Vindicated… Really???

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“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” the president tweeted early Friday.

Yet the president hasn’t been as completely vindicated as he says. During his testimony former FBI Director James Comey said he is “sure” Trump is being investigated for obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller, also a former FBI chief, was one of Comey’s mentors at the bureau.

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Let’s begin small.

 

3 Big Takeaways From Comey Day in Washington

Yesterday’s much-anticipated testimony from the former FBI director included genuine bombshells—which some may have missed

 

gettyimages 693828356 3 Big Takeaways From Comey Day in Washington

 

*SOURCE*

[EXCERPTS.]

…Predictably, the president’s supporters are trumpeting things they heard Comey say—or at least what they think they heard him say. Already the White House is running with Comey’s words which, they claim, vindicate the president and his version of how things went very wrong between Trump and his FBI director over the Bureau’s counterintelligence investigation of Russian interference in our 2016 election.

On the positive side, Trump’s supporters are taking comfort from Comey’s admission that he had, in fact, informed the president that he was not personally under FBI counterintelligence investigation last winter. This, while true, is something of a technicality, since Comey admitted that Russian interference in our 2016 election was very real—“with purpose and sophistication”—no matter what the president tweets.

When asked about this critical issue by Republican Senator Richard Burr, the SSCI chair, Comey’s responses were clear-cut:

Burr: Do you have any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections?

Comey: None.

Burr: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the D triple C systems and the subsequent leaks of that information?

Comey: No, no doubt.

Burr: Do you have any doubt the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files?

Comey: No.

Overall, the bad news for the president in Comey’s testimony today far outweighed the good. Team Trump’s present gloating about their alleged vindication will prove to be short-lived. Above all, Comey left no doubt that he is confident that Trump cashiered him as FBI director over the Russia issue. Regardless of whether the president explicitly asked Comey to “let go” of the Bureau’s investigation of Flynn, whom the former director admitted was under risk of being charged with criminal offenses, Comey understood that Trump was asking him to back off an active investigation of the highest national significance—a request which “stunned” him, he stated…

…The former director made clear today that he believes the president maligned him and the FBI with his public comments and his reported ugly statements to Russian diplomats about Comey’s firing. This was obviously a deeply personal affront to Comey, and his statement today exuded his anger:

The administration then chose to defame me, and—more importantly—the FBI, by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them.

It’s unprecedented for a top American intelligence or law enforcement official—until recently, Comey was both—to publicly call out the president as a bald-faced liar, but that’s what happened. Comey is a tenacious fighter, and the White House is naïve if it thinks this matter is resolved.

To Comey, Trump is simply a liar.

From there, things got even worse for the president. Comey admitted that he had kept notes of his meetings with Trump—something he had never done in his interactions with Presidents Bush and Obama. The FBI director did not trust the new commander-in-chief to render their conversations accurately or truthfully, therefore Comey did so meticulously.

“I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document,” he informed senators. It’s a rare event when the country’s former secret police chief admits that he has no faith in the president’s fundamental honesty.

Comey made a memorable statement: “I want the American people to know this truth. The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is and always will be independent.” Omitted, yet easily inferred, was the follow-up line: “Unlike President Trump.”

The Big Reveals are yet to come.

However irritated Trump and his retinue may have been by Comey’s negative comments about the president’s honesty and personality, none of that matters much to the larger issues of the KremlinGate investigation. Yet it was here that Comey’s statements were most alarming—but they were easy to miss if you weren’t listening carefully.

First, Comey dodged questions about the infamous Steele dossier, the raw intelligence report compiled by a former senior British intelligence operative which alleged direct Kremlin ties to the president and his inner circle. When Senator Burr brought up the dossier, Comey swatted his query away: “I don’t think that’s a question I can answer in an open setting because it goes into the details of the investigation.” Which is the unclassified way of stating that parts of the Steele dossier are true, but they must only be discussed in a closed session (which was scheduled for yesterday afternoon).

Further hints of damaging classified information about Team Trump came up in a discussion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with top Russians in 2016 have been a source of controversy. Comey indicated that there is something worth investigating there. When asked about the attorney general’s recusal from the Russia inquiry, Comey stated: “We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.” That’s the unclassified way of explaining that there’s classified evidence that Sessions’ ties to Russians are worrisome from a counterintelligence perspective—and perhaps even illegal.

Last, Comey dropped an easy-to-miss bombshell when he was asked by Republican Senator Tom Cotton if he believed that President Trump has colluded with Russia. The former FBI director’s reply was terse: “That’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.”

