Trump Ends Longest Tweeting Drought Since 2015 by Striking Back at Comey

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Trump fires back with Twitter after longest drought since he announced his candidacy.

Media heads were reeling when they didn’t see Trump tweeting for over 40 hours, the longest Trump has gone without tweeting since he announced his candidacy in 2015. His last tweet was one Tuesday morning, regarding a trip to Ohio.

They were especially shocked because Trump usually wears his heart on his sleeve and it was uncharacteristic of him not to tweet, especially nothing during Comey’s media-intensive testimony on Capitol Hill.

 

The media went into speculation mode about why Trump hasn’t Tweeted.

CNN speculated: “The most common one is that someone took Trump’s phone away, ensuring that he simply lacked the ability to tweet.”
Others opined: “Then there’s the argument that Trump’s silence suggests he has now finally been made aware of the political — and legal — peril he is in, and that by tweeting he makes things worse, not better. 
And then there is this theory: “Or maybe Trump’s staff, as they had hoped to do, successfully distracted the President over these past 37 hours”
The Washington Post was running a minute by minute update:

“Update, 10:30 p.m. As of right now, that’s the fifth-longest break Trump has taken from Twitter.Update, 10:50 p.m. We are now in the fourth-longest tweet drought of Trump’s time in politics and the longest since he was inaugurated. Further updates as needed.

Update, 12:41 a.m. We are now in the third-longest tweet drought of Trump’s time in politics. Further updates as needed.”

Trump’s media and adversaries have been asking and begging for him to stop tweeting, recognizing it to be a powerful tool against his critic. In fact, Hillary’s first Tweet to Trump was a passive-aggressive please for him to delete his account.

Trump finally broke his silence on Twitter declaring “total and complete vindication.”

Trump’s tweet said: “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker.”

FBI Director James Comey said that he intentionally used a “friend” on the Columbia law faculty to leak his memos to the media.  Comey says that he did so to force the appointment of a Special Counsel.

That friend that Comey was referring to is  Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman. On hisfaculty webpageit says that he is  “currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.” Richman specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure.

Prof. Daniel Richman

However, the problem is that these memos could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation, especially in light of Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memos to file, which suggest that these are government documents.

The admission of leaking the memos is also problematic given the overall controversy involving leakers undermining the Administration by a former director leaking material against the President after the President repeatedly asked him to crack down on leakers.

Besides being subject to Nondisclosure Agreements, Comey falls under federal laws governing the disclosure of classified and nonclassified information.  Assuming that the memos were not classified, there is 18 U.S.C. § 641 which makes it a crime to steal, sell, or convey “any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof.”

There are also ethical and departmental rules against the use of material to damage a former represented person or individual or firm related to prior representation, some of which are considered a criminal act. The FBI website states:

Dissemination of FBI information is made strictly in accordance with provisions of the Privacy Act; Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a; FBI policy and procedures regarding discretionary release of information in accordance with the Privacy Act; and other applicable federal orders and directives.”

Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz’s had this to say in a statement after the Comey testimony:

Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz

“Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.  The leaks of this privileged information began no later than March 2017 when friends of Mr. Comey have stated he disclosed to them the conversations he had with the President during their January 27, 2017 dinner and February 14, 2017 White House meeting.  Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he leaked to friends his purported memos of these privileged conversations, one of which he testified was classified.  He also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of these memos to the press in order to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”  Although Mr. Comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the New York Times was quoting from these memos the day before the referenced tweet, which belies Mr. Comey’s excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to entirely retaliatory.  We will leave it the appropriate authorities to determine whether this leaks should be investigated along with all those others being investigated. “

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