and when she blew it and getting her to sign an affidavit to that effect — and the impeachment actually went to trial in the Senate? Betcha more people know about that than they do about Watergate.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. Dave, you’re wrong about recusal. Just wrong. Go read Wikipedia or a dictionary. He’s not to be consulted, but he’s also not to know. This is why they construct “Chinese walls,” so that’s another good phrase for you to Google.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  34. Marinelli is also a strong critic of the Castro brothers, yes there is a strong casa De carts in Columbia too.

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. Dave, you also have misstated the scope of his recusal, which is not over everything involving national security. He’s recused only from participating or being involved in any way in a single foreign-intelligence investigation relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election. He can, should, and presumably is still briefed on and involved in every other aspect of the DoJ’s counter-intelligence operations, which extend far, far, far beyond this single investigation.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  36. And beyond just Russia, of course.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  37. @29. =yawn= Projection. And fear.

    From a usual hard right source, of course. You really are tone deaf to it.

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” – Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. a

    Antidote, Antidote, Antidote,

    My dad was a Coastie. How he didn’t end up as a red smear on a white hull I’ll never know.

    https://www.uscg.mil/history/people/MunroDouglasIndex.asp

    …In the engagement in which he gave his life, Munro had already played an important part, having been in charge of the original detachment of ten boats that had landed the Marines at the scene. Having successfully landed them, Munro led his small boat force to a previously assigned rally position. Almost immediately upon his return, he was advised by the officer-in-charge that conditions at the insertion point were not as expected. The Marines were under attack from a larger Japanese force and needed to be extracted immediately. Munro volunteered to lead the boats back to beach for the evacuation. Commanding the rescue expedition, he brought the boats in-shore under heavy enemy fire and proceeded to evacuate the Marines still on the beach. Though the majority of the Marines had been loaded into the boats, the last remaining elements of the rear guard were having difficulty embarking. Assessing the situation, Munro maneuvered himself and his boats into a position to cover the last groups of men as they headed to the boats. In doing so, he exposed himself to greater enemy fire and suffered his fatal wound. At the time it was reported that he had remained conscious long enough to utter his final words: “Did they get off”?…

    I believe the Coast Guard is stingy what with handing out MoHs.

    I think the d

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  39. there’s a much more solid, factual basis for sleazy corrupt ex-FBI kingpin Robert Mueller to recuse himself from this investigation than there ever was for the inept cowardly Jeff Sessions to do so

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  40. You would think but there is full squirrel rhodio out there.

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. Typos. I has typos.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  42. Just to balance things out a bit, I did write about the Ninth Circuit decision — shall I repost it here??

    Please, no, let’s stay on topic. I promise to read it but I do not promise to respond as I am still in trial.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  43. @33. Ditto. Why not Monicagate where Clinton committed both perjury and witness-tampering — lying in court about what Monica blew and when she blew it and getting her to sign an affidavit to that effect — and the impeachment actually went to trial in the Senate? Betcha more people know about that than they do about Watergate.

    Was that a big Hollywood movie, too? Betcha those unaware under 45 will likely be getting a fresh education about ‘WATERGATE, WATERGATE, WATERGATE’ over the next few weeks and months.

    “Forget the myths the media’s created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.” – ‘Deep Throat’ [Hal Holbrook] ‘All The President’s Men’ 1976

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. Yes Mark felt brought the whole Hoover temple down on himself even faced jail time because his breaking and entering against the weatherman came to light.

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. Marathon man, from William goldman had more to say on this era. Division didn’t leak they just did the business

    narciso (d1f714)

  46. You’re right about the having and eating, but with a different “they” than you meant. The Democratic senators were satisfied with a hearing at which Sessions was not under subpoena, but had made a voluntary appearance with no implied or express commitment to waive any privileges or reveal any confidential communications from within the Executive Branch. Now, for the most transparent, craven, and hypocritical of political purposes, they want to pretend as if there were such an obligation. There isn’t.

    If they’d signaled in advance an intention to play hardball, with a demand that he make advance written commitments not to decline to answer, or if they’d said they intended to test every assertion of privilege or refusal to answer, then Trump could (and certainly would) have refused to permit Sessions to appear at all, unless and until the Dems had gotten a court order compelling it as a remedy for contempt of Congress. Or he could — as many POTUSes have done in the past — have agreed to permit Sessions to testify only via written answers to written questions, with answers being provided only after all privilege questions are spotted, subject to decision by the POTUS as principal, asserted or waived, and if asserted then tested in court. The Nixon tapes scenario, basically.

