Posted tagged ‘2016 elections and Comey’

It Was the Deep State that Colluded with the Russians, not Trump

September 24, 2017

It Was the Deep State that Colluded with the Russians, not Trump, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, September 24, 2017

(Lots of questions that require answers. — DM)

With each leak of his conduct – designed, I suppose, by his team to terrify honest men into lying to redeem the special counsel’s misbegotten efforts — Mueller looks more and more like a petrified enlistee in  the secretive repressive state force — the Stasi — as the wall is coming down and their conduct made public.

************************************

As more and more leaks about the ongoing “Russian collusion” witch hunt by Robert Mueller appear in print, it seems to me that if Russia had been trying to erode our faith in our institutions, the Deep State is accomplishing what Russia failed to do.

The Obama claque’s efforts were initially intended to help Clinton when they thought she would win and no one would know about their crimes. Then they continued the unlawful spying to cover up their role in the worst case of misuse of federal power in our history, to effect the removal or emasculation of the President, and now they are desperate to cover up their illegal actions when all that failed.

A. Where we are today on “Russian collusion”?

Instapundit tweeted the answer succinctly: “The election was hacked!” turns out to mean, “Russia bought some ads on Facebook.”

Facebook is turning over ads presumably purchased by Russians during the campaign. Good — let’s see them. As the article notes:

The announcement that Facebook would share the ads with the Senate and House intelligence committees came after the social network spent two weeks on the defensive. The company faced calls for greater transparency about 470 Russia-linked accounts  — in which fictional people posed as American activists — which were taken down after they had promoted inflammatory messages on divisive issues. Facebook had previously angered congressional staff by showing only a sample of the ads, some of which attacked Hillary Clinton or praised Donald J. Trump.

As Tom Maguire reminds us, it would be unwise to assume this was a one-sided campaign: “Let’s see all the ads and find out whether Russia was winding up both sides. Back in the day it was believed Russia backed anti-fracking groups in Europe. Why not also in the US?”

Best of the Web’s James Freeman thinks that, in any case, the notion that these ads swung the election is ridiculous on its face:

So the spending on fake Russian political ads identified by Facebook amounted to around 1/7,000th of what Mrs. Clinton spent on advertising. And of course these fake ad buys were not material in the context of Facebook’s total advertising revenues, which amounted to nearly $27 billion last year.

Is a $150,000 ad buy even big enough to require sign-off from Mr. Putin? If as some believe, Russian meddling was simply intended to discredit the likely winner, some poor Russian agent may now be headed to Siberia for engineering the election of a U.S. President who seems determined to drive down the price of oil.

Let’s hope Congress gets to the bottom of this. If $150,000 amounts to the entire iceberg, and it still managed to sink the S.S. Clinton, marketing majors will be studying these ads for years to come.

B. Using the Full Force of FISA to spy on a political opponent

Obama has a long history of spying on his opponents and releasing information damaging to them. It’s a lifelong pattern. He got two opponents’ sealed divorce records unsealed in order to use unsubstantiated claims in pleadings by estranged spouses against them. As President, he continued this practice. By way of example, the Obama Administration did that with IRS, collecting information about the activities and donors of conservative and pro-Israel citizen groups while it refused to grant them the tax-exempt status to which they were entitled. The EPA collected private information from farmers and ranchers and released it to environmental groups to help them in their battles against those farmers and ranchers. There’s no reason to suppose that this pattern didn’t carry over to the 2016 election, and plenty of evidence that it did. As Sharyl Attkisson points out, they did it with reporters and Congressmen.

Nobody wants our intel agencies to be used like the Stasi in East Germany; the secret police spying on its own citizens for political purposes. The prospect of our own NSA, CIA and FBI becoming politically weaponized has been shrouded by untruths, accusations and justifications.

You’ll recall DNI Clapper falsely assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”

Intel agencies secretly monitored conversations of members of Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.

In 2014, the CIA got caught spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, though CIA Director John Brennan had explicitly denied that.

There were also wiretaps on then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in 2011 under Obama. The same happened under President George W. Bush to former Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.).

Journalists have been targeted, too. [snip]

The government subsequently got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press, and, as I allege in a federal lawsuit, my computers while I worked as an investigative correspondent at CBS News.

As Attkisson reminds us, other Trump associates General Michael Flynn and Carter Page were also under government surveillance. As bad as that was, it was ”discovered [that] multiple Trump “transition officials” were “incidentally” captured during government surveillance of a foreign official. We know this because former Obama adviser Susan Rice reportedly admitted “unmasking,” or asking to know the identities of, the officials. Spying on U.S. citizens is considered so sensitive their names are supposed to be hidden or “masked,” even inside the government, to protect their privacy.”

She also specifically unmasked Steve Bannon, who met in the transition period with a UAE official so it’s altogether possible they were spying on him generallyas well.

If so, that would mean that four Trump associates had been spied on, multiplying the number of conversations with the President these people were listening in on.

Even more “unmasking”– revealing the names of those innocents scooped up in this broad surveillance — about 300 people had their privacy violated when the dyspeptic-looking UN Ambassador Samantha Power was revealed to have made almost one unmasking request a day, rapidly adding to the list as the inauguration approached.

Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 — and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.

Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.

C. The FISA Court surely was misled in order to get information to surveil and to continue surveilling Trump and his associates.

FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) permits blunderbuss intelligence gathering. It’s not designed to gather information on crimes in general, but only to act as a tool of counterintelligence or counterterrorism. And it certainly would be suspicious if efforts were made to misuse it to conduct domestic political spying. There’s only one legitimate reason to conduct surveillance on a U.S. citizen under FISA — to find out more about the activities of a foreign power or terrorist organization. Since in the process of scooping up so much information, other matters might be revealed, “minimization” procedures are used to mask the identities of those caught up in the sweep who are not involved in such activities.

CNN reported — with some obvious omissions and errors of law — that former FBI director James Comey secured secret FISA orders to wiretap Paul Manafort, who briefly served as Trump’s campaign manager, and that having received nothing from that order, then secured another FISA warrant in 2016 (after Manafort joined the Trump campaign) and continued that surveillance into 2017, after the election.

