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The Trump Investigation Thread

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by noxiousdog » Thu May 18, 2017 4:08 pm

YellowKing wrote:The only thing more telling than all this smoke is the number of people trying frantically to put it out.
I suppose the good news is that Putin hasn't had much experience dealing with a free press.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by gilraen » Thu May 18, 2017 4:16 pm

noxiousdog wrote: I suppose the good news is that Putin hasn't had much experience dealing with a free press.
Or, for that matter, Twitter :D

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Defiant » Thu May 18, 2017 4:23 pm


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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by YellowKing » Thu May 18, 2017 4:29 pm

So what are the thoughts on Joe Lieberman as FBI Director? I can't say that I'm overly fond of Joe or overly critical, just kind of "Huh?????" Would rather a seasoned FBI guy in there rather than some random 75 year old ex-Senator. Maybe I'm missing something.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by gilraen » Thu May 18, 2017 4:31 pm

YellowKing wrote:So what are the thoughts on Joe Lieberman as FBI Director? I can't say that I'm overly fond of Joe or overly critical, just kind of "Huh?????" Would rather a seasoned FBI guy in there rather than some random 75 year old ex-Senator. Maybe I'm missing something.
Better than Cornyn or Gowdy? I honestly can't even figure out what Lieberman's qualifications are for the position.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Enough » Thu May 18, 2017 4:34 pm

gilraen wrote:
YellowKing wrote:So what are the thoughts on Joe Lieberman as FBI Director? I can't say that I'm overly fond of Joe or overly critical, just kind of "Huh?????" Would rather a seasoned FBI guy in there rather than some random 75 year old ex-Senator. Maybe I'm missing something.
Better than Cornyn or Gowdy? I honestly can't even figure out what Lieberman's qualifications are for the position.
I know some here like him, but he has always seemed to lack any real beliefs or strong ethics. He's an opportunist we know at least, heh.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by PLW » Thu May 18, 2017 4:41 pm

Plus the dude is 75. Given a 10 year term, that feels like asking for trouble. He might be in great shape now, but I've seen how fast football coaches can turn that corner. I assume it's also true for leaders of the most important law enforcement agency in the world.
Last edited by PLW on Thu May 18, 2017 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by BooTx » Thu May 18, 2017 4:45 pm

Brian wrote:So, if President Trump were to be impeached and then removed from office, is the SS on the hook to protect him according to the FPA?
Do we protect former Presidents, or do we protect the top secret information they have?

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Holman » Thu May 18, 2017 4:49 pm

Trump just denied on camera that he asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.

This presser is going full snowjob: the FBI hated Comey; everyone hated Comey; even my enemies don't think there was collusion; we're doing great.

It's Trump attempting to stay on script, and it's a ridiculously weak performance.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Sepiche » Thu May 18, 2017 4:55 pm

YellowKing wrote:So what are the thoughts on Joe Lieberman as FBI Director? I can't say that I'm overly fond of Joe or overly critical, just kind of "Huh?????" Would rather a seasoned FBI guy in there rather than some random 75 year old ex-Senator. Maybe I'm missing something.
He's good friends with McCain and Graham. My guess is he looks good to Trump's people because he lacks a law enforcement background and could be pliable, but will still get support from McCain and Graham.

I personally never liked Lieberman much, but that aside I still think his lack of law enforcement experience in his background makes him a poor choice, not to mention I can't see him commanding the same respect from the rank and file FBI as Comey or Mueller did.

Also for the record... referring to the Secret Service as the SS just doesn't feel quite right. :P

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Holman » Thu May 18, 2017 5:00 pm

Democrats also despise him, so there's that.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu May 18, 2017 5:08 pm

The proper abbreviation is USSS.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Thu May 18, 2017 5:34 pm

Sepiche wrote: My guess is he looks good to Trump's people because he lacks a law enforcement background
He was the Attorney General of CT for six years.

