What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey - POLITICO Magazine


52 bookmarks. First posted by csabatino may 2017.


The two men who could bring down the president have been preparing their entire lives for this moment.
fbi  politics  on:politico.com  politico  2017-05 
11 weeks ago by xr
Cheney’s counsel, the famously aggressive David Addington, standing in the back of the room, spoke up: “Well, I’m a lawyer,” he snapped, “and I did.”

Comey shot back, “No good lawyer.”
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may 2017 by yorksranter
Terrific article --> It is as if "Donald Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash" via @politicomag
arti  politics  comey  us 
may 2017 by lalabadie
RT : Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter
may 2017 by dunstan
What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey https://t.co/4uG26eRmlX

— Abraham Williams (@abraham) May 22, 2017
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may 2017 by abraham
When Jim Comey first learned that Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales were on their way to the George Washington Hospital room of John Ashcroft, his first call for help was to Bob Mueller. via Pocket
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may 2017 by trisignia
"It is as if ... Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash."
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may 2017 by topgold
"Mueller might just be America’s straightest arrow—a respected, nonpartisan and fiercely apolitical public servant."
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may 2017 by joseph
What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey https://t.co/D4nETJ1oyb via @Instapaper
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What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey via Instapaper http://politi.co/2pP75tf
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may 2017 by PattiN
What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey
The two men who could bring down the president have been preparing their entire lives for this moment.
By GARRETT M. GRAFF May 18, 2017
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When Jim Comey first learned that Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales were on their way to the George Washington Hospital room of John Ashcroft, his first call for help was to Bob Mueller. Comey knew that the White House chief of staff and the White House counsel would try to push the attorney general to renew the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, code-named STELLAR WIND. Comey, who was then Ashcroft’s deputy, had spent the preceding weeks leading the charge against the White House and especially Vice President Dick Cheney against the program, which the Justice Department’s lawyers had determined was illegal. For days, Comey had weathered intense pressure to reauthorize STELLAR WIND, the debate escalating as the program’s expiration date neared. Cheney’s office had told Comey in no uncertain terms that if the program wasn’t OK'd, Americans would die—and their blood would be on Comey’s hands.

That night, though, Comey knew he had an ally to call. He asked Mueller, the ramrod-straight FBI director, to meet him at the hospital, but as his own car raced toward the hospital—its grill lights flashing and siren wailing—Comey realized that Mueller wouldn’t make it before the White House officials, so he asked for help: Don’t let them remove me, he asked Mueller.

Comey knew that Card would have Secret Service protection with him, and he was worried about being forcibly ejected by agents from Ashcroft’s hospital room. Ashcroft, weakened from gallbladder problems, was in no condition to sign off on STELLAR WIND—he’d legally turned the reins over to Comey while he was incapacitated—but, Comey feared, if the White House could isolate Ashcroft, who knew what it would do? Comey thought fast: Ashcroft had his own FBI security detail, and so he asked Mueller to call ahead and tell them not to allow the attorney general to be left alone. It was, in an extraordinary showdown between the White House and Justice Department, perhaps the single most extraordinary moment of the tumultuous Bush years: The FBI director ordering his agents to resist the Secret Service if they tried to remove the deputy attorney general from the attorney general’s bedside. As motorcades converged on the hospital from across Washington, everyone involved wondered: Just how far would this situation escalate?

It was all the more remarkable because no one outside of a tiny circle of high-ranking officials had any idea the cinematic showdown was playing out. It would be more than three years before Comey first mentioned that night’s drama, and the full details would trickle out only in the years thereafter.

The story of that March 11, 2004, showdown—how it came to light and what it says about the motivations and the moral compass of the two men now at the heart of a new Washington showdown—should deeply worry the Trump White House.

Donald Trump, as it turns out, has stumbled into taking on two experienced Washington players on their home turf—in skirmishes that will play out in public Capitol Hill hearings with Comey even as Mueller slogs along with what is likely to be a quiet, tenacious and by-the-book investigation into the heart of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia.