Further, CNN reported that two attempts were made in the summer of 2016 to obtain a FISA order, both of which were rejected, and an order was issued only after the third try. FISA rarely rejects such requests, so I think it fair to assume the court was suspicious of these requests, which smelled like political, not national security matters. I think it almost a certainty that the final request received the personal imprimatur of Comey (as Director of the FBI) and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

And what, you may ask, was different about the third and ultimately successful third attempt? I suggest it was the phony Steele dossier, which credible reports indicate was partially financed by Comey’s own FBI.

The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation took a sharp and notable turn on Tuesday, as news broke that it had subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for information relating to the infamous Trump “Dossier.” That Dossier, whose allegations appear to have been fabricated, was commissioned by the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and then developed by a former British spook named Christopher Steele. [Ed: Sources for the most scurrilous allegations in it were from unnamed sources in Russia, most likely Russian government intelligence agents or liars working on a pay for dirt basis.]

The Washington Post in February reported that Mr. Steele “was familiar” to the FBI, since he’d worked for the bureau before. The newspaper said Mr. Steele had reached out to a “friend” at the FBI about his Trump work as far back as July 2016. The Post even reported that Mr. Steele “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.”

Who was Mr. Steele’s friend at the FBI? Did the bureau influence the direction of the Trump dossier? Did it give Mr. Steele material support from the start? The timing matters because it could answer the vital question of why the FBI wanted the dossier. Here’s one thought: warrants.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees spying activities, is usually generous in approving warrants, on the presumption law-enforcement agencies are acting in good faith. When a warrant is rejected, though, law enforcement isn’t pleased.

Perhaps the FBI wanted to conduct surveillance on someone connected to a presidential campaign (Carter Page?) but couldn’t hit what was — and ought to be — a supremely high bar for getting such a potentially explosive warrant. A dossier of nefarious allegations might well prove handy in finally convincing the FISA court to sign off. The FBI might have had a real motive to support Mr. Steele’s effort. It might have even justified the unjustifiable: working with a partisan oppo-research firm and a former spook to engineer a Kremlin-planted dossier that has roiled Mr. Trump’s entire presidency.

True Pundit claims that FBI connivance with GPS Fusion to create the dossier was not all it did to secure the final 2016 FISA warrant — it also set up a meeting in Trump Tower and used information gleaned from Britain’s GCHQ in NSA headquarters to unlawfully gather information on U.S. citizens.

From the beginning it was a set up to find dirt on Trump campaign insiders and if possible to topple Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations.

Before and after the 2016 election. And while this operation had many moving parts and alternating players, the mission to unseat Trump never changed. And it remains ongoing.

And none of it was very legal.

[snip]

Six U.S. agencies [the FBI, NSA, CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury financial crimes division under DHS, Justice Department]created a stealth task force, spearhead by CIA’s Brennan, to run domestic surveillance on Trump associates and possibly Trump himself.

To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ.

The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates.

GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates.

[snip]

The Justice Department and FBI set up the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner with controversial Russian officials to make Trump’s associates appear compromised.

Following the Trump Tower sit down, GCHQ began digitally wiretapping Manafort, Trump Jr., and Kushner.

After the concocted meeting by the Deep State, the British spy agency could officially justify wiretapping Trump associates as an intelligence front for NSA because the Russian lawyer at the meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was considered an international security risk and prior to the June sit down was not even allowed entry into the United States or the UK, federal sources said.

By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant. While it is illegal for U.S. agencies to monitor phones and emails of U.S. citizens inside the United States absent a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to do so. Even if the GCHQ was tapping Trump on U.S. soil at Fort Meade.

The wiretaps, secured through illicit scheming, have been used by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, even though the evidence is considered “poisoned fruit.”

Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who spearheaded the Trump Tower meeting with the Trump campaign trio, was previously barred from entering the United Sates due to her alleged connections to the Russian FSB (the modern replacement of the cold-war-era KGB).

Yet mere days before the June meeting, Veselnitskaya was granted a rare visa to enter the United States from Preet Bharara, the then U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York. Bharara could not be reached for comment and did not respond the a Twitter inquiry on the Russian’s visa by True Pundit.

(More on the unusual visa granted to Veselnitskaya here. More on GCHQ operating from NSA headquarters here.)

In July, Bharara’s former associate US Attorney Andrew Goldstein was added to Mueller’s army of largely Clinton backers and contributors to the special counsel’s enormous team.

In sum, the contention by True Pundit is that the government first spied on Trump and then concocted a national security ruse and desperately sought a FISA warrant to cover up the political spying which occurred before the FISA warrant was ever issued.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal also suspect that the dossier was used to obtain the FISA warrant, and, if so, that requires a congressional investigation:

The FISA court sets a high bar for warrants on U.S. citizens, and presumably even higher for wiretapping a presidential campaign. Did Mr. Comey’s FBI marshal the Steele dossier to persuade the court?

All of this is reason for House and Senate investigators to keep exploring how Mr. Comey’s FBI was investigating both presidential campaigns. Russian meddling is a threat to democracy but so was the FBI if it relied on Russian disinformation to eavesdrop on a presidential campaign. The Justice Department and FBI have stonewalled Congressional requests for documents and interviews, citing the “integrity” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But Mr. Mueller is not investigating the FBI, and in any event his ties to the bureau and Mr. Comey make him too conflicted for such a job. Congress is charged with providing oversight of law enforcement and the FISA courts, and it has an obligation to investigate their role in 2016. The intelligence committees have subpoena authority and the ability to hold those who don’t cooperate in contempt.

I agree with Daniel Greenfield. Based on what I’ve read and observed, while the initial surveillance was to stop Trump and help Clinton, Obama used FISA to provide a “national security” cover for politically spying on Trump right up to the inauguration. As he notes, the first 2016 application was made the month after Trump obtained the nomination and the second in October, the month before the election.