That said, I have no idea if he would do a good job as the FBI director. Just based on what I know of his public personality (or lack thereof), I doubt he'll inspire a great deal loyalty in the rank and file agents. I've never been much of a Lieberman fan, but he is certainly better than some other options.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by $iljanus » Thu May 18, 2017 5:53 pm

Enough wrote:
gilraen wrote:
YellowKing wrote:So what are the thoughts on Joe Lieberman as FBI Director? I can't say that I'm overly fond of Joe or overly critical, just kind of "Huh?????" Would rather a seasoned FBI guy in there rather than some random 75 year old ex-Senator. Maybe I'm missing something.
Better than Cornyn or Gowdy? I honestly can't even figure out what Lieberman's qualifications are for the position.
I know some here like him, but he has always seemed to lack any real beliefs or strong ethics. He's an opportunist we know at least, heh.
He's another Washington insider and I wonder if his loyalties will lie in protecting the institution vs disclosing some inconvenient truths. We need someone from the FBI or a judge. Here are three reasons from Rolling Stone why he's not the optimal pick. Number one was covered here and number three is worrisome.
There are at least three reasons why. To wit:

1. The FBI director serves a 10-year term. Joe Lieberman is 75 years old. That's 20 years older than the average age of a nominee for FBI director, and 13 years older than the oldest nominee in U.S. history, Clarence M. Kelley.

2. Lieberman, a former senator, would be the first politician ever appointed to the job. Every past director served as either an agent in the bureau, a federal prosecutor or a federal judge prior to their nomination. (Lieberman was attorney general of Connecticut, an elected office, for six years in the Eighties.)

3. Lieberman is currently employed by the law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, which specializes in white-collar criminal defense – and which frequently represents Donald Trump. Most recently, one of the firm's partners, Marc Kasowitz, threatened to sue The New York Times for running a story about women who accused Trump of sexual assault. If confirmed, Lieberman would be in charge of the agency conducting a criminal investigation into Trump's presidential campaign.
He works for a law firm that has had Trump as a client. I mean WTF?

And from US News and World Report:
He was supportive of Trump's nomination of Jeff Sessions to be attorney general – a selection that was vehemently protested by Democrats for Sessions' past record on race, calling him in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee "an honorable and trustworthy person, a smart and good lawyer, and a thoughtful and open minded listener."
Ha ha ha ha, what can possibly go wrong?
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Sepiche » Thu May 18, 2017 6:39 pm

Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
Sepiche wrote: My guess is he looks good to Trump's people because he lacks a law enforcement background
He was the Attorney General of CT for six years.
Ah, forgot about that, thanks for the correction.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Thu May 18, 2017 6:45 pm

Ralph-Wiggum wrote:
Sepiche wrote: My guess is he looks good to Trump's people because he lacks a law enforcement background
He was the Attorney General of CT for six years.

That said, I have no idea if he would do a good job as the FBI director. Just based on what I know of his public personality (or lack thereof), I doubt he'll inspire a great deal loyalty in the rank and file agents. I've never been much of a Lieberman fan, but he is certainly better than some other options.
Trump says he fired Comey for being a grandstanding showboat. And he's going to nominate Lieberman? Ah, well, crazier things have happened (since this time yesterday, even). :P

The last version of the alleged short list I saw included Lieberman, Frank Keating, Richard McFeely and Andrew McCabe.
Whoever Trump picks will have to win Senate confirmation, and that will likely require demonstrating a willingness to be independent of Trump. Former director Comey alleged in a memo — the details of which were made public Tuesday — that Trump asked him to shut down an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump fired Comey from his post last week.

Of those on the latest list, Lieberman might be the most controversial — even though he identified as a Democrat for most of his political career and was even the party’s nominee for vice president in 2000. He ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004 and became an independent in 2006.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle have expressed wariness about having a politician lead the FBI, and a Senate Democratic leadership aide said Lieberman would not be exempt from that.

Lieberman was Connecticut’s attorney general decades ago.

