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While it was big news to get the details of that February 14 memo James Comey wrote to document Donald Trump’s request that he maybe just stop investigating that nice Mike Flynn, the fact that Comey kept a paper trail of all the stuff he thought was hinky about Trump’s behavior shouldn’t be surprising at all. Any good bureaucrat is familiar with the art of the CYA memo, and for a law enforcement guy like Comey, taking copious notes was just second nature. If only students in college classes would learn to take notes a tenth as well.

As former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes told Politico, documenting conversations with higher-ups — especially higher-ups who are under investigation — is simply what FBI people do:

A conversation with a subject of an investigation is evidentiary, no matter what is discussed […] Any conversation with Trump is going to be noteworthy….If you drop dead of a heart attack, your successor is going to want to know what was going on, so you would record that whether it’s to aid your future memory or for a successor two or three years down the line.

So let’s take a look at a couple of great moments in Comey history, and the documentation thereof:

The Great Hospital Showdown

Ah, we remember it like it was yesterday… [wavy lines]

Actually, we had to look it up to refresh our memory, which is the whole point. But the nitty is, it was March 10, 2004, James Comey was the Deputy Attorney General, and the Justice Department had recently determined the Bush administration’s warrantless domestic spying program was not legal and shouldn’t be re-authorized. Comey was temporarily in charge at the DOJ because AG John Ashcroft was in intensive care at George Washington University after having his gallbladder removed in an emergency procedure. Comey had already refused to sign off on a 45-day re-authorization of the surveillance program. In one of those great moments of Bush administration stupid, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card decided to head over to pay the barely awake Ashcroft a visit and also see if they could maybe get his signature on a re-authorization of the wiretap program. Ashcroft’s chief of staff called Comey to tell him the Bush boys were on the way, so Comey had his driver turn on the lights and siren, and raced the Bush guys to the hospital, as he testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007:

I hung up the phone, immediately called my chief of staff, told him to get as many of my people as possible to the hospital immediately. I hung up, called [FBI] Director Mueller and — with whom I’d been discussing this particular matter and had been a great help to me over that week — and told him what was happening. He said, I’ll meet you at the hospital right now.

Told my security detail that I needed to get to George Washington Hospital immediately. They turned on the emergency equipment and drove very quickly to the hospital.

I got out of the car and ran up — literally ran up the stairs with my security detail.

CHUCK SCHUMER: What was your concern? You were in obviously a huge hurry.

COMEY: I was concerned that, given how ill I knew the attorney general was, that there might be an effort to ask him to overrule me when he was in no condition to do that.

Comey testified that once at the hospital, he went to Ashcroft’s room and tried to figure out how lucid he was, and then got back on the phone with Mueller:

I immediately began speaking to him, trying to orient him as to time and place, and try to see if he could focus on what was happening, and it wasn’t clear to me that he could. He seemed pretty bad off. […]

I went out in the hallway. Spoke to Director Mueller by phone. He was on his way. I handed the phone to the head of the security detail and Director Mueller instructed the FBI agents present not to allow me to be removed from the room under any circumstances.

Gonzales and Card showed up and explained to Ashcroft that they’d really like his autograph on some surveillance papers that Comey wouldn’t sign, and then Ashcroft had a surprise for everyone:

Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, which stunned me — drawn from the hour-long meeting we’d had a week earlier — and in very strong terms expressed himself, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, “But that doesn’t matter, because I’m not the attorney general” … and he pointed to me, and I was just to his left.

The two men did not acknowledge me. They turned and walked from the room.

Comey added that after the confrontation, “I was very upset. I was angry. I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me.”

Now, as it turns out, FBI Director Robert Mueller was doing the whole note-taking thing himself, as his FBI log for March 10, 2004, indicates:

Fun, huh? And a fine example of why you want to Write It Down — while our very lazy search didn’t find any mention of Comey’s own notes on the episode, you have to assume Comey wasn’t spinning that story purely from memory. Here’s video of that testimony; it’s as jaw-dropping today as it was in 2007:

Torture Is Bad And Torturers Should Feel Bad

As Deputy Attorney General, Comey was not on board with the Bush administration’s torture program, as was later discussed in detail in 2013 when Comey was nominated by Barack Obama to be FBI director. Comey testified at his confirmation hearings, “When I first learned about waterboarding, when I became deputy attorney general, my reaction as a citizen and a leader was: This is torture. It’s still what I think.”

He also had a paper trail to back that statement up, although as with all things Comey, the record isn’t altogether flattering to him, either. While he objected to the use of torture, he did sign off on the DOJ’s 2005 legal opinion authorizing the use of extreme interrogation techniques — the alternative would presumably be to resign in protest, which he’d already threatened to do over the warrantless wiretapping program. But before signing off, Comey did everything he could to derail the use of “extreme interrogation” methods, as the New York Times detailed in 2009:

While signing off on the techniques, Mr. Comey in his e-mail provided a firsthand account of how he tried unsuccessfully to discourage use of the practices. He made a last-ditch effort to derail the interrogation program, urging Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to argue at a White House meeting in May 2005 that it was “wrong.”

“In stark terms I explained to him what this would look like some day and what it would mean for the president and the government,” Mr. Comey wrote in a May 31, 2005, e-mail message to his chief of staff, Chuck Rosenberg. He feared that a case could be made “that some of this stuff was simply awful.”

Comey wrote in another 2005 email that the Justice Department and then-Attorney General Gonzales would eventually come to regret rushing to authorize the interrogations:

“I told him the people who were applying pressure now would not be there when the [expletive] hit the fan,” Mr. Comey wrote in another e-mail message. “It would be Alberto Gonzales in the bull’s-eye. I told him it was my job to protect the department and the A.G. and that I could not agree to this because it was wrong. I told him it could be made right in a week, which was a blink of an eye, and that nobody would understand at a hearing three years from now why we didn’t take that week.”

