Barr Annouces He “Declines” to Prosecute Comey on “Leaked Information”

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How did this one slip through my sight? Time Magazine reported yesterday that A.G. Barr “declines” (for now) to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey on “Leaked information” concerning memos Comey wrote prior to his termination.

The Justice Department has declined to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey over his handling of a series of memos he wrote that documented personal interactions with President Donald Trump, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The memos, some of which Justice Department officials later determined contained classified information, were written in the weeks and months before Comey’s firing by Trump in May 2017. A week after he was fired, Comey authorized a friend to describe the contents of one of the memos to the news media. He has said his hope in having one of the memos become public was to spur the appointment of a special counsel to run the Justice Department’s investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Where the hell to even begin?

How about here. If an FBI Director had initiated an investigation into the president, and that president had obstructed justice (or at least made a great attempt at it), had that FBI Director NOT made a memorandum right after the event, the FBI Director is either incompetent to hold the position, or “in” on the cover-up. It is one or the other.

At this level, no one “plays.” Everything should be written, and he knew that.

Barr knows it, too, by the way. That may well be one reason that Barr “declined” to prosecute.

Second, through Barr’s confirmation hearings  – when he knew nothing at all about the situation – Barr fully admitted he planned to investigate the investigators. He said it to please … well, Trump for one, Trump supporters for two, and probably half the Senators at that hearing. Yet Trump supporters are taking the investigation as “evidence” that Comey was dirty and there is more to come. Barr SAID he would “investigate” the matter, now he “declines” to prosecute.

Barr’s play worked perfectly, the base is chomping at the bit, without thinking for shit.

Third, Barr’s decision to “not prosecute” was surely made out of self-preservation as much as anything. Barr surely noted the calendar demonstrating he was 18 months from possible replacement and he likely knows that federal crimes have a five year statute of limitations (generally). How vulnerable would Barr feel as possible soon to be ex-A.G had  he orchestrated prosecution of a respected FBI leader, facing investigation of HIM in the future?

If he’s even half as smart as he thinks he is, that alone would lead to him “declining” to prosecute Comey. Right now, I might have some respect had Barr committed to prosecuting Comey precisely because I’d know that Barr would face tight scrutiny over it should he (please baby Jesus, please) be replaced in January of 2021.

Fourth, Comey likely DID make a mistake in having his friend release the memos to the media. That was rather dumb. There are a few legal loopholes in that equation, however. Comey might state that he wrote those memos precisely because he feared retribution as a private citizen, and wrote an “official” memo to keep in the file. Change one word between the two memos and he can state he kept the official file “secret.” That is certainly against the “spirit of the law,” but so is a president who fires the FBI Director because he “declines to end” the damn prosecution of the president in the first place!

But this is inevitable.

There is no avoiding situations like this when one has a president that can’t give a single fck about prior norms, constitutional concerns, or the fate of the nation’s future over his own personal welfare, and when one has a Republican party willing to cover that same president for anything. (So far).

One A.G. determines he will not prosecute a police chief (in essence) over what was an impossible situation? Investigating the investigators because of political opportunism? Firing an FBI Director mid term when that FBI Director is investigating you? (10 year terms were created precisely because Congress knew that it would be “bad” to have an FBI Director beholden to any president). This entire “matter” becomes unavoidable.

You know it, I know it, the Right does not know it. And that’s precisely why Barr allowed people to “know” the reasons they investigated Comey. As if the investigation alone proves “he really did it,” and then as proof, they state they’re still looking at “some things.”

We are so fkt.

As I wrote earlier this week, if we as a nation do not “fire” this president through the next election, then all who did not vote for Trump should fear the nation that did vote for him. Because that nation has lost its damn mind, and has the requisite military power to have a true psychotic “break” that breaks the globe.

Rant, article, over. Have at it in comments. I am sure I missed ten other considerations.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I think one factor was that Comey was quite careful in what he told his friend to release to reporters. Yes, some of the information in some of those memos was classified and Comey was experienced enough to know what was classified and what wasn’t. Technically the memos were DOJ files and not meant to be shared but what Comey released was far less than much that has been leaked without legal consequence. It’s highly unlikely Comey would have been convicted if he’d been charged. More importantly I think that unlike the typical defendant who views delay as the next best thing to an acquittal Comey would have vigorously exercised his right to a speedy trial – which would have taken place during the election season next year albeit during the primaries.

    Given the national spectacle that trial would have been, and given that if not most of the discovery DOJ would have had to provide could have been made public via the courtroom proceedings I think you’re correct. Barr didn’t want any part of it because HE might have wound up in court as a defendant down the road. There was never going to be a prosecution. It was all as you say a way for Barr to throw some red meat out there for the MAGAt crowd who assume an investigation means someone is guilty unless of course that someone is on their own side of the equation. He’s trying and I fear succeeding in having things both ways.

    This is why I’m so disappointed in Mueller. Mueller knows goddamned well Barr torpedoed him and his team as well as their work. He knows goddamned well that Barr was going to shut him down one way or the other and that Barr could do so in a way that would probably look bad but not be prosecutable. So he (Mueller) quickly wrapped things up when the reaction to Barr’s nomination was such it was apparent he’d be confirmed. IOW Mueller knows that while technically he wasn’t shut down in the real world he was stopped cold. He also surely had some testy chats with Barr (and Rosenstein) in addition to the formal complaint letters we learned about but he made it clear he’d refuse to talk about that. Why Mueller would put up with that mystifies me. Even with all the attacks his credibility is, or at least was (now that he’d folded like a cheap tent on the questions outside the confines of his report) like a cheap tent superior to Barr’s. Oh well.

    As far as I’m concerned Barr is (along with Trump & McConnell) part of the UN-holy Trinity and against them the Trinity Christians revere doesn’t stand much of a chance. At least unless/until we can vote Trump (and therefor Barr) out and maybe if we’re really lucky, and if there is actually a god (I’m not a person of faith) he/she decides we have suffered enough for the time being.

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