Friday, June 9, 2017

Trump - A "Cereal" Liar? So Far Comey Has Blown Disgruntled Democrats Out Of The Water and Politicians Need Their Stones Taken Away.

Tom Sowell is a erudite, black edition of Will Rogers.
This from a dear friend and fellow memo reader: "I told you I thought Comey was probably an equal opportunity leaker. T--"
Jack Kingston and Comey. (See 1 below.)

Erick Erickson would not touch Trump for breakfast because he finds him to be a "cereal" liar. (See 1a below.)

In defense of Trump regarding obstruction. (See 1b and 1c below.)

Comey and Rorschach. (See 1d below.)

Kim smacks Comey hard (See 1e below.)

Where we are at this point:

According to Comey, Trump hoped Comey would go easy on Flynn.  If true that is not an impeachable offense.  According to Comey, Trump, not only did not interfere with the Russian investigation, he actually encouraged Comey to pursue the matter.

Finally, Comey suggested much of the mass media's reporting regarding classified material was totally nothing but fake news but then admitted he leaked through a friend to the mass media. So Comey joins the ranks of leakers.  Whether he broke the law in doing so is not for me to say but the fact that he leaked his own thinking raises questions about his on integrity..

At this point, even though one can argue Trump is a flawed president, the Democrats have been blown out of the water and if Rep. Waters pursues impeachment , along with some of her Congressional brethren, then perhaps her own conduct over the years should be investigated.  We know about her husband's nefarious bank deals and it has been alleged she is one of the most corrupt members in Congress.

It is time politicians who live in glass houses have their stones taken away.

Republicans must pass legislation and support Trump and move forward.  Failing to do this places them in an untenable situation and proves they are unworthy of leading not that Democrats are any better, in fact they are worse.
As for England, the EU was always flawed and tilted in the direction of Germany.  Europe is not America though America is fast becoming Europe. Europe has no common language, no common culture and the larger nations lord over the smaller ones when it comes to economic power.

Britain's the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has no charisma and presided over several terrorist acts right before calling for a high stakes the election. Even Hillary could probably teach her some political lessons.  (See 2 below.)
While Democrats want to impeach Trump, North Korea intends to put out our nation's lights.  Which would you focus on preventing?

I have repeatedly warned about the latter. (See 3 below.)
1) Comey is a disgruntled ex-employee, and that’s how the Senate should view his testimony

Jack Kingston, a Republican, represented Georgia’s 1st Congressional District from 1993 to 2015 and served as an adviser to the Trump campaign.
For weeks, Democrats and many in the media cast doubt on President Trump’s assertion that former FBI director James B. Comey told him that he was not under FBI investigation.
But now we know that when Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, he will confirm what the president has been saying all along: that Comey assured him on three separate occasions he was not under investigation.

With Comey himself contradicting what Democrats had planned to focus on during the hearing, they will no doubt seek to frame his dismissal as some sort nefarious plot on the part of Trump.

But that narrative ignores the facts surrounding the president’s decision to hand Comey his walking papers.
First off, Democrats and the chorus of anti-Trump media have seemed to experience a case of collective amnesia regarding Comey’s performance as FBI director. Despite criticizing Trump for his decision to fire Comey, the very Democrats whom Comey will testify in front of sang a different tune about Comey before his dismissal.
In October, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said that Comey’s letter to Congress about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails was “appalling.”
In November, fellow Senate Intelligence Committee member Ron Wyden (Ore.) called out Comey for “continued leadership failures at the FBI.”
Democratic leadership piled on, with current Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) saying days before the election that he no longer had confidence in the FBI director and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) saying that Comey may not be “in the right job.”
And most recently, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), the Democratic Party’s 2016 vice presidential nominee, called Comey’s actions leading up to the 2016 election “one of the lowest moments in the history of the FBI.”
recent CNN report exposed Comey for inserting himself into the midst of the 2016 election based on “intelligence” that he knew to be Russian disinformation. Not only did he fail to disclose this in classified meetings, but also he used the fake information to justify his unusual news conference slamming Clinton during the campaign. By peddling evidence that he knew to be false, Comey by passed Justice Department protocols and undermined the very integrity he sought to protect.
Then there is the handling of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election. This is a serious matter that requires a thorough probe, as would any foreign meddling in our democracy. However, to date, there has been zero evidence presented of any “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Backing up this fact are statements from both Democrats and Republicans familiar with the investigation that no evidence of collusion has been found. This refrain has elevated into a deafening chorus as former Obama intelligence officials and prominent congressional Democrats have all denied the existence of any evidence of collusion.

