The latest pearl-clutching news cycle comes from the NYT: Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation. The Gray Lady asserts on the third paragraph,
The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.
Clearest evidence, they say? On paragraph six, the NYT declares they have not seen the memo at all,
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 New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo,
They claim that this is “clearest evidence” that the President has tried to directly influence an investigation, but they haven’t even looked at it?
which is unclassified,
It’s unclassified because Comey wrote the memo to himself.
Comey is a lawyer. Lawyers routinely write memos to themselves on all sorts of subjects, including on ways to cover their butts. That does not make this memo (or its parts) as of itself a factual statement that would present “clearest evidence” of anything.
Not only that,
one of Mr. Comey’s associates
not Comey himself, who has been perfectly able to come forward anytime during the past three months (Michael Flynn was fired on February 13th) and present this “clearest evidence,” if it exists.
Why wait until after he was fired? Why not just quit in protest when it allegedly happened?
Comey didn’t make the call but instead had an unnamed associate, who
read parts of it
I’ve read whole articles over the phone when people asked me to. Just how long is this memo?
to a Times reporter.
Not to Michael Schmidt, who actually wrote the article, but to some unnamed person in the newsroom or somewhere.
So you get this,
for those pretending there is no evidence of obstruction of justice…. https://t.co/SN5tcyXeec
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) May 16, 2017
Not to pick on poor Rubin, but the pattern is a NYT-WaPo-CNN pearl-clutching circle over leaks provided by anonymous people over an investigation which has dragged on for several months and has produced no evidence regarding Trump’s links to Russia.
In plain English: An unnamed person read parts of a note Comey wrote to himself (and kept in a drawer for three months), to an unnamed NYT employee.
The NYT calls it “clearest evidence;” the WaPo says it’s obstruction of justice.
Some are talking of impeachment over this – over some newspaper playing Mad Libs with stuff they haven’t actually seen.
Instead, I join with Charlie Martin in demanding, Show Me the Memos!
Here are some Tips For Reading Washington Post Stories About Trump Based On Anonymous Leaks. Pay special attention to #5, “Compare sources willing to put their name and reputation on the line.” Comey certainly hasn’t.
Likewise, John Podhoretz has valuable advice to Pres. Trump: STOP TALKING.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.