As the unmasking picked up pace after the election, the reasonable assumption is that its purpose was to undo the results of the election or hamstring the incoming President.

Now Obama and his allies are or should be terrified that the scope of the illegal surveillance is revealing their criminal acts.

This is why I believe Mueller is growing increasingly desperate to find one crime by one person he can force by threat of jail to provide any shred of anything that might be used to justify their illegal espionage. Greenfield’s conclusion is apt: “The left is sitting on the biggest crime committed by a sitting president. The only way to cover it up is to destroy his Republican successor. A turning point in history is here. If Obama goes down, the left will go down with him. If his coup succeeds, then America ends.”

Why do I say that Mueller seems increasingly desperate? How else does one explain a middle-of-the-night pick-lock armed entry (and the search of his bedclothes-garbed wife) into the home of a man who by all accounts had been fully cooperating and turning over all requested documents? How else to explain requesting a court grant such a necessary special warrant on the ground that otherwise documents evincing a purported eleven-year-old crime would suddenly be destroyed? How else to explain the effort by Mueller to find out client information from the Skadden Arps and Akin Gump law firms, materials probably covered by attorney-client privilege? With each leak of his conduct – designed, I suppose, by his team to terrify honest men into lying to redeem the special counsel’s misbegotten efforts — Mueller looks more and more like a petrified enlistee in  the secretive repressive state force — the Stasi — as the wall is coming down and their conduct made public.

Was it a Hack or a Leak? (4)

September 1, 2017

Was it a Hack or a Leak? (4), Power LineScott Johnson, September 1, 2017

(Didn’t AG Sessions recuse himself? — DM)

“This entire business with Comey setting in motion the steps to get a special counsel named has not been sufficiently investigated. And this story makes it clear that the FBI was lackluster when it came to investigating the DNC. What is Attorney General Sessions doing?”

***************************

We have followed the argument presented by Patrick Lawrence in the Nation asserting that the alleged Russian hack of the DNC email was rather an inside job. Lawrence explored the findings of the analysis supporting the thesis Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians in July 2016, but rather suffered an insider leak. Lawrence’s article is here; the most recent report with the analysis summarized by Lawrence is here. The analysis has been promoted by dissident former intelligence officials gathered under the umbrella of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Lawrence’s long article in the Nation called for a response of some kind by proponents of the Russia hacking conspiracy theory, but it has been greeted mostly by silence. I am not aware of any analysis directly disputing VIPS.

Since the publication of Lawrence’s long article in the NationThe VIPS analysis has been taken up by Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg View and by Danielle Ryan at Salon. The DNC itself responded to Lawrence’s article:

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian government hacked the DNC in an attempt to interfere in the election. Any suggestion otherwise is false and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration. It’s unfortunate that The Nation has decided to join the conspiracy theorists to push this narrative.

Ryan rightly commented that the statement “is so lackluster it is almost laughable[.]” Students of logical fallacy may recognize both the argument from authority and the ad hominem in the three-sentence DNC statement. That is pathetic.

Philadelphia attorney George Parry takes up the VIPS analysis in his Philly.com column “Will special counsel Mueller examine the DNC server, source of the great Russiagate caper?” Parry prefaces his account of the VIPS analysis with a useful reminder of the origin story:

Much to the embarrassment of Hillary Clinton, the released [DNC email] files showed that the DNC had secretly collaborated with her campaign to promote her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination over that of Bernie Sanders. Clearly, the Clinton campaign needed to lessen the political damage. Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s public relations chief, said in a Washington Post essay in March that she worked assiduously during the Democratic nominating convention to “get the press to focus on … the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary.”

Thus was laid the cornerstone of the Trump-Russia-collusion conspiracy theory.

Since then, the mainstream media have created a climate of hysteria in which this unsubstantiated theory has been conjured into accepted truth. This has resulted in investigations by Congress and a special counsel into President Trump, his family, and his campaign staff for supposed collusion with the Russians.

But in their frenzied coverage, the media have downplayed the very odd behavior of the DNC, the putative target of the alleged hack. For, when the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI learned of the hacking claim, they asked to examine the server. The DNC refused. Without explanation, it continues to deny law enforcement access to its server.

Why would the purported victim of a crime refuse to cooperate with law enforcement in solving that crime? Is it hiding something? Is it afraid the server’s contents will discredit the Russia-hacking story?

Parry also provides a good summary of the VIPS analysis. A friend comments and concludes with one more good question: “This entire business with Comey setting in motion the steps to get a special counsel named has not been sufficiently investigated. And this story makes it clear that the FBI was lackluster when it came to investigating the DNC. What is Attorney General Sessions doing?”

 

Loretta Lynch, Swamp Thing

June 10, 2017

Loretta Lynch, Swamp Thing, American ThinkerDaniel John Sobieski, June 10, 2016

(Please see also OPINION: The damaging case against James Comey. — DM)

Arguably, the most interesting part of the testimony of James Comey, the cowardly lion of the criminal justice system, before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday is not that President Trump was cleared of even a scintilla of corruption and obstruction of justice but that President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, is up to her eyeballs in both. As the Daily Caller reports:

Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general under Barack Obama, pressured former FBI Director James Comey to downplay the Clinton email server investigation and only refer to it as a “matter,” Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Comey said that when he asked Lynch if she was going to authorize him to confirm the existence of the Clinton email investigation, her answer was, “Yes, but don’t call it that. Call it a matter.” When Comey asked why, he said, Lynch wouldn’t give him an explanation. “Just call it a matter,” she said….

Earlier in his testimony, Comey said Lynch instructed Comey not to call the criminal investigation into the Clinton server a criminal investigation. Instead, Lynch told Comey to call it a “matter,” Comey said, “which confused me.”

Comey cited that pressure from Lynch to downplay the investigation as one of the reasons he held a press conference to recommend the Department of Justice not seek to indict Clinton.

Comey also cited Lynch’s secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton as a reason he chose to hold the press conference, he said, as he was concerned about preserving the independence of the FBI.