To anybody versed in how classified information is handled in Washington, that’s a jaw-dropping response, since Comey de facto admitted that there is evidence that the president colluded with the Kremlin in 2016—but that information, being classified, cannot be discussed in an open session.

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One Side OPENLY Admits Their ARE Trump-Putin Ties/Collusion:
Notice The Date Of This Article.

 

Russia says it was in touch with Trump’s campaign during election

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for his election night rally at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

*SOURCE*
[EXCERPTS.]

By Andrew Osborn | MOSCOW

The Russian government was in touch with members of President-elect Donald Trump’s political team during the U.S. election campaign and knows most of his entourage, one of Russia’s most senior diplomats told the Interfax news agency on Thursday…

…Trump has dismissed suggestions he had anything to do with the Russian government during the campaign.

But in comments that could prove politically awkward for the president-elect, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there had indeed been some communications.

“There were contacts,” Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying. “We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign.”

Such contacts would continue, he added, saying the Russian government knew and had been in touch with many of Trump’s closest allies. He did not name names.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump’s)entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions,” he said.

“I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”

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The 9 Most Damning Comey Quotes of the Day, If You Are Donald Trump

*SOURCE*

[EXCERPT.]

“I took it as direction.”
Probably the biggest bombshell from today’s hearing was when Comey was questioned by Sen. James Risch (R-ID) regarding the statements made to him by Trump pertaining to Michael Flynn. Comey said that Trump had stated the following to him during one of the three meetings: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”  Comey went on to say, under oath, that such a statement may not have been a direct order per se, but he saw it that way, saying, “I took it as direction.”

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”
When asked why he decided to stray from his usual routine following a presidential meeting and instead take detailed notes of his conversation with President Trump, Comey replied, “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting.” Comey added that he had met with Barack Obama and George W. Bush in the past and never took such notes of the meetings, and that such records would help defend himself should the President lie.

“Those were lies, plain and simple.”
Comey began his testimony almost immediately attacking the honesty and integrity of the Trump administration. When discussing the fact that President Trump stated that the FBI was in disarray, Comey stated, “The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.”

“There’s no doubt that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.”
If there was any possibility before the hearing that Trump had fired Comey for reasons unrelated to the Russian investigation, that possibility seems slim now. Comey made it clear that he took the words Trump used during his Lester Holt interview, where he said that Comey was fired because of the Russian Investigation, at face value. One would assume that this would amount to clear obstruction of justice.

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”
On May 12th, President Trump sent out a tweet suggesting that there may have been tape recordings of the meetings he had with the former FBI Director. When Comey was questioned about the possibility of such tapes, he replied “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”

“I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in.”
This statement was made by Comey regarding the conversation he had with the President related to dropping the investigation into Michael Flynn. “Release all the tapes. I’m good with it,” he added.

“I remember thinking, ‘This is a very disturbing development.’”
On February 14, while meeting with the President in the Oval Office, the President instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner to leave the room. At this moment, Comey said he realized that “something big [was] about to happen”.  Shortly after is when Trump told Comey he hoped that he could let the Flynn investigation go. This is the conversation in which Comey felt as though Trump’s words were ‘a direction’ rather than simply a statement. Comey went on to tell the Senate Committee, “I remember thinking, ‘This is a very disturbing development’”.

“My common sense told me, ‘what’s going on here, he’s looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job.’”
This was also a statement Comey made at the hearing regarding the Flynn conversation. This statement suggests that Comey saw Trump’s actions and comments as a means of trying to get Comey to do as he wished instead of maintaining his independence.

“It’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.”
When asked if he thinks Trump Colluded with Russia in any way, Comey’s response was a short, but very telling “It’s a question I don’t think I should answer in an open setting.”

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GOP senator: Comey ‘doesn’t strike me as someone who would lie under oath’

[EXCERPTS.]
GOP senator: Comey 'doesn't strike me as someone who would lie under oath'

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Sunday said he doesn’t believe former FBI Director James Comey would lie under oath.

“No, he doesn’t strike me as someone who would lie under oath,” Lee said on ABC’s “This Week.”

[NOTE: Senator Mike lee is one of the most honest, sincere, steadfast, forthright and Conservative men in government anywhere. If he says Comey didn’t lie I believe him.]

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Trump’s son seems to confirm Comey’s account of the president’s comments on Flynn investigation

Published 4:10 am, Sunday, June 11, 2017

*SOURCE*

[EXCERPT.]

Donald Trump Jr., not his father, provided Twitter responses to James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill.>>Learn 9 things you need to know about Donald Trump Jr. ... Photo: The Washington Post / The Washington Post / Getty Images / 2017 The Washington Post

 

Soon after former FBI director James B. Comey testified that President Donald Trump told him that he “hoped” the FBI would drop its investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the president’s personal lawyer flatly denied that accusation and said Trump “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone.”