    I think there’s utility to both Congress and the Executive Branches in operating a little more informally, a little more quickly, and with a whole lot less bad-faith grandstanding and hypocrisy. I repeat, let them have their ranking member issue a subpoena if they’re serious. It ain’t gonna happen.

    How long do Trump and Sessions get to decide this? I’d say a month is waaaay more time than they need. So let Sessions do his not-invocation. But I don’t want this to be over. I want to see him answer the question or say clearly that Trump won’t let him.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  47. Because, let’s face it, we all know that Trump has blown up at Sessions over his recusal.

    We know it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  48. Probably, there was no need to do so, dems are never so obliging.

    narciso (d1f714)

  49. Yes this experience is much like zell, drinking into a live tooth.

    narciso (d1f714)

  50. sleazy corrupt womanish fbi turd Jim Comey clearly lied when he insinuated that the FBI had been justifiably using non-existent evidence of a “third meeting” to blackmail the pliable Jeff Sessions

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  51. But I don’t want this to be over. I want to see him answer the question or say clearly that Trump won’t let him.

    You may not see it but Mueller will likely insist upon it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  52. Patterico, he’s likely never going to have to answer the question of whether Trump chewed him out or was disappointed in him for recusing himself. On that question, Trump — or any POTUS — would and should assert privilege, because it is indeed, whether you like the POTUS or not, very squarely within the scope of his confidential communications with top executive branch officials for purposes of making executive decisions.

    How would that be any different from Trump insisting he’s entitled to force Congressmen to testify about what they said in closed sessions? Or the SCOTUS members from testifying about what was said in their post-argument conferences?

    If you’re waiting for the answer to that, it’s likely to be a long wait — years at a minimum, but probably forever, because I think such an executive privilege claim would indeed be recognized and sustained in court, but at a minimum it would take many months to get through the courts. And I don’t think the Dems yet have anything remotely close to the kind of predicate showing Jaworski had.

    I don’t doubt that you’re right, but that doesn’t mean I think Senate Democrats should get to ignore the law and set awful precedents to feed our personal schadenfreude.

    And no, I don’t think Mueller can any more pierce Executive Privilege than the Dem senators could, for the same reasons.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  53. Mueller’s jurisdiction is less than any of the 93 U.S. Attorneys, strictly limited to what’s in his appointment order — which, I remind y’all again is a foreign intelligence investigation. And while it might include spun-off criminal investigations (Manafort, Flynn, perhaps others of which we know not), we know there was none such in existence as to Trump as of the date of Comey’s firing.

    The notion that Mueller will be interviewing Sessions on this topic — Comey’s dismissal — is preposterous, a delusion of the confused or the sloppy-thinking.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  54. @29/33 For Beldar & nk, with love…

    June 13, 2017: Watergate scandal stages a TV comeback amid the crisis facing Trump

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-watergate-news-nostalgia-20170609-story.html

    “… But each day of reporting on the possible collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign draws TV news comparisons to the 45-year-old Watergate saga, which is gaining cultural clout as a result.

    Such terms as special counsel, executive privilege and impeachment have seeped back into the political lexicon in a big way. Thursday’s testimony of fired FBI Director James B. Comey before a Senate committee drew nearly 20 million viewers — a massive audience for daytime TV — much like the Watergate hearings did in 1973 when daily coverage rotated between ABC, CBS and NBC.

    Renewed interest in the greatest political scandal in American history is already spurring a rush in the TV business to revisit the era. Watergate gives networks a familiar title to help draw big ratings as well as burnish their news legacies.

    Both ABC News and MSNBC have prime-time specials on Watergate airing this weekend to coincide with the anniversary of the break-in of Democratic National Committee headquarters at the complex…”

    “Oops.” – Former Texas governor & current DOE head Rick Perry, 2012 Presidential Debate mistake

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  55. I listened to most of the hearing today and I recall nothing of substance that advanced the case for collusion. Nothing. They didn’t lay a hand on Sessions. They couldn’t even get Sessions to assert Executive Privilege, which is merely a side issue anyway. How much more of this pounding the table are we in for?

    Sessions’ treatment of Comey was deft, generally praising the man except when he undermined his vanishing credibility – the man taking the notes somehow forgot Sessions’ concurrence about the inappropriate private meeting, which came the following day. What else did Comey forget?