This is far worse than President Trump asking Comey in a private conversation to wrap up the Flynn investigation after Flynn was dismissed as National Security Adviser. This was a direct order by Comey’s immediate superior to align his rhetoric with the Clinton campaign spin. This is what Comey did, calling it a “matter” and not a criminal investigation, which is the only thing the FBI does. Couple this submissive compliance to an order to help the Clinton campaign with their spin with the meeting on the tarmac between Lunch and Bill Clinton, the husband of the target of that criminal investigation, and you have an obvious case for charging Lynch with obstruction of justice.

If Comey was concerned about preserving the integrity of the FBI, he wouldn’t have leaked the memo of his private conversation with President Trump to the New York Times through a third party. That memo, prepared on a government computer by a government employee on government time, is the property of the U.S. government and the U.S. taxpayer. Its unauthorized dissemination is a clear violation of the Federal Records Act and executive privilege. Comey was charged to find leakers, not be the leaker-in-chief.

Just as he didn’t have the authority to leak the memo, he didn’t have the authority to go before the American people and declare that the multiple felonies committed by Hilary Clinton while she was Secretary of State were not prosecutable due to lack of intent. Not only was he wrong on the law, which does not require intent, but his job is to gather evidence not to recommend prosecution or not. If Comey wanted to preserve the independence of the FBI, he wouldn’t have held the press conference giving Hillary Clinton a pass. He would have thrown the evidence on Lynch’s desk and told her to do her job. He bailed both Clinton and Lynch out and gave the Clinton campaign a boost.

Lynch ordered Comey to drop the word “investigation.” Did she also order him to drop the investigation itself and take the hit for doing so? Questions still remain as to why Comey did not attend the final Clinton interview, why the interview was not recorded, why Clinton was not under oath, and why obvious follow-up questions were not asked. It would seem that Comey, perhaps at the order of Lynch, was doing everything that would benefit the Clinton campaign.

Let us not forget another example of the tangled web woven between the FBI and the Clinton campaign — the relationship between Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. As Caherine Herridge of Fox News reported:

A top FBI official who came under scrutiny last year over his wife’s campaign contributions from a Hillary Clinton ally did not list those 2015 donations or his wife’s salary in financial disclosure forms, according to records reviewed by Fox News.

The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe left the box blank for wife Dr. Jill McCabe’s salary, as a doctor with Commonwealth Emergency Physicians. And there is no documentation of the hundreds of thousands of campaign funds she received in her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate race.

As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Clinton confidant and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged McCabe’s wife to run for statewide office shortly after news reports were published that Hillary Clinton used a private email server and address for all her government business while serving as secretary of State.

For the reporting period of October through November 2015, McCabe’s campaign filings show she received $467,500 from Common Good VA, a political action committee controlled by McAuliffe, as well as an additional $292,500 from a second Democratic PAC.

Well, isn’t that special? This is the swamp President Trump wants to drain. Let us also deal with Swamp Thing — Loretta Lynch.

Remember that Comey’s exoneration of Hillary came just days after Lynch met with Bill on the tarmac. Can you say “collusion” and “obstruction of justice”? The June 27, 2016 tarmac meeting on Lynch’s plane in Phoenix itself, in the light of Comey’s admission of Lynch’s pressure on him, is worthy of a special prosecutor all unto itself:, a fact not lost on Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton:

Lynch was caught off guard when a local Phoenix reporter asked her about the meeting at a press conference. She claimed at the time the discussion with the former President, which lasted 30 minutes, was simply about golf and grandchildren. After Hillary Clinton lost the White House to Donald Trump in November, Lynch said the meeting was regrettable.

“The infamous tarmac meeting between President Clinton and AG Lynch is a vivid example of why many Americans believe the Obama administration’s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton was rigged,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement about the new lawsuit. “Now it will be up to Attorney General Sessions at the Trump Justice Department to finally shed some light on this subversion of justice.”

Let’s hope so. Let’s hope this DOJ will focus on real crimes and real obstruction of justice. It may turn out that Loretta Lynch and James Comey interfered in the 2016 election more than Vladimir Putin could even have dreamed of.

Winners and Losers from Comey Hearing

June 9, 2017

inners and Losers from Comey Hearing, BreitbartTony Lee, June 9, 2017

The mainstream media, left-wing Democrats, and “Never Trump” Republicans all breathlessly hoped for weeks that former FBI director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee would be the beginning of the end of President Donald Trump’s presidency.

Mainstream media cable networks like CNN had countdown clocks. Broadcast networks covered the hearing as if it would go down as one of the most seminal events in the history of the country. “Never Trump” Republicans were getting ready to be used as the mainstream media’s useful idiots and get their predictable television hits and quotes in mainstream media publications. Left-wing Democrats were dreaming of drafting articles of impeachment. They lionized Comey as their hero who would help them destroy Trump once and for all.

Not so fast.

After nearly three hours of testimony, Comey established that Trump did not collude with Russia and, as Breitbart’s Joel Pollak pointed out, “all but destroyed any hope Democrats had for bringing a case of obstruction of justice.”

The press and anti-Trump forces on the left and right were still hoping for “new information” that would destroy Trump. But to their surprise—and chagrin—the only new bits of information Comey revealed actually made Comey, the mainstream press, and Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton and then-President Barack Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch, look bad before a captivated national audience.

In the end, Comey, Democrats, Never Trumpers, and the mainstream press turned out be losers while Trump, especially because the mainstream media so overhyped the hearing, emerged as the victor.

LOSERS:

Mainstream Media

NBC’s Chuck Todd set the table on Sunday for the mainstream media’s breathless coverage, predicting that Comey’s testimony “may well join those rare historic moments when the whole country stops to watch. Think Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954. Watergate hearings in 1973. Oliver North’s testimony in the Iran Contra hearings in 1987, and of course Anita Hill at the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991.”

