Courtesy of WSJ:Team "outlined why Comey would make an unsuitable witness, calling him prone to exaggeration." Maybe Trump lawyers charge by unit of irony. https://t.co/DAjB0wdav9— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) August 31, 2017
Lawyers for Donald Trump have met several times with special counsel Robert Mueller in recent months and submitted memos arguing that the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI chief James Comey and calling into question Mr. Comey’s reliability as a potential witness, people familiar with the matter said.
The legal arguments and meetings offer the first detailed look at the interplay between the wide-ranging investigation and the team that is representing the president since the special counsel was appointed by the Justice Department on May 17.
One memo submitted to Mr. Mueller by the president’s legal team in June laid out the case that Mr. Trump has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit and therefore didn’t obstruct justice when he fired Mr. Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May, these people said.
Another memo submitted the same month outlined why Mr. Comey would make an unsuitable witness, calling him prone to exaggeration, unreliable in congressional testimony and the source of leaks to the news media, these people said.
This was only the first salvo.But it was unlikely that Robert Mueller, who knows James Comey quite well, was going to buy into the idea that he is "prone to exaggeration."
So it was quickly followed by this, courtesy of CNN:
Former FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement exonerating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for running her government emails through a private email server before completing the investigation, according to two Republican senators.
Comey prepared the draft exoneration for Clinton before conducting interviews with top Clinton aides who were offered immunity for their cooperation, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday in a joint statement, citing transcripts of interviews with former Comey aides obtained by the Senate judiciary committee.
Comey would go on to announce in July 2016 that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton -- although he sharply chastised her decision to conduct State Department business through a private email server.
"Conclusion first, fact-gathering second -- that's no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy," Grassley and Graham wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray seeking more information -- including all drafts of Comey's final statement on Clinton's emails by September 13.
Senator Chuck Grassley? Now why does that name seem rife with irony?
Oh yeah, that's right.Just had ph call from Pres Trump + he assured me he's pro ethanol +I'm free 2 the ppl of Iowa he's standing by his campaign PROMISE— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) August 30, 2017
Just to prove all of this is being orchestrated by Trump he went ahead and all but signed his name to it.
Oh yeah, he just heard about this. It's not like he is manipulating things behind the scenes or anything.Wow, looks like James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton long before the investigation was over...and so much more. A rigged system!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2017
My personal feeling is that James Comey realized early on that nothing Hillary did was really illegal and so being the paperwork geek that he is he simply prepared that draft ahead of time.
However let's also remember that it was only a draft, which means it was not the final document, and the final document, along with that last minute reopening of the case based on "evidence" in Weiner's laptop, REALLY fucked up Hillary's chances of winning the election.
This is also a ridiculous toothless attack on Comey's character, which means that Trump is flat terrified of what he will say to Mueller.
So damn, I can hardly wait to hear it.
P.S. According to the New York Times Mueller has a letter written by Donald Trump concerning his reasons for firing James Comey, that his lawyers stopped him from sending. So before Trump attempts to discredit Comey with an early draft of his letter, he might take a moment to worry about what HIS letter reveals.