    ThOR (c9324e)

  56. Does Congress have the power to impeach a special prosecutor? Asking for a friend.

    Pinandpuller (fe6b08)

  57. Why didn’t Comey leak to the NYT’s to get a special prosecutor filed on Hillary or Loretta Lynch?

    Pinandpuller (fe6b08)

  58. Any POTUS should be able to claim executive privilege for a conversation in which he’s chewing out, complimenting, or otherwise interacting with a cabinet officer or other top-level member of his administration.

    But if there ever has been, or will be a POTUS who very desperately needs unfiltered, plain-spoken, and candid advice, even (and especially) when it’s contrary to the POTUS’ own instincts — advice unchilled by the possibility that the advisor might someday be compelled to testify to it in a public setting — it’s Donald J. Trump. Am I wrong?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  59. LOL

    ThOR (c9324e)

  60. Yup, a special counsel is, for a time, an employee of the Department of Justice and thus a “civil officer of the United States” within the meaning of Article II, Section 4, and hence subject in theory to congressional impeachment.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  61. Attention-seeking intellectually dishonest child cites other attention-seeking intellectually dishonest children in peddling stale Watergate meme. Sad!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  62. What’s the trial about? You mentioned a week or so ago that it was going to last into July, and you’ve got to be in month 2 already.

    Gang stuff?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  63. Just returned to the computer after bring my Husky dog, Cyber, in from the backyard. He was exercising another sort of privilege, the alpha-canine privilege to exclude possums from his yard. Cyber is a rescue dog, having run free in rural areas for weeks at a time as a juvenile, mostly feeding himself, so he has capabilities and instincts, but he’s not naturally obedient. He does try very hard to stay out of trouble, which is not the same thing at times like this. I tried calling him off, and he hesitated, looking back and forth between me and the possum, then he came to a decision: Assert the privilege! Snapped the possum’s spinal cord with one bite to the back of its neck, it didn’t so much as twitch when he dropped it and trotted over to me. Nature, tooth and claw. Cyber thinks he’s a co-principal in this household, and in the back yard, he holds near-exclusive sway. It was very impressive, something I knew he was capable of, but didn’t expect to see him do at 1 a.m. while brightly lit by my Maglite.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  64. Disclaimer: I *changed parties* to vote against Trump in the primary.

    Sessions is right on this subject. He is appearing voluntarily. He has a duty to preserve the President’s ability to exercise the privilege. There may well be circumstances that would change that — but on this, only the President gets to waive it.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  65. @64. =yawn= To be wrong is to be Right, eh Beldar.

    Tonight’s “Watergate Watergate Watergate” Words Of Wonder:

    Voice-activated Sony TC-800B reel-to-reel tape recorders

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  66. (All of Cyber’s food, treats & gear come from Amazon.com for the benefit of this blog. He’s very loyal.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  67. Pinandpuller, at 60:

    I think your question is intended to imply that there’s an obvious answer: Comey is a partisan hack.

    But there’s another possible answer which I think has to be on the table: Comey thinks that the evidence of Russian attempts to interfere is stronger, and/or thinks that the crime in question is worse and more deserving of attention.

    I don’t think we can reasonably differentiate between the two possibilities at this time; we’re all going on gut prejudice, on that one.

    Let the investigation run, see what it finds out, and then we’ll have a better basis for judging this difference in behavior on Comey’s part.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  68. Dave, at 30: I think that Sessions’ recusal should also prevent him from being briefed *on the particular matter he has recused himself from*.

    There are many reasons why someone might be forced to recuse themselves. Among those potential reasons are the existence of evidence *suggesting* that the person recusing might be involved in the matter, or might have close connections to people involved in the matter. In that case, even if they’re not making decisions, simply providing them with information may be enough to undermine the investigation.

    Having uniform rules preventing the passing of information to recused parties prevents the passing along of information in these cases *without* requiring that the investigator assert that there is such a risk, and without allowing endless arguments about whether such a risk is real or not — it just says, there’s a theoretical situation in which there is such a risk, and it’s better for the investigation to not come anywhere close to running it, so recused person, go away.

    Of course this *only applies to the matter subject to recusal*. Anything else the department is doing, the AG should know about. That’s his job.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  69. Beldar, I looked up recuse in a dictionary and quoted you the definition already:

    “to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case”

    The reasons Sessions should not be involved in the *disposition* of matters related to his role as a campaign adviser are obvious. He has a clear conflict of interest (as does Trump, for that matter).

