Category Archive 'James B. Comey'

03 Jul 2007

Elucidating for Mr. Kerr

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Orrin Kerr, at the Volokh Conspiracy, is puzzled by conservatives crying foul over the Plamegame prosecution.

..the claim, as I understand it, is that the Libby prosecution was the work of political enemies who were just trying to hurt the Bush Administration.

I find this claim bizarre. I’m open to arguments that parts of the case against Libby were unfair. But for the case to have been purely political, doesn’t that require the involvement of someone who was not a Bush political appointee? Who are the political opponents who brought the case? Is the idea that Fitzgerald is secretly a Democratic party operative? That Judge Walton is a double agent? Or is the idea that Fitzgerald and Walton were hypnotized by “the Mainstream Media” like Raymond Shaw in the Manchurian Candidate? Seriously, I don’t get it.

It’s simple enough. George W. Bush is an idiot.

Bush appointed Martha Stewart-prosecutor James Comey (no Republican, no conservative) Deputy Attorney General. Comey proved a thorn in the administration’s side on War on Terror policies, favoring kinder treatment for illegal combatants than he had for Martha, and making waves over the NSA’s Counter-Terrorism data-mining operation. Bush derisively referred to Comey’s liberalism with one of those nicknames he likes to confer, dubbing him “Cuomey.”

Bush then proceeded to mortally offend John Ashcroft by declining to keep him on as Attorney General in his second term. Ashcroft retaliated by recusing himself from appointing a prosecutor in L’Affaire Plame, placing thereby a loaded weapon in Mr. Comey’s eager hand.

Comey then gleefully appointed his pal Patrick Fitzgerald, a kindred spirit sharing every bit of Comey’s liberal politics and Inspector Javert-like lack of prosecutorial inhibitions, as special prosecutor.

If anyone has doubts that Fitzgerald is a thoroughgoing partisan, acting politically in service to the democrat party and the American left, one need only take note of the venues of release — Monday, July 2nd, 2007 at 5:32 pm, July 02, 2007 8:55 PM ET
(via staff email July 02, 2007 at 20:23) — of his rejoinder to the Bush commutation of Libby’s sentence.

We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.

And don’t forget that the unknown parties at the CIA who initiated a complaint with the Justice Department over the identification of the arranger of Ambassador Wilson’s junket to Niger starting the whole witch hunt also in theory work for President Bush.

It is precisely the combination of George W. Bush’s ill-advised appointments and complete failure to gain control of his own branch of government which made possible the creation of this contrived scandal in the first place.

22 Apr 2006

The Comey Connection

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Pofarmer asks over on Tom Maguire’s JOM:

The Fitzgerald investigation has been handled as an ivestigation of the administration and not like a “leak” investigation from the get go. Ergo, we know who the leaker is, but there’s no charges.

Fitz is from Chicago, which is highly Democratic.

So, what I want to know.

Who reccommended Fitz at the beginning of the chain?

Is Fitz just a useful idiot, or is something a little more/less sinister involved.

————————————————
SOME BACKGROUND

On October 3, 2003, George W. Bush nominated James Comey, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, to the post of Deputy Attorney General. Comey was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on December 9, 2003.

New York Magazine profile of Comey.

George W. Bush chose one of the worst grandstanding prosecutors in the country, a Reinhold Niebuhr-quoting, statist liberal, who had recently sent Martha Stewart to prison “for lying” about a crime which was never proven to have occurred, to the Number 2 position in his Justice Department.

This unsound and unprincipled appointment would have the gravest consequences. The failure of the Bush Administration to safeguard the rights of Martha Stewart, and other victims of Comey’s over-reaching, opportunistic, and bullying prosecutions, would ultimately backfire on the administration itself.

It is known that by March 2004 Comey was quarreling with the White House over surveillance. Here is one leftwing account, describing the circumstances of one policy battle, and the application by Bush of an uncomplimentary nickname to Comey:

In March 2004, John Ashcroft was in the hospital with a serious pancreatic condition. At Justice, Comey, Ashcroft’s No. 2, was acting as attorney general…. (Jack) Goldsmith (head of the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel) raised with Comey serious questions about the secret eavesdropping program, according to two sources familiar with the episode. He was joined by a former OLC lawyer, Patrick Philbin, who had become national-security aide to the deputy attorney general. Comey backed them up. The White House was told: no reauthorization.

The angry reaction bubbled up all the way to the Oval Office. President Bush, with his penchant for put-down nicknames, had begun referring to Comey as “Cuomey” or “Cuomo,” apparently after former New York governor Mario Cuomo, who was notorious for his Hamlet-like indecision over whether to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1980s. A high-level delegation—White House Counsel Gonzales and chief of staff Andy Card—visited Ashcroft in the hospital to appeal Comey’s refusal. In pain and on medication, Ashcroft stood by his No. 2.

But, even before he was confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Comey had taken advantage of John Ashcroft’s remarkably scrupulous personal recusal to appoint as Special Council, Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Fitzgerald would, of course, prove to be a prosecutor strongly reminiscent of Comey himself, preening for an admiring press, while lodging perjury charges against a trophy-class target based on contradictory witness accounts, having found no evidence to support the theory that any crime was ever committed in the first place.

Relations between Comey and the White House worsened after June 2004, when Comey (with Justice department associates Goldsmith and Philbin) held a not-for-attribution background press briefing to announce that the Justice Department was disavowing the August 2002 so-called “Torture memo” written by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee. Wrangling over new definitions of permissible forms of interrogation continued through December.

A leftwing view of conflicts between Justice Department liberals and the White House appeared in Newsweek.

In April 2005, James Comey announced that he would be resigning later that year. He was quickly hired as General Counsel and a Senior Vice President by Lockheed Martin.


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