It is well known that Robert Mueller and James Comey are pretty chummy with one another. But how far does that go? Could they be colluding to take Trump down?
Press Release: “Proudly Announcing The Newly-Formed Mega-Law Firm of Mueller & Comey. We Specialize In Bungling Cases, Ignoring Legal Standards, And Bringing Down Presidents.”
I have not yet received the announcement in the mail. But I expect it will arrive any day now.
After all, Robert Mueller and James Comey appear to be acting in concert as co-special counsel. Why not make it official with a formal notice of their union?
It was obvious it would evolve this way from the very moment Mueller was named on May 17th.
Which is why I wrote a column two days later, arguing that Mueller should resign as special counsel. He has a flagrant conflict of interest that disqualifies him from serving. To wit, his personal and professional closeness to Comey. They have long been allies. Comey regards his predecessor at the FBI as a mentor, while Mueller considers Comey his protégé.
It was evident at the outset that the fired FBI Director would be the pivotal witness in any potential obstruction of justice investigation by Mueller. Therefore, it was incomprehensible that Rod Rosenstein, the Acting Attorney General, would choose him. It was equally baffling that Mueller would accept the position.
I remember reacting to the news with the words, “are you kidding?” Turns out, it was no joke.
Not to mention Comey’s grand announcement that he is a leaker, and an obvious player in the ‘Deep State’.
Rosenstein Coup – Pressed Trump To Fire Comey, Chose Special Prosecutor Targeting Trump
Nobody with an ounce of common sense or discernment believes anything the Democrats say, let alone their supposed patriotic or other distorted claims for wanting a Special Prosecutor to go after President Trump. Clearly there are illicit motives for what they do, and they would naturally want to position people who would provide them with their preferred outcome, operatives they can count on, in key positions. Two individuals were critical in wresting power away from the White House, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.
The only thing we know for sure is that things are likely not as they seem. President Trump could have been baited into firing Comey, and the same individual who recommended his firing, Rosenstein, is also the supposed “independent” who opted to place Mueller into power.
Under normal circumstances the President, Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, FBI Director and his Deputy would have had the ability to review documents, pursue investigations and perform the normal functions of their positions. Normal does not exist in the Trump DOJ and FBI. Those functions could and should have included investigations into the wrongdoing of the Clinton / Obama cabal and the suspicious misbehavior of the dubious James Comey. Oddly, No investigation into the blatant criminality of the previous administration is known to be or have been conducted and it just became more unlikely.
With the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, manpower and jurisdiction of a portion of the FBI has been removed from under the Trump administration. Deep state agents or representatives of Obama’s FBI Director and Comey ally Robert Mueller need only claim that documents are potentially relevant to their investigation and they effectively become their property, moved to the vault that is Mueller’s office. They are no longer available to the FBI at large, according to an explanation put forward by Judge Andrew Napolitano. Those agents also no longer report to anyone other than Mueller. The fracturing of the FBI and the protection of the Obama loyalists has been accomplished. It is a house divided with separate leadership.
Rosenstein Could Have Acted on Behalf of the Deep State to Urge Trump to Remove the Vulnerable Comey
So it is possible that the decision was made to remove Comey as a potential vulnerability by the deep state or that they seized upon a fortuitous development. Once their man on the inside, James Comey, was eliminated by the actions of President Trump, with Rosenstein’s urging, he realistically could not be compelled to cooperate. Comey would only agree to testify in a public setting, one in which he could argue that the public setting prohibited him from discussing anything damaging to himself or his allies.
As Napolitano explains it, the entire case, “everything that they’ve accumulated, both intelligence and criminal, is now put in an office with Bob Mueller and his team. And it may be the very same investigators that worked under Andrew McCabe in the past week and a half and under Jim Comey.”
Martha MacCallum clarifies, saying, “Right, but they will never again answer to Andrew McCabe or whoever ends up running the FBI. They will go directly to Mueller.” Napolitano replies, “Correct, and they won’t answer, we know, to Jeff Sessions and they won’t answer to Rod Rosenstein, and they certainly won’t answer to the White House.”