But Donald Trump Jr. – the president’s eldest son – seemed to confirm Comey’s version of events in a Saturday interview on Fox News as he tried to emphasize the fact that his father did not directly order Comey to stop investigating Flynn.

“When he tells you to do something, guess what? There’s no ambiguity in it, there’s no, ‘Hey, I’m hoping,'” Trump said. “You and I are friends: ‘Hey, I hope this happens, but you’ve got to do your job.’ That’s what he told Comey. And for this guy as a politician to then go back and write a memo: ‘Oh, I felt threatened.’ He felt so threatened – but he didn’t do anything.”…

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Trump thinks he’s vindicated in Russia probe? Not so fast

Updated 8:28 PM ET, Fri June 9, 2017

*SOURCE*

[EXCERPT.]

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey expressed his strong feeling that the President is an inveterate liar who could not be trusted. President Trump ended his brief Twitter hiatus by saying: “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication . . . and WOW, Comey is a leaker!”
At his press conference Friday in the Rose Garden, Trump doubled down by saying: “Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction.” Trump, who said he would testify under oath to deny Comey’s claims about their conversation, added that the testimony was an “excuse by Democrats” who lost an election “they shouldn’t have lost.” More fake news from President Trump.
Trump’s strident sense of confidence about his invulnerability in the expanding investigation is a result of the President being surrounded by weak “yes” men and women as well as being defended by a (My addition: FAUX) conservative media which spins every story his way.
But just because a president says he is “winning,” that doesn’t mean it’s true. The Russia-gate controversy is taking an immense toll on the administration and on the Republican Party.
One of the most revealing parts of James Comey’s written testimony was the sense that in private, Trump seems to understand that the Russia investigation is a big problem, notwithstanding his endless bluster. He asked Comey to “lift the cloud” that hovers over the White House as a result of the investigation. Unless Comey is not telling the truth, and there is no evidence that this is the case, Trump is not being straight with his own supporters.
The investigations have consumed his presidency and they are not going away any time in the near future. Trump has zero major legislative accomplishments to speak of at this point. Every time there is even a little bit of momentum for legislation, such as the House passage of the health care bill or Trump’s outline of a tax cut, more damaging information comes out of the Russia probe that distracts Congress from the business of making policy…
While most Republicans keep their heads buried in the sand, more nonpartisan officials are speaking up. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, hardly a fiery Democratic activist, said that Watergate “pales” in comparison to the current investigation into the Trump administration and Russia.
Comey, who many Democrats feel handed Trump the presidential victory with his announcements about the Hillary Clinton email scandal, was unequivocal in his assessment that something is profoundly wrong in this White House. The actions of Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner provided some hope that the committee will be able to conduct a genuine investigation, while special counsel Robert Mueller is by all accounts a tough prosecutor who will do everything needed to get to the bottom of this story…
Comey’s testimony was damning. He laid out the case for obstruction of justice, even if he said that was not for him to decide. He also offered a picture of a president who doesn’t know the boundaries of power.
Given where President Trump is in his term, and the damage the Republicans can easily face as a result of the Russia investigation, Trump’s claim of victory shows that it is the President who is living in the bubble — his own imagination.
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*SOURCE*

[EXCERPT.]

 

I find it disturbing, and really pretty sickening, that so few of the Republican Senators (McCain’s confusing spiel at the end aside) expressed deep concern about Russia’s efforts to hack the election and the threat that poses to the U.S. What a long, odd road we’ve traveled where the party of Joseph McCarthy has now become a party that downplays Russian interference in our election and has not expressed their grave concerns in any robust way.

Comey not only spoke of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, he also warned us that they are not done and will be back. The agenda, as Comey put it, of undermining the American “experiment” with our democratic government, will go beyond one campaign season. And what has Trump had to say about the interference? He has alternated between denying it, shrugging his shoulders, or daring to say that we should move on from it.

No, Donald, the truth will not be buried, ignored, or trivialized. This is the integrity of the most powerful nation on earth at stake. This is bigger than even one presidential term. Comey laid it out: this is not a partisan issue, this is an American one. But only a real patriot would understand that distinction, and Trump is no patriot.

 

“The president is not a liar” will sit alongside “I am not a crook” as the most disingenuous statement ever uttered by a US presidential administration.

