Trump Asked Comey to Drop Investigation
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Vol. 6, No.128
Bombshell of the Day: It’s impossible to keep up. The NY Times broke a story saying President Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation of Russian influence on the election and possible Trump campaign collusion.
The combination of asking Comey to drop the investigation, then firing him, could be interpreted as obstruction of justice.
Later yesterday, House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz, demanded all records of FBI communications with Trump.
The Times reports that the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was fired, Trump said to Comey about the Russia investigation, “I hope you can let this go.” The Times says Comey documented the conversation in a memo immediately after and cites two sources who read it. The paper reports that Comey shared the memo with other FBI employees.
According to the Times reporting, Trump said to Comey, “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.”
A White House statement said, “The president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn.”
Blown Source: Several news outlets report that the classified information President Trump gave to two Russian officials in the Oval Office last week came from Israel. The Israelis would not confirm or deny the report.
The White House spent the day playing down the seriousness of what Trump did, only about 12 hours after denying that he did it.
The story blew circuits in the White House press offices Monday night.
According to BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo via Twitter:
7:24: “Per @TreyYingst, Bannon, Mike Dubke, Sarah Sanders and Spicer walked into cabinet room just now. They did not look happy.”
7:25: “Can now hear yelling coming from room where officials are.”
7:31: “WH comms staffers just put the TVs on super loud after we could hear yelling coming from room w/ Bannon, Spicer, Sanders.”
Rumorville: It’s standard journalist practice not to repeat rumors, but sometimes you have to deal with them. The big one floated about President Trump is that he’s been indicted, a story that has not been picked up by the mainstream press.
Claude Taylor and Louise Mensch report on the Patribotics blog that, “Separate sources with links to the intelligence and justice communities have stated that a sealed indictment has been granted against Donald Trump.”
Mensch has been dismissed at times as a conspiracy theorist, but both she and Taylor have gotten some things right. An indictment against Trump this early in his presidency isn’t likely to have anything to do with his actions in office. It might involve his business dealings, possibly with foreigners, and that might mean Russia.
Bill Palmer picked up the story in the Palmer Report, writing that, “The sealed indictment against Donald Trump was issued by the Eastern District Court of Virginia, which is the same court that former FBI Director James Comey recently confirmed is working with the FBI on the Trump-Russia investigation. And he’s adding that sealed indictments have also been issued against Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and other unnamed individuals.”
Palmer writes, “The indictment against Trump is aimed at making the extent of his crimes so clear to the public that Congress will feel compelled to begin the impeachment process.” That is, of course, if there really is an indictment.
And This: Monday night an artist projected the words “Pay Trump Bribes Here” on the front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Pacific Trash Bin: Remote Henderson Island, an unoccupied atoll in the South Pacific, has become a catch basin for plastic trash floating in the ocean. Researchers estimate that the island’s beaches are littered with 38 million pieces of garbage, most of it plastic. There’s so much plastic trash in the Pacific that it’s breaking down into the food chain and becoming multi-colored plastic sand on the beaches.
Just Duckie: North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Walker, a pro-life politician, isn’t as sentimental about ducks. After the Architect of the Capitol commissioned two ramps to allow ducklings to get in and out of the Capitol reflecting pool, Walker tweeted a hard-hearted, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be government waste.” Well, for one thing, he was talking about a ramp, not a duck, but you get the idea. Walker immediately discovered that there is a large pro-duck segment of voters with Twitter accounts accusing him of being a quack politician.