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Robert Mueller might just be America’s straightest arrow—a respected, nonpartisan and fiercely apolitical public servant whose only lifetime motivation has been the search for justice. He was the most influential and longest-serving FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover himself, and someone who has settled since his retirement from government in 2013 into being that rare voice-beyond-reproach that companies and organizations recruit to lead investigations when they need to tell shareholders or the public that they’ve hired the most seasoned and respected person they can find, someone who will pursue a case wherever it leads without fear or favor. He became the first FBI director to serve a complete 10-year term since Hoover, only to then see Barack Obama reappoint him for a special two-year term, a decision that required a special act of Congress and made him the only person to be appointed head of the FBI by two different presidents, of different parties.

“His gift is that he’s decisive without being impulsive,” Comey told me several years back, recalling his years working alongside Mueller. “He’ll sit, listen, ask questions and make a decision. I didn’t realize at the time how rare that is in Washington.”

To understand what they’re now up against, Trump’s embattled White House aides should spend the day reading Mueller’s 2015 report to the NFL, which recruited him to investigate the league’s culpability in Ray Rice’s domestic violence case. Mueller’s subsequent lengthy report oozes thoroughness and the unique gravitas of an experienced prosecutor—his team, some of whom will now be working alongside him in the Russia investigation, devoured millions of documents, text messages and emails; tracked down nearly every person who had been in the building; and called all 938 telephone numbers that called in and out of the league headquarters during the period in question. His rundown of the NFL headquarters’ procedures for receiving mail and packages alone runs to five pages—he almost surely learned things that the NFL’s own mailroom staff didn’t know about who signs for what packages when.

That thoroughness and Mueller’s strong independence should terrify the Trump White House.

Jim Comey has long prided himself on being a friend to neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, but his abrupt dismissal this week suggests that in Trump’s White House, that kind of bipartisanship may not be welcome. Comey certainly ended his career as the chew toy of both sides of the political spectrum, but a closer look at his past suggests that he may have been playing the role for years. From a clash with John Ashcroft, Attorney General during George W. Bush’s administration, in 2005 to a public denunciation of Hillary Clinton’s email conduct a week before the 2016 election, here is a cartoon history of Comey, caught in the crosshairs. Above, Image
PHOTOS: Lampooning James Comey: Cartoonists On the Ousted FBI Director (click to view gallery)
| Chip Bok, Creator's Syndicate
President Trump impulsively fired Comey in the hope that it would shut down the Russia investigation; one week later, though, he finds himself facing not just one esteemed former FBI director but two: the first a wronged martyr for the bureau, and the second a legendary investigator without a hint of politics.

What unfolds ahead will be territory all too familiar to both Comey and Mueller—the field of play where they have made their careers and risen to the highest levels of government—yet the way that a Washington scandal takes on a life of its own amid independent investigations and looming prosecutions is deeply unfamiliar to Trump and many associates around him. Few in Washington know this landscape better than Comey, who as deputy attorney general appointed his friend Patrick Fitzgerald as special prosecutor to lead the leak investigation surrounding Valerie Plame, a case that ultimately led to the dethroning of Cheney’s top aide, Scooter Libby.

It is as if, after having an unrelated disagreement over movie trivia in a bar, Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash or John Cena to a cage match to the death.

***

When, nearly a decade ago, I started writing a biography of Mueller, one of the director’s associates suggested that I wouldn’t fully understand that hospital showdown until I could answer why Mueller was present at Ashcroft’s bedside that March night. As this colleague said, “I was never able to figure that out—it wasn’t an FBI program and the FBI had nothing to do with the legal advice, so why was Bob Mueller in the hospital room?”

Comey himself eventually told me the answer, years after he left the Justice Department for the private sector.

Seated in his office in Bethesda, Maryland, at Lockheed Martin, his lanky 6-foot-8-inch frame draped over a chair, Comey told me he’d enlisted Mueller’s help because of his reputation for integrity and also because of the political power and righteousness inherent in the nonpartisan position Mueller held. “I knew that no one cared about losing a deputy attorney general,” he said, “but no president could weather losing an FBI director.”

It’s a phrase, ordinary and self-explanatory at the time, that’s been rattling around in my mind with a renewed urgency over the past week, as Washington has watched the testimony of Sally Yates—the acting attorney general Trump fired on January 30—and now is anticipating what seems to be Comey’s inevitable, and inevitably dramatic, appearance on Capitol Hill himself.