Comey also recorded his willingness to go on record as the one who tried to block DOJ approval of the use of combined torture techniques:

Comey said he told Gonzales that he should tell the White House that Comey “had gone on record against this” and that he was willing to bear the brunt of the blame for blocking efforts to get the DOJ to authorize the torture program.

“I told [Gonzales] I was leaving and was perfectly willing to catch that spear, as I had in other contexts,” Comey wrote Rosenberg in the April 28, 2005 email.

There’s a lot more on Comey’s objections to the torture program in this Truthout article; it makes clear that Comey was one of the few voices at Bush’s DOJ willing to stand up to political pressure from the White House — at one point during the internal arguments over torture, Comey even wrote to his chief of staff that he missed John Ashcroft, who had shown more “backbone” from his hospital bed than Alberto Gonzales did standing up:

People may think it strange to hear me say I miss John Ashcroft, but as intimidated as he could be by the [White House], when it came to crunch time, he stood up, even from an intensive care hospital bed. That backbone is gone

As the Russia investigation moves forward, we can expect more of Comey’s memos on Trump to come forward, probably under subpoena. Based on his careful record keeping during the Bush years, they’re likely to make for interesting reading, but not a very flattering portrait of government in the Trump months.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Help feed our history addiction by clicking that “Donate” linky below!

[Politico / WaPo / ThinkProgress / NYT / Truthout]

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  • The Wanderer

    When I talk to my shift about writing reports and documentation, I shall cite this case as a sterling example of Best Practices.

    • CogitoErgoBibo

      Ewww. You said “Best Practices.” I have gotten to the point that I literally roll my eyes every time someone says it at work.

  • Joe Beese

    Hell of a situation where John Ashcroft is the good guy.

    • The Wanderer

      They caught him at a weak moment. The lapse was momentary.

      • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

        It was the drugs.

  • Ralph Gauer

    Comey: hero (Bush/Trump) and heel (Clinton).

    Man, I hate it when humans come in shades of good and bad.

    • nightmoth

      Makes your head hurt, doesn’t it–lol!

  • MynameisBlarney
    • Joe Beese

      If the Rethugs sign off on it.

      • MynameisBlarney

        I’m betting they will before long.

    • nightmoth

      Not a moment too soon. I hope it’s not too late, but I don’t think the damage is irreversible yet.

    • Lamashtar

      Just a reminder, a commission can keep everything secret, the president has to sign off on it, and he has influence over who gets put on it. Its why there is a genuine argument over whether to create a select committee, which is outside of president’s purview.

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    Bravo for telling POTUS Dubya to go fuck himself.

    Fuck you Comey for deciding to REVEAL Hillary email investigation and CONCEAL Trump Treason™ investigation. Now we are all slightly nauseous.

    • Proud Liberal

      If this country survives this, I doubt we will be thanking James Comey.

  • Joe Beese
    • Joe Beese

      “Everybody please leave the Oval Office, except for the FBI Director. I have a joke I’d like to tell him in private.”

      http://www.metafilter.com/166945/Obstruction-of-Justice-Witness-Intimidation-Oh-My#7030912

      • Turgid Love Skwerl

        And to further the joke, I’ll just fire him for the the investigation he wouldn’t quash!

        • Joe Beese

          Some people just don’t have a sense of humor.

      • Lamashtar

        Almost spit on my keyboard..

    • ltmcdies

      really…..you’re going to go with this…really?

      • vivian

        He’s just dancing with the girl that got him there.

    • doktorzoom

      “Obama founded ISIS”

      Are you joking?

      “No, I literally mean Obama founded ISIS”

      Trump says Obama founded ISIS, here’s just how wrong he was about the roots of ISIS.

      “I was joking.”

    • Martini Ambassador 🍸

      Weak. Our jokes in the Wonkette comment bin are always written, and most are damn funny. Of course, they don’t really exist, so, never mind I said that.

    • Proud Liberal

      Sure Trump is a traitor, but we really want our tax cuts please!!!!!????

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      They got nothing but flailing about wildly and hoping someone listens.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a139d9349bb133ad99c01fd764702e861a4469acad0b1ab98eab0c4bcba641f.gif

    • Vincent Ricola

      I had to ground my son for using the “just joking” excuse when he was lying his ass off at age six. It worked and he no longer dares to insult us with this garbage. Just sayin.

      • cmd resistor

        So many times Trump does something that reminds me of a bad phase my kid went through and then grew out of.

        • Vincent Ricola

          Correcting Donald Trump type behavior in my children is what I consider one of my highest parental duties.

    • jesterpunk
    • Michael Smith

      Hahaha that is so lame.

    • cmd resistor

      As we used to say in junior high, so funny I forgot to laugh.

    • Roadstergal

      Funny jokes! Like how Flynn was a Russian asset! He tells the best jokes!

  • vivian

    I find it very difficult to reconcile the brave and noble actions of Comey as detailed above with the weird drama of late October 2016. Clearly the man has, or at the very least had, a strong moral compass and respect for the rule of law. I just can not figure out what compelled him to throw the election. As for the current situation, DJT is well and truly fucked. It’s only a matter of time before the dullards in the House realize that the party is over and he needs to go.

    • DrBigHead

      I have heard speculation that Comey felt he had no choice but to bring up the Clinton emails (sorry, no citation at my fingertips). The argument is that he was aware of what others were planning and felt it would do the least amount of damage if it came from him. I doubt we will ever know the truth, but if you take the whole of what we apparently know about Comey, the email announcement seems to be an anomaly.

      • unionthuggery

        I’ve read several articles to that effect. Essentially it boils down to not having a good option in regards to it. If he had not spoken about the investigation, then he could have been accused of covering for Clinton. There have been reports as well that the FBI field office in NYC that was conducting the Weiner investigation were largely supportive of Trump, and Comey took their report at face value initially.

        • alwayspunkindrublic

          Which doesn’t mean he can’t or shouldn’t be judged harshly for it. But, as I said in an earlier post, if a pal sleeps with your girlfriend then saves a baby from a burning building, you kinda have to commend him for the latter.