“There couldn’t be a worse time to take the unprecedented step of handing the FBI over to a politician,” the aide said. “That includes Senator Lieberman.”
If Lieberman is the most controversial name on the list, it makes sense that he's the pick. Classic Trump!

Personally, I think Trump should go with McFeely. He appears to have had a distinguished FBI career, and that name is a perfect fit for the Trump administration.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Combustible Lemur » Thu May 18, 2017 7:56 pm

Not for nothing, Senator Graham, after a meeting with Rosenstein publicly characterized this as now a criminal investigation

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Thu May 18, 2017 8:33 pm

Because none of this is yet sufficiently complicated...

Justice Dept. to review possible ethics conflicts involving Mueller’s former law firm
Newly appointed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will undergo a Justice Department ethics review that will examine possible conflicts of interest regarding his former law firm, which represents several figures who could be caught up in the probe into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Thursday that the agency will conduct a background investigation and detailed review of conflict-of-interest issues, a process outlined in the regulation governing special counsels under which he was appointed.

For the past three years, Mueller has been a partner in the Washington office of WilmerHale, whose attorneys represent former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

Federal regulations prohibit officials from participating in matters involving their former employers for two years after joining the government unless they receive a waiver to do so.
Still, Green noted, granting such a waiver could later prove politically risky.

“At the end of the day, if he says, ‘I didn’t find anything here,’ are members of the public going to say, ‘We don’t trust that because we think you favored these individuals because they are your former firm’s clients?’ ”
I'm sure that the anti-Trumpers will be just fine with that outcome.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Thu May 18, 2017 9:51 pm

2017 has the best editorials in the history of journalism.

Someone Needs to Explain to Donald Trump That His Own Administration Appointed the Special Counsel
One of the odd things that has happened in plain view today is a series of angry attacks by the president of the United States on his own deputy attorney general, the very man on whose recommendation the White House originally said he decided to fire FBI Director James Comey.

No, Trump hasn’t attacked Rod Rosenstein by name, but he’s aggressively attacked Rosenstein’s decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate all aspects of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russians and their agents.

This morning’s presidential tweets complained that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama didn’t have to deal with a special counsel, and then called his own subjection to this scrutiny a “witch hunt.” Later on he spoke with a group of television anchors, and was still whining about his own administration’s decision, saying it “hurts the country” and “shows a very divided country.” He also blamed it on Democrats, who just could not accept they had lost the election fair and square (except, presumably, for those millions of “illegal votes” cast against Trump).

Can someone please explain to the president that the Department of Justice is part of his administration?
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Thu May 18, 2017 10:30 pm

This is an interesting article, especially when contemplating why Trump might be nominating someone as ill-suited as Lieberman to be Dir FBI.

What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump
He said one other thing that day that, in retrospect, stands out in my memory: he expressed wariness about the then-still-unconfirmed deputy attorney general nominee, Rod Rosenstein. This surprised me because I had always thought well of Rosenstein and had mentioned his impending confirmation as a good thing. But Comey did not seem enthusiastic. The DOJ does need Senate-confirmed leadership, he agreed, noting that Dana Boente had done a fine job as acting deputy but that having confirmed people to make important decisions was critical. And he agreed with me that Rosenstein had a good reputation as a solid career guy.

That said, his reservations were palpable. “Rod is a survivor,” he said. And you don’t get to survive that long across administrations without making compromises. “So I have concerns.”

In retrospect, I think I know what Comey must have been thinking at that moment. He had been asked to pledge loyalty by Trump. When he had declined, and even before, he had seen repeated efforts to—from his point of view—undermine his independence and probe the FBI’s defenses against political interference. He had been asked to drop an investigation. He had spent the last few months working to defend the normative lines that protect the FBI from the White House. And he had felt the need personally to make clear to the President that there were questions he couldn't ask about investigative matters. So he was asking himself, I suspect: What loyalty oath had Rosenstein been asked to swear, and what happened at whatever dinner that request took place?