The gravity of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election means that it requires both the absolute confidence of the American public and maximum efficiency in its conclusion.
Unfortunately, Comey’s continued FBI directorship could not deliver on either of these imperatives. Add to this lack of confidence the vindictive intelligence leaks out of the investigation clearly intended to embarrass Trump, and it is no wonder that the public and the president lost faith in the status quo at the FBI.
Following his firing, a New York Times article quoting an associate of Comey alleged that memos written by Comey stated that the president had asked the then-FBI director to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

But this suggestion that the president sought to interfere with the investigation was contradicted when acting FBI director Andrew McCabe testified unequivocally in May: “There has been no effort to impede our investigation.” Moreover, both Democrats and Republicans have questioned why, if Comey thought the president had acted inappropriately, as alleged, he didn’t act upon it at the time.

Now Comey will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as a disgruntled former employee of the president. His testimony should be regarded as such.
Nevertheless, I hope that the former FBI director will stick to the facts and not seek to exact spiteful retribution on his former boss or participate in the left’s deliberate campaign to undermine the Trump presidency with rumors, falsehoods and disinformation.
Read more here:

1a) Donald Trump Actually Is a Serial Liar. That is a Real Problem After the Comey Testimony.
I don’t believe Donald Trump obstructed justice. From what I know of him, he is a loyal guy who expects loyalty. Mike Flynn gave it so the President inquired as to whether the FBI could go elsewhere. The FBI did not. The investigation is ongoing. From James Comey’s own mouth we know the Flynn investigation was not even central to Russia. In fact, we know from Comey that President Trump told him to pursue the Russian investigation, thus ending a Democrat talking point.
But we also know James Comey thinks President Trump is a liar and we also know President Trump lies regularly. President Trump will contradict himself within two clauses of a single sentence and demand you believe both mutually contradictory things. That matters now more than ever because the President says he never asked Comey to shut down the Flynn investigation and Comey says he did.
Who are you going to believe? The partisan left will believe Comey. The partisan GOP will believe Trump. The rest of the country? A large portion do not even care, but the President only won because he convinced 70,000 people in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that he was not as bad as Clinton.
What do they now think? Polling suggests it is not the President they will believe and we should all remind ourselves that polling in 2016 was actually pretty good. Clinton did win the popular vote, as the polls said she would.
The President is a liar who routinely lies and more and more people are choosing not to believe him.
Of course, the President’s greatest weapon against this is the press itself. Because as much as the President lies, so too does the press. In fact, the press has retracted and corrected so many stories about the President and the various angles of scandal that many people trust the press less than the President. Just the other day members of the press claimed Comey would dispute the claims about the President being under investigation, but Comey actually agreed that the President is not under investigation.
But the result of this is that the public will latch on to Comey as the honest broker. He threw Loretta Lynch under the bus in the hearing and Democrats are now objecting to that. He threw the President under the bus and Republicans are objecting to that. Comey masterfully made himself look like the only honest man in the room, which some will see as him actually being the one liar in the room. That both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate committee treated him with great deference will mean a lot to the inquiring voters trying to decide what is going on. If there are at least 70,001 of those, the President is in trouble.
We’re dealing with a President who routinely lies, is disliked by more than half the population, and who has a growing number of his own party privately grumbling about 2018. While this is going on Democrats appear on the verge of picking up Newt Gingrich’s congressional district in Georgia — something that hasn’t happened since the seventies.
Here’s the cliff notes version of this story: it does not end well for the GOP.

1b) History, Precedent and Comey Statement Show that Trump Did Not Obstruct Justice 
by Alan M. Dershowitz
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 Walker 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 leveled 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, which 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.

Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Taking the Stand: My Life in t

1c) Again, Pressure Is Not Obstruction Comey’s written testimony clearly shows the former, not the latter. 

By Andrew C. McCarthy

I find it difficult to understand how legal experts can read former FBI director James Comey’s submitted testimony and conclude that it makes out a case of felony obstruction of an FBI investigation. That contention was ill-conceived before we saw Comey’s testimony (see, e.g., here, here, and here), and it is even weaker now.
As I’ve tried to explain before, there are two principles at play here. The first is corruption. Perhaps it would help to look at the relevant statute, Section 1505 of the federal penal code (Title 18). It states in relevant part (my italics):
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States [shall be guilty of a crime].
Much of the commentariat assumes than any interference in an investigation equals obstruction. It is simply not true. Criminal statutes do not contain idle words. The word “corruptly” states an essential element of the crime. It is the core of the mental state that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction offense. This is a technical legal fact; it is not cavalier rhetoric — a word thrown around by a fired-up commentator in a media interview or a partisan lawmaker in a red-hot congressional debate.
As you can see, aside from acting “corruptly,” there are basically two other ways that the crime of obstructing the administration of law can be committed: by a threat or by use of force. Rather than blow by them with ellipses, I left them in the excerpt above so people would not wonder what I was omitting. But they clearly do not apply to our situation. Even on the most extravagant construction of President Trump’s February 14 plea to then-director Comey on Michael Flynn’s behalf — i.e., a vague, implied threat to fire Comey — no serious person is contending that Trump told Comey, in effect, “Do what I want, or else.”
I will also not bog us down in such technicalities as whether there was a “pending proceeding.” Let’s assume there was an active investigation that satisfies this requirement.
Thus, the question boils down to this: Did Trump corruptly influence or endeavor to influence the FBI’s administration of law?
To demonstrate that a person acted corruptly, it is not sufficient to show that he acted intentionally. The act must also be done with an awareness that the conduct in question violates the law. A political official could corruptly impede an investigation by, say, leaning on the police to drop a case because he’s been bribed by the main suspect. Or, if the political official had, say, been in a fraud conspiracy with the main suspect, he might lean on the police to pull the plug on the investigation to stop the suspect from revealing the official’s own culpability. In these instances, the official would be acting to undermine the investigation for a clearly unlawful purpose.
But if the official impeded or halted the investigation for a legitimate purpose, there could be no obstruction. This underscores the importance of the word corruptly. Not all acts to influence, impede, or outright halt an investigation violate the law; only corrupt ones.
So, what would be a legitimate reason to halt an investigation? This brings us to the second important principle: executive discretion.
It is not enough to say the president is the chief executive. In our system, he is the only executive with constitutional power. (“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America” —Article II, Section 1.) Every other executive-branch officer is not just subordinate to the president. These inferior officers do not have their own power. The power they exercise is the president’s power. They are mere delegates.
These subordinate executive officials include FBI agents and federal prosecutors. Every day, throughout the United States, these officials exercise executive discretion to shut down investigations or decline prosecutions. Very often, these are cases in which crimes have been committed and a prosecution would be viable.
In our system, it is not mandatory that a viable case be indicted and prosecuted. Instead, in each case, agents and prosecutors weigh the equities: the seriousness of the crime, including the harm to any victims, versus personal considerations relevant to the suspect — his history of criminality or positive contribution to society, whether other negative consequences have befallen him such that prosecution would be overkill, whether there are means other than the criminal law (such as civil suits or community service) that would adequately address the wrongdoing, etc. The Justice Department (of which the FBI is a component) decides, based on the totality of the circumstances, whether further investigation and prosecution are warranted.
