Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trump Asked James Comey to End Flynn Investigation

Another day and another Trump outrage/obstruction of justice effort.  With patriotic Americans - which increasingly excludes Congressional Republicans and Fox News addicted Trump voters - many American allies, and  American intelligence services personnel still reeling over Trump's release of deeply classified to enemy agents in the Oval Office no less, now the New York Times is reporting that a contemporaneous memo drafted by James Comey indicates that Der Trumpenführer asked Comey to close down the investigation of Trump BFF and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.  An investigation that likely would have implicated Trump, his campaign and, of course, Flynn with collusion with Russia.  With yet another example of Trump's efforts to obstruct justice, the question is when will Congressional Republicans put the nation above Trump and their party?  Until such action occurs, in my view, Congressional Republicans are increasingly synonymous with the Vichy French who collaborated with Hitler's occupying forces.   Here are highlights from the Times piece:
President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.
“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.
The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday night, Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded the F.B.I. turn over all internal memos, notes, recordings or summaries of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.
Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. 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. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of the memo to a Times reporter.
In a statement, the White House denied the version of events in the memo.
Mr. Chaffetz’s letter, sent to the acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, set a May 24 deadline for the internal documents to be delivered to the House committee. “If true, these memoranda raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede the F.B.I.’s investigation as it relates to Lieutenant General Flynn,” Mr. Chaffetz wrote.
Mr. Comey created similar memos — including some that are classified — about every phone call and meeting he had with the president, the two people said. It is unclear whether Mr. Comey told the Justice Department about the conversation or his memos.
Despite the conversation between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey, the investigation of Mr. Flynn has proceeded. In Virginia, a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in recent weeks for records related to Mr. Flynn. Part of the Flynn investigation is centered on his financial ties to Russia and Turkey.
Mr. Comey had been in the Oval Office that day with other senior national security officials for a terrorism threat briefing. When the meeting ended, Mr. Trump told those present — including Mr. Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions — to leave the room except for Mr. Comey.
After writing up a memo that outlined the meeting, Mr. Comey shared it with senior F.B.I. officials. Mr. Comey and his aides perceived Mr. Trump’s comments as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret — even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation — so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.
The White House has repeatedly crossed lines that other administrations have been reluctant to cross when discussing politically charged criminal investigations. Mr. Trump has disparaged the continuing F.B.I. investigation as a hoax and called for an inquiry into his political rivals. His representatives have taken the unusual step of declaring no need for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s associates.

I cannot help but wonder if my "friends" who voted for Trump - likely due to their underlying racism and bigotry - are happy now.  They voted for a loser and possible traitor so that they could feel superior and put down others.  Are they happy now?   

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