maddogdrivethru.net

Open all night
It is currently Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:06 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:29 pm 
Offline
buck private
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:01 am
Posts: 14334
Reputation points: 9282
Quote:
The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
BY JONATHAN TURLEY, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR - 05/17/17 06:00 AM EDT 1,819
2,882
3K
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/t ... to-impeach
Memo: Trump Asked Comey to Shut Down Flynn Probe
AP
00:1401:22
__Video__
With the scandal du jour of the Comey memo, President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia looks less like a diplomatic flight as fleeing the jurisdiction. For the first time, the Comey memo pushes the litany of controversies surrounding Trump into the scope of the United States criminal code.

However, if this is food for obstruction of justice, it is still an awfully thin soup. Some commentators seem to be alleging criminal conduct in office or calling for impeachment before Trump completed the words of his inaugural oath of office. Not surprising, within minutes of the New York Times report, the response was a chorus of breathless “gotcha” announcements. But this memo is neither the Pentagon Papers nor the Watergate tapes. Indeed, it raises as many questions for Comey as it does Trump in terms of the alleged underlying conduct.


A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.”


However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another." Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him.

Then there is the question of corruptly influencing what? There is no indication of a grand jury proceeding at the time of the Valentine's Day meeting between Trump and Comey. Obstruction cases generally are built around judicial proceedings — not Oval Office meetings.

Of course, that does not change the fact that the question by Trump was wildly inappropriate. Yet, it also raises questions of Comey’s judgment. The account suggests that Comey was so concerned about the conversation that he wrote a memorandum for record. But that would suggest that Comey thought the president was trying to influence the investigation but then said nothing to the Justice Department or to his investigation team. The report says that, while Comey may have told a couple of colleagues at the FBI, he did not tell the investigation team “so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.”

Why? If he thought the president was trying to derail the investigation, that would seem relevant to the scope of the investigation. It is like a bank president seeking to close a fraud investigation, but the contact in the FBI decided not to tell bank investigators. One explanation would be that Comey did not view Trump as a potential target of the Flynn investigation, and thus did not view the uncomfortable meeting as relevant to the investigation team (and Trump has maintained that Comey told him three times that he was not a target). However, that would make the case even weaker for allegations that Trump was trying to protect himself or his inner circle by seeking closure for Flynn.

It is highly concerning that Trump has described how Comey actively campaigned to keep his job during this period. As usual, Trump has created the most problematic record for judging his own actions. If Comey was pleading for his job as suggested by Trump, the impropriety of the alleged statement in the Oval Office would be exponentially increased. Trump categorically denies that the statement was ever made. That alone could support an immediate demand for any and all tapes in the possession of Trump and he would be required to turn them over.

There is a separate question of whether this type of alleged obstruction could be the basis for impeachment. As someone who has been down that long impeachment road before, I would again advocate caution. Last night, respected former presidential advisor David Gergen said that, with the Comey memo, we are now “in impeachable territory.” If so, we have one foot on the shore and one in a raging surf. Before we start an impeachment proceeding, we need to be on terra firma. It requires more than uncomfortable meetings or ill-considered disclosures.

It is certainly true that an impeachable offense does not have to be a prosecutable crime despite the standard of “treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.” Professors like Laurence Tribe and others have called for impeachment, even before this latest allegation. It is also true that Richard Nixon was facing impeachment allegations that included efforts to influence or obstruct the investigation of his campaign.

However, Nixon’s impeachment involved a host of clear criminal acts from slush funds to burglaries. There is still no compelling evidence of an actual crime at the heart of the Russian investigation. Flynn is facing allegations of basic reporting or disclosure violations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) which is rarely actually prosecuted. Indeed, there have been only seven prosecutions under FARA since 1966, when the law was revised.

The investigation of Flynn has not produced any reported evidence implicating Trump. A FARA violation is a relatively minor federal violation for a president if that is the scope of the FBI investigation. Obviously, if there is some undisclosed major crime implicating the president, the seriousness of the alleged statement would grow in the same proportion. However, Trump has insisted that he was told repeatedly by Comey that he was not under investigation.

Impeachment is not meant to be an alternative for criminal cases that cannot be submitted to a grand jury. It is also not meant to be politics by other means. Finally, it is not a vehicle to redo an election for those with morning-after regrets. Ironically, for those who charge that Trump has compromised the legal system, the same objection can be made over demands for criminal charges or impeachment based on his still undisclosed memo.

Fortunately, there is ample reason to expect answers to these questions. There is a paper trial and witnesses. Moreover, by discussing aspects of these conversations with Comey, Trump has undermined claims of privilege and has made it easier for Comey to speak to Congress. However, absent tapes, this could well end up as a “he said, he said” dispute.