        • cmd resistor

          Plus, if I remember right, it was stinky Jason Chaffetz who actually released the letter to the press.

          • Lamashtar

            There’s muttering online that the letter may have been lowlevel (Confidential) classified–and is part of why Chaffetz got in trouble behind the scenes–but I can’t find any trustworthy citations for it.

          • cmd resistor

            I have seen some of that muttering, too. I would so love for it to be true.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Real people are not one thing. I don’t think it’s a contradiction to view him as a bureaucratically savvy and essentially principled man who made a grave error in judgement. He seems to be aware of it and remorseful, unlike your typical Republican sociopath.

    • Doug Langley

      Same here. I just can’t give him a pass for that. July he stated that he couldn’t recommend charges for Hilz yet still had to get out that gratuitous “extremely careless” crack. Then his October surprise – surely he knew it was violating the Hatch Act? And did DOJ tell him no? And we’re supposed to believe he was just scared of the Republicans? If that’s true, why should a scaredy-cat be the FBI director?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      There’s not a single GOPtard with the trace of ethics needed to vote for an independent prosecutor.
      Not. One.

    • BMW

      The reasoning was that if he hadn’t sent that letter, and there *was* something in those emails, if people found out after the election, he’d also have been guilty of interfering in the election. Not saying I agree, just saying that was the thought process.

  • Crystalclear12

    See, see pens are mightier than swords!

    • The Wanderer

      They can certainly fuck you up more than a sword can – and they fit better in your pocket!

  • MynameisBlarney
  • MynameisBlarney

    Emo Turmp.
    http://cheezburger.com/86447873/emo-donald-trump-is-back

    Also, too; there’s a fucking Einstein in the comments that claims turmp is the best preznit evar!

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      No doubt eclipsing Dumbya, the previous best evar.

  • Martini Ambassador 🍸
    • Proud Liberal

      Oh for fuck’s sake. Ryan is an invertibrate pig.

    • Vincent Ricola

      I can’t wait for Paul Ryan to go down in flames.

    • Turgid Love Skwerl

      Remember Paulie, you have less than 2 years until the next election. This may haunt you.

      • Martini Ambassador 🍸

        I read today that his favorable/unfavorable polling is running something like 24%/56%. FSM willing, he crashes and burns in a most ignoble manner.

      • Turgid Love Skwerl

        Oh wait did I say two years? My bad, try less than a year and a half.

        • Indivisible Snark Tank

          The primaries are in less than a year, aren’t they?

    • Crank Tango

      Would you stake your career on that, dipshit?

      • memzilla Ω

        He just did.

    • Chadwells

      The only person with lower approval ratings than Fuckface…is Ryan. I’m pretty sure he could give a fuck less about anything. He’s happy to take everything down with him.

    • OddMan

      I keep thinking that ‘this is one’ that will make the GOP finally admit that Trump is not fit to be President.
      And strangely Paul Ryan along with his GOP brothers just are not seeing it . . . yet. Or if ever.

      • Antonin Dvorak

        It’s more likely that the cumulative weight of all the things will force the GOP’s hand, rather than one blunder in particular.

        • OddMan

          The last pebble will start the avalanche, I hope.

  • nightmoth

    Man—gotta say—that description of Comey getting to the hospital to prevent Ashcroft being compromised was as good as Al Pacino finding the nurses’ stations deserted and wheeling the Godfather into a different room.

  • Anna Rompage

    Off topic

    Chelsey Manning was released from prison today…

    Didn’t that cheese dick guy, Julian Assange, promise to turn himself into authorities to finally face those rape charges once she was released from prison?

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    I guess His Fraudulency figures since he doesn’t write anything down, no one else does either?
    It’s as good a defense as any at this point.

  • Joe Beese
    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Shorter DOJ: “Snitches get stitches”

    • jodyleek

      Which is weird, because I thought all the leaks were “fake news”. If the leaked news is fake, what’s there to prosecute?

    • AJ Milne

      Oooooo! I know one! Pick me! Pick me! Big orange guy with painful taste in fashion! He went (points to Israel) thataway! Might be best to get him before the plane takes off!

      • Lamashtar

        I’m sure Mossad will be happy to have a word with the leaker when he visits Israel next week.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      How cute: They still think it’s a secret that the President is an idiot.

    • Doug Langley

      They’ll scour the Oval Office from top to bottom to find it!

    • Alan

      Isn’t that admitting that they’re true? I’m confused.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Today in “Things dumbfucking morans say!” News.
    http://crooksandliars.com/2017/05/jesse-watters-comey-no-sex-no-money-no

    • Antonin Dvorak

      Treason is so blase without any nip slips.

      • MynameisBlarney

        No crotch shots?
        Meh.

    • nightmoth

      What scandal is this moran watching? 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, and bodies wouldn’t surprise me.

      • Lamashtar

        #trailofdeadrussians

    • Doug Langley

      I know. If only emails were involved.

    • Lamashtar

      Was I the only one reading pee hookers? Weird history in Studio 54 with famous gay Roy Cohn and his evil apprentices, like famous Roger Stone and his having an orgy coincidentally timed after the release of the Macron emails? General Flynn and the blond British-Russian at Cambridge who made the intelligence services “uneasy” and their “Moscow Mischa” cutesyness? The hacked texts of Manafort’s family that claimed [REDACTED] had been bullied into participating in orgies?

  • Sedagive ’em Hell

    James Comey better hold out for a HUGE advance, because his memoir is going to be epically epic.

    • MynameisBlarney

      I just hope the movie does it justice.

      • Pay Arnold Schwarzenegger 20 million bucks to star in it just make Trump’s fit into an all out conniption fit.

        • Indivisible Snark Tank

          “Costarring Rosie O’Donnell as Melon Drumpf!”

          • nightmoth

            And OF COURSE Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer.

          • MynameisBlarney

            Obvs.

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    I wish he could’ve prevented Ashcroft from singing “Let The Eagle Soar” also too, but maybe that’s asking a bit much.