    But unless Sessions is, in fact, a Russian agent (which I don’t claim has been proven), I don’t see how he could have any conflict of interest in regard to being *informed* about the most serious foreign attack on the United States since 9/11, if not before.

    It’s like if a senator had asked John Ashcroft six months after 9/11 “Did Al Qaeda attack the World Trade Center?” and his answer was “It appears so. But I only know what I’ve read in the newspapers.” Ludicrous.

    If the Attorney General’s shady entanglements with Russia and the Trump campaign prevent him from knowing anything more than what has been written in the newspapers about a serious and on-going threat to national security that falls squarely within his department’s responsibilities, he should resign and let someone who can actually do the job take over for him.

    Dave (711345)

  70. The wheel has already been invented. https://www.justice.gov/jmd/government-ethics-outline There are DOJ rules in place that govern recusal.

    nk (dbc370)

  71. Good gravy dave it’s two early in the day to remove all doubt yes there was no need to recuse, seriously alabama,was going to go for red queen, shirley.

    narciso (0e3fb2)

  72. And citing the dog trainer without proper snark is 100 demerits

    narciso (0e3fb2)

  73. Maybe Sessions should have said that in the first place, in response to Franken’s yammering: “We have rules in place at the Department of Justice that tell us when we need to recuse ourselves from a matter. We don’t need Stuart Smalley to tell us. When appropriate, I will consider recusal from this or any other matter in which I might be a witness, be personally involved, or otherwise have a conflict. You’ll know when I’ve done it because I’ll tell you.”

    nk (dbc370)

  74. So we have our choice of istvesia and Pravda, this is why we need samozdat publication
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/06/13/the-risk-is-the-leaking/#more-134278

    narciso (0e3fb2)

  75. nk@73

    The wheel has already been invented.

    The language doesn’t appear to me to support the sweeping prohibition on receiving information that others have claimed.

    Correct me if there is something more specific, but the important language appears to be:

    C. DOJ-Specific Conflict of Interest Regulation: No DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome. 28 CFR 45.2

    Here, and everywhere else in the document you linked, the operative word is “participate”.

    Participating in a criminal investigation or prosecution is obviously not the same as being briefed or informed about the matter. Participating implies agency (i.e. you do something that makes a difference to the outcome).

    Dave (711345)

  76. Now, what is this about Sally Hemmings watching Deep Throat with Jim Crow at the Watergate Hotel during the 1972 Democratic National Convention?

    nk (dbc370)

  77. Don’t encourage him nk. Now James Grady wrote a Roman a clef about watergate under a pen name James daulton.

    And in other news a refrigerator exploded in North Kensington, shirley

    narciso (0e3fb2)

  78. Dave, I’m more familiar with the ethics rules for attorneys and prosecutors (which the DOJ rules parallel), and the ethos there is to err on the side of not only being, but also appearing to be, as proper as possible. And there’s more than that. If, for example, the conflict, or part of it, is from the DOJ employee being a witness, then for sure you don’t want to influence his testimony in any way by feeding him information.

    nk (dbc370)

  79. What’s the trial about? You mentioned a week or so ago that it was going to last into July, and you’ve got to be in month 2 already.

    Gang stuff?

    Don’t really want to talk about it while it’s going on, but yeah. To be clear, my hiatus lasts until July, not necessarily the trial. Happy to tell you more over email if you like.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  80. As for Sessions resigning: The Cook County State’s Attorney has a conflict every time she prosecute a Chicago cop. Her office could not function without the unconditional love of the Chicago PD. She does not resign as State’s Attorney. She asks one of the State’s Attorneys from the neighboring counties to send over a team of special prosecutors.

    nk (dbc370)

  81. I have a post up about that, urbanleftbehind.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  82. Ohmigosh! Thanks, ulb. Here’s a CNN link, too. http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/politics/alexandria-virginia-shooting/index.html

    nk (dbc370)

  83. Breaking, off topic:

    There was a shooting at or near a baseball field in Alexandria Virginia, where a baseball team was practicing or getting ready to practice, This was a Congressional baseball team, consisting of members of Congress and their staff. This is for a game tomorrow, a charity event to be played at Nationals Field, and the two teams to play are Republicans vs Democrats. This team was all Republicans.

    People became aware of the shots suddenly, as more and more people were affected. People lay on he ground. At least 100 shots were fired, from more than one weapon, by both the perpetrator and police. The man who did it started by firing in the air, and then started firing for 360 degree around himself. The man was confronted by police. He is in custody – they are not saying anything more about him yet.

