Watched the entire thing. Don't feel I learned much. It boils down to how you construe what Trump meant when he said he "hoped" Comey would drop the Flynn investigation. Was it like, "I hope it doesn't rain"? Or like Don Corleone "hoping" a rival would be removed.McCain didn't seem to grasp the fact that the Clinton and Trump investigations were different situations. Though Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch were morons for meeting the way they did. I hope Hillary gave them an earful.I surmise the pee pee hooker story is bogus. If that's so, I can see why Trump despises the MSM. That story will never die now. It's been enshrined on SNL.Odd that Rubio and McCain seemed most hostile given Trump's comments about them during the campaign. But I presume Republicans discuss whom they're going to appoint as bulldogs during these hearings.
I wondered about the "hope" trope too. Trump's defenders Christie and Giuliani in their ongoing effort to explain NY politics are going to say that "hope" is not a threat but a kind of aspiration that matters will be tidied up. I see Trump's lawyer has dismissed it...
Unless there is more to come from Comey in private hearings with the Committee, it's hard to see an impeachment emerging from this particular chapter. Of course, if the Republicans in the House decide that "enough is enough," they could probably get up something.
I'm watching it now. I don't think it matters that Trump used the word 'hope'. He took Comey aside, away from the ears of others, made it clear he wanted the investigation to go away, and then fired him when he wouldn't do that. That seems like obstruction to me.He also fired Yates after she told the White House counsel about Flynn. And then he asked Rogers and Coats to stop the FBI investigation as well.What terrible thing is he hiding that would make him do all this to derail the investigation?
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Crystal, I see it your way, too, but I don't see any impeachable or criminal offense here when there are construction on events that point to more benign explanations (i.e., the president barges through established protocols and says ambiguous and often unintelligible things; happens every day on the blog).Moreover, it is a huge distraction. What about health care, declining wage and job security, the Asian carp in the Great Lakes, infrastructure improvements, the cost of college and post K-12 training, climate change, Social Security and Medicare, and a million other things I could mention?And much as I would like to see a boor like our president lumber off in disgrace, just because it would make me personally happy, we'll get Pence or Ryan. Are they substantively better?Moderates and progressives need to put their energies into solving problems instead of holding hearings on this stuff. Leave it to Mueller, and get back to the real job.
Jean, point well taken about the "huge distraction". Just because this is going on doesn't mean everything else took a vacation. They are still trying to dismantle healthcare, among other the other things you mention. It seems like the old magician's trick of making you pay attention to something else while the sleight of hand is going on. I think Mueller is well able to handle it.
There is other stuff to pay attention to, yes, and Trump's replacements would be bad too, but he should be held accountable anyway, if possible. And I think it's good that we can have these public hearings - what Mueller does will be out of the public view. This is our civic duty as citizens! :)
During the previous administration there was "Obama Derangement Syndrome", which meant that in the eyes of some people Obama could do nothing right, and besides he was a closet Muslim who was born in Kenya. Now I am seeing the "Trump Koolaid Syndrome". That's where no matter what he does, people will make excuses and say everything is just fine, couldn't be better. Some coworkers who are usually sensible people, and for whom Trump wasn't a first choice as a Repub candidate (in fact not even a fifth choice) were busy today making excuses and saying how much he has accomplished in such a short time, and it's so awful that the libruls hate him so. I feel like saying, Please, just stop with the lame excuses. It makes you sound gullible.
When I think of all Trump has accomplished, it's horrifying. It's amazing someone could do so much damage in just a few months. If he's accomplished anything positive, I've yet to hear of it (except for military/law enforcement stuff, which is a two-edged sword).
Here is the NYTimes on impeachment for obstruction of justice. It shows that the matter becomes a political as well as legal issue."While it can be a murky task in court to interpret the obstruction statutes, said David Sklansky, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at Stanford, impeachment proceedings are different. They are a “quasi-judicial, quasi-political process,” he noted; the House and the Senate determine for themselves whether the standards are met. In other words, as a practical matter, the Constitution’s standards for impeachment and removal of a president — if he has committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” — are met by anything that a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate are willing to vote for."The story points out that the Justice Dept. would be unlikely to bring a criminal case against Trump for obstruction.
But maybe Mueller might find that a crime has been committed, separate from the political impeachment decision made by congress?
And a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime...
In a way, Trumplethinskin foresaw this: "I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
But I think there's really much more here than obstruction of justice. I'm imagining a finding that Trump conspired to hack the election with the Russians ... treason.
As predicted: Chris Christie may think New Yorkers talk like Donald Trump talked to Comey. New Yorkers disagree as recounted in this NYTimes piece: http://nyti.ms/2t20gBFChistie, of course, does not live in New York but New Jersey.