    • Bill D. Burger

      My ears spontaneously bleed every time I think about that moment.

      • nightmoth

        My eyes spontaneously roll when I think about him covering up the boobies on the statue of justice.

        • SpideySenser

          That was some bizarreness, for sure!

  • Turgid Love Skwerl
  • Martini Ambassador 🍸
    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      “He’s a good boy! He’s just misunderstood!”

      • Villago Delenda Est

        “He’s just an excitable boy.”

  • UnsaltedSinner

    How could you possibly forget the epic moment that was The Great Hospital Showdown?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtf_Gxy9ZRY

    • Michael Smith

      That’s exactly what it reminded me of.

    • OddMan

      ✩✩✩✩✩

  • Chadwells

    Fuckface is not smart enough to go toe to toe with a paper bag.

  • Michael Smith

    Oh man, if we don’t all end up nuked in the next few years, books about Trump’s presidency are going to be so entertaining.

    • cheetojeebus

      So sad Leslie Nielsen isn’t around to play Pence in an Airplane! reboot “Airforce 1, The Bumbling”

      • Michael Smith

        He would be perfect.

      • Shanzgood

        Yes!

    • Thaumaturgist

      This is Wonkette. We don’t have to wait to take off our pants.

    • therblig

      and if we are nuked, we’ll be able to read by the light of our own skin.

  • Michael R

    Under all this latest drama is the fact that Trump wanted
    to block a Russia investigation he says isn’t necessary .
    Really Donnie ?
    https://s11.postimg.org/dp1n0rcvn/cat_really_small.jpg

  • Zonath

    The depressing thing about all this is how far one has to go down the presidential line of succession before finding an actual decent human being.

    If anything, the saving grace of the Donald “administration” is that they’re all so goddamned incompetent and corrupt that the important work of screwing over the poor, the minorities, and the planet has been stalled by the constant scandal and anarchy coming from the white house.

    • Indivisible Snark Tank

      If we get to Jonah Ryan without hitting anybody of substance, we’ve gone too far.

      I used to think that “Veep” was a great, funny show. Now it looks too much like a documentary.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      All the way to the end, to the VA secretary.

    • Angela Ruzzo

      Yeah, that’s very depressing. If they impeach Trump, we get Pence. This is not a significant improvement.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    Hey – guess who’s fault it is that the country is a fucking mess?
    Jack Welch: The Democrats are tearing the fabric of the economy apart
    Spoiler: It’s their extreme partisanship.

    • Zonath

      Well yeah. The Dems are using their majority in both houses of Congress to do nothing but obstruct the President. What can the Repubs really do as the minority party in both houses?

      • Oblios_Cap

        I mean, it’s not like they have any experience governing.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Welch is, and always has been, a total asshole. I used to cringe when he was held up as the epitome of a manager when I was in B-school.

      • OddMan

        I worked for Neutron Jack at GE for years, and hated him every day.

      • Carpe Vagenda

        Two words: Jay Leno. And come to think of it, two others: Jeff Zucker.

    • nightmoth

      Screw going high when they go low—
      need to pick up that poo and fling it right back!

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Isn’t he another one of those wife-hopping Republican hypocrites, as well as the blind pig who found an acorn during the economic boom?

    • UnsaltedSinner

      Now I’m just waiting for Ron Fournier to give us his view.

      • jesterpunk

        What does Ja Rule think about this?

      • Carpe Vagenda

        Oh, haven’t you heard? He and Matthew Dowd are post-partisan these days.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Jack Welch needs to be force fed bags of salted dicks.

      • John Resistant Tovarich Smith

        Electrified bags!

    • jodyleek

      Not going to read, but let me guess:
      “If the Dems would just stand aside quiety while we trample the Constitution and set it on fire, it would all be so much better!”

    • Alan

      Says the guy who almost single-handedly ruined one of the largest and oldest corporations in the world. I care what he thinks why?

    • Crank Tango

      I think he’s losing his mind-grapes.

    • Pre-existing Ugly Dude

      Jack Welch can drink a tall glass of PCBs.

  • memzilla Ω

    I must say that I am looking forward to the movie that’s coming out about the Dolt 45 administrattion, All The President’s Schmendricks.

  • (((fka_donnie_d)))

    I kinda sorta buy this shit, about how he was just too fucking stupid to know what he was saying. The tone sounds like exactly the kind of entitled upper-west-side asshole that we’ve come to know and love trying to get the sentencing judge to let his kid off with a fine on a drunken assault.

    Y’know what? It doesn’t matter. If you don’t know the rules of the game, don’t show up, motherfucker.

    • Sedagive ’em Hell

      Ignorantia juris non excusat.

      Especially for that pussy-grabbing, textbook case of walking affluenza.

    • SnarkON

      Upper East Side, though.

      • (((fka_donnie_d)))

        Probably. I have been out of NYC waaaay too long

        • SnarkON

          Upper West Side = Jewish academics and psychiatrists. Upper East Side = WASPy finance assholes.

    • Meccalopolis

      Uh, no. Being from queens, Donny is strictly bridge and tunnel

  • Oblios_Cap

    I’m beginning to think that pissing off the law enforcement and intelligence communities wasn’t one of Trump’s brighter ideas.

    • SnarkON

      Pissing off the media not so smart, either.

      • jesterpunk

        “Never argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel”

    • ArgieBargie

      It’s almost as Trump were a bloviating asshole who doesn’t know when he’s overplaying his tiny hand.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Donald has no bright ideas. Only an ego that is insatiable.

    • Alan

      He’s spent his entire life getting what he wants by intimidating people with money and power. Idiot thought that skill would be useful.

    • I think his ‘brightest ideas’ these days is telling somebody before the stinky poos start coming out.

  • SnarkON

    So we like Comey now?

    • jesterpunk

      Not really, but sometimes he can be kind of good.

      • UnsaltedSinner

        Can’t we just say that there are some depths he won’t stoop to and leave it at that?

        • jesterpunk

          That sound good to me.