    It is considered to be a safe neighborhood. Capitol Police were there (according to some people using Twitter) because the highest ranking members of Congress go about with a security detail. President Trump and Vice President Pence were alerted and security has been tightened at the white House (in case maybe this is part of a bigger plot of course.)

    It isn’t clear if there was some “cause” or motive involved, or if this is just your ordinary nonpolitical lunatic.

    No one seems to have been killed. Congressman Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, or the third ranking Republican was shot in the hip. He is in stable condition and expected to recover. Two police were also among the wounded.

    Sammy Finkelman (7509c5)

  84. Beldar
    A friend of mine has a large male Akita.
    One night around 1AM a family of raccoons entered his backyard. A fight and chase began and somehow the dog broke through the fence and dispatched the raccoons on the neighbors patio. Next door neighbor gets lights on and sees blood, gore and an assortment raccoon appendages. Looks over at my friend and says a bit sarcastically ‘yup, that’s a great dog you got there… can you get this cleaned up before my wife sees it?’
    So my buddy spent the next hour body bagging raccoon parts and hosing blood off the patio while his dog resumed guarding his back yard.
    My buddy does not buy food for his dog, nor does he buy cleaning supplies and large garbage bags using the Amazon widget here at Patterico, but he should

    steveg (e8c34d)

  85. We’ll get back to thsi (and the ninth circuit decision) later. I wouldn’t like to see this all dropped.

    There’s also the news story that the American risoner was released from North Korea – ina coma – and he;s been in a coma for a year. Everybody was keeping things quiet in hopes he would be released, and they still are in hopes of freeing other people. Is that really a good tactic in the long run?

    Kim Jong Un knows anyway that if we could we would overthrow him and if we don’t feel like that it’s only because of what we don’t know.

    Presiden Trump is reported to have been really enraged at Comey because of his claim to have leaked just to get a special counsel.

    Sammy Finkelman (7509c5)

  86. “Because, let’s face it, we all know that Trump has blown up at Sessions over his recusal. We know it. Patterico (115b1f) — 6/13/2017 @ 9:08 pm”

    I know what you were doing here. Trying to boost the number of comments. I Know!

    Davod (f3a711)

  87. I was telling a friend the story of Cyber and the possum (#66), and he asked, “Is it possible the possum wasn’t killed but that it instead was just ‘playing possum’?” And that’s an excellent question, one that occurred to me when Cyber dropped it. But then I looked a little more closely. This wasn’t an acting job, unless the possum also made advance arrangements for special effects, and that’s all I want to say about that.

    Re Dave’s arguments, though, that Sessions should be briefed on investigations from which he has recused himself:

    We have before us a vivid illustration of why your suggestion couldn’t work and wouldn’t be an ethically satisfactory solution: Sessions was criticized yesterday for “violating” the terms of his recusal by participating in a personnel decision, viz, the firing of Jim Comey. Sessions responded, quite properly and accurately, by saying that the recusal was as to a specific investigation, and it didn’t require him to drop all his supervisory responsibility over all DoJ employees involved in investigations from which he was recused.

    But suppose, instead of being separated (initially informally, then by a Chinese wall communicated downstream) from information about the foreign intelligence investigation (and any spun-off criminal investigations), Sessions had been continuously receiving briefings about all that.

    How much stronger would the Dems’ complaints be now, as they insist that the Rosenstein memo and Sessions cover-letter were pretextual? A lot. Leaving someone in the chain of communications, while they’re still holding the power to fire participants in the investigation, doesn’t wall off or solve any ethical problems.

    That’s why what you argue is absolutely, positively the opposite of how recusals work in the real world. You mention judges. I’ve worked for judges, seen judges, seen them recuse themselves. If they’re recused, they stop getting the briefs, they don’t go watch the oral arguments (even as spectators), and they stay the hell away from the subject of the recusal.

    Knowledge is power, and if the knowledge channel remains open, the arguments about abuse of power are far more likely to be made — and far more likely to be genuine, for that matter.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  88. This is something I posted just now elsewhere, in responding to an argument that Comey had no duty whatsoever to keep the confidentiality of the contents of his memo on the Feb 14th meeting with Trump when Flynn was purportedly discussed. This person contended that Comey was actually correct and probably obligated to leak it, to which I said:

    Comey’s duties to keep his confidential communications with the POTUS private stem from multiple parallel sources.

    To start with: As a high executive branch official, his constitutional oath and his appointment by the Executive (with consent of the Senate) include a duty to maintain the Executive’s privilege.

