Posts Tagged ‘james



30
May
13

James B. Comey….a man of integrity

President Obama is planning to nominate for Dept. A.G. Comey to become FBI director

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WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former hedge fund executive who served as a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to two people with knowledge of theBy choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty winning confirmation of some important nominees. At the same time, Mr. Comey’s role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration — in which he refused to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants when he was serving as acting attorney general — should make him an acceptable choice to Democrats.

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On the night of March 10, 2004, as Attorney General John D. Ashcroft lay ill in an intensive-care unit, his deputy, James B. Comey, received an urgent call.

White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and President Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., were on their way to the hospital to persuade Ashcroft to reauthorize Bush’s domestic surveillance program, which the Justice Department had just determined was illegal.

In vivid testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Comey said he alerted FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and raced, sirens blaring, to join Ashcroft in his hospital room, arriving minutes before Gonzales and Card. Ashcroft, summoning the strength to lift his head and speak, refused to sign the papers they had brought. Gonzales and Card, who had never acknowledged Comey’s presence in the room, turned and left.

The sickbed visit was the start of a dramatic showdown between the White House and the Justice Department in early 2004 that, according to Comey, was resolved only when Bush overruled Gonzales and Card. But that was not before Ashcroft, Comey, Mueller and their aides prepared a mass resignation, Comey said. The domestic spying by the National Security Agency continued for several weeks without Justice approval, he said.

“I was angry,” Comey testified. “I thought I just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me.”

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After that episode  the acting A.G. prepared a resignation letter to be delivered to President Bush:

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30
May
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama greets Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and ceremony participants backstage before the signing of the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, May 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Tom Kludt: An overwhelming majority of Americans said that the economy and unemployment should take precedence over the Congressional investigations into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, the Justice Department’s subpoena of Associated Press phone records and last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University released Thursday.

The poll found that 73 percent of American voters nationwide believe that dealing with the economy and unemployment should be a higher priority than the investigations. Fewer than a quarter of Americans — 22 percent — believe that the investigations should be the higher priority.

More here

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Washington Post: President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as FBI director, according to two people with knowledge of the selection process. Comey was famously involved in a 2004 hospital-room confrontation with White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and the president’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr. The two White House officials were attempting to persuade Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who was recovering from emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder, to reauthorize a controversial warrantless domestic eavesdropping program.

Comey, who was acting attorney general in Ashcroft’s absence, had refused to agree to extend the program. When he learned that the White House was attempting to go around him and get the ill Ashcroft to sign off on an extension, Comey rushed to George Washington University Medical Center, arriving just before Gonzales and Card. Comey explained to Ashcroft what was happening and, when the White House officials arrived, the attorney general raised himself up and said he never should have authorized the program. He gestured at Comey and said, “There is the attorney general,” according to an account by former Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman.

More here

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James Comey

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Steve Benen: Comey isn’t exactly your typical Republican. We are, after all, talking about a Republican attorney who balked at the legality of the Bush/Cheney warrantless wiretap program, signed a legal brief endorsing marriage equality, believes terrorist suspects should be tried in America’s criminal-justice system, and even endorsed Eric Holder’s Attorney General nomination in 2009. For some of the rabid partisans on Capitol Hill, I suspect Comey will be seen as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

But there’s one other angle that’s worth thinking about as the process unfolds: if Obama had any reason to worry about ongoing investigations casting the White House in a negative light, the president would not have chosen a Republican with a history of independence to lead the FBI. On the contrary, if Obama were the least bit concerned about the so-called “scandals,” he’d be eager to do the opposite — choosing a Democratic ally for the FBI. With this in mind, by selecting Comey, the president not only sends a bipartisan signal, but also one of great confidence.

More here

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25
May
13

Rise and Shine

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Coming up:

On Sunday, the president will travel to Oklahama to survey the damage from recent tornadoes there, and to visit affected families and first responders. After having breakfast with the families of fallen soldiers on Monday, the president will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and give remarks.

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New Republic

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UT posted this Mediaite story the other day, ‘DOJ Document Reveals Fox News Reporter James Rosen Wanted To Impact U.S. Foreign Policy’ – some extracts again:

….. From the minute WaPo released its story, the press has been fluffing the details for maximum Scandalabra™ impact, comparing the Kim investigation with the DOJ’s seizure of the Associated Press’ phone records….

…. After outlining the kinds of secret information he hoped to get from “Leo,” Rosen summed up his intention to… report the news objectively? To serve the public?

“Let’s break some news, and expose muddle-headed policy when we see it – or force the administration’s hand to go in the right direction, if possible.”

Wait, what? Is that what a News reporter is supposed to do, force the administration’s hand to guide American foreign policy to the reporter’s whim? …. this email seems to indicate that James Rosen is not just a News reporter, but an activist intent on pushing his own agenda, with the stated goal of manipulating U.S. foreign policy.

…. The press should continue to shine a light on the Justice Department’s handling of reporters in leak investigations, but it should do so honestly, and stop claiming that James Rosen was just a reporter doing his job. Unless they see that job as steering America’s global foreign policy.

Full post here

But even after this revelation about what the Fox boy was up to, I see he’s still being portrayed as an innocent victim of the Big Brother Obama administration, even by usually smart writers. That’s the scandal here.

Read what SmartyPants had to say about this earlier in the week

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Pic of the week?

President Obama congratulates Alexis Marisa Werner with open arms during the US Naval Academy commencement ceremony in Annapolis, May 24

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