        • Roadstergal

          If we’re grading on the Trump curve, he’s ‘good.’ With some exceptions.

    • Vincent Ricola

      Not me. But I don’t really like anyone, so I’m used to appreciating the action and not the person.

      • Alan

        Oh good, my wife thinks I’m the only person who doesn’t like anyone.

        • janecita

          Welcome to the club! My husband and kids think the same thing about me.

          • Alan

            And then they act like you have some sort of problem.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s not our fault that people are so unlikeable.

    • Alan

      You don’t have to like him but firing him was still bordering on criminal.

      • SnarkON

        I agree. I have actually always thought that he was neither “good” nor “bad” but just a law-enforcement guy erring on the side of extreme caution, including during the whole Hillary email fiasco. It’s just odd to see everyone here suddenly in love with Comey after vilifying him relentlessly in October.

        • Alan

          People tend to react in the moment. I think he’s just a normal guy who takes his job seriously whether I agree with his judgment at all times or not.

        • Roadstergal

          I am not in love with him. And I don’t for a moment think that he was being ‘cautious’ with Hillary – whether he meant to throw the election for Trump or not, he helped do so.

          It’s a sign of my desperation that I’m hoping he’ll do _something_ about Trump.

    • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

      We’re just temporarily tolerating him for a larger cause.

    • janecita

      I still hate his guts, but I’m glad that he was such a thorough, and meticulous writer.

    • Lamashtar

      I may be willing to read unrealistic fanfiction about him.

      >_>

      <_<

      O_O

  • Anna Rompage

    And in other news today…

    Body guards & security detail for Recep Turgid Erdogan instigated a massive brawl by attacking peaceful protesters outside of the Turkish Ambassadors residence in the United States yesterday…

    https://twitter.com/voaturkish/status/864631567972540417

    • Joe Beese

      Yeah, that was some fucked-up shit.

    • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

      Trump is bringing Muslim wars to American soil!

    • Ghenghis McCann

      “Body guards & security detail … instigated a massive brawl by attacking peaceful protesters” Sounds like one of Trump’s election rallies.

    • Chadwells

      9 injured after those idiot guards attacked Kurds just standing there. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9ee2df90f56e8bd5c3a4c06eef78a0bff767dbb37d17b0bb02f4e63f309cce6.gif

    • cmd resistor

      Yet the little clip I saw of this on CNN this morning just made is sound like some opposing view factions that just got out of hand. But they had to hurry back to the yapping pundits, so why get into those pesky details.

  • Michael Smith

    From Facebook I see that Tucker Carlson is hard at work demonstrating that the liberal media won’t consider the dubiousness of relying on unnamed sources.

    Well, if Watergate is any indication, unnamed sources have the effect of leading to named sources in Congressional hearings confirming everything the unnamed sources said.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Tucker’s years of wearing bow ties deprived his brain of oxygen and now he’s stupider than ever.

      • cmd resistor

        Now that would depend if they are clip on bow ties or the kind that tie.

    • BMW

      He must think an unnamed source means the reporter doesn’t know who the source is, either.

    • SnarkON

      People get so irritated at the mainstream press (New York Times, WaPo, etc.) for its extreme caution in reporting any shady political doings–as opposed to, say, TV and internet outlets, which report anything and everything without checking it out too thoroughly. The reason these newspapers are so seemingly cautious is because they do not print anything they can’t corroborate. When they get anonymous or off-the-record information, they vet the fuck out of it. Rest assured that these unnamed sources are as reliable as they possibly can be.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      And yet when “unnamed sources” support his position he’ll go “they’re just too afraid to attach their name to it”!

    • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

      Fox News has made their living off of unnamed sources. They just refer to it as: “Some people say…”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYA9ufivbDw

  • BMW

    Alberto Gonzales is a human-shaped bag of dicks.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      And even HE seems horrified by the Trump administration.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    The Gonzales/Card story is epic, in that it underlines how Gonzales should never be allowed to practice law anywhere in the United States or its possessions ever again, which of course will not hurt him any because wingnut welfare.

    • Roadstergal
      • Suttree

        Didn’t he say that like 72 times at that hearing?

        • Roadstergal

          72 was the official count.

    • cmd resistor

      Yeah, and I keep hearing him interviewed on places like NPR. I think one time they were asking him some ETHICS questions.

      • Lamashtar

        Sometimes I think its like “Does even the WORST attorney think you’re violating ethics??”

    • Suttree

      Per Wikipedia: Gonzales is currently the Dean of Belmont University College of Law, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he currently teaches Constitutional Law, Separation of Powers, National Security Law and First Amendment Law

      There’s some wingnut welfare for you. Someone hired him to teach law!

  • Joe Beese
    • Roadstergal

      I trust that guy in the alley with a trench coat more than Trump.

  • Carpe Vagenda

    So he gets the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Feeling Bad About How Breaking the World Turned Out, but other than that, Mrs Lincoln really enjoyed the play?

  • Reximus
    • SnarkON

      Oh, Geraldo, go stuff yourself in Al Capone’s vault.

      • Suttree

        And then hit yourself with a chair. In the nose.

    • janecita

      I think that the whole family is far from intelligent. They are all very entitled dumbasses.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Flynn is a good man…with few exceptions, I mean.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      I wish that Nazi skinhead had punched Geraldo more and harder back in the day.

    • Indivisible Snark Tank

      Geraldo’s right, if you substitute “Excellent Russian Operative” for “good man”.

    • ariel_gee_398

      Oh, he’s a good man, you say? Well then, we can certainly overlook all this unregistered foreign agent and taking money from foreign governments without permission stuff. That’s just how the law works.

  • Parakeetist

    This is turning into Mortal Kombat, with votes.

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    OT: Anna Elizabeth asked me to let the wonketariat know she’s doing OK today. She hasn’t given me an explanation why she’s been away from wonkette.

    • Chadwells

      Thank you! Blarney will be relieved.