    Next: In his employment contract with the FBI, he signed a nondisclosure agreement which generated contractual obligations that he breached by leaking the substance of a confidential government document.

    Next: Even if he were not, in that conversation, involved in the seeking or provision of legal advice — the typical prerequisite for attorney-client privilege — he nevertheless IS a licensed lawyer. Even if he wasn’t participating as a lawyer, he nevertheless, as a lawyer, has an ethical, professional duty never to participate in a scheme that reveals ANYONE’s privileged or confidential information. His license is in jeopardy.

    Next: The reasons that FBI officials make file memos include documentation of facts that might not be legally significant at the moment, but that obviously might become so later. If you are wondering whether your boss is engaged in an obstruction of justice, for instance, but you just have one data point and you can do no more at present than document that one data point, you do that. It’s potentially a government INVESTIGATIVE record, subject to chain of custody and other provenance requirements. By leaking it, Comey deprived any future prosecutor of the opportunity to gain whatever legitimate advantage could otherwise be had by keeping this bit of evidence confidential unless and until there’s an indictment. We call this general concept spoliation of evidence, and Comey did it as to that document. It’s a no-no.

    Next: Even taking only a digital copy (like a .pdf on a thumb drive) of an official government document creates potential criminal jeopardy, as does deliberately leaking it.

    Lookit, if Comey REALLY thought what he was doing in leaking the contents of this memo was defensible, he would have gone to Congress. If he really thought it was defensible, he wouldn’t have used a cut-out. If he really thought it was defensible, he wouldn’t have had his cutout only read from the document, instead of handing over the whole thing. Each of these were logical steps made by a canny lawyer who was MINIMIZING his own potential civil and criminal liability.

    He figures he’ll probably get away with it, or that the consequences which do attach will be worth the personal satisfaction he’s getting for hitting back at Trump — totally understandable, but totally emotional and contrary to his duties. He is not a weasel, but he is a dog who knows he’s sh*t the rug, who decided that sh*tting the rug would just feel so good this time that it was worth being put outside. He still believes he’s a good dog. But this is just another spectacular proof of how thoroughly his judgment is beclouded.

    I’ve made most of these arguments here already, but the new one that occurred to me today is the spoliation point.

    What he did was so wrong from so many angles that I need to construct and continuously update a timeline and issues list. O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  89. The more I think about this, the more I’m convinced that if I were teaching professional responsibility to third-year law students, I could construct a classic “issue-spotting” essay question from the Comey fact pattern that would easily be worth one-third of the overall final exam grade.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  90. (I loved exam questions like that, but … they were dangerous to me because I tended to spend too much time on them, meaning I hadn’t always saved enough time to write proper answers for the other questions. One exam, I didn’t get to the last question at all, but the prof gave me bonus points for the issue-spotting question, so it netted out the same.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  91. 348. 355. 360. 365 on the Ninth circuit thread:.

    SF: One of his {Comey’s] leaks was for the purpose of creating the special counsel (he says)

    COLLINS: And finally, did you show copies of your memos to anyone outside of the Department of Justice?

    COMEY: Yes.

    COLLINS: And to whom did you show copies?

    COMEY: I asked — the president tweeted on Friday, after I got fired, that I better hope there’s not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night, because it didn’t dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might be a tape.

    And my judgment was, I needed to get that out into the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself, for a variety of reasons. But I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. And so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.

    Beldar: Comey takes credit for forcing the appointment of a special counsel….Regardless, why take Comey’s self-aggrandizing version of events?

    SF: Because I thought this might be a confession he felt compelled to make because of what other people knew.

    365. Beldar (fa637a) — 6/13/2017 @ 5:07 pm

    He wasn’t confessing, Mr. Finkelman, he was bragging about something as if he’d caused it, with there being no evidence that he’s right. Whenever the decision was made, it was announced after he was fired, though, so even you credit him with being able to read Rosenstein’s mind, you’ll have to account for their physical distance. Or do you think Comey views Rosenstein as a chum? Do you think Rosenstein was leaking to Comey, after writing the memo expressing the opinion that he gave to Sessions to give to Trump?

    No, I think Comey was contact with other people in the FBI, who were in communication with Rosenstein.

    Rosenstein wrote:

    What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.

    The circumstances aren’t clear,. He must have been hearinbg arguments.