The FBI now has a potentially lethal parasite residing within that has the ability to confiscate documents that the criminal perpetrators within the government are aware exist and those conducting investigations likely are not. It’s similar to the way Comey supposedly knew of the existence of his memos but no one within the administration had any idea. Potentially damaging documents can be removed and secreted away, “as part of the Russia investigation,” without the public ever knowing they existed, never to see the light of day or public scrutiny.
What if James Comey Secretly held documents from an investigation into the Obama Identity fraud?
What if someone within the FBI, say perhaps James Comey, had ordered an investigation into the identification record fraud of Hussein Obama? It could have been conducted off the record, and those secret documents been used as protection, or for extortion, J. Edgar Hoover style.
That could help to explain how he was able to stand up to Hillary Clinton and why there was such a frenzy to have him replaced as quickly as possible by an establishment loyalist. Loose ends of that nature may have been tied up with the appointment of Mueller, who is now arguably the most powerful man in government.
Then again they could just be going after President Trump in the manner we see at face value. Either way their coup is moving along nicely for the evil America-haters. The power is gradually being sucked out of the presidency in advance of their planned actual physical removal of Mr. Trump from the White House.
No Republicans are lifting a finger or raising a voice in defense of our President, the man we elected to save this nation. We citizens no longer control this government. It is the habitat of a Congress of cowering dogs with their tails between their legs, deathly afraid that the investigators or intelligence agencies would look their way .
She said she was 18, right Senator? You say you thought he was a girl at the time, Congressman? Mistakes can happen. We thought you were men and you turned out to be nothing but scared mice and swamp rats.
Conflict of Interest Defined, and apparent
The law governing the special counsel (28 CFR 600.7) specifically prohibits Mueller from serving if he has a “conflict of interest.” Even the appearance of a conflict is disallowed.
The same Code of Federal Regulations defines what constitutes a conflict. That is, “a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution” (28 CFR 45.2). Comey is that person. He was substantially involved in the conversation with President Trump which may be the subject of an obstruction investigation. In fact, the former Director is the only other person involved. There were no witnesses beyond himself.
A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. Here, it sets up a clash between the special counsel’s self-interest or bias and his professional or public interest in discharging his responsibilities in a fair, objective and impartial manner. His close association with the star witness raises the likelihood of prejudice or favoritism which is anathema to the fair administration of justice.
Mueller has no choice but to disqualify himself. The law affords him no discretion because the recusal is mandatory in its language. It does not say “may” or “can” or “might”. It says the special counsel “shall” recuse himself in such instances.
An excellent post by Robert Barnes, a constitutional lawyer, identifies five statutes, regulations and codes of conduct that Mueller is violating because of his conflict of interest with Comey. Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner recounts in detail the close personal relationship between Mueller and Comey which gives rise to the blatant conflict of interest.
Mueller and Comey, the two best friends that anyone could have.
As I pointed out three weeks ago, the relationship between Mueller and Comey is not a casual one. They are well known to be good friends and former colleagues who worked side-by-side at the FBI and Department of Justice handling together several important cases. Agents quipped they were joined at the hip.
In one memorable case, they stood in solidarity, both threatening to resign over the warrant-less wiretapping fiasco involving then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004.
But the Comey-Mueller duo are best known for “badly bungling the biggest case they ever handled” together –the 2001 anthrax letters attacks that killed 5 people and infected 17 others in Washington in 2001. The story is well told by Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington bureau chief of RealClearPolitics.
It appears that Mueller, Comey and others misinterpreted the evidence and botched the case by fingering an innocent man, Steven Hatfill. It ended up costing taxpayers roughly $ 5 million in a legal settlement.
Here is the interesting part that few people recall. Hatfill’s successful lawsuit accused the FBI and DOJ of leaking information about him to the press in violation of the federal Privacy Act. Sound familiar? That’s right, a leak. Very much like Comey’s premeditated leak to the media of his now infamous memo reciting his alleged conversation with President Trump. Perhaps, old habits are hard to break.