    • Well, all this insanity is very stressful and unpleasant

      • Vincent Ricola

        It is unpresidented crazy right now. I think everyone needs an occasional break to take care of themselves.

    • SweetDeeKat

      Send her hugs and good wishes.

    • SadDemInTex

      Tell her we are thinking of her!

  • Angela Ruzzo

    Sixteen years ago I had the Boss From Hell. We would meet, he would say “Go do A-B-C.” I would go do A-B-C, and do it very well and ahead of schedule. He would then reprimand me severely for doing A-B-C, which he had not approved, instead of doing X-Y-Z, which he had never mentioned. I would say “But you told me to do A-B-C.” He would say “No, I didn’t, I told you to do X-Y-Z.” Since he never put ANYTHING in writing, EVER, I had no proof that he was a nutcase. So I started writing e-mail summaries of every meeting we had and sending them to him immediately after each meeting – the kind that start with “To summarize our conversation today. . . .” This is called Covering Your Ass.

    • Reximus

      there are loads of stories that this is Trump as a boss

    • proudgrampa

      As a former Project Manager, I learned a LONG time ago that EVERYTHING gets documented. EVERYTHING.

      I still have stuff in my personal files from ages ago… It’s just a good practice.

      • Shanzgood

        Yup. By the time you realize you needed to have documented something, it’s too late.

      • Angela Ruzzo

        Me too. They should have a class in high school called “How To Deal With Difficult Bosses” but they never teach anything really useful in high school.

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      How long before the nutcase fired you?

      • Angela Ruzzo

        He didn’t. He couldn’t afford to – I was doing 3 people’s jobs and doing them well and he knew I was smart and would sue him if he fired me.

        In his first year as Top Boss, 8 of the 10 department managers quit, including mine. Of the 8 replacements, 6 quit in the second year, and one was demoted (my replacement boss), then he quit too. After that I had to report directly to Top Boss, and I could only stand it for one year, then I quit. I kept all my emails. Still got ’em, in fact, on a CD somewhere, just in case.

        • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

          Holy crap. That must be one heck of a story.

          • Angela Ruzzo

            Yeah. He could do whatever he wanted cause he and the Vice Chancellor were best buddies.

          • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

            Sounds familiar.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Probably because the original ABC was a stupid idea on his part and made him look bad. It then became your fault for not intuitively knowing what would make him look good and somehow convincing him to do it.

      • Angela Ruzzo

        Well, that was the odd thing. . . A-B-C was a good idea, and X-Y-Z was a stupid idea, so it didn’t really make sense. But then narcissistic sociopaths aren’t big on making sense. Add to that that he was a Tenured Professor with a Doctorate, and things got really fucked up. I am still waiting for him to die so I can write about him in my autobiography.

    • Meccalopolis

      Had to do that with a sociopathic assistant principal. Copied our boss too

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    Hugh Hewitt a couple minutes ago–“I want to see his memos from when Bill Clinton got on Loretta Lynch’s plane.”
    https://i.giphy.com/ADr35Z4TvATIc.gif

    • proudgrampa

      WHY. WHY? Does MSNBC keep that idjit on???

    • cmd resistor

      Ok, stupid question. I assume Comey was nowhere near the plane so would have nothing to write a memo about? Yet now many idiots will repeat the stupid statement…..

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Deflect, deflect, deflect….

  • Chadwells

    OT: I’m sure this has already been posted…but just in case:

    Arrested Development is officially returning to Netflix for a fifth season

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/17/15653446/arrested-development-netflix-fifth-season

  • Chadwells

    OT: HAH! Boss level trolling from the best in the biz!!!

    “The Onion’s Clickhole rebrands as PatriotHole to parody conservative sites”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/news/333821-clickhole-rebrands-as-patriothole-to-parody-conservative-websites

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      If I sent this stuff to some of my right wing relatives, they wouldn’t recognize it as satire.

  • SweetDeeKat

    Wow. I remember the Ashcroft story (because it was an unexpected act of a principled person) but didn’t realize Comey was critical to the process. Respect.

  • SweetDeeKat

    Oh, and to insert legal argle bargle here, notes made while the incident is fresh in your mind, or regularly conducted – are admissible in court even if you’re dead.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    Ashcroft as Attorney General. . . now there’s a story. He was the incumbent Missouri Senator, running against Democrat Mel Carnahan in 2000. Carnahan died in a plane crash three weeks before the election, too late to change the ballots. So we all got to chose between Asshole Republican Ashcroft and Reputable Dead Democrat Carnahan. Dead Democrat Carnahan won. Whoopee! Except then Ashcroft was unemployed and available to be picked as Attorney General. Oh no! Maybe voting for the Dead Democrat wasn’t such a good idea, I thought. Maybe Ashcroft could do less damage as Missouri Senator than Attorney General, I thought. But then Ashcroft did what he did in the hospital. Life is very strange.

    • Yr. Gma
      • Angela Ruzzo

        Thanks, but I can do without seeing that. Did you know he made his staff in the A.G.’s office join in a prayer circle every morning? He was our Governor for 8 years too. Longest 8 years of my life.

  • Andrew Rheinheimer

    If nothing else, he was a good civil servant.

    • SnarkON

      No small compliment in this day and age.

  • Reximus

    The NSC found a way to get the imbecile to actually read their briefs:

    “National Security Council officials have
    strategically included Trump’s name in “as many paragraphs as we can
    because he only keeps reading if he’s mentioned,” according to one source,
    who relayed conversations he had with NSC officials.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-trip-idUSKCN18D0C7

    • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

      So it’s short paragraphs with bullet points, cut with pictures AND dropping his own name in to boot? wtf!

      I did say two months or so ago that the world should stop sharing intel with our country until we can purge this cancer. I’m not happy to report that I still strand by that.

    • steve damon

      Aspiring and ambitious little buttsuckers will learn to use references to Trump properties, products and promotions into those briefings. I see a Saturday Night Live skit here.

