Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Saturday, January 14, 2017

If there's ever been a situation that requires a special prosecutor it's this one

by digby

This seems obvious to me. At this point, Comey's decision to contravene normal prosecutorial guidelines and norms in what turned out to be a trivial and unsubstantiated case against Hillary Clinton, while following those norms and guidelines in the case of a much more serious set of charges against Donald Trump during the election. His ongoing double standard makes it imperative that the investigation be taken out of his hands.

From former DOJ staffer Matthew Miller in TIME:
It was always going to be difficult for FBI Director Jim Comey to oversee an investigation into ties between President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. Thursday’s announcement that the Department of Justice’s Inspector General will investigate Comey’s conduct during last year’s presidential election makes it impossible.

As director of the FBI, Jim Comey is a key intelligence advisor to the president, responsible for briefing him on threats to our country’s security from a number of fronts, including foreign espionage. The agency he leads is also responsible for investigating those plots, and producing evidence that can be used by Department of Justice prosecutors to bring criminal charges against anyone who commits espionage against the United States.


Comey is without a doubt a man of personal integrity, but over the past six months, he has shown repeatedly that his perception of his skill at managing high-profile political investigations vastly exceeds his actual ability. He improperly inserted himself into the 2016 campaign twice, first in July when he violated Department of Justice rules to pass judgment on Hillary Clinton’s conduct, and then again in October when he violated further Justice guidelines to comment on an ongoing case during the waning days of a campaign.

At the same time as Comey was publicly maligning Clinton, he was refusing to answer questions from Congress about whether the FBI was investigating Trump (it was), all while sources within the bureau were repeatedly leaking damaging information about Clinton. Furthermore, Comey in October refused to sign an assessment by other members of the intelligence community finding that the Russian government had intervened in the election — a fact with obvious relevance to the electorate. These issues together had already cast doubt on the FBI’s ability conduct a fair investigation into Donald Trump under the current chain of command. The fact that Comey will now be leading the probe while under investigation himself make it completely untenable.

The situation will only be made worse when Senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed as attorney general and given the duty of supervising Comey and any Justice investigations that are underway into Trump. Sessions did not just endorse Trump and campaign repeatedly for him, he also officially joined his campaign as chair of its national security advisory committee. It is simply impossible for the American people to have confidence that Sessions can conduct a fair investigation into a campaign of which he was a senior official.

This matter requires an unquestionably independent investigation because the outstanding questions go to the heart of our democracy and to the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. They include:

• Did Trump campaign officials – or intermediaries such as Roger Stone – have knowledge of the Russian government’s campaign to hack the email accounts of Democratic party officials and release the information through Wikileaks?

• Did Trump campaign officials, including former chairman Paul Manafort – who once worked for a Putin-backed autocrat in Ukraine – change the party’s platform at the behest of the Russian government?

• What are the extent of Trump’s business dealings in Russia, and is there any truth to the allegations the Russian government is sitting on information with which it plans to blackmail him?

• Did Trump campaign officials such as incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn, a paid contributor to the Kremlin-financed RT television network, participate in the official Russian propaganda campaign to elect Trump that the intelligence community described in its public report?

An investigation led by Jeff Sessions and Jim Comey will never be accepted by the American public as having fairly and adequately addressed these questions. Sessions has never been independent from Trump, and Comey has squandered much of his reputation for fairness. It is crucial that Sessions, or Attorney General Lynch in her waning days in office, appoint a special counsel with independent authority to determine whether criminal statutes were violated, and, if appropriate, bring charges.

Furthermore, Congress should establish a bipartisan commission with subpoena power, the ability to make criminal referrals, and a mandate to hold public hearings and issue a public report. While an investigation by a special counsel is crucial, criminal investigations are not by themselves sufficient for a question that also raises fundamental Constitutional questions. The American people deserve the sort of full public accounting of what happened during the campaign and whether it presents an ongoing risk to our democracy that only a bipartisan commission can deliver.

President-elect Trump has to date resisted any further inquiry, and he seems to fear that this issue casts doubt on the legitimacy of his presidency. But it is precisely because of those doubts that we need a full and fair investigation.

Either the Trump campaign acted in coordination with a hostile foreign power to influence the election or it didn’t. If it did, the American public deserves to know the full truth. If it didn’t, Trump deserves to have these questions put to rest. Until they are, he will never obtain the legitimacy he so obviously craves.

I don't know about his personal integrity. His "mistakes" sure seem to only go in one direction. But it doesn't matter. He and Sessions cannot be trusted to run the Trump investigation and there needs to be a special prosecutor. The probe will have no credibility with those two in charge.