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Tag: james comey

Hard For Robert S. Mueller to Avoid the Limelight

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By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert S. Mueller III, the stoic former director of the FBI, never seemed like the kind of guy who enjoyed basking in the glow of the limelight. His successor, James Comey, seemed far more comfortable testifying on the Hill, holding press conferences.

But these days, as Mueller takes on the job of special counsel, bumping up against a president who’s not shy about speaking up and trash talking, it’s hard to avoid the limelight.

The latest comes in the form of a Time magazine cover with Mueller’s G-Man looking photo and the words: “The Lie Detector. Someone’s not telling the truth.”

Time magazine’s David Von Drehle writes:

Trump has traded the anguished Hamlet Comey for the adamantine Marine Robert Mueller, the Justice Department ramrod who remade the FBI after 9/11. As special counsel appointed in the wake of the Comey firing, Mueller has one job, no deadline and bottomless resources, and he is assembling an all-star team of veteran prosecutors whose expert backgrounds go beyond counterintelligence to include money laundering, corporate fraud and the limits of Executive Branch power.

Sensing the trouble he had dug himself into, Trump tweeted, “You are witnessing the single greatest Witch hunt in American political history.” Perhaps all Presidents feel the same way if they find themselves under the withering gaze of a high-profile investigator. Whether called a “special prosecutor” in the Richard Nixon era or “independent counsel” in the Bill Clinton years or “special counsel” today, the specific powers change, but the overall effect is quite the same. Trump’s predecessors could tell him that such investigations are sometimes survivable, but they are not controllable. Trump is at the front end of political cancer treatment: live or die, it will be a draining, miserable experience.

The thing is, Trump can tweet about Mueller and the investigation all he wants. Mueller won’t tweet back and isn’t likely to engage in any public dialogue contesting anything the president says.

Mueller, 72, the former Marine, is on a mission.

And only one thing, short of illness or death, will stop him: Getting fired.

Trump Allies Launch Propaganda War Against Special Probe of Russia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of high-powered attorneys begin digging deeper into Russia’s suspected interference in the 2016 election, President Trump and his supporters are doing everything they can to smear and undermine one of the most important political investigations since Watergate.

Over the past few days, Trump apologists and allies have stepped up their attacks on the intelligence community and Mueller, a former FBI director who earned an impeccable reputation as a nonpartisan, fair-minded investigator. The idea is to discredit the probe by calling it a “witch hunt” before any conclusions have even been drawn by the special counsel and his team.

Greater America Alliance, a nonprofit ally of Trump, has begun a propaganda campaign in a 45-second ad.

Greater America Alliance, a nonprofit ally of Trump, has begun a propaganda campaign in a 45-second ad.

Take the pro-Trump nonprofit, Greater America Alliance, which has raised nearly $29 million for the campaigns 0f Republican House and Senate candidates and Trump during last year’s campaign, Newsweek reports

The nonprofit in May hired conservative commentator and YouTube provocateur Tomi Lahren to “execute communications and messaging strategies.”

Lahren stars in a political ad entitled “Witch Hunt,” which targets Mueller and his team of investigators. She suggests they are part of “the Washington establishment” that will do anything to take down Trump, who has been accused of colluding with Russians and obstruction of justice for firing former FBI Director James Comey after he refused to drop Russia-related investigations.

“Only in Washington could a rigged game like this be called independent,” Lahren concludes.

Lahren is just one example of a high-profile Trump supporter attempting to undermine the special investigation as biased and agenda-driven.

Trump’s Newest Strategy to Undermine Investigation: Mueller Can’t Be Trusted

donald trump rallyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fake news. Bitter Democrats. Witch hunt.

Those are President Trump’s go-to ways of trying to undermine accusations that he obstructed justice when he allegedly told then-FBI Director James to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Now Trump is zeroing in on special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by the Justice Department to investigate Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

Suggesting that Mueller is “very, very good friends” with fired FBI Director James Comey, Trump told Fox News that it’s “bothersome” for Mueller to be involved.

Without a shred of evidence, Trump also suggested that Mueller’s team of lawyers are “all Hillary Clinton supporters.”

Mueller, by the way, is a register Republican and is known for his fierce independence when it comes to investigating politicians. 

FBI Refuses to Release Comey’s Trump Memos to Media Because of Ongoing Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has declined Freedom of Information Act requests from several media outlets asking for copies of the memos that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote following President Trump’s one-on-one meetings with the bureau boss before he was terminated.

Comey revealed the existence of the memos when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

Those memos could be critical evidence to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey and allegedly directing him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In denying the FOIA request, the FBI responded that the records were exempt from disclosure because of “pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to those responsive records, and the release of the information in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

With No Evidence, Gingrich Insists Comey ‘May Be Under Investigation’

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime aide to Donald Trump, provided no evidence but suggested that former FBI director James Comey “may be under investigation.”

Gingrich, who is promoting his new book, “Understanding Trump,” made the comments on “This Week” Sunday, saying, “If you have an obstruction case, Comey has got to be one of the major witnesses.”

Gingrich also questioned the integrity of an investigation that involves special counsel Robert Mueller, but appeared to contradict himself on the investigation.

“Special counsel happens to be a close friend of Comey, which is weird, because, under Justice Department rules, Mueller can’t investigate Comey.”

ABC host Marth Raddatz responded, “Comey isn’t under investigation.”

Other Stories of Interest

Putin Jokingly Offers Comey Asylum in Russia, Comparing ex-FBI Boss to Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin joked Thursday that he’s willing to grant asylum to fired FBI Director James Comey, comparing him to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Speaking at a question-and-answer session with Russian voters, Putin asked, “What’s the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?”

“In this case, he (Comey) is not the head of a special service but a human rights activist who defends a certain position,” Putin said.

Putin added, “If he is subject to any sort of persecution in connection with this, we will be ready to give him political asylum in Russia. And he should know about this.”

But don’t confuse Putin’s trademark sardonic humor with support for Comey.

During the same session, Putin criticized the former FBI director for suggesting Russia was meddling in the presidential election, saying Comey “gave no evidence” of his allegations.

Putin said Russia was not involved in “any sort of underground, subversive activity.”

Other Stories of Interest

Senate Judiciary Committee to Probe Political Influence of FBI Investigations

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to investigate attempts to influence FBI investigations under the Trump and Obama administrations.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called for the congressional probe to explore why President Trump really fired former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and whether anyone in Obama’s administration tried to influence the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Grassley’s call for a wide-ranging investigation comes in response to Democrats requesting to investigate whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, Politico reports. 

“The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations,” Grassley wrote to his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. “It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey’s removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis.”

Grassley believes an investigation into the handling of Clinton’s use of a private email service is called for after Comey testified last week that he was concerned the Justice Department “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.”

Comey’s Friend Turns Over Ex-FBI Director’s Memos to Bureau

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey’s potentially explosive memos about his encounters with President Trump are now in the hands of the bureau.

Politico reports that Comey’s friend, Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor, turned over the records to the FBI, which is investigating alleged collusion between Trump’s inner circle and Russian officials to meddle in the presidential election. 

The FBI also is trying to determine whether Trump tried to obstruct justice by firing Comey after he refused to stop the Russia investigation.

Comey said he kept detailed memos of his murky conversations with Trump.

Those memos could become key evidence in the case against Trump.