In this, again, they are exercising the president’s power. In light of the fact that the president is their superior and the power is his, the president cannot have less discretion than a United States attorney or an FBI supervisor does in weighing the equities and deciding that a case should not be pursued. Charging discretion, moreover, is like the pardon power in this regard: It is a power of the executive that is unreviewable by the courts.
Here is Comey’s recollecton of the president’s remarks about Flynn on February 14:
The President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify. . . .
The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “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.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would “let this go.”
The former FBI director goes on to say he understood that the “this” the president wanted him to “let go” referred to “any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.” As I discussed last night, the FBI is investigating Flynn for allegedly making untrue statements to agents who interrogated him about his communications with ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Making false statements in that context is a felony.
So, what was the president saying? Basically, that the subject matter of the investigation is not the crime of the century, particularly given that Flynn “hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians” — which is true: Flynn was the incoming national-security adviser; establishing relationships with foreign counterparts was among his roles in the Trump transition; and the recordings of his conversations showed he had not given Kislyak any commitments to drop sanctions imposed by President Obama.
Also, Flynn “is a good guy” — a combat veteran who has served his country with courage and distinction. Moreover, Flynn had already “been through a lot” — he had been publicly humiliated by his firing, and his professional prospects had significantly dimmed in light of the public reporting that he had been either incompetent or disingenuous in his briefing of Vice President Pence on the Kislyak conversations.
Which is to say that Trump was doing exactly what prosecutors and agents do: looking at the totality of the circumstances and opining that prosecution would be overkill.
Now, you may disagree with his calculus. But it cannot seriously be said that the calculus is not a legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Those who claim it is illegitimate political interference in law enforcement misunderstand our constitutional system (and have apparently never heard of the pardon power, in which presidents routinely intrude on law enforcement).
The FBI and Justice Department are not an independent branch of government. They are subordinate to the president, and he gets to prod and even order them to do things. We hope there is not an excess of political interference with the day-to-day enforcement of the laws because that would undermine public confidence in the system on which the rule of law depends — and thus it would probably be impeachable. But nevertheless, the president absolutely has the authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion.
A legitimate exercise of executive power cannot be corrupt. A president does not corruptly impede an investigation by deciding that the equities weigh in favor of halting it. That is a decision the president gets to make.
Finally, it bears emphasizing that it is not the decision Trump made. He told Comey what he hoped would happen, and why. But he did not order Comey to halt the investigation. Plus, Comey did not halt the investigation; it is continuing to this day. Moreover, Comey acknowledges that Trump was speaking narrowly about Flynn. The president did not ask him to shut down the broader “Russia investigation” — meaning the president was not pretextually lobbying for Flynn in an attempt to make his own potential problems disappear.
You can disagree with Trump’s reasoning. You can conclude that browbeating Comey in this fashion was inappropriate. But this clearly was not obstruction — which is no doubt why then-director Comey did not resign or otherwise treat the matter as if he’d just witnessed a crime.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

