Lawyers for President Donald Trump unleashed a blistering attack on former FBI Director James Comey in a confidential memo last year to the special counsel, casting him as "Machiavellian," dishonest, and "unbounded by law and regulation" as they sought to undermine the credibility of a law enforcement leader they see as a critical witness against the president. The letter, obtained by the AP, provides a window into the formation of a legal strategy currently used by Trump's lawyers as they seek to pit the president's word against that of the former FBI director. The June 27, 2017, letter was written by Marc Kasowitz, then the president's lead lawyer, as special counsel Robert began investigating whether Trump's firing of Comey was an attempt to stymie an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Among the highlights:
- Kasowitz argues that Comey cannot be trusted as a witness because he repeatedly embellished his testimony before Congress, put his "own personal interests and emotions" above FBI protocol and left a cloud of undue suspicion above the president's head. "Over the last year, Mr. Comey has engaged in a pattern of calculated unilateral action unbounded by governing law, regulation and practice, and plainly motivated by personal and political self-interest," writes Kasowitz.
- "There is no 'honest loyalty' in an FBI Director surreptitiously leaking to civilians his privileged and confidential conversations with the president, or misappropriating and disseminating his confidential FBI memos or their contents about those meetings," Kasowitz writes. "There is no 'honest loyalty' in using those civilians as surrogates to feed stolen information and memos to the press to achieve a personal, political, and retributive objective of harming a sitting president."
- "Despite his repeated assurances to the President over the prior three months that he was not under investigation, the President's repeated pleas to make that fact public, and Mr. Comey's testimony that he had DOJ (Department of Justice) approval to make this 'extraordinary' announcement, Mr. Comey not only declined to clarify that there was no investigation of the President, but he used broad language that only reinforced the inaccurate perception that the President was under investigation," per Kasowitz.
- "Mr. Comey continued his Machiavellian behavior after President Trump was elected."
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