I’m Not Sure Slandering Comey is a Winning Strategy

Foxnews.com headline 1PM on 6/9/17 (the day after Comey’s testimony)…

LEAKS, TWEETS AND REVENGE Tricky timeline casts doubt on Comey’s memo claim

Per Foxnews.com, “REVENGE” — Comey defending himself under oath is revenge?

· The president fires Comey in embarrassing fashion.

· Not even 24 hours after firing Comey the president meets with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak where he reportedly calls Comey “crazy” and a “real nut job.

· Not even 48 hours after firing Comey the president (in an interview with NBC) again attacks Comey by calling him a “showboat” and a “grandstander” and went on to say that FBI was in “virtual turmoil” under Comey’s leadership.

· The president tweeted an empty threat to Comey about him being careful because he might have “tapes” of their conversations.

· The president accused Comey of lying under oath in his testimony in front of congress on 5/3/17.

· The president again accused Comey of lying under oath (“many times”) in his testimony in front of congress yesterday 6/8/17.

Interesting. Apparently Comey doesn’t have the right to defend himself when another person has intentionally attempted to slander his name and career. Something about that seems un-American to me.

Per Foxnews.com, “LEAKS” — I’ll admit that I don’t have any legal background so I’m just speaking from the gut.

· Is it truly leaking (in legal terms) if a private American citizen passes along their own unclassified notes of a conversation (regardless of intent)?

· Yes, I understand that the conversation was with the president, but my understanding is that the White House never notified anyone that they intended to invoke any kind of executive privilege (about any of their conversations).

· Plus, my understanding is that the White House was fully aware that they didn’t have any basis for doing so… for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, because the president had already publicly discussed these meetings anyway.

· Also, maybe I’m not familiar with the law, but my understanding is that the nature of unclassified info is that because it is unclassified, it can’t be leaked (in legal terms).

· Lastly, this is a career attorney. This is a former federal prosecutor, a former corporate lawyer, a former Deputy Attorney General, and most recently a former Director of the FBI (the top law enforcement official in the land). He, under oath explained exactly what he did, AND even explained what his intentions were (and exactly what he wanted to happen… did in fact happen). Do people really believe this man detailed exactly what he did without understanding the legalities of his actions?

Per Foxnews.com, “Tricky timeline” — honestly, there’s nothing tricky about the timeline. It’s pretty straight-forward.

· FoxNews.com is following the lead of other GOPers I’ve seen interviewed in the last 24 hours. The narrative they’re trying to push is that Comey’s timeline of giving his memos to his friend doesn’t match up because the New York Times’ piece on the topic came out the day before Comey claims to have given the memos.

· The problem is, that story doesn’t reference the memos. In fact, the word memo isn’t even found in the article (check it out for yourself). The story was based on, as the NY Times describes in the article, “people close to” Comey whom he told about the encounter with the president “on the condition that they not discuss it publicly while he was F.B.I. director”. And these people “felt free to discuss it” since Comey had been fired from his role as FBI Director.

· The memo wasn’t reported by the NY Times until a few days later.

Per Foxnews.com, “casts doubt on Comey’s memo claim” — Well, as Comey mentioned in his testimony yesterday…

· These memos and notes were shared with FBI leadership at the time. And in Comey’s testimony he twice listed all of the people that were involved in receiving this information (within the FBI). So, congress and anyone else is free to approach those people to corroborate or refute Comey’s story.

· Most importantly, these memos and notes are now in the hands of the special prosecutor Robert Mueller… so he and only he will decide if there is any “doubt”.

Foxnews.com referring to Comey as some simpleminded imbecile, as a leaking traitor, etc. is a bad look. I don’t doubt that this is will be an effective narrative with some people, which in and of itself is a tremendous issue, but I’m not sure it’s a winning strategy.