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Trump allegedly told Comey to ‘drop’ case against Michael Flynn

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Director of the FBI James Comey during the Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTSWV79

The New York Times has published the sensational allegation that James Comey drafted a memo containing the details of a conversation he had with Donald Trump. According to the NYT, during a conversation Donald Trump had with then FBI director Comey, the President told  JamesComey that it would be ideal to drop the investigation of Trump’s former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. Flynn is currently being investigated over the nature of conversations he held with Russia’s Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.

According to the New York Times,

“Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

Mr. Comey shared the existence of the memo with senior F.B.I. officials and close associates. The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter”.

The reported continued, printing an alleged quote from Donald Trump, supposedly contained in the memo. The NYT reports,

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

The White House has thus far denied that Donald Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, though the Trump administration has acknowledged that Trump continued to defend Mr. Flynn’s personal integrity, including to James Comey.

The FBI and James Comey have both declined to offer any statements on the existence or non-existence of the memo in question.

As Julian Assange correctly predicted, James Comey’s former associates and perhaps even Comey himself are prepared to offer a torrent of leaks to the press. The alleged existence of the memo in question appears to be the first such incident.

Assange however, asked Comey via Twitter, to allow Wikileaks to verify any leaked documents for authenticity due to the high authentication standards Wikileaks employs. This has not happened thus far.

READ MORE: Guess who has a job offer for former FBI director James Comey?

The report from the NYT, if true( and as with anything from anonymous sources in Washington, the if is a very big if), adds a surreal element to the Tweet Donald Trump sent out in the aftermath of Mr. Comey’s firing.

This could imply that Trump was aware of the memo story and that someone has an audio recording of said conservation between Donald Trump and James Comey that contradicts the alleged content of the memo. Of course, the Tweet could inversely just be a retrospectively poorly timed coincidence.

Neither scenario can be confirmed nor debunked at this early stage.

What is clear is that mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times are overtly working to not only undermine the President of the United States, they are directly making the case to have him removed from office.

The New York Times published an additional piece suggesting that Trump’s alleged conversation with Comey could constitute an obstruction of justice.

According to The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris

“The request from Trump to Comey that he should close down the Flynn investigation is merely an expression of the hope that he would do so “I hope you can let this go”.

That is not an instruction or even a request. As such, it is not an obstruction of justice or even close. Of course the Democrats and the media are spinning it differently. In any sane world, this is not impeachment territory and it does not come close.

However the trouble is that impeachment is not properly speaking, a legal process. It is a process carried out by Congress. The courts are not allowed to interfere. If Congress were to decide that these words are an obstruction of justice and impeach Trump on that basis, no argument by any lawyer could sway it”

The same analysis applies to the mainstream media attacks on Trump for sharing information (fairly mundane information as it turns out) on terrorism with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Although this is legally speaking not anything resembling the charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ for a number of reasons, Congress could still decide that it is, should they collectively seek to be so bold. As it stands with a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, impeachment is highly unlikely. The fact of the matter is, although in power on Capitol Hill, the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media, still act like it is they who are in charge.

While the Republicans have in recent years become famous for shouting a great deal and making mountains out of mole hills (think various adultery scandals which however distasteful and immoral are not generally matters of great public significance), it is the Democrats who are vastly better equipped to play rough and hit their opposition where it hurts. At times it appears to be a kind of Tammany Hall of the 21st century.

The mainstream media’s open season on Donald Trump is shocking, given that Trump’s only real crime thus far is not being as cunning as Richard Nixon or as cunning, smooth and deceptive as Barack Obama.

Donald Trump, when he is at what the mainstream media calls ‘his worst’ is actually doing what he said he would do, be a President of and for the people, a man who speaks like a concerned civilian rather than a career politician.

The sad reality is that ordinary Americans care far more about the next paycheck, rent payment, putting fuel in the car, making sure the kids are safe and what the score is in the baseball game than they do about who James Comey is and what he and Donald Trump discussed.

There is a risk, one that is far graver than many can imagine, that the increasingly parochial dialogue between Trump supporters and Trump opponents over what we can only call ‘Comeygate’, risks alienating the general public, the silent majority from the political debates that matter to them. While Rome proverbially burns, the Neros of the Beltway are fiddling.

Those attacking Trump think that they are doing democracy a favour, but they are really impeding democracy by taking time and money  away from the issues that people actually care about: jobs, general prosperity, safety from crime and terrorism.

Instead of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’, the mainstream media are re-defining America as ‘scandal, bureaucracy and the pursuit of partisan positioning’.

Since everyone in America, even those who know nothing about Russia, are talking about Russia, I shall end by doing the same.

No political system if perfect and Russia’s biggest political problem as it is in virtually every first world country, with the possible exception of Iceland, is corruption in local and regional officials.

At a national level however, Russian politics is far less consumed by  bureaucratic minutiae than its America counterpart. Most Russian mainstream parties offer their vision to best to represent the desires, traditions and spirit of the Russian people. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong, as was the case in every state since the beginning of the ancient civilisations.

By contrast, American politics is increasingly about ‘covering one’s self’ from any legal fallout while simultaneously trying to use those same obscure legal concepts to destroy one’s opponents. That is not democracy, it is a self-serving oligarchy in action. It resembles what Russia was in the hellish 1990s. Modern Russia has grown up, got real and has become a mature democracy.

America, once resembled a mature but imperfect democracy. It has deeply regressed in recent decades.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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