  • Pre-Existing Condition Jack

    In unrelated news, the tRump Slump has already hit the markets. The first quarter he oversaw is tanking badly. Will the repubs finally listen to the damned market they worship like a god? If they aren’t going to step up even to protect their own bottom lines here, then what?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/business/dealbook/stocks-markets.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

    • Edith Prickly

      They don’t give a shit about that either, they just want their tax cuts. Après nous, le déluge…

      • OddMan

        I was just going to say ~ Après moi le déluge
        My better half told me about that one.

      • steve damon

        I seem to remember the historical response was “Guillotine!” What a long and messy mess that turned into..Sometimes I think we resemble the France of Versailles.

        • Edith Prickly

          I’d settle for Trump having a stroke and losing his power of speech. He’d suffer a lot longer (yeah yeah, a stroke of votes)

          • steve damon

            I think in any case we should know before too long who will actually be calling the shots. I have thought since the day he announced his run for office that he could be easily played. His inner circle will play him the most.

          • Lamashtar

            I read in an Israeli article that Israel was getting screwed because they relied on Trump’s appearance and associations with conservatism to support Israel. But Arab countries had apparently observed that Trump is vulnerable to flattery, so they went on a ‘charm offensive’ and have gained his ear. In other words, buyer’s remorse.

          • steve damon

            Yeah, they shouldn’t take it personally. He’s gonna go with whoever had the last crack at him. He’s Hank Kimball, the county farm agent on that old TV show Green Acres. For some reason this whole thing reminds me of that show.

        • artem1s

          gonna look more like the Ceausescu fall IMHO

    • phoenix00

      Ford just announced layoffs.

  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    Remember that time the very principled Comey refused to send a letter to Congress about some trivial emails found on a laptop because it might interfere with the election? Yeah. Me either. Fuck him. But his CYA might save us now. Never fuck with professional bureaucrats. They know where the bodies are buried.

    • OddMan

      I will never understand why he had to do that, bullshit reasons all the way down.

      • Meccalopolis

        He thought he was saving the senate for the GOP. Asshole

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      In many cases, the bureaucrats supplied the shovels.

      • mfp

        jimmy conway–‘hey look, a leg’

        tommy–‘ha! and there’s a wing’

        henry hill–‘blaaaaaaaaaacchhhh’

  • OddMan

    Really really OT
    I just got myself a finger spinner, little hand fidget device that is THE big toy right now. Seems they are hard to find in some places so I had a look at the huge Chinese shopping site Alibaba and damned if you can’t get the things for .80 each for nice ceramic bearings ones. Minimum order 50. Someone is going to make a mint off these little things, the Chinese toy factories have ramped up and they are selling like hotcakes.
    Search Alibaba for
    [Fidget Toy Hybrid Ceramic Bearing 608 for Tri Spinner Finger with pressure releasing]

    PS I am doing a lot of nervous fidgeting.

    • Meccalopolis

      Every street vendor has the cheap knockoffs in NYC

      • OddMan

        Love NYC, it’s been too long since I got to visit.

        All you need is a credit card and an address and you too can be a FingerSpinner Magnate™®

        • Meccalopolis

          I should get some for Ms ASD students, they’d love them

          • OddMan

            They are kinda soothing and calming. It’s just neat to watch one slowly spin down in 2 minutes. The really good ones say they spin for 5 minutes.

    • azeyote

      well Vegas came up with the spinning slot machine thing along time ago, and it’s proven to trap your attention and your money –

    • Yr. Gma

      My grandsons have several of those. I find them highly annoying.

    • Gregory Brown

      Kids are bringing them to school in droves, and teachers absolutely loathe the damn things. On the other hand, I wish I had thought of using a simple skate bearing to make a gadget that would sell in the millions and make me rich. Fuck.

  • Run2Live
  • SterWonk

    “Based on his careful record keeping during the Bush years, they’re likely to make for interesting reading, but not a very flattering portrait of government in the Trump months.”

    I can think of few things more damning to the Trump administration, than that they flatter the Bush years in comparison.

    • artem1s

      even better, I can think of few things more damning to the GOP that they inexcusably let and even more craven, incompetent boob take over the WH, who flatters the Bush years in comparison.

  • andyshelt

    Hey folks, we have a winner for the stupidest Trump defender and the most bizarre attack on Comey by a GOP talking head (which given the competition is quite an achievement).

    From the Huffpo article:

    “Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign spokesman…………..argued Comey’s habit of writing down conversations ― standard practice among law enforcement ― was “weird and vindictive.”

    For fuck’s sake, just how deep is this rabbit hole we’ve descended into that a top law enforcement officer is now being criticised for keeping a record of evidence of a crime.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-comey-memo-pushback_us_591c5521e4b0a7458fa48e8f?c39&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    • artem1s

      of course the know-nothings think writing and record keeping is weird and vindictive. why else would anyone do it?

      • andyshelt

        And from the same article.

        According to The New York Times, which reviewed portions of Comey’s memo, Trump instructed others present in the February meeting ― including Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions ― to leave the room so he could impart his words to Comey alone.

        So nothing suspicious there then?

        This does, however, make the claims of some Trump defenders that he was only joking even more laughable than they already are.

        Trump to Comey “Hey Jim, I’ve got a great joke for you, but I just need the rest of the guys to step out first before I tell you.”

        Just how fucking stupid do these dipshits think we are?

        https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/864839380611026944

        • feminazipenisshrinker

          IT WAS JUST LOCKERROOM TALK!!

    • andyshelt

      And another nugget from the same Huffpo article.

      “According to The New York Times, which reviewed portions of Comey’s memo, Trump instructed others present in the February meeting ― including Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions ― to leave the room so he could impart his words to Comey alone.”

      So nothing at all suspicious there then? And it makes even more ludicrous the laughable attempts by Trump apologists to argue that he was just joking.

      https://twitter.com/AASchapiro/status/864685085559279616

  • Bitter Scribe

    Gee, this almost makes up for his throwing the election to Trump.

