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Trump to Comey: Jail Journalists Who Refuse to Identify Anonymous Sources


typewriter-reporterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continued his attack on the free press by asking then-FBI Director James Comey to jail journalists who refuse to disclose the names of anonymous government sources responsible for leaking embarassing information about his administration.

It was the same Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump is accused of asking Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Saying he was tired of news leaks detailing his private conversations with several leaders worldwide, Trump asked Comey to aggressively pursue the leakers.

When Comey advised the president that it would be difficult to identify the leaks without the cooperation of journalists, Trump told the FBI director to send reporters to jail if they refused to help provide information.

The unusual request was written in a memo by Comey, who kept meticulous notes on his meetings with Trump.

A press freedom advocacy group came to the defense of journalists, saying Trump’s comments “cross a dangerous line.”

“The comments attributed to President Trump cross a dangerous line. But no president gets to jail journalists,” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said in a statement.

“Reporters are protected by judges and juries, by a congress that relies on them to stay informed, and by a Justice Department that for decades has honored the role of a free press by spurning prosecutions of journalists for publishing leaks of classified information.”

Chaffetz to Meet with Comey Today, Pledges to Obtain Documents about Trump Conversations

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he plans to meet with former FBI Director James Comey today and will pursue any records of meetings between President Trump and Comey.

The meeting would be the first between the pair since Comey was fired on May 9 under suspicious circumstances, Bloomberg reports. 

The deposed former FBI director is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee sometime after Memorial Day on May 29.

Chaffetz is looking for documents about meetings between Comey and the president, especially after the former FBI director said he kept meticulous memos on the conversations.

“It’s important to remember nobody’s actually seen these documents,” Chaffetz said on Sunday. “There’s been an awful lot written and said about it, but I don’t even know that the Department of Justice has them. Maybe Director Comey has them. I don’t know where they reside. I don’t know if there are documents. But we’re certainly pursuing them.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigating If Fatal Stabbing of Black College Student Was Racially Motivated

Richard Collins, right, Sean Urbanski, left.

Richard Collins, right, Sean Urbanski, left.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the fatal stabbing of a black college student in Maryland after it was discovered the white suspect belonged to a racist Facebook group called “Alt-Reich.”

ABC News reports that 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, a student at University of Maryland, has been charged in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Richard Collins III, who was a U.S. Army officer.  

Calling the attack random and “totally unprovoked,” the university police requested the FBI’s assistance.

“New information obtained today from witnesses and other sources has led law enforcement officials to consider a hate-bias motive in this case,” University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said in a statement Sunday. “To ensure a comprehensive investigation, UMPD today asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide technical and forensic expertise, which it agreed to do.“

Collins, who was set to graduate from Bowie State University on Tuesday, was visiting UMD campus when he was stabbed by Urbanski, an apparent stranger.

Commentary: Trump’s Firing of Comey Was ‘Legally Proper And Politically Necessary’

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Donald Brand
Fortune

As FBI director, James Comey proved himself a competent administrator capable of inspiring the loyalty of agents and staff. Yet President Donald Trump still should have fired him.

Despite the controversy that has ensued over the manner in which Trump fired Comey and the overblown comparisons to President Richard Nixon’s firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal, the simple reality is that Comey’s firing was both legally proper and politically necessary. None of this is to justify the inept way in which it was handled by a politically incompetent Trump administration. Nevertheless, Comey had politicized the FBI during the 2016 presidential campaign and he lacked the political skills to restore public confidence in the non-partisan character of the agency he headed.

Comey is widely regarded as a man of personal integrity. He first became known to the public when he threatened to resign rather than reauthorize a post-9/11 surveillance program that he viewed as legally suspect, even though it had the support of President George W. Bush and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. Attorney General John Ashcroft had been hospitalized for gall bladder surgery, and while he recuperated, Comey was filling in as acting attorney general. Comey not only refused to renew the program when authorization for it was imminently expiring, but he headed off an attempt by Andrew Card, Bush’s chief of staff, and Gonzales to circumvent Comey by making a bedside appeal to the ailing Ashcroft.

Comey’s willingness to challenge presidential authority thus made him a seemingly ideal candidate for FBI director when he was appointed in 2013. The FBI has historically cultivated a reputation for non-partisan independence from both presidential and congressional interference.

Yet during the 2016 presidential election, Comey decided not to prosecute Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her actions regarding the handling of classified material on a private email server. In a May 9 memo, Rod Rosenstein, Trump’s deputy attorney general, argued that the former FBI director had improperly usurped the authority of the Justice Department in making that decision. That led Rosenstein to the conclusion that Comey should be terminated.

To read more click here.

Yet Another Candidate for FBI Director Withdrawals Name from Consideration

Former FBI official Richard McFeely, via FBI.

Former FBI official Richard McFeely, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Yet another candidate to replace FBI Director James Comey has withdrawn his name from consideration.

Former FBI official Richard McFeely alerted President Trump’s administration that he’s not interested in the top FBI job, citing family considerations, WJLA reports

That leaves three remaining candidates after an additional two – Sen. Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. – took their name out of the running.

Some of the remaining candidates include former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Democrat turned Independent.

Political observers predicated Trump would have problems finding a replacement because of the way he treated Comey, who was fired on May 9, prompting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russians.

Robert Mueller Is Like ‘Batman’ Capable of Saving America, Former Colleague Says

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has an unblemished reputation as an investigator with integrity and will conduct a thorough investigation of Trump’s campaign and Russia without regard for politics, his former second-in-charge said Sunday.

“A line in New York would be Batman’s back to save Gotham, but I think in this case, Batman is back to save America,” Timothy Murphy told John Catsimatidis during an interview on “The Cats Roundtable.”

Mueller has been appointed special counsel to investigate connections between Trump’s campaign and the Russians after the president fired FBI Director James Comey.

Murphy said Mueller has “unquestionable integrity,” so he won’t be conducting a “witch hunt,” a phrased used by Trump to describe the investigation.

“To have someone come in and independently oversee this investigation was a brilliant move,” said Murphy, who worked at the FBI from 1988 to 2011.

Weekend Series on Crime History: President Richard Nixon Resigns

America Will Be Glued to the TV When James Comey Testifies Before Congress

FBI Director James Comey appears Wednesday before the Senate.

FBI Director James Comey appears Wednesday before the Senate.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

If  Americans were given a choice who they’d like to have a one-on-one dinner with, fired FBI Director James Comey would be pretty high on that list for many.

Well, the next best thing to that would be to hear Comey publicly testify before Congress.

That’s now expected to happen.

Comey will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee at a date to be set after Memorial Day, committee leaders announced Friday night, according to the Washington Post.

Expect plenty folks to be glued to the TV or computer during the testimony, as they were during the Watergate hearings.