An expression of "hope" was held to be an obstruction of justice, upheld by the Court of Appeals for the8th Circuit. So much for Sen. Risch's legal expertise and GOP talking points. (U.S. v Collin McDonald)McCain sounded like a lot of people my wife and I deal with lately. He blamed it on staying up late to watch a baseball game. It will only get worse.If all this is a distraction from dismantling the Dodd-Frank semi-reforms (when they need strengthening), I say let's have more distraction. House managed to dismantle more of D-F yesterday. Future of the dismantlement in the Senate, like everything else in Addison M. McConnell's domain is "uncertain."
Tom, regarding the baseball game excuse, I believe that the last part of the brain to go is the part that makes excuses for the other parts that no longer work. It is also probably the part that Katherine's coworkers use to justify Trump.
You've probably seen the social media memes about Trump being the most persecuted and hounded occupant of the Oval Office...evah!! And now that Comey didn't turn up anything, can we give the poor man some peace? My conclusion; either they lead a sheltered life and didn't see the stuff said about Obama, or they thought it was okay.
I think I failed to mention that Speaker Paul Ryan's mendacity is on full display in his defense of Trump -- he is still learning the job. Which is another way of saying Trump doesn't know what he is doing, but said so positively that Trump will kvell.
Yes, the "Trump is a naif" line makes me want to barf.However, we have an electorate (at least one in three people if you use Trump's approval ratings) who need a harsh awakening, and it's going to take more than breaches in protocol and offering ambiguous directives to to the FBI to make this segment of the electorate feel the effects of voting in an incompetent. Things will have to get worse, much worse, before the electorate wakes up and realizes that government is not a fun reality show.
That excuse will ring quite hollow when Dodo Donald pushes "the button" when he is still "learning the job."
Jimmy Mac, I'm counting on his have been given a fake code for the button.....
It's not even that Trump doesn't know the job and is still learning - he has no wish to learn, he wants to remake the job of president into that of a used car salesman/mafia don.
I can totally see Trump as a mafia don. Or a less-than-honest used car salesman.I also liked Seth Meyers' take:"...Meyers said, Trump is "like your druggie cousin who can no longer surprise you. Kevin traded Aunt Janet’s cat for Robitussin,” he deadpanned. “Uh huh. Did he?”
Raber was made a similar point yesterday, about how low Trump has set the bar and that we are in for more of the same now.
Within the Trumpoleon Brigade, the following narrative is bubbling along: 1) The hearing was about trying to prove Trump obstructed justice. It was not. It was about why the FBI director was fired and it really came about because I, Trump himself provided various stories after correcting his minders in his NBC interview. 2) Everything the former FBI director said is a lie. Well, hardly. 3) But lyin' leakin' Comey told the truth when he said Trump is innocent. But that is not what Comey said; he left the door open for something to develop against Trump. In fact, he wouldn't announce that Trump was not under investigation in case something came up. If he "cleared" Trump and something came up, he would be obligated to "unclear" him. Having just been scorched by talking about Hillary in public, he didn't want to put his hand in another fire.It is impossible to reason together with people who can see what they see in what we saw. It doesn't help that some Ds have been jumping the gun by looking for a smoking gun in Comey's testimony. But I can talk them down to sense. Talking to Trumpoleons only leaves me feeling like I have a glass of water and am surrounded by arsonists.
TB: "It doesn't help that some Ds have been jumping the gun by looking for a smoking gun in Comey's testimony."Agree. We are a long way from impeachment; we may never get there. Whatever Comey's testimony leads to, Comey is now a sideshow, even if the media keeps parsing his testimony. The Dems should let the grinding pace of Congressional investigations grind on. Let Mueller investigate. They should get their 2018 election strategy together. That's what will count in the long run. And if they don't, we'll have eight whole years of this, plus.
Exactly. Democrats really can't hope to make much headway with an "at least we're not Trump" strategy.
I think the Democrats have to somehow find a way to fold into their 2018 strategy a return to representing the poor, working and middle classes and dump the neoliberal paradigm. j
Trump posted, and I think he has a point; the Democrats are now the party of "no": The Democrats have no message, not on economics, not on taxes, not on jobs, not on failing #Obamacare. They are only OBSTRUCTIONISTS!
They are too busy salivating over an impeachment that probably won't happen, and if it does, may not result in Trump leaving office.
Yes as long as Trump is the center of the media show, he does not have to do anything else in order to appear powerful, and many things hurtful are and will continue to happen offstage.It's all a media show, it has been from the beginning, and people are continuing to fall for it, liberals as much as Trump supporters.And the media are banking the profits; how can anyone believe they care about anything but money. They win either way by making Comey a big thing.