  • Donkey Option

    I tried to explain to my mom the theory that Comey was trying to keep something worse from happening by releasing that stupid statement about Hilary’s emails, but she won’t hear of it. But yeah, the more I learn about Comey, I actually think he was one to try to do the right thing, and I think I buy Wonkette’s explanation.

    • eh.
      The Hillary thing was a bona fied dumb. He hates him some Clintons ever since whitewater.
      But he is still basically a decent public servant, just has hang ups like everyone

      • Greyhame

        He honestly just fucked up with that July press conference. Everything after that was the Benghazi Inquisition painting him into a corner, along with the Rudy Giuliani fan-club in the NYC field office. Those guys are the ones who truly deserve to get shitcanned for their part in all this.

    • Greyhame

      Technically, Chaffetz was the one who dumped it all over the news.

      • Lefty Wright

        Comey was not aware Chaffetz would do that? Then I question his intelligence.

    • Lefty Wright

      How could it have been worse, may I ask? The weasely letter he wrote took a lot of time and attention to say practically nothing but allow any interpretation you wanted to make of it. Then he went incommunicado for nine days, neither confirming or denying even the wildest rumors.

      • Donkey Option

        To be honest, I don’t know. Except that, as Geyhame is saying below, it seems like he had to do it because if he didn’t, someone else would leak it and make it look like he was trying to hide something, making a non-story even more of a story? I mean, Comey putting it out was awful, but if the NYC had leaked it to Giuliani and they came out “the FBI is trying to protect this super amazing new Hilary EMAILZ!!!!1!! information” that would have looked worse? I don’t think we’ll ever know.

  • Lamashtar

    I wrote a little blurb about how Comey is like the Marvel superhero Daredevil. http://lamashtar.tumblr.com/post/160725326570/how-to-understand-james-comey

    I like to pretend James Comey is a REAL giant…but everyone around him just doesn’t realize it and they all ignore it.

    And here is a sweet picture of him smiling in happier times.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6f60f32fbf0e8f3e9d08a78290d13663baf4347f06a7829aadf3cd9e685891c5.jpg

  • Ryan Denniston

    “In one of those great moments of Bush administration stupid, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card decided to head over to pay the barely awake Ashcroft a visit and also see if they could maybe get his signature on a re-authorization of the wiretap program.”

    This alone should bar these two people from employment with reputable employers as well as TV appearances (looking at you MSNBC).

    • Lamashtar

      Gonzales’ amnesia–“I don’t recall remembering”–about why he fired Republican prosecutors for failing to pursue charges against Democrats should forever bar him from employment in any serious position.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    So how the fuck do you explain the Oct 28 Hillary bullshit.

    • Saxo the Grammarian

      That is a question that Comey will live with for the rest of his life.

    • mfp

      there’s a very good chance that comey had no choice, either in order to pre-empt the rogue elements in the new york FBI office, or because his office was ‘phished’ into it (or both)…here’s a possible (tho lengthy and sometimes sketchy) explanation…but it more likely fits what we know about comey from his orevious actions as described above by dok, and what we know from the last few weeks…this is a very good blogsite, btw, and has been on top of and mostly accurate about the whole sordid affair way before any other news source>>>>

      https://patribotics.blog/2017/02/14/the-carolina-conspiracy-putin-catfished-weiner-louise-mensch/

      • Lamashtar

        Comey referred a greater story to tell in January. We may need to wait until investigations are done before we know the whole truth. But the case against Weiner has gone oddly quiet considering they were weighing child porn charges just a few months ago.

        Here’s another take on the mysterious teen, Weiner, and the timing of the Comey letter: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/exclusive-how-trump-backers-weaponized-anthony-weiner-defeat-clinton

        • Gregory Brown

          Weiner has since pleaded guilty and is up for slammer time.

          • Lamashtar

            Saw that! Proves a real girl was involved. Doubt this will be the last time we go over this sequence of events though.

          • Gregory Brown

            At least with Super Weenie it should be the last, and mercifully, I must say.

      • Lefty Wright

        Bullshit. Just more cover your ass by Comey apologists. Talking about doors and leaks is no justification for what he did. And sitting by silently for nine days while the rumor and spin mill went into overdrive while maintaining total silence just seals my opinion. The letter was based on total speculation. He did not even have a warrant. He ignored decades long policy about not doing exactly what he did without consulting anyone. And as far as leaks, he could have send a notice out that any leaks on this would result in dismissal, and if leaks occurred, he could have tried to publicly tamp down the speculation by saying what was obvious, they had nothing showing those emails contained anything new. Essentially, he preempted the leaks by leaking it himself, then clamming up.

        • mfp

          yes, he did pre-empt leaks…but not from his staff…he sent a letter to the proper congressional committee(s), because the never-ending house investigations–and he probably had his suspicions that it would be leaked, so that MAY be why he did what he did…dont get me wrong, i’m not trying to defend what he did then…if he was worried about congressional staff leakage, it would have been better to let that happen and then trace where it came from….

          also, he did say there was nothing new in the emails a few days before the election, but of course by then it was too late

          i dunno…it’s a fucking trainwreck, and there is much blame to go around– the hackers, the voters, the fake-newsers, the suckers, the true-believers, the republican power-mongers…my head hurts and i need a drink

  • azeyote

    you can believe Comey or you can believe someone who was the underdog, but won the electoral as seen as red splotches on the map printouts, given freely, that prove the truth to whatever he says –

    • Lamashtar

      Believe Comey, who is pathologically driven to tell the truth EVEN IF IT DAMAGES THE COUNTRY, or believe Trump.

      Hmm.

      • SpideySenser

        Occam’s razor?

        • mfp

          trump’s razor?

    • Lefty Wright

      Comey has done some very stupid and unethical things in the last 12 months, but it does not look like he lies. Whereas Trump lies all the time. Even during his campaign. So I would go with Comey, even though he is a dick.

    • mightysprout

      So if I parse this sentence, you are saying that since he won, automatically whatever he says is true.

    • dshwa

      Mighty excellent snark and Poe there.

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