The Comey Memos Won’t Derail the Mueller Probe

The release of former FBI Director James Comey’s memos detailing his early interactions with Donald Trump are unlikely to harm Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, legal experts say.

“Ordinarily, prosecutors conducting grand-jury investigations need to keep their cards close to the vest. That goes double for obstruction-of-justice investigations. If corrupt witnesses know what evidence and testimony have already been accumulated, they can build a false story around it without fear of contradiction,” said Bruce Green, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Fordham. “As far as the Comey memos are concerned, these considerations stopped mattering once so much of their content had leaked.”

On Thursday evening, the Department of Justice complied with demands from Republicans in Congress to turn over Comey’s memos of his interactions with Trump, in which Comey recounts Trump’s preoccupation with allegations that he consorted with sex workers in Moscow, and details an effort by the president to persuade Comey to shut down an investigation into Trump’s former national-security adviser Michael Flynn. The memos promptly leaked to the press. Democrats on the committee have accused the majority of attempting to shield the president from Mueller’s probe. The Department of Justice initially resisted turning over the memos, saying they were relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.

The release of the Comey memos is unlikely to hurt that investigation however, because so much of their content was publicly known from Comey’s public testimony last year, his recently released book, and his public appearances. Rather than undercut Comey, they bolster his credibility, because contemporaneous accounts are considered more accurate than recollections.

“Witnesses’s notes are often used to refresh their recollections of the conversations they described right afterwards. So insofar as Comey testifies consistently with the memos, his credibility will be enhanced,” said Green. “That’s particularly so because lawyers are trained to …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The 2018 Congressional Retirement Tracker

Updated on April 19 at 2:52 p.m. ET

If you want to see a political wave forming a year before an election, watch the retirements.

They’re often a leading indicator for which direction a party is headed, and so far, 2018 is shaping up ominously for Republicans, who will be defending twice as many open seats this fall as Democrats. By far the biggest and most consequential retirement announcement came in early April, as Speaker Paul Ryan told his colleagues he would not seek reelection to his House seat this fall.

Ryan’s exit is just one more in a long and still-growing list of Republican retirements that will force the party to defend dozens of open seats in November. And his decision could give Democrats a chance to pick up his Wisconsin district, which voted for Barack Obama in 2008 but supported Donald Trump by 10 points in 2016. Democrats had targeted the speaker for defeat, and election forecasters had recently taken Ryan off the list of safe Republican incumbents.

Besides Ryan, several other veteran Republicans in competitive districts are calling it quits, depriving the GOP of the advantage of incumbency in races that could determine control of the House in 2019. And more retirements may be on the way, as lawmakers make their final decisions about running ahead of their respective primaries.

At the same time, a wave of allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior has scrambled the retirement picture in both parties, and it’s forced several lawmakers to leave Congress early. Republican Representative Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, and Joe Barton of Texas, and Democratic Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada have abandoned reelection campaigns after misconduct allegations. Scandals have already forced the immediate resignations of Democratic Senator Al Franken and long-serving Representative John Conyers, as well as GOP Representatives Trent Franks …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

Comey’s Biggest Reveal This Week Wasn’t About Trump

It is a firmly held belief among many Hillary Clinton supporters that the scandal surrounding her personal email server was, top-to bottom, an exercise in bad faith. Bad faith from the reporters and editors who splashed the story on the front pages. Bad faith from the federal investigators who dug into the scandal for months. And, above all, bad faith from then-FBI director James Comey who

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Comey’s Biggest Reveal This Week Wasn’t About Trump

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Source:: Rolling Stone – Latest Politics News