But the media got the sense that Comey’s testimony would be a dud for them on Wednesday when Comey released his introductory statement in which he confirmed Trump’s account that Comey had told Trump on multiple occasions that the President was not under FBI investigation.

Before, during, and after Comey’s testimony, the mainstream press looked as deflated as Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James did after Golden State’s Kevin Durant drained a go-ahead pull-up three-pointer in the waning moments of game three of the NBA Finals on Wednesday evening.

Trump felt “vindicated” by Comey’s introductory remarks, which may be why Comey conveniently decided not to read them before a captivated national audience.

“I’ve submitted my statement for the record, and I’m not going to repeat it here this morning,” he said.

Comey, though, revealed some information that further discredited the mainstream press that had deliberately ginned up talk of impeachment. They did so by using stories based solely on anonymous sources and double hearsay—some of which have since been discredited.

The former FBI director told Senators that the New York Times’ February 14 article, based on four anonymous sources, that suggested Trump’s campaign possibly colluded with Russians a year before the 2016 presidential campaign was “not true.”

Sen. James Risch (R-ID) pointed out that after the story’s publication, Comey “sought out both Republican and Democrat senators to tell them that, hey, I don’t know where this is coming from, but this is not the case. This is not factual.”

“In the main, it was not true,” Comey said of the story. “And again, all of you know this. Maybe the American people don’t. The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information, is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on, and going on are not talking about it. We don’t call the press to say, hey, you don’t that thing wrong about the sensitive topic. We have to leave it there.”

Comey said there were many more mainstream media articles about the FBI’s Russia investigation, based on anonymous sources, that were “dead wrong.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) asked Comey: “Have there been news accounts about the Russian investigation or collusion about the whole event or as you read the story you were wrong about how wrong they got the facts?”

“Yes, there have been many, many stories based on — well, lots of stuff but about Russia that are dead wrong,” Comey responded.

On Wednesday, ABC and CNN falsely reported, based on their anonymous sources, that Comey would dispute Trump’s claim that Comey told him he was never under investigation. When he fired Comey, Trump wrote: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

Before Comey released his introductory remarks, CNN’s Gloria Borger claimed “Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation.” CNN, citing an anonymous source, reported that Comey would “refute” Trump during his testimony and “say he never assured Donald Trump that he was not under investigation, that that would have been improper for him to do so.” CNN then had to issue this embarrassing correction:

CORRECTION AND UPDATE: This article was published before Comey released his prepared opening statement. The article and headline have been corrected to reflect that Comey does not directly dispute that Trump was told multiple times he was not under investigation in his prepared testimony released after this story was published.

In addition, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) pointed out that the only bit of information that the Deep State did not leak to the mainstream press was the fact that Trump was not under investigation.

Comey also revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch pressured him into misleading the public about the FBI’s “investigation” of Hillary Clinton’s emails. And yet, the mainstream media never dug enough to report that bit of inconvenient news.

James Comey

Comey’s surprising revelation that he orchestrated the leaking of his “contemporaneous” memo to the mainstream media raised more questions than answers.

When Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) asked Comey if he showed his memos to anyone outside the Justice Department, Comey matter-of-factly revealed that he asked his friend to leak his memo to the mainstream media.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. Didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons,” he said. “I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. I asked a close friend to do it.”

Comey revealed that his “close friend” is a professor at Columbia law school. Reporters later determined that that person is Daniel Richman. Richmond’s Columbia University bio states that he “is currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.”

“I asked—the president tweeted on Friday after I got fired that I better hope there’s not tapes,” Comey stated. “I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn’t dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might a tape. My judgement was, I need to get that out into the public square.”

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said he found “Comey’s admission to be deeply troubling from a professional and ethical standpoint.”

“Would Director Comey have approved such a rule for FBI agents?” he asked. “Thus, an agent can prepare a memo during office hours on an FBI computer about a meeting related to his service . . . but leak that memo to the media. The Justice Department has long defined what constitutes government documents broadly.”

He added that “it is not clear if Comey had the documents reviewed for classification at the confidential level or confirmed that they would be treated as entirely private property. What is clear is that he did not clear the release of the memos with anyone in the government.”

“Comey’s statement of a good motivation does not negate the concerns over his chosen means of a leak. Moreover, the timing of the leak most clearly benefited Comey not the cause of a Special Counsel,” Turley added. “It was clear at that time that a Special Counsel was likely. More importantly, Comey clearly understood that these memos would be sought. That leads inevitably to the question of both motivation as well as means.” There are also questions about whether Comey may have lied under oath about when he actually leaked his own memo.

Comey, after accusing Trump of lying about and defaming the FBI, also tried to paint Trump as a serial liar.

“I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document,” he said. “That combination of things I had never experienced before, but had led me to believe I got to write it down and write it down in a very detailed way.”

He added, “my common sense, again I could be wrong, but my common sense told me what’s going on here is, he’s looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job.”

But the bottom line is on the most important point—whether Comey told Trump on multiple occasions that he was not under investigation—Trump was telling the truth all along, even though mainstream media outlets like the Associated Press did everything to make American doubt Trump.

Obama Administration/Loretta Lynch

Comey’s testimony revealed that there may be just as many—if not more—questions surrounding the Obama administration regarding possible malfeasance.

When asked if former President Bill Clinton’s infamous tarmac meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch led him to go public with the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Comey said, “yes,” adding that the incident was conclusively “the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the justice department.”

Comey later revealed that he felt “queasy” when Lynch “had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me, but that was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.”

“I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way it was describing that,” he said. “It was inaccurate. We had an investigation open for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we had an investigation open at the time. That gave me a queasy feeling.”

Even CNN’s Chris Cilizza had to begrudgingly admit that Loretta Lynch “is having a surprisingly bad day in the Comey testimony.”

Loretta Lynch is having a surprisingly bad day in the Comey testimony

 As Breitbart’s John Hayward noted, the “big takeaway from the Comey hearing” may have been the “urgent need to investigate Loretta Lynch, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton for obstruction.”

