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Archive for May 10th, 2017

Trump’s Bold Choice to Fire Comey May Lead to a Special Prosecutor

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After Donald Trump boldly fired the FBI director in the middle of an investigation into his presidential campaign’s ties to Russia, Democrats said the only way to assure a fair investigation is to appoint a special prosecutor.

Democrats compared Trump’s actions to President Richard Nixon, who tried to obstruct a federal investigation into his inner circle before resigning in 1974.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the investigation must be led by someone independent of Trump, CNN reports

“This investigation must be run as far away as possible from this White House,” Schumer said.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said he wants to hear what Comey knows about the investigation.

“I still want him to come and testify, even as former FBI director,” Warner said in an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, expressed an urgency to appoint a special prosecutor.

“We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia,” said Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, in a statement.

Firing Comey: 10 Strong Reactions from Congress on FBI Director’s Ousting

congress copyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s sudden and brazen decision to fire FBI Director James Comey drew immediate and fierce criticism from both sides of the aisle Tuesday, with some comparing the bombastic Republican to Richard Nixon.

Here are 10 reactions from elected officials:

  1. “This is Nixonian,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania. 
  2. “The only way the American people can have faith in this investigation is for it to be led by a fearless, independent special prosecutor,” said the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
  3. “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Jim Comey’s termination,” said Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C. 
  4. “What happened during the Nixon period, there were people of principle who stood up against some of then-President Nixon’s actions,” Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee. “I’m hoping in the coming days that we’ll see either out of the administration, and frankly from a lot of my colleagues, a willingness to rise above partisanship.”
  5. “The President’s sudden and brazen firing of the FBI Director raises the ghosts of some of the worst Executive Branch abuses,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a statement. “We cannot stand by and watch a coverup of the possible collusion with a hostile foreign power to undermine American democracy.”
  6. “Not since Watergate have our legal systems been so threatened and our faith in the independence and integrity of those systems so shaken,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut.  
  7. “I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “The president’s decision to remove the F.B.I. director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
  8. “We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia,” said Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts.
  9. “The inescapable conclusion from the circumstantial evidence here is the President wanted to stop or stifle this investigation,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told ABC News.
  10. “Russia attacked our democracy and the American people deserve answers. President Trump’s decision to make this move tonight is an attack on the rule of law and raises more questions that demand answers. Firing the FBI Director does not place the White House, the President, or his campaign above the law,” said Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

NYT: Trump’s Firing of Comey Jeopardizes Investigation of Russia

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Editorial Board
New York Times

The American people — not to mention the credibility of the world’s oldest democracy — require a thorough, impartial investigation into the extent of Russia’s meddling with the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump and, crucially, whether high-ranking members of Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded in that effort.

By firing the F.B.I. director, James Comey, late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump has cast grave doubt on the viability of any further investigation into what could be one of the biggest political scandals in the country’s history.

The explanation for this shocking move — that Mr. Comey’s bungling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server violated longstanding Justice Department policy and profoundly damaged public trust in the agency — is impossible to take at face value. Certainly Mr. Comey deserves all the criticism heaped upon him for his repeated misstepsin that case, but just as certainly, that’s not the reason Mr. Trump fired him.

Mr. Trump had nothing but praise for Mr. Comey when, in the final days of the presidential campaign, he informed Congress that the bureau was reopening the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails. “He brought back his reputation,” Mr. Trump said at the time. “It took a lot of guts.”

With congressional Republicans continuing to resist any serious investigation, Mr. Comey’s inquiry was the only aggressive effort to get to the bottom of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. So far, the scandal has engulfed Paul Manafort, one of Mr. Trump’s campaign managers; Roger Stone, a longtime confidant; Carter Page, one of the campaign’s early foreign-policy advisers; Michael Flynn, who was forced out as national security adviser; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself in March from the Russia inquiry after failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings that he had met twice during the campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

To read more click here. 

Here’s Some Names That Popped Up in 2013 for FBI Director — And Then Some

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in 2013 we wrote about possible candidates to replace FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

The list included Lisa Monaco, a career federal prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, then- Congressman Mike Rogers, former U.S. Attorney James Comey (scratch this name off)  and  Jana Monroe, the former FBI special agent in charge of the Phoenix division and former assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division.

Jana Monroe (l) Raymond Kelly (top) Mike Rogers (bottom)

Jana Monroe (l) Raymond Kelly (top) Mike Rogers (bottom)

The Washington Times on Tuesday mentioned Raymond Kelly and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as possible replacements for Comey. Other publications have mentioned former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Andrew McCabe, the acting director of the FBI.

Here’s what these folks are up to:

Patrick Fitzgerald: The former U.S. Attorney in Chicago is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Chicago.

Jana Monroe: Former head of the FBI’s Phoenix Division and former assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, Monroe is VP of Global Security and Enterprise Risk Management for Herbalife, a global nutrition company.

Raymond Kelly: He was the New York City Police Commissioner up until 2013. In 2011, Sen. Chuck Schumer endorsed him to be the FBI director.

Lisa Monaco:  A former federal prosecutor who was  Homeland Security Advisor to President Barack Obama. She served in different roles in the Justice Department. She is currently a senior national security analyst for CNN.

Chris Christie: A former U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, his term as governor ends 2018. The Bridegate scandal and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Cushner, could be impediments.

Mike Rogers: The former FBI agent and ex-Congressman, who was popular choice among many agents back in 2013, is a CNN national security commentator.

Rudy Giuliani — The former mayor of New York and ex-U.S. Attorney was a Trump loyalist during the campaign.  On January 12, 2017, President-elect Trump named Giuliani his informal cybersecurity adviser. His name came up as a possible secretary of state or attorney general, but he got neither.

Andrew McCabe: The acting director of the FBI was the deputy since February 2016. It would be an easy choice, but not a likely one. He’s associated closely with Comey.