Catching up with the Wall Street Journal yesterday, I found Saturday’s Journal editorial “Mr. Comey’s bad week.” The editorial focuses on the Comey memos that I posted together with my 10 notes on them. My notes overlap in part with the points made in the Journal editorial as it uses the memos to make “a weasel assessment.” The Journal editorial makes one good point that I missed and one critical point that I overlooked.
A good point on Michael Flynn:
[F]ar from suggesting the President encouraged the FBI director to close his eyes to a crime, the memos make clear Mr. Trump was making the case Mr. Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong.
A critical point that I overlooked:
[C]ontrary to [Comey’s] claims, the memos suggest little reason for appointing a special counsel: Far from looking to obstruct an investigation into Russian collusion, Mr. Trump urges Mr. Comey to continue to investigate in hopes that this would show that the ugliest details in the Steele dossier weren’t true.
Mr. Trump’s motives were personal vindication because he feared his wife might believe the allegations, and Mr. Trump should not have made the request. But asking for an investigation to disprove the Steele dossier undermines the charge that Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey to obstruct justice. We don’t know what other evidence special counsel Robert Mueller has, but hanging an obstruction rap on the Comey memos isn’t going to work.
In overlooking this point I missed the forest for the trees. I wanted to make sure that you could take them into account in connection with your own review of the memos.