Big takeaway from the Comey hearing: urgent need to investigate Loretta Lynch, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton for obstruction

 Left-wing Democrats and Never Trumpers

Liberals and left-wing activists in places like San Francisco reportedly took the day off of work to attend various “viewing parties.

As soon as Trump fired Comey, the usual “Never Trump” suspects like Ana Navarro, Jennifer Rubin, and Max Boot immediately started floating the idea of “impeachment.” Boot predicted that “if Democrats take control of Congress in 2018, the firing of Comey will form one of the articles of impeachment.” Rubin added that “House R’s should consider: Either a special pros/select committee now or impeachment if D’s take House.”

But it was a bad day for Democrats and Never Trumpers looking to ramp up their impeachment demands.

Even MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had to concede that Comey’s testimony revealed that there is no case to be made that Trump colluded with the Russians.

And as Breitbart’s Pollak pointed out, Comey’s exchange with Risch destroyed their hopes of bringing an “obstruction of justice” against Trump. Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz also declared that there is “no plausible case” that Trump obstructed justice. In his memo, Comey recalled that Trump told him, “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.”

As Risch pointed out, Comey may have “taken it as direction but that’s not” exactly what Trump said:

RISCH: You may have taken it as a direction but that’s not what he said.

COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: He said, I hope.

COMEY: Those are his exact words, correct.

RISCH: You don’t know of anyone ever being charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?

COMEY: I don’t as I sit here.

Having no case for impeachment after Comey’s Thursday testimony, it is not surprising that there has was not a peep about impeachment from left-wing Democrats like Rep. Maxine “Get Ready for Impeachment” Waters (D-CA). Instead, Waters was railing against Wall Street. Mainstream media journalists were complaining about Trump’s character, mendacity, and temperament. Showing her Trump Derangement Syndrome, Rubin, though, continued to bring up potential impeachment.

Senators confused if they think only spec pros decides if Comey or Trump truthful. House in impeachment and Senate in trial must decide

“The saturation of Watergate analogies in the media however seems wildly detached from either the actual testimony or history. If Watergate was a cancer growing on the presidency, this is still little more than a canker sore — not great to look at but hardly life threatening,” Turley continued. “It could get worse but what Comey described in his testimony was boorish and even brutish but not necessarily an indictable or impeachable offense. Article I is not a book of etiquette for presidents. If Trump said these things to Comey, they are incredibly improper and ill-advised. Yet, the Nixon comparison works in favor of the position of Trump more than it does Comey.”

WINNER: PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

Is he getting tired of winning yet?

Liberal anchors like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews conceded that there is no case for collusion. Comey’s exchange with Risch will make it difficult to bring an “obstruction of justice” against Trump. It turned out that Comey initiated the first one-on-one meeting with Trump during the transition period.

During his testimony, Comey reiterated that Trump never asked him to stop the FBI’s Russia investigation and was never under investigation in the first place. He also revealed that it is normal for foreign governments to reach out to officials in the incoming administration. He vindicated Trump’s claims about the “fake news” mainstream media. He reminded Americans that “the law required no reason at all” for Trump to fire an FBI director.

Comey testified that he was “confident” that no votes in the 2016 presidential election were altered. “When I left as director I had seen no indication of that whatsoever,” he said.

The bottom line is the media hyped Comey’s hearing so much that Trump would have emerged as the winner so long as Comey didn’t have a “smoking gun” or dropped a “bombshell” that proved Trump colluded with the Russians.

Though Trump reportedly decided the night before Comey’s testimony that he would not live-tweet rebuttals, the fact that he did not feel compelled to tweet during Comey’s testimony said it all. It turns out that when it came to the most important points, Trump did not have much to rebut.

Trump ends remarks on Comey Day without mentioning the word “Comey” or directly referencing the testimony.

History, Precedent and Comey Statement Show that Trump Did Not Obstruct Justice

June 8, 2017

History, Precedent and Comey Statement Show that Trump Did Not Obstruct Justice, Gatestone InstituteAlan M. Dershowitz, June 8, 2017

Comey has also acknowledged that the president had the constitutional authority to fire him for any or no cause. President Donald Trump also had the constitutional authority to order Comey to end the investigation of Flynn. He could have pardoned Flynn, as Bush pardoned Weinberger, thus ending the Flynn investigation, as Bush ended the Iran-Contra investigation. What Trump could not do is what Nixon did: direct his aides to lie to the FBI, or commit other independent crimes. There is no evidence that Trump did that.

*************************

The statement may provide political ammunition to Trump opponents, but unless they are willing to stretch James Comey’s words and take Trump’s out of context, and unless they are prepared to abandon important constitutional principles and civil liberties that protect us all, they should not be searching for ways to expand already elastic criminal statutes and shrink enduring constitutional safeguards in a dangerous and futile effort to criminalize political disagreements.

The first casualty of partisan efforts to “get” a political opponent — whether Republicans going after Clinton or Democrats going after Trump — is often civil liberties. All Americans who care about the Constitution and civil liberties must join together to protest efforts to expand existing criminal law to get political opponents.

Today it is Trump. Yesterday it was Clinton. Tomorrow it could be you.

In 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger and five other individuals who had been indicted or convicted in connection with the Iran-Contra arms deal. The special prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh, was furious, accusing Bush of stifling his ongoing investigation and suggesting that he may have done it to prevent Weinberger or the others from pointing the finger of blame at Bush himself. The New York Times also reported that the investigation might have pointed to Bush himself.

This is what Walsh said:

“The Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed with the pardon of Caspar Weinberger. We will make a full report on our findings to Congress and the public describing the details and extent of this cover-up.”

Yet President Bush was neither charged with obstruction of justice nor impeached. Nor have other presidents who interfered with ongoing investigations or prosecutions been charged with obstruction.

It is true that among the impeachment charges levelled against President Nixon was one for obstructing justice, but Nixon committed the independent crime of instructing his aides to lie to the FBI, which is a violation of section 1001 of the federal criminal code.