Back then, Comey understood in the heat of the crisis that his office and recommendation alone might not carry the weight he needed with the White House. But no one in government or in either party could question Mueller’s motives, politics or his dedication to the Constitution.

Comey in the Spotlight
Key moments in the former FBI director’s career.
By Lakshmi Varanasi
Martha Stewart’s Exile to Camp Cupcake: In what was perhaps his most public trial as U.S. attorney for New York’s Southern District, Comey … [more]
politics  law  ethics 
may 2017 by enochko
If. has an ounce of smarts left he will resign within 24 hrs of reading this👇🏼..if not he's FU*KED 😳
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may 2017 by ploinkr
What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey
from twitter
may 2017 by mking007
On the fascinating history of Comey and Mueller—and why Trump could not have found tougher adversaries if he tried.
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by nicksieger
RT : Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter
may 2017 by genehack
WP on FBI director and Washington insiders
legal  politics 
may 2017 by jflorablack
via Pocket - What Donald Trump Needs to Know About Bob Mueller and Jim Comey - Added May 19, 2017 at 04:35PM When Jim Comey first learned that Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales were on their way to the George Washington Hospital room of John Ashcroft, his first call for help was to Bob Mueller.
IFTTT  Pocket 
may 2017 by peteyreplies
RT : Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter
may 2017 by theory
RT : Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by gnat
When Jim Comey first learned that Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales were on their way to the George Washington Hospital room of John Ashcroft, his first call for help was to Bob Mueller. via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket 
may 2017 by geekgirl397
Favorite tweet: JFKucinich

If you haven't read @vermontgmg's incredible piece on Comey and Mueller, do so over lunch today: https://t.co/OyeZ9QI3pc

— Jackie Kucinich (@JFKucinich) May 19, 2017

http://twitter.com/JFKucinich/status/865599847998472192
IFTTT  twitter  favorite 
may 2017 by tswaterman
RT : Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter
may 2017 by jrosenau
The two men who could bring down the president have been preparing their entire lives for this moment.
2017-05 
may 2017 by Weaverbird
Fascinating (long) read.
uspolitics 
may 2017 by nwlinks
RT : Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter
may 2017 by pronoiac
Politics overload. But this is a good read. What You Need to Know About Bob Mueller & Jim Comey via
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may 2017 by hawaii
Best Comey quote ever.
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may 2017 by parsingphase
Best Comey quote ever.
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by bjtitus
The two men who could bring down the president have been preparing their entire lives for this moment.
politics  comey  trump 
may 2017 by brolston
A good read here
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may 2017 by bojo
Comey knew that Card would have Secret Service protection with him, and he was worried about being forcibly ejected by agents from Ashcroft’s hospital room. Ashcroft, weakened from gallbladder problems, was in no condition to sign off on STELLAR WIND—he’d legally turned the reins over to Comey while he was incapacitated—but, Comey feared, if the White House could isolate Ashcroft, who knew what it would do? Comey thought fast: Ashcroft had his own FBI security detail, and so he asked Mueller to call ahead and tell them not to allow the attorney general to be left alone. It was, in an extraordinary showdown between the White House and Justice Department, perhaps the single most extraordinary moment of the tumultuous Bush years: The FBI director ordering his agents to resist the Secret Service if they tried to remove the deputy attorney general from the attorney general’s bedside. As motorcades converged on the hospital from across Washington, everyone involved wondered: Just how far would this situation escalate?
may 2017 by spectrevision
Great article on Bob Mueller and why he's the right person for the job.
from twitter
may 2017 by colinaut
RT : Terrific article --> It is as if "Donald Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash" via
from twitter
may 2017 by simonpeak
RT : Robert Mueller is America's straightest arrow—and that should terrify Donald Trump, my new piece:
from twitter
may 2017 by zoe
“made him the only person to be appointed head of the FBI by two separate presidents, of separate parties.”
from twitter
may 2017 by incanus
Terrific article --> It is as if "Donald Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash" via
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by csabatino
Terrific article --> It is as if "Donald Trump has challenged Usain Bolt to a 100-yard dash" via
from twitter_favs
may 2017 by briantrice