1d) James Comey's Russia Rorschach test

Fired FBI Director James Comey's Thursday testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee about his brief, tumultuous relationship with President Trump meant whatever you thought it meant.
Trump supporters came away thinking Comey didn't lay a glove on the president and instead exposed himself as a craven political operator and the kind of leaker that Trump is trying to hunt down. To Trump's opponents, Comey heroically resisted the president's attempt to an influence an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn and was summarily fired for his independence.
"Today, former FBI Director Comey admitted that Donald J. Trump was never being investigated for colluding with the Russian government," American First Policies' Katrina Pierson said after the testimony was over. "He also stated that President Trump did not ask him to stop the Russia probe; in fact, the president expressed an interest and curiosity of his own to get to the bottom of the unfounded allegations of collusion."
Pierson, the national campaign spokeswoman for Trump last year, concluded, "The president of the United States has been completely vindicated.", the left-wing organization founded to oppose then-President Bill Clinton's impeachment in the late 1990s, had a different assessment. Even before Comey spoke, Anna Galland, the group's executive director, said in a statement, "The testimony that former FBI Director James Comey is expected to deliver today makes clear that Congress must begin impeachment proceedings immediately."
"We cannot ‘move on' from this," Galland continued. "We will not treat this as normal."
Maintaining the status quo was a partial victory for Trump. Comey's public testimony was eventful, but contained few new revelations that will cause Republicans to abandon him.
In fact, Comey affirmed that he had thrice assured the president he wasn't a target of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He testified Flynn wasn't especially important to the broader Russia probe. Comey acknowledged Trump wanted to get to the bottom of wrongdoing by "satellite associates" of the campaign or administration.
The public remains skeptical of both Trump and Comey in this back-and-forth. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 56 percent of U.S. adults believe the president is interfering in the Russia investigation, while 61 percent think he fired Comey to save his own skin.
That means Trump, whose job approval ratings sit below 40 percent in the RealClearPolitics polling average, needs to do more than just avoiding losing ground. He needs to gain ground back.
But the same poll showed only 36 percent trusted what Comey had to say about Russia "a great deal" or "a good amount" as compared with 55 percent who distrust him to varying degrees. Many Democrats believe Comey cost Hillary Clinton the election by announcing he was reopening the investigation into her emails. Numerous Republicans believe Comey is currently trying to discredit Trump or get him impeached.
"I felt like I was on a roller coaster watching it," said Republican strategist Jim Dornan. "Ups and downs for both sides, which seems to be Comey's style: things for either party to hang their arguments on. But no real smoking gun for anyone to grab onto."
Republicans noticed that when former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who served under former President Barack Obama, asked Comey to avoid referring to a Clinton email "investigation," the ousted FBI chief said he complied instead of becoming concerned and taking copious notes the way he did with Trump.
Yet Comey still scored some points against Trump.
"Comey put the gossip and rumors to rest when he said he had ‘no doubt' the Russians systematically tried to influence and undermine the 2016 presidential election," said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist. "Comey said flat-out that the president was a liar."
Even Comey's strong criticism of Lynch, Bannon noted, "gave a bipartisan air to his testimony."
Trump uncharacteristically pulled his punches as Comey testified. He stuck to the script in his speech to social conservatives that followed the hearing. He let his eldest son do the tweeting and let his deputy press secretary and his lawyer do the talking.
No committee Republicans broke ranks against Trump, but they were more tentative in their defenses than Democrats were in their charges he at least tiptoed up to the line of abusing his power.
"[Texas Republican Sen. John] Cornyn and [Arizona Republican Sen. John] McCain tried, but they failed to make Clinton, not Trump, the bad guy," Bannon said. "Clinton is old news."
Democrats were fulsome in their praise of Comey despite their past disagreements with his handling of the Clinton "matter" and the election.
"I will say that it will be pretty disingenuous for the Dems to all of a sudden give him praise and props after they spent the last six months trashing him," said Dornan.
While the politics of Russia remain largely unchanged, one lingering question is whether anything Comey said will make special counsel Robert Mueller more likely to explore obstruction of justice. Trump's strongest supporters have already stepped up their attacks on Comey as a leaker of privileged conversations.
Trump himself is likely to borrow a page from Bill Clinton, saying that Russia is a distraction from which he needs to move on in order to do the people's business. Comey testified that the president told him as much.

1e) All About James Comey

What his Thursday testimony made clear is how much he has damaged the country.

