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The Hapless Smear Campaign Against Jim Comey

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14.09.2017

Getty

Law And Order

The White House is making legal arguments about the former FBI director that barely pass the laugh test.

By BRADLEY P. MOSS

September 13, 2017

From the moment Steve Bannon stated in his 60 Minutes interview that President Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey was the biggest political mistake in modern presidential history, there simply was no chance that this week would proceed without a fair amount of political insanity. The fact that the president’s former chief strategist would publicly and brazenly disparage that decision was bound to result in a fierce White House pushback. And so it has. But over the last three days, the White House has repeatedly advanced flawed and in some instances preposterous legal arguments that don’t stand up to informed scrutiny.

The hijinks began on Monday, when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that information divulged after Comey was fired served as retroactive justification for the president’s decision. She alleged, among other things, that Comey had given “false testimony” and leaked “privileged information to journalists.” On Tuesday, Sanders did not repeat the “false testimony” claim, but she did reiterate the assertion that Comey had “leaked privileged government information,” and speculated that his actions “could have been illegal.”

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In Wednesday’s press briefing, reading from what appeared to be prepared notes, Sanders explained what she meant by “illegal”:

“The memos that Comey leaked were created on an FBI computer while he was the director,” she said. “He claims they were private property, but they clearly........

© Politico