It is against the background of this history and precedent that the statement of former FBI Director James must be considered. Comey himself acknowledged that,

“throughout history, some presidents have decided that because ‘problems’ come from Justice, they should try to hold the Department close. But blurring those boundaries ultimately makes the problems worse by undermining public trust in the institutions and their work.”

Comey has also acknowledged that the president had the constitutional authority to fire him for any or no cause. President Donald Trump also had the constitutional authority to order Comey to end the investigation of Flynn. He could have pardoned Flynn, as Bush pardoned Weinberger, thus ending the Flynn investigation, as Bush ended the Iran-Contra investigation. What Trump could not do is what Nixon did: direct his aides to lie to the FBI, or commit other independent crimes. There is no evidence that Trump did that.

With these factors in mind, let’s turn to the Comey statement.

Former FBI Director James Comey’s written statement, which was released in advance of his Thursday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, does not provide evidence that President Trump committed obstruction of justice or any other crime. Indeed it strongly suggests that even under the broadest reasonable definition of obstruction, no such crime was committed.

The crucial conversation occurred in the Oval Office on February 14 between the President and the then director. According to Comey’s contemporaneous memo, the president expressed his opinion that General Flynn “is a good guy.” Comey replied: “He is a good guy.”

The President said the following: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this thing go.”

Comey understood that to be a reference only to the Flynn investigation and not “the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to the campaign.”

Comey had already told the President that “we were not investigating him personally.”

Comey understood “the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.”

Comey did not say he would “let this go,” and indeed he did not grant the president’s request to do so. Nor did Comey report this conversation to the attorney general or any other prosecutor. He was troubled by what he regarded as a breach of recent traditions of FBI independence from the White House, though he recognized that “throughout history, some presidents have decided that because ‘problems’ come from the Department of Justice, they should try to hold the Department close.”

That is an understatement.

Throughout American history — from Adams to Jefferson to Lincoln to Roosevelt to Kennedy to Obama — presidents have directed (not merely requested) the Justice Department to investigate, prosecute (or not prosecute) specific individuals or categories of individuals.

It is only recently that the tradition of an independent Justice Department and FBI has emerged. But traditions, even salutary ones, cannot form the basis of a criminal charge. It would be far better if our constitution provided for prosecutors who were not part of the executive branch, which is under the direction of the president.

In Great Britain, Israel and other democracies that respect the rule of law, the Director of Public Prosecution or the Attorney General are law enforcement officials who, by law, are independent of the Prime Minister.

But our constitution makes the Attorney General both the chief prosecutor and the chief political adviser to the president on matters of justice and law enforcement.

The president can, as a matter of constitutional law, direct the Attorney General, and his subordinate, the Director of the FBI, tell them what to do, whom to prosecute and whom not to prosecute. Indeed, the president has the constitutional authority to stop the investigation of any person by simply pardoning that person.

Assume, for argument’s sake, that the President had said the following to Comey: “You are no longer authorized to investigate Flynn because I have decided to pardon him.” Would that exercise of the president’s constitutional power to pardon constitute a criminal obstruction of justice? Of course not. Presidents do that all the time.

The first President Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, his Secretary of Defense, in the middle of an investigation that could have incriminated Bush. That was not an obstruction and neither would a pardon of Flynn have been a crime. A president cannot be charged with a crime for properly exercising his constitutional authority

For the same reason, President Trump cannot be charged with obstruction for firing Comey, as he had the constitutional authority to do.

The Comey statement suggests that one reason the President fired him was because of his refusal or failure to publicly announce that the FBI was not investigating Trump personally. Trump “repeatedly” told Comey to “get that fact out,” and he did not.

If that is true, it is certainly not an obstruction of justice.

Nor is it an obstruction of justice to ask for loyalty from the director of the FBI, who responded “you will get that (‘honest loyalty’) from me.”

Comey understood that he and the President may have understood that vague phrase — “honest loyalty” — differently. But no reasonable interpretation of those ambiguous words would give rise to a crime. 
 Many Trump opponents were hoping that the Comey statement would provide smoking guns.

It has not.

Instead it has weakened an already weak case for obstruction of justice.

The statement may provide political ammunition to Trump opponents, but unless they are willing to stretch Comey’s words and take Trump’s out of context, and unless they are prepared to abandon important constitutional principles and civil liberties that protect us all, they should not be searching for ways to expand already elastic criminal statutes and shrink enduring constitutional safeguards in a dangerous and futile effort to criminalize political disagreements.

The first casualty of partisan efforts to “get” a political opponent — whether Republicans going after Clinton or Democrats going after Trump — is often civil liberties. All Americans who care about the Constitution and civil liberties must join together to protest efforts to expand existing criminal law to get political opponents.

Today it is Trump. Yesterday it was Clinton. Tomorrow it could be you.

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 3: Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing on the FBI on Capitol Hill May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

 

There’s Nothing About Comey

June 8, 2017

There’s Nothing About Comey, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, June 8, 2017

The FBI, as Comey lays out in a tedious opening that he knows his Democrat admirers will skip over to get to the juicy Trump stuff, was conducting a “counterintelligence investigation” not a criminal investigation. So there was no crime. Nor was the FBI investigating Trump. Nor is Trump being accused of obstructing an FBI investigation. 

All those carefully documented memos, the painstaking labor, amount to absolutely nothing.

But that’s because there was no crime to begin with. The rest is innuendo. The drip drop of a scandal without one ever materializing. Comey’s testimony will be another drop from that leaky faucet. Its only substance is theatrical. Detailed documentation creates the appearance of wrongdoing. Constant hearings maintain the illusion that something is being uncovered. Even when nothing is.

***************************

Never has one man broken more leftist hearts than James Brien Comey Jr.

The 6’8 former FBI director is once again the object of the left’s adoration. “A Beltway dreamboat, handsome as a movie star,” Salon gushes. “Our handsome young FBI director,” Gizmodo flutters its eyelashes. “How tall is James Comey? Tall. Like, really tall,” the Boston Globe coos. 