The portrait James Comey painted of our current president wasn’t just sad. It was sickening. It was also completely credible, utterly consistent with the candidate who blustered and lied his way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

James Comey is a man of integrity. He wants to do the right thing, regardless of party. He struggled with his decision to notify Congress that more Clinton emails had been discovered that “might” be pertinent to the Clinton investigation. It raised concern that classified information might be have been compromised. It shook the public’s confidence in Clinton at a very vulnerable time, right before Nov. 8th. Should he have done that? What if there had been something there and he waited until after the election? There was nothing — it was a red herring that the Russians had tossed in. So he played right into the core goal of Russia’s hacking effort. He’s a man who tries to do the right thing without partisan loyalty…

…Mr. Comey may have made questionable statements and did questionable things, but he is not known as a liar. The President of the United States, though, is. He and his administration have no credibility — and he has been the one to shred it with his childish tweets and blatant “falsehoods”. Every speech, from the campaign until now, is reviewed by fact checkers and found to be chock full of baloney.

Americans will look back at this year and wonder how we could have elected such an unscrupulous, ignorant and incompetent person to lead a great nation.

This is not just one person’s word against another — this is the word of a former FBI director with an impeccable reputation for honesty against a person who happens to be President who may well be impeached and has no regard for the truth whatsoever. For Trump, ‘right’ is synonymous with ‘whatever works,’ and wrong is whatever leads to him getting caught in his web of lies. 

After reading Mr. Comey’s statement and listening to his testimony yesterday, two concepts become crystal clear: 1) Comey has complete respect for the Office of President of the United States and Trump has none, and 2) Comey takes the job responsibilities of Director of the FBI completely serious and Trump does not. To his great credit, Comey sensed this out very early and he carried out his job adding the memos and documentation to prove it. Comey’s perceptions and judgment of Trump may help save our country’s integrity if Mr. Mueller follows through with the investigation that Comey help start.

The White House has offered no proof or evidence to counter any of Mr. Comey’s allegations. Mr. Comey, on the other hand, has left a trail of corroborative information in his wake. The evidence he offered can be further examined and other parties can be questioned regarding the validity of his testimony. This is not he said he said situation. All the White House has done is to issue denials.

We all know Trump lies constantly. He lies so much his supporters say don’t listen to his words, just listen to what’s in his heart. OK, Trump. Show us what’s in your heart. Step up and make your case. Show us your evidence. That’s how these things work in the real world where people have to follow laws.

Trump clearly obstructed Comey as head of the FBI. Trump fired Comey, stopping him from further investigating possible connections between Trump and his associates and Russia’s corrupt practices surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Comey was not fired because Comey wasn’t doing his job but because he remained independent, persistent, and relentless in his search for truth.

The President of the United States is a liar and most likely obstructed justice. Unfortunately, the Republican party no longer values country above all else. The only thing worse than a pathological liar who is President of the United States is a Republican party that betrays the country for power.

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Lastly, for now…

OPINION: It wasn’t Watergate, but Comey hearing could be Trump’s Waterloo

*SOURCE*

[EXCERPT.]

This was James Comey’s day.

In no way did it lift the cloud for Donald Trump.

Comey was calm, candid and deliberate. He clearly made the case that this President tampered and leaned on him to not do his job. Comey did not hold back.

With all the controversy surrounding him, he still enjoys the respect of all 15 Senators on this select committee. When they addressed him they always called him “Director Comey” (although as everyone knew he no longer held that title), not “Mr. Comey.”

Comey would not directly say that the President had committed “obstruction of justice.” But he surely implied it.

Comey’s personal estimation of Donald Trump was devastating. He talked about “the nature of the person” and that he wrote everything down after meeting with him or talking to him on the phone because he thought “he might lie.”

There was absolutely no doubt in Comey’s mind on why he was fired.

He skillfully used Trump’s own words to explain this action. The words which Trump said to the Russian foreign minister and Ambassador to “relieve the pressure” on the Russian investigation.

These words were said, unbelievably, in the Oval Office itself.

On the subject of taking it easy on former National Security Director Michael Flynn (“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy.”), he said he took Trump’s statement “as a directive.”…

…This one morning, one day hearing will be remembered for its business-like manner. There were no moments of high drama and few surprises. Polite and nonconfrontational was its hallmark.

But for Donald Trump, this day very well might be cited as the beginning of a tortured path that could lead to impeachment and indictment.

Possibly resignation or ultimately complete and total disgrace.

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CONCLUSION AND SUMMATION.

1). Trump lied and is a liar.

2) There IS collusion and ties to Putin and other Russian figures.

3) Trump fired Comey over investigation of Michael Flynn/Russian ties.

4) Trump should be impeached, indicted, and removed, and imprisoned.

 

-Rev. Larry Wallenmeyer. 

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