    I think maybe Comey was strategizing with them, and made the leak itself, rather than any arguments mde by his former subordinates, responsible in order so that it shouldn’t be said he was co-ordinating with other people in the FBI. People in rhe chain of command could have given Rosenstein reasons for appointing a special counsel, citing the story prompted by the leak and other reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  92. A provocative suggestion on Mueller and Trump:

    Trump could tell Rosenstein — I agree with your view that under the REGULATION, the Dep. AG has the authority to fire Mueller.

    I, as POTUS, have the authority to set the working parameters for how the Dep. AG does his job.

    So, my instructions to you are that you are to tell Mueller that he has 90 days to produce a report to you that informs you either 1) the investigation is being closed, 2) the investigation is being continued as an intelligence matter only, or 3) the investigation has determined that criminal offenses have been committed, and the specific charges that are to be sought by way of a grand jury investigation. He has another 30 days to seek any such indictment.

    If Mueller fails to comply with these instructions, then I, POTUS, direct you, Dep. AG., that all DOJ resources committed to Mueller’s investigation are to be returned to their respective agencies, and are to be reassigned to priorities other than the Special Counsel investigation within their agencies. Mueller is free to continue on with his investigation. He shall have an office, a secure computer, and a cell phone.

    The FBI first became aware of these allegations of Russian involvement more than a year ago. “Suggestions” of collusion by Trump Campaign officials have been circulating for nearly as long.
    There are no indications that Mueller is receiving anything other than total cooperation from within the Administration, so there is no need for this matter to drag on much further.

    Federal investigations of suspected criminal activity aren’t allowed to linger and languish, especially an investigation such as this which is causing a huge amount of collateral damage to other priorities of the government, under circumstances where NO ONE has provided a single piece of evidence that any such collusion took place.

    So, my direction to you as Dep AG is to advise the Special Counsel to perform his work efficiently and expeditiously because the clock is ticking.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  93. That would be provocative, swc. Made me smile as I read it. Strikes me as too subtle for Trump.

    I don’t minimize the difficulty of the challenge he’s struggling with — keeping his own mouth shut, and his thumbs off Twitter (at least about this). I fear it’s a losing struggle.

    But my hunch is that if he could only do that, then the Mueller investigation is going to wrap up whatever spin-off criminal investigations may be underway (Manafort, Flynn, others of whom we know not except that they’re not Trump), probably with declinations or at most wrist-slap pleas to disclosure crimes. He’ll write (i.e., lightly edit a career counterintelligence specialist’s final draft) report on the Russian efforts to interfere, prepared with separate sections for public and intra-Congress release, probably in coordination with other IC agencies; and he’ll forward that to Rosenstein in a confidential memo which explains his actions and says, “I’m done.” Rosenstein will approve it and notify the chairs and ranking members that the special counsel’s appointment is concluded. He ought not say another damn word — his & Sessions’ #1 job right now is to plug DoJ & FBI leaks and loose lips, including and especially from the top — but Trump will probably order him to say in public, “And TRUMP WAS CLEARED!!!1!” Okay, arguably a POTUS ought to be able to get that, even though the rest of us normally can’t.

    That’s a best-case scenario, though, and it may be too dull, and certainly too slow to resolve, for Trump to let it get there.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  94. Apparently the WaPo isn’t convinced, and/or the FBI is still leaking ….

    Beldar (fa637a)

  95. Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/special-counsel-is-investigating-trump-for-possible-obstruction-of-justice/2017/06/14/9ce02506-5131-11e7-b064-828ba60fbb98_story.html?pushid=5941b725658e691d00000050&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.48f5ef5cf308

    “Oh my!” – George Takei, catchphrase

    ___________

    For Beldar The Bitter: tonight’s “Watergate, Watergate, Watergate” Words Of Wonder:

    “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. So this is the new news from the WaPo story, titled Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say:

    The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

    The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

    Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

    Five people briefed on the requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

    ….

    The obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller’s office has now taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government.

    The interviews suggest Mueller sees the question of attempted obstruction of justice as more than just a “he said, he said” dispute between the president and the fired FBI director, an official said.

    The rest appears to me to be re-hashed stuff, some of it at least partly wrong.

    Welp, there is that possibility — that there was no active criminal investigation of Trump, for obstruction of justice or otherwise, before he fired Comey, but that Comey’s firing would trigger one. So far from the WH, a non-denial denial:

    The White House now refers all questions about the Russia investigation to Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz. “The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal,” said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.

    Trump probably wants to save the rest of what he has to say for Twitter overnight.