As York points out, the Washington Post published a story the day Mueller was appointed special counsel entitled, “Brothers In Arms: The Long Friendship Between Mueller And Comey.” But nowhere in the article does it venture toward the obvious –that their relationship presents a glaring and disqualifying conflict of interest. So much for journalistic curiosity.
Perhaps most revealing is a lengthy Washingtonian story four years ago, describing in detail a deep friendship that stretches back over a decade. Mueller and Comey became “close partners and close allies”. So close, “there was only one person in government whom Comey could confide in and trust: Bob Mueller.”
Against this backdrop, the inevitable conflict of interest comes into full view. If the special counsel is investigating whether the president tried to obstruct justice, the case becomes a test of “he said…he said.” Which man will Mueller believe? His good friend or the man who fired his good friend? How can Mueller fairly and impartially assess Comey’s credibility versus Trump’s? He cannot.
Equally important, how can the public be assured that Mueller’s decision is free of partiality, if not animus, driven by his personal affection for Comey? It is reasonable to assume that Mueller was not pleased to see his good friend fired by Trump. Might the special counsel be tempted to exact retribution by conjuring criminality where none may exist? This is precisely why there are legal and ethical rules which demand recusal based on prior relationships.
What If James Comey Becomes the Target?
It is bad enough that the special counsel is a close friend of the star witness in any pursuit of obstruction against the president. But what are we to make of Comey’s conduct? If it is criminal, would Mueller decide to prosecute his friend? Or will he be tempted to overlook incriminating evidence? That evidence is worth examining.
Comey was stunningly wrong when testified that his memo of the conversation with the president was his personal property. It was not. The Federal Records Act and the Records Management regulations at the DOJ and FBI state that anything done in the course and scope of government employment is the property of the government, not the employee. Comey was acting as the FBI Director when he conversed with Trump about a pending case. He wrote the memo in his official capacity. It was not Comey’s to keep personally or give away to someone outside the government without permission.
It is a crime for an employee, such as Comey, to convert government property to his own personal use. Yes, 18 USC 641 makes it a felony to “steal, sell or convey” it to someone else. That is exactly what Comey did by giving it to a professor at Columbia University Law School for the sole purpose of leaking it to the media. Comey’s ultimate design was for the leak to prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor which, conveniently, is his good friend Robert Mueller.
Beyond the statutory violation, Comey’s non-disclosure contract promises he will not disclose the very type of record or information he leaked. Doing so, subjects him to “criminal sanctions and personal liability in a civil action”, according to the terms of his agreement. It matters not that he is no longer employed by the FBI. It is a binding, enforceable, and actionable contract regardless of Comey’s job status.
Finally, there is some evidence Comey may have lied in his testimony. He was asked if he ever received the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the form of a DOJ memo outlining the “parameters of the recusal.” Comey answered, under oath, “no.” Hours later, the DOJ released that very memo sent to Comey which it alleges he received and read. If so, this would seem to be persuasive evidence Comey did not tell the truth. Lying to congress and perjury are felonies.
There are other parts of Comey’s testimony which are being called into question, including his claim he never authored a memo about any prior presidential conversations, as well as his statement that he only leaked the contents of his memorandum after Trump issued a tweet about the possibility of tapes. A story in the New York Times suggests something quite different.
Robert Mueller’s disqualifying conflict of interest is now more glaring than ever after the Comey hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel proved to be an oxymoron in its failure to ask obvious questions about any conversations Mueller had with Comey before he testified. Senators are known for their lack of intellectual curiosity, but this was well beyond the pale.
How many times did the two friends meet or converse? Did they plan Comey’s testimony? Did they devise a way for him to avoid his own potential legal jeopardy over deliberate leaks to the media? Not one senator bothered to pose those questions.
Significantly, did Mueller and Comey agree to a plan to make a case against President Trump for obstruction of justice? Are they now acting in concert to bring down the president?
It sure looks and smells like that. Indeed, there is a distinct stench arising from the all-too cozy Mueller-Comey relationship. So, why not call it what seems to be?
The law firm of Mueller & Comey… acting as co-special counsel.
Maybe that is the only “collusion” in this whole sordid affair.
Comey’s testimony was full of holes, needless to say something smells fishy.