These men were obviously not fond of each other. Comey reportedly said that Trump was “outside the realm of normal” and possibly “crazy.” Trump has called Comey a “showboat” and equally disdainful remarks. Whether it is a memorandum for record or a diary entry, one-sided accounts of conversations generally fall short of compelling evidence with this type of history of tension.

For all of these reasons, we need to move beyond the hyperventilated pronouncements of criminal conduct or impeachable offenses based on this memo. This conversation in the Oval Office is a valid matter of concern and worthy of further investigation. It is not proof of an impeachable offense any more than it is proof of a crime.


Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. He testified during the Clinton impeachment and serves as the lead defense counsel in the last impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate for Judge Thomas Porteous.

_________________
Even so, never go to a gunfight without a gun and, if you intend to win, never go to a religious war without religion. You'll lose.
tomkratman.com


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:59 pm 
Offline
Sergeant Major

Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:19 pm
Posts: 23940
Reputation points: 16681
Interesting legal side of it.

Half of Washington has a hard-on for impeachment since the second Tuesday in November.

Don't forget, Trump is not a lawyer. Stuff like this, if it happened the way Comey suggests is just business. He does need to take a Law 101 course. :lol:

Compare this to Bill Clinton's ethically challenged meeting with Lynch where he made sure there were no tapes or note-taking.

_________________
I haven't figured out how to the block thingy works but if anyone alters my posts I will become really, really angry and throw monkey poop out of my cage.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 4:54 pm 
Offline
Corporal

Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:31 am
Posts: 870
Reputation points: 2591
Law 101 will help, but that is not the root of the problem. Politics 101 is what the guy needs. Just goes to show that making a quadrazillion enemies is NOT how you become an effective president, let alone policy maker. With his political style he is reaping what he is sowing.

What a waste.....


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:03 pm 
Offline
Staff Sergeant

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:07 pm
Posts: 3130
Reputation points: 4269
It was predicted many times during the race. He could very well be the death of the attempt to take back control of this country from the elites. He's too big a target.. they don't know where to shoot him first. I'm starting to wonder if impeachment wouldn't be better.... Let Pence have a go at pleasing the base... I bet he could do a better job...

It's almost to the point where I wonder if Trump is looking for a way out... resignation... back to Florida probably looks pretty good to him at this point... It's actually not a bad strategy... let them be the bad guys for making a martyr out of him... Sorry folks ... I tried... I really really tried...It was going to be terrific.... but look what they did to me...

_________________
"You can always spot the fool. He's the one that's sure he's right."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:38 pm 
Offline
Sergeant Major

Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:19 pm
Posts: 23940
Reputation points: 16681
Doesn't seem like Trump is ready to give up yet.

_________________
I haven't figured out how to the block thingy works but if anyone alters my posts I will become really, really angry and throw monkey poop out of my cage.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:53 pm 
Offline
Sergeant Major
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:50 pm
Posts: 26936
Location: West coast of the east coast
Reputation points: 16223
So they just named former FBI head Robert Mueller as a "Special Counsel" for the Russia investigation.


I predict that millions will be spent and the end result will be much ado about nothing

_________________
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.
- misattributed to Alexis De Tocqueville

No representations made as to the accuracy of info in posted news articles or links


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 8:47 pm 
Offline
Sergeant

Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:48 pm
Posts: 2607
Reputation points: 7266
If Trump attempted to strong arm Comey, as is now being claimed, why didn't Comey report the "impeachable offense" immediately?

Trump didn't fire Comey because he wouldn't play ball and lay off Flynn. Of all the reasons to fire Comey I can't imagine that would even be in the top 10. Comey looked ridiculous when he asked us to go back in time with him to October. I had assumed he was honest but lacked good judgement. But he looked unprofessional and ridiculous when he testified and then had to correct his testimony. I lost confidence in him after that. The president can be a dufus. It's not OK for the head of the FBI.

_________________
Image


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:39 pm 
Offline
Sergeant Major

Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:19 pm
Posts: 23940
Reputation points: 16681
I was initially opposed to the Special Counsel idea because of the unlimited budget and endless investigation angle but it is almost worth it just so we don't have to listen Elijah Cummings any more...or Adam Schiff :lol:

Let's hope the Deputy AG had the sense to secure a mandate to investigate the leaks and the politically motivated unmasking.

_________________
I haven't figured out how to the block thingy works but if anyone alters my posts I will become really, really angry and throw monkey poop out of my cage.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:19 am 
Offline
First Sergeant

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:49 pm
Posts: 9235
Reputation points: 14573
Image

_________________
"Stay deplorable my friends"


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: The Comey memo offers no proof for impeachment of Trump
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:39 am 
Online
Hair in the soap
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:46 am
Posts: 17691
Reputation points: 14634
C_S wrote:
Image




:lol:

_________________
..
.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: NefariousKoel and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group