    Y’all may recall that I predicted, back when Comey first leaked the contents of the Feb 14 meeting as described in his memo, that he might have embedded some very nasty poison pills in the memo which he would withhold from the leaks. I’m a bit too lazy to look back for my comments, but IIRC I even constructed some of the kind of language that might be lurking there. It would not have been hard for someone in his position, anticipating that he might be fired someday or otherwise have grounds to be cross-wise with Trump, to include some inflammatory language and/or analysis that would be virtually impossible for someone in Mueller’s position, reading the memo after Comey’s termination, to ignore. And yeah, if a skilled advocate wanted to craft his paper trail in a way to amplify Trump’s exposure to a potential obstruction of justice charge, that’s totally doable. And it sounds like something he’d have done.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  97. To expand on one point I made in #100:

    The poison pill, if there is one, might have no substance to it at all. Obstruction of justice (in general) requires a high degree of specific criminal intent, a corrupt motive to accomplish an unlawful purpose. That’s hard to prove without either a smoking gun confessing intent or very strong circumstantial evidence that can’t be explained any other way. At the time of the initial leak, among my reactions was: At worst for Trump, this is one data point. On its face it is ambiguous; before anyone can simply dismiss the aspirational “I hope you can see your way fit” language as pretext meant to convey a much more blunt threat with teeth (“drop this or it’s your job”), you’d need a lot more context.

    Alas, by then going on TV and giving inconsistent explanations, Trump started adding data points. Every damn tweet about this is another one.

    Comey surely had the power to craft his memo in a way that would amplify every impression that his firing someday would appear to be foretold and forewarned in this memo.

    We may have thought this was a one-act play, but this may be the opening curtain for a second act. Couldn’t we please have had an intermission?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  98. shipwreckedcrew @96.

    Federal investigations of suspected criminal activity aren’t allowed to linger and languish

    Oh, yes they are. 90+30 days is a little bit short for the FBI which never wraps up things so fast. Can you name any large investigation that was over so fast? Now some parts have been going on for a while but it is unable to proceed, as it needs testimony.

    It could make sense to demand that Mueller either get an indictment or give someone immunity because the counterintelligence or future part is more important. So he could say either indict someone or give him immunity.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  99. Release the tapes Donny

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  100. Beldar @97:

    [If Trump carries out such a suggestion Mueller will] write (i.e., lightly edit a career counterintelligence specialist’s final draft) report on the Russian efforts to interfere, prepared with separate sections for public and intra-Congress release, probably in coordination with other IC agencies; and he’ll forward that to Rosenstein in a confidential memo which explains his actions and says, “I’m done.” …

    — but Trump will probably order him to say in public, “And TRUMP WAS CLEARED!!!1!”

    I am not sure Mueller has any authority to do a counter-intelligence investigation but in any case
    he’s priorotizing the criminal investigation. This hurts the counter-intelligence investigation,

    The whole thrust of the memo Rosenstein wrote arguing for Comey to be fired is that investigators should make no public comment unless someone is indicted, and Trump accepted that. It’s hard to revese that. He could maybe order him to turn over everything to Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  101. Release the tapes Donny

    There are no tapes to release.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  102. Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey’s firing.

    More important, it was probably also not true during a period of time in 2016.

    Sammy Finkelman (bec8ba)

  103. There are no tapes to release.

    Agreed

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  104. Agreed

    So, you want Trump to release non-existent tapes. How funny.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  105. Release the tapes, or admit there are none and never were any. Either works for me.

    Spartacvs (2db708)

  106. 102 — Sammy, it hasn’t been 90+30 days. Its been more than a year, and so far as anyone knows, there has been no evidence of any criminal conduct connected to the Russian interference with the election uncovered.

    If there is other criminal conduct unconnected to the Russian investigation, it doesn’t require a special counsel — normal DOJ processes can handle that.

    Mueller didn’t start from scratch — he picked up an existing investigation that had a team of federal agents already involved.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  107. Release the tapes, or admit there are none and never were any.

    Trump has never said there were any tapes. So, you want him to confirm that something he never said existed actually doesn’t exist. Do you want him to tell you there’s no Easter Bunny, too?

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  108. Cute

    Just another example of Trump shooting himself in the foot. According to Comeys sworn testimony, it was Trumps twitter taunt about possible tapes that could corroborate his account which prompted Comey to leak that Trump had asked him to drop the Flynn investigation. That leak prompted Rosenstein to recuse himself and appoint Mueller as special counsel. Nice shooting there Mr President.

    Spartacvs (2db708)


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