By Kimberley A. Strassel

What if all the painful drama over Donald Trump and Mike Flynn and Hillary Clinton and Russians wasn’t really due to Donald Trump or Mike Flynn or Hillary Clinton or Russians? What if the national spectacle the country has endured comes down to one man, James Comey ?
It was certainly all about the former FBI director on Thursday, as he testified to the nation via the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr. Comey didn’t disappoint. He already had submitted pages of testimony detailing his every second with President Trump, complete with recollections of moments he felt “strange” or “uneasy” or “awkward.” But on Thursday he went further, wowing the media with bold pronouncements: President Trump was a liar; the president fired him to undermine the Russia investigation; the president had directed him to back off Mr. Flynn.
Mostly he pronounced on what is—and is not—proper in any given situation: when handling investigations, interacting with the president, or releasing information. By the end, something had become clear. Mr. Comey was not merely a player in the past year’s palaver. He was the player.
It was Mr. Comey who botched the investigation of Mrs. Clinton by appropriating the authority to exonerate and excoriate her publicly in an inappropriate press event, and then by reopening the probe right before the election. This gave Mrs. Clinton’s supporters a reason to claim they’d been robbed, which in turn stoked the “resistance” that has overrun U.S. politics.
We now know it didn’t have to be this way. Mr. Comey explained that he had lost faith in then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s ability to handle the affair, in part because she had directed him to describe the probe in public as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” That one of President Obama’s political appointees outright directed the head of the FBI to play down an investigation is far more scandalous than any accusation aired about Mr. Trump. Mr. Comey said it gave him a “queasy” feeling. But did he call on Ms. Lynch to recuse herself? Did he demand a special counsel? No. Mr. Comey instead complied with the request. Then he judged that the only proper way to clean up the mess was to flout all the normal FBI protocols. Vive la resistance.
It was Mr. Comey who launched an investigation into Russian meddling last July and expanded it to look for possible collusion with the Trump campaign. That may well have been warranted. Yet before the election his FBI had leaked this to the press, casting an aura of illegitimacy on a new president and feeding conspiracy theories based on, in Mr. Comey’s words, “nonsense” reporting.
Mr. Comey could have spared us this by simply stating, as he acknowledged Thursday, that Mr. Trump wasn’t under investigation. One could argue he had a duty to explain, given that he’d taken the unusual step of confirming the probe, and given the leaks from his FBI and the flood of fake news that resulted. But no. James Comey judged that (in this case, at least) it would be improper to speak out. So we’ve had all Russia all the time.
Moreover, it was Mr. Comey who had the discussions with President Trump that he now describes as compromising. On Thursday he claimed to have felt that Mr. Trump was directing him to end the Flynn investigation, even as he simultaneously admitted that Mr. Trump’s words (“I hope”) expressed no such order. He said he had been deeply uncomfortable that Mr. Trump wasn’t following protocol for dealing with an FBI director.
If Mr. Comey truly had believed the president was interfering, he had a duty to report it or to resign. Instead he maintained Thursday it wasn’t his role to pronounce whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice. Really? This may count as the only time Mr. Comey suddenly didn’t have an opinion on whether to render justice or to take things into his own hands.
And why did he agree to dinner with Mr. Trump in the first place? Why keep accepting the president’s phone calls? Asked whether he, in those early meetings, ever told the president how things ought to go, he said no. Mr. Comey did nothing to establish a relationship he felt was correct.
Instead, he kept secret memos, something he’d never done before. He wrote them in an unclassified manner, the better to make them public later. He allowed Mr. Trump to continue, while building up this dossier.
When he was fired, he leaked to the media, through a “close friend,” highly selective bits of his privileged communications with the president. And then he stayed silent and let the speculation rage. Thus, for the past month the nation has been mired in a new scandal, fueled by half-leaks. Thank you, yet again, Mr. Comey.
Yes, Russia interfered. Yes, Mr. Trump damages himself with reckless words and tweets. Yes, the Hillary situation was tricky. Yet you have to ask: How remarkably different would the world look had Mr. Comey chosen to retire in, say, 2015 to focus on his golf game? If only.
2)  How the British have passively succumbed to the MUSLIM invasion: 
Mayor of London …        MUSLIM  
Mayor of Birmingham … MUSLIM 
Mayor of Leeds …          MUSLIM 
Mayor of Blackburn …    MUSLIM 
Mayor of Sheffield …      MUSLIM 
Mayor of Oxford …         MUSLIM 
Mayor of Luton …          MUSLIM 
Mayor of Oldham …       MUSLIM 
Mayor of Rochdale …     MUSLIM 
Over 3,000 MUSLIM Mosques 
Over 130 MUSLIM Sharia Courts 
Over 50 MUSLIM Sharia Councils 
MUSLIMS - No - Go Areas Across The U K. 
MUSLIM Women ... 78% don't work and are on FREE benefits / housing.
MUSLIM Men ... 63% don't work and are on FREE benefits / housing. 
MUSLIM Families … six to eight children planning to go on FREE benefits / housing. 
... and now all U K schools are ONLY serving HALAL MEAT! 
All this achieved by just 4 million Muslims out of the 66 million population! 
3) North Korea Dreams of Turning Out the Lights

Pyongyang doesn’t need a perfect missile. Detonating a nuke above Seoul—or L.A.—would sow chaos.