Now the Beltway dreamboat will be appearing live and in person in the Senate. It’s the biggest show in a big government town. Teenage girls hunting for Justin Bieber tickets have nothing on the media frenzy.

“The Comey Testimony: When, Where and How to Follow,” the New York Times breathlessly posts. As if it’s the World Series instead of awkward exchanges between a resentful lifer government man, Senate Democrats trying to prove that President Trump didn’t win the election and the moon landing was faked, and Senate Republicans trying to get on with the business of running the country.

And the left shouldn’t get too caught up in its new romance with James Comey. Not when his on and off again relationship with the media is Washington’s biggest soap opera.  Comey saved Hillary. Then he got the blame for costing her the election. He was a hero for supposedly investigating Trump. Then his Hillary testimony led to media outrage.  Trump fired him and he became a hero again.

The Washington Post went from “James Comey just stepped in it, big time” to “James Comey, is this man bothering you?”, “20 questions senators should ask James Comey” and “James Comey’s written testimony inspired this playlist” in one month.  Tomorrow it might be, “James Comey, we baked this cake for you.” Or it might be, “James Comey, we hate you and never want to see you again.”

Because James Comey has nothing except resentment at losing a cushy job he wasn’t very good at.

Comey’s career was doomed when he became a player in Democrat conspiracy theories. First, the left blamed him for Hillary’s defeat. Then it enlisted him as its champion to prove the election was hacked.

And the Beltway dreamboat can’t deliver. The curtain rises. The spotlight comes down. And Comey coughs out his carefully worded memos that describe in detail the furniture of the Oval Office.

No really.

“When the door by the grandfather clock closed… Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock… I then got up and left out the door by the grandfather clock.”

Slate gushes, “James Comey’s Senate Testimony Is a Pulpy, Literary Treat.” If you really like grandfather clocks. Why write about grandfather clocks? Because Comey doesn’t have anything else to write about.

There’s no “there”, there.

The FBI, as Comey lays out in a tedious opening that he knows his Democrat admirers will skip over to get to the juicy Trump stuff, was conducting a “counterintelligence investigation” not a criminal investigation. So there was no crime. Nor was the FBI investigating Trump. Nor is Trump being accused of obstructing an FBI investigation.

All those carefully documented memos, the painstaking labor, amount to absolutely nothing.

But that’s because there was no crime to begin with. The rest is innuendo. The drip drop of a scandal without one ever materializing. Comey’s testimony will be another drop from that leaky faucet. Its only substance is theatrical. Detailed documentation creates the appearance of wrongdoing. Constant hearings maintain the illusion that something is being uncovered. Even when nothing is.

The better question is why do the memos even exist?

The left would like to believe that Comey was gathering evidence on President Trump. But they don’t contain anything incriminating about him. Instead Comey was trying to preemptively protect himself. To understand that is to understand who Comey is and why he got into this mess.

Never has one man broken more leftist hearts than James Brien Comey Jr.

The 6’8 former FBI director is once again the object of the left’s adoration. “A Beltway dreamboat, handsome as a movie star,” Salon gushes. “Our handsome young FBI director,” Gizmodo flutters its eyelashes. “How tall is James Comey? Tall. Like, really tall,” the Boston Globe coos.

Now the Beltway dreamboat will be appearing live and in person in the Senate. It’s the biggest show in a big government town. Teenage girls hunting for Justin Bieber tickets have nothing on the media frenzy.

“The Comey Testimony: When, Where and How to Follow,” the New York Times breathlessly posts. As if it’s the World Series instead of awkward exchanges between a resentful lifer government man, Senate Democrats trying to prove that President Trump didn’t win the election and the moon landing was faked, and Senate Republicans trying to get on with the business of running the country.

And the left shouldn’t get too caught up in its new romance with James Comey. Not when his on and off again relationship with the media is Washington’s biggest soap opera.  Comey saved Hillary. Then he got the blame for costing her the election. He was a hero for supposedly investigating Trump. Then his Hillary testimony led to media outrage.  Trump fired him and he became a hero again.

The Washington Post went from “James Comey just stepped in it, big time” to “James Comey, is this man bothering you?”, “20 questions senators should ask James Comey” and “James Comey’s written testimony inspired this playlist” in one month.  Tomorrow it might be, “James Comey, we baked this cake for you.” Or it might be, “James Comey, we hate you and never want to see you again.”

Because James Comey has nothing except resentment at losing a cushy job he wasn’t very good at.

Comey’s career was doomed when he became a player in Democrat conspiracy theories. First, the left blamed him for Hillary’s defeat. Then it enlisted him as its champion to prove the election was hacked.

And the Beltway dreamboat can’t deliver. The curtain rises. The spotlight comes down. And Comey coughs out his carefully worded memos that describe in detail the furniture of the Oval Office.

No really.

“When the door by the grandfather clock closed… Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock… I then got up and left out the door by the grandfather clock.”

Slate gushes, “James Comey’s Senate Testimony Is a Pulpy, Literary Treat.” If you really like grandfather clocks. Why write about grandfather clocks? Because Comey doesn’t have anything else to write about.

There’s no “there”, there.

The FBI, as Comey lays out in a tedious opening that he knows his Democrat admirers will skip over to get to the juicy Trump stuff, was conducting a “counterintelligence investigation” not a criminal investigation. So there was no crime. Nor was the FBI investigating Trump. Nor is Trump being accused of obstructing an FBI investigation.

All those carefully documented memos, the painstaking labor, amount to absolutely nothing.

But that’s because there was no crime to begin with. The rest is innuendo. The drip drop of a scandal without one ever materializing. Comey’s testimony will be another drop from that leaky faucet. Its only substance is theatrical. Detailed documentation creates the appearance of wrongdoing. Constant hearings maintain the illusion that something is being uncovered. Even when nothing is.

The better question is why do the memos even exist?

The left would like to believe that Comey was gathering evidence on President Trump. But they don’t contain anything incriminating about him. Instead Comey was trying to preemptively protect himself. To understand that is to understand who Comey is and why he got into this mess.