Patterico's Pontifications


President Trump’s Personal Attorney Responds To James Comey’s Testimony

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:23 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From Marc Kasowitz:

Contrary to the numerous false press accounts leading up to today’s hearing, Mr. Comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told President Trump privately: That is, that the President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference. Mr. Comey also admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.

Mr Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election, and in fact, according to Mr. Comey, the President told Mr. Comey “it would be good to find out” in that investigation if there was “some satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong.” And he, President Trump, did not exclude anyone from that statement.

Consistent with that statement, the President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that Mr. Comey “let Flynn go.” As the president publicly stated the next day, he did say to Mr. Comey, “General Flynn is a good guy, he has been through a lot” and also “asked how is General Flynn is doing.” Admiral Rogers testified today that the President never “directed [him] to do anything . . . illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate,” and never, never “pressured [him] to do so.” Director Coates said the same thing. The President likewise never pressured Mr. Comey.

The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty”. He never said it in form and he never said it in substance. Of course, the Office of the President is entitled to expect loyalty from those serving in an administration, and, from before this President took office to this day, it is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively attempting to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers.

Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President. The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated that he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting. Today, Mr. Comey admitted hat he leaked to friends of his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified. Mr. Comey also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of those memos to the press in order to, in Mr. Comey’s words, “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to be entirely retaliatory. We will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated along
with all the others being investigated.

In sum, it is now established that the President was not being investigated for colluding with the or attempting to obstruct any investigation. As the Committee pointed out today, these important facts for the country to know are virtually the only facts that have not been leaked during the course of these events.

As he said yesterday, the President feels completely vindicated, and is eager to continue to moving forward with his agenda, with the business of this country, and with this public cloud removed.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


James Comey’s Testimony

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

Comey’s testimony live:

Comey, regarding the president: “On March 30, I told him we were not investigating him personally. That’s true.”



Everybody Loves Somebody: Dino at 100

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:03 am

[guest post at JVW]

Dino Paul Crocetti was born one hundred years ago yesterday in Steubenville, Ohio. His Abruzzian father, Guy, worked as a barber and his first-generation American mother, Angela, kept the family home. Italian was the language spoken in the Crocetti household, and young Dino dropped out of school early to work as a boxer, bootlegger, and card dealer and croupier at one of Steubenville’s many unlicensed casinos.

But young Dino also loved to sing, and began appearing behind local bands in the city’s nightclubs, and changed his name first to Dino Martini and then finally Anglicized it to Dean Martin. Handsome and charismatic, his easygoing singing style was influenced heavily by hitmakers Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and, especially, Harry Mills of the Mills Brothers. Years later when the Mills Brothers would appear on his television show, Dean’s abiding respect and affection for the older man would be evident, as seen on this clip:

Classified as 4-F during World War II (as was his later friend Frank Sinatra), Martin had a middling career singing in nightclubs all along the Eastern seaboard through the war years. In 1946, he met young comedian Jerry Lewis and after convincing Skinny D’Amato of the 500 Club in Atlantic City that they two of them had a great duo act (which they largely improvised on the spot), the Martin & Lewis comedy team was born. With Dean playing the suave, worldly singer and Jerry playing the clown, the team became one of the most sought-after acts in the country with bookings from coast-to-coast, seventeen movies together, and a weekly television hour. In 1956, ten years after they first paired together, the act broke up after filming their final movie, Hollywood or Bust.

After splitting from Lewis, Martin launched himself into a movie career where his natural charm became a box office draw. Mary Steyn wrote earlier this week about Dino’s movie career in an article typical of Steyn’s vast knowledge and keen insight. At the same time as his movie career, Martin became a mainstay on the Las Vegas where he would remain a top-grossing act for three decades. (Interesting aside: while Sinatra continually broke new ground on the weekly fee that an entertainer could command, Martin became the first major entertainer to sign a contract which stipulated that he would only be required to do one show per night, even on weekends). A good example of his stage act was captured for the 1964 Billy Wilder film, Kiss Me, Stupid, in which Dean played a smug and decadent nightclub singer named Dino:

Dino was in fact a fine comedian with impeccable timing and an uncanny ability to play the straight man. One of the main challenges of being the straight man is to allow the funny guy to do his thing and have the punchline while still making your own contribution to the sketch. Famously unrehearsed as his television contract only required him to show up on the day of the show’s taping, watch Dino work with the great Bob Newhart here.

As a singer, Martin was in many respects the anti-Sinatra. Whereas Frank was a perfectionist, known for pushing for dozens of takes in studio sessions, Dean was the laid-back crooner who was generally happy with just a few run-throughs being captured on tape (“I hate guys who sing serious,” he once told an interviewer). Whereas Frank was the vocal acrobat whose clear tones and intricate phrasing is hard to emulate, Dean’s best-known song is an easy sing-along that even the most novice caterwauler can belt out without much problem. Whereas Sinatra did not speak Italian and thus did not sing Italian songs, Dean cut several songs in his first language many of which are compiled on an excellent collection. In 1964 his biggest hit, “Everybody Loves Somebody,” pushed “A Hard Day’s Night” out of the Number One spot on Billboard’s Top Hits (“I’m going to knock your little pallies right off of the charts,” Dean had promised his Beatles-loving son) and held the spot for seven weeks. It became the theme song to his massive television hit variety show, “The Dean Martin Show” which ran for ten seasons on NBC and made its host a very wealthy man (at one point, Dean Martin was the single largest individual shareholder of GE, NBC’s former parent company).

But my own personal favorite Dean Martin album is one he recorded in 1964 with a bare-boned backing crew of Ken Lane on piano, Barney Kessell on guitar, Red Mitchell on bass, and Irving Cottler on drums. Dream with Dean contains the first version of “Everybody Loves Somebody” before it was re-recorded with a full orchestra and started on its Billboard climb, and it also has what is, for my money, the very finest version of Rube Bloom’s “Fools Rush In” ever recorded as well as wonderful renditions of “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)” and “I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do).” The album is out of print, but it’s worth tracking down especially if you can buy it in the two-for with the follow-up collection Everybody Loves Somebody. Have a listen:

Above all else it was Dean Martin’s personality that made him such an icon. It’s fitting that a recent re-release of some of his biggest hits was titled The King of Cool. It was said that the difference between Frank and Dean is that Frank always wanted to be like the gangsters and made men that hang around the entertainers but the gangsters and made men all wanted to be as suave and unflappable as Dean. From fashion to comportment and everything in between, Dean Martin set an example of confident manliness that is still appealing today. One last clip from his television show demonstrates his undeniable sex appeal, as he charms the gorgeous Ann-Margret in a duet of the great Merle Haggard song, “I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am”:

Like many other famous and wealthy people, especially in entertainment, Dean’s life was marked by marriages and divorces, problems with drinking and pills, and family tragedy. He was devastated when his son Dean Paul was killed in a crash while flying with the California Air National Guard in 1987, and after that tragedy Dean cut back on his public appearances and had pretty much retired by the end of 1990. He died from emphysema on Christmas Day 1995. In marking his death, National Review pointed out that Dean was one of those entertainers who never tried to tell us how we should vote. Dean Martin was successful at pretty much everything he tried, and I hope that we are still watching his shows and listening to his music for the next 100 years.


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