By Henry F. Cooper
While its technological shortcomings have been well documented, North Korea’s desire to provoke a nuclear conflict with the U.S. should not be minimized or ignored. Pyongyang is surely close to getting it right.
For South Korea the danger is more immediate. According to physicist David Albright, the founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, the North Koreans have between 13 and 30 nuclear weapons and can build as many as five more every year. If Mr. Kim were to detonate one of these bombs in the atmosphere 40 miles above Seoul, it could inflict catastrophic damage on South Korea’s electric power grid, leading to a prolonged blackout that could have deadly consequences.
The United States has 28,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in South Korea stationed below the 38th parallel—and more at sea nearby. An electromagnetic pulse attack on South Korea could play havoc with America’s ability to mount an effective response to North Korean aggression. One hopes the troops manning the two already-deployed batteries of the Thaad ballistic-missile defense system are prepared for such a scenario (in a concession to China, the newly elected South Korean government suspended this week the deployment of four additional launchers).
In 2001 Congress established a commission to study the danger of an electromagnetic pulse generated by the detonation of a high-altitude nuclear weapon. It concluded that while there would be no blast effects on the ground, critical electricity-dependent infrastructure could be rendered inoperable. The commission’s chairman, William R. Graham, has noted that several Russian generals told the commissioners in 2004 that the designs for a “super EMP nuclear weapon” had been transferred to North Korea.
Pyongyang, the Russian generals reported, was probably only a few years away from developing super EMP capability. According to Peter Vincent Pry, staff director of the congressional EMP commission, a recent North Korean medium-range missile test that was widely reported to have exploded midflight could in fact have been deliberately detonated at an altitude of 40 miles.
Was it a dry run for an EMP attack? Detonation at that altitude of a nuclear warhead with a yield of 10 to 20 kilotons—similar to those tested by North Korea—would produce major EMP effects and inflict catastrophic damage to unhardened electronics across hundreds of miles of surface territory. It is a myth that large yield nuclear weapons of hundreds of kilotons are required to produce such effects.
Although some analysts have dismissed the possibility of a successful North Korean EMP attack—either on South Korea or the United States—several factors could make it a more appealing first-strike strategy for Kim Jong Un’s nuclear scientists than a direct, missile-delivered nuclear strike. For one thing, accuracy is not a concern; the North Koreans simply need to get near their target to sow chaos. Nor would they need to worry about developing a reliable re-entry vehicle for their ballistic missiles.
Conventional wisdom aside, a North Korean EMP attack on the U.S. may also not be far-fetched. “North Korea could make an EMP attack against the United States by launching a short-range missile off a freighter or submarine or by lofting a warhead to 30 kilometers burst height by balloon,” wrote Mr. Graham earlier this month on the security blog 38 North. “Even a balloon-lofted warhead detonated at 30 kilometers altitude could blackout the Eastern Grid that supports most of the population and generates 75 percent of US electricity. Moreover, an EMP attack could be made by a North Korean satellite.” Two North Korean satellites currently orbit the earth on trajectories that take them over the U.S.
This is not mere theory. In 1962 the United States detonated a 1.4-megaton nuclear warhead over the South Pacific, 900 miles southwest of Hawaii. Designated “Starfish Prime,” the blast destroyed hundreds of street lights in Honolulu, caused electrical surges on airplanes in the area, and damaged at least six satellites. Only Hawaii’s undeveloped electric power-transmission infrastructure prevented a prolonged blackout. It was the era of vacuum-tube electronics. We are living in the digital age.
The U.S. and South Korea should ensure their ballistic-missile defenses are effective and harden their electric power grids against EMP effects as soon as possible. The day of reckoning could come sooner than anyone in either country thinks.
Mr. Cooper was the U.S. ambassador to the Defense and Space Talks during the Reagan administration and director of the Strategic Defense Initiative during the George H.W. Bush administration.

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