Katie will have all the documents posted for you in the early morning folks, but the Comey memos have been released. Last night, the 15 pages of documents that then-FBI Director James Comey had in meetings with President Trump in the final months of his tenure at the FBI. These documents were critical in the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to takeover the ongoing Russia investigation at the DOJ/FBI; the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian collusion and the Trump campaign began in July of 2016. It’s pretty innocuous stuff, and contains none of the nefarious elements the liberal media and the progressive Democratic base probably listed for throughout this investigation, which has yet to produce strong evidence that there was collusion between the Trump team and the Kremlin.
James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION. Also, he leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
“No collusion and no obstruction,” President Trump tweeted upon the revelation of these documents. So, here’s a brief breakdown of its contents (via Axios):
During their private dinner: “The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear fashion…It really was a conversation-as-jigsaw-puzzle in a way, with pieces picked up, then discarded, then returned to.”
Comey writes that Trump asked him "whether 'your guy McCabe' has a problem with me, explaining that 'I was pretty rough on him and his wife during the campaign.' I explained that Andy was a true professional and had no problem at all."
After asking Comey to get out that Trump was not under investigation, he followed up with a phone call, per the memos: "I said that...he should have the White House Counsel call the Acting Attorney General and make the request. He said that was what he would do. He then added, "Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal, we had that thing, you know." I did not reply, or ask him what he meant by "that thing."
Comey told Trump during the dinner: "[H]e could count on me to always tell him the truth. I said I don't do sneaky things. I don't leak. I don't do weasel moves. I was not on anybody's side politically and could not be counted on in that traditional political sense."
On Mike Flynn, Trump told Comey: "'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.' I replied by saying 'I agree he is a good guy,' but said no more."
Comey said to Trump, while discussing leaks, "something about the value of putting a head on a pike as a message. He replied by saying it may involve putting reporters in jail. 'They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk.'"
On the dossier: "The President said 'the hookers thing' is nonsense but that Putin had told him 'we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.' (He did not say when Putin told him this and I don't recall.)"
There are other tidbits, some funny, while others show the ex-FBI chief trashing his colleagues at the Department of Justice. Trump told Comey that the salacious allegations of him being in the company of prostitutes were total nonsense, though he said that Putin told him his country had “the most beautiful hookers.” On the other hand, there’s an excerpt where Comey throws some shade on his boss Loretta Lynch.
“He asked me to compare AG Holder and AG Lynch,” said Comey. “I said I thought AG Holder was smarter and more sophisticated and smoother than AG Lynch, who I added is a good person.” Bring a whole new definition to this town, huh?
Former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson tweeted what Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and several other top Republicans gleaned from the memos. The documents showed that Trump was not really worried about the Russia collusion aspect of the investigation, but rather the unverified and unsubstantiated claims about him with escorts. She also said that Comey never wrote that he felt threatened or obstructed. Such conversations with Obama, Lynch, and McCabe were not recorded in this fashion. It’s odd because while Comey said that he had to act outside of protocol in some aspects of the Clinton email investigation due to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s credibility problem, like for example, meeting former President Bill Clinton alone on a plane on the tarmac in Phoenix, where they supposedly only talked about golf and grandkids for nearly 30 minutes days prior to the announcement that the FBI would not press criminal charges against Hillary for her unsecure and unauthorized email server.
Comey memos have been reviewed by several Repub members of Congress: Judiciary Comm Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Oversight and Government Reform Comm Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and House Permanent Select Comm on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.) (cont)— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
3-"The [Comey] memos also made clear the "cloud" President Trump wanted lifted was not the Russian interference in the 2016 election cloud, rather it was the salacious, unsubstantiated allegations related to personal conduct leveled in the dossier." (cont)— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
4-"The memos also show former Director Comey never wrote that he felt obstructed or threatened... he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation." (cont)— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
6-"[Comey] chose not to memorialize conversations with President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, Secretary Clinton, Andrew McCabe or others, but he immediately began to memorialize conversations with President Trump. (cont)— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
7-"It is significant former Director Comey made no effort to memorialize conversations w/ former Attorney General Lynch despite concerns apparently significant enough to warrant his unprecedented appropriation of the charging decision away from her and the [Justice Dept]" (cont)— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
8-"The memos show Comey was blind to biases within the FBI and had terrible judgment with respect to his deputy Andrew McCabe. On multiple occasions he, in his own words, defended the character of McCabe after President Trump questioned McCabe." (cont)— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
9-"[Comey] leaked at least one of these memos for the stated purpose of spurring the appointment of Special Counsel, yet he took no steps to spur the appointment of Special Counsel when he had significant concerns about the objectivity of... Attorney General Loretta Lynch."— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) April 20, 2018
Yet, no memos were drafted in his meeting with Lynch. He leaked one memo in the hopes of a special counsel would be appointed, but did nothing concerning his reservations about Lynch. Also, it would appear that some of these memos did, indeed, have classified information on them.
Once again, a major document dump relating to the Trump-Russia story, and it’s pretty much a nothing burger. The obstruction of justice innuendos that were supposedly threaded in these documents, a charge that Democrats had hoped to impeach Trump with is now gutted. No evidence of collusion. No evidence of obstruction.
Today's release of Comey's seven "memos" confirms what Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote in his Jan. 3 letter to DOJ: four of Comey's memos were classified. If Comey gave four to his "friend," it means he leaked at least one classified government record. https://t.co/iBwvgVyS9E— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 20, 2018