I don’t want to make a unified field theory out of these incidents, which are pieces of a much larger mosaic—a mosaic that surely includes whatever Comey knew about the Russia investigation, among many other things. But I am confident that these incidents tell a story about Comey’s thinking over the months that he and Trump were in office together. And I think they also sketch a trajectory in which Trump kept Comey on board only as long as it took him to figure out that there was no way to make Comey part of the team. Once he realized that he couldn’t do that—and that the Russia matter was thus not going away—he pulled the trigger.
From what I've read, it is unusual that the candidates for Dir FBI are being conducted at the WH instead of at the DoJ. I wonder if there are any "tapes" of Trump's interviews with Lieberman and the others?
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Fri May 19, 2017 12:04 am

Pro-tip: "Political advisors" who don't understand how Wikipedia edits work probably shouldn't make obvious edits to articles (such as, say, repeatedly deleting a reference to Donald Trump being a notable client of Joe Lieberman's employer). It might do things like expose their IP address.

People notice this sort of thing. :)
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Defiant » Fri May 19, 2017 11:48 am

I think in a normal time, Lieberman would be an ok choice - it looks to me like he's got similar experience to the last two directors. At this point in time, though, I would especially want someone who wasn't a politician, and who had a strong reputation in the field and who wasn't going to be intimidated by Trump.

Of course, I would imagine there would be less people who want the job at the moment because of the intense public attention and the aggravation of having to deal with Trump and the fear that you might get fired if Trump is unhappy. Though I guess getting fired is less of a concern if you're already near the end of your career anyway.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Fireball » Fri May 19, 2017 11:53 am

Lieberman is a snake with no values, no decency, and no loyalty to anyone but himself. He wouldn't be a good choice for any position. He has no experience in DOJ or the FBI or with federal law enforcement: he is unqualified for this position.

So he's a perfect fit to work with his client Trump. He'll be a good boy and squash anything Donald wants squashed. If Trump throws in a few bombing raids on Middle East civilians, Lieberman might be so overjoyed he reopens the Clinton "investigation."
Last edited by Fireball on Fri May 19, 2017 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by malchior » Fri May 19, 2017 12:16 pm

Fireball wrote:He has no experience in DOJ, no experience as a prosecutor, no experience in law enforcement: he is completely unqualified for this position.
No fan of Leiberman and agree he is a snake. Still I don't think this is 100% accurate. He was the AG for CT for years in the 80s. And I don't necessarily think that makes him qualified to run the FBI. I'm all about calling him out but think we need to be factual in our evaluations and cricisms. Especially now.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Fireball » Fri May 19, 2017 12:20 pm

malchior wrote:
Fireball wrote:He has no experience in DOJ, no experience as a prosecutor, no experience in law enforcement: he is completely unqualified for this position.
No fan of Leiberman and agree he is a snake. Still I don't think this is 100% accurate. He was the AG for CT for years in the 80s. And I don't necessarily think that makes him qualified to run the FBI. I'm all about calling him out but think we need to be factual in our evaluations and cricisms. Especially now.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Jeff V » Fri May 19, 2017 12:21 pm

Lieberman is probably attractive to Trump on account of his likelihood to drop dead before the investigation runs its course.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Fri May 19, 2017 1:15 pm

Defiant wrote:I think in a normal time, Lieberman would be an ok choice - it looks to me like he's got similar experience to the last two directors.
No, in a normal time Lieberman wouldn't even be considered for the job. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a Dir FBI that was a former politician. There's a reason for that.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Defiant » Fri May 19, 2017 1:36 pm

Max Peck wrote: No, in a normal time Lieberman wouldn't even be considered for the job. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a Dir FBI that was a former politician. There's a reason for that.
While it's important to be non-partisan in the role, I don't think someone having been a former politician means that they can't be. We've had, for example, former politicians that became supreme court justices with success, and I would consider being non-partisan to be very important with regards to the supreme court.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Max Peck » Fri May 19, 2017 2:10 pm

Defiant wrote:
Max Peck wrote: No, in a normal time Lieberman wouldn't even be considered for the job. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a Dir FBI that was a former politician. There's a reason for that.
While it's important to be non-partisan in the role, I don't think someone having been a former politician means that they can't be. We've had, for example, former politicians that became supreme court justices with success, and I would consider being non-partisan to be very important with regards to the supreme court.
And yet, the job has never been given to a politician. This probably isn't the best of times to break that tradition. The public perception that the FBI is apolitical is as important as the actuality of it.

Given what we know of Trump, if Trump nominates Lieberman there is every reason to believe that Lieberman has promised his loyalty -- and Lieberman strikes me as someone who would give it (even if insincerely) in order for another shot at the limelight. Fortunately, there are at least some indicators that the administration won't be able to come up with 51 votes to confirm him. Aside from the risk of politicizing the FBI, Lieberman has a lot of luggage with former colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I'll bet 23 quatloos that he would get no Dem votes and at least 3 GOP senators would go against him.

Of the names that are still being floated, McFeely and McCabe are the ones that seem like viable candidates (although McCabe has one or two strikes against him since becoming acting Dir FBI).
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Defiant » Fri May 19, 2017 2:31 pm

Max Peck wrote: And yet, the job has never been given to a politician. This probably isn't the best of times to break that tradition. The public perception that the FBI is apolitical is as important as the actuality of it.
If you'll note, I did say that ("At this point in time, though, I would especially want someone who wasn't a politician, and who had a strong reputation in the field and who wasn't going to be intimidated by Trump.") :D

And just to remind you that for several decades the FBI was controlled by Hoover, and I wouldn't want him as FBI director now, either. :wink:

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Ralph-Wiggum » Fri May 19, 2017 3:12 pm

Not sure if this should go here or the Russia thread (who can keep up anymore???), but Trump did himself no favors if he wanted to maintain that firing Comey had nothing to do with Russia:
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
:pop:

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Sepiche » Fri May 19, 2017 3:18 pm

How is it possible that we underestimated how dumb Trump is? I had an incredibly low opinion of his intelligence going into all this and yet at every turn he makes decisions that are even more bone headed than I thought possible.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by hepcat » Fri May 19, 2017 3:25 pm

Half the time I think he's just quoting old gangster movies.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Defiant » Fri May 19, 2017 3:35 pm

hepcat wrote:Half the time I think he's just quoting old gangster movies.
To be fair, that worked great in Home Alone

Speaking of which

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by PLW » Fri May 19, 2017 4:08 pm


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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by malchior » Fri May 19, 2017 4:17 pm

He is a fucking moron but he also is someone who lies to himself as well as others. Even if he knew he were under investigation I'd assume he say he wasn't.

But that's ok because the big break right now is that the probe has reached into the White House itself already and Claude Taylor is claiming it is no other than Jared Kushner himself.

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Sepiche » Fri May 19, 2017 4:21 pm

malchior wrote:He is a fucking moron but he also is someone who lies to himself as well as others. Even if he knew he were under investigation I'd assume he say he wasn't.

But that's ok because the big break right now is that the probe has reached into the White House itself already and Claude Taylor is claiming it is no other than Jared Kushner himself.
Kushner would be my guess. We know he's met with Russian officials during the transition and didn't disclose it...

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Fri May 19, 2017 4:23 pm

malchior wrote:But that's ok because the big break right now is that the probe has reached into the White House itself already and Claude Taylor is claiming it is no other than Jared Kushner himself.
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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by Rip » Fri May 19, 2017 4:31 pm

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Re: The Trump Investigation Thread

Post by YellowKing » Fri May 19, 2017 4:41 pm

From the New York Times:
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
White House has not disputed the document, stating that the pressure Trump was referring to was pressure impacting his ability to perform diplomacy with Russia, and that this was said as a diplomatic tactic.

You know, when you have to clarify every dumb statement you make with a convoluted explanation as to why it's not actually dumb, you're losing.

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