Just yesterday the left was all abuzz with rumors that Trump “might” [gasp, horror] block the planned testimony of James Comey on the grounds of executive privilege. This, of course, would be conclusive proof of something nefarious.
What was so strange about that story was that it ran in direct contradiction to every other item of commentary on the issue since it was revealed that Comey had written memos documenting all conversations with Trump (this itself is hardly a shock as it is pretty much the way business and government and the military operates). The conclusion of a battalion of lawyers has been that once Trump started commenting on conversations with Comey via Twitter (another reason why his lawyers should consider breaking his fingers and toes) that the executive privilege gambit was over (this is a good aggregation of the commentary from early May).
Today the New York Times reports, surprise, that the White House is not going to block Comey’s testimony.
President Trump does not plan to invoke executive privilege to try to prevent James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, from providing potentially damaging testimony to Congress on statements the president made about an investigation into his former national security adviser, two senior administration officials said Friday.
Mr. Trump could still move to block the testimony next week, given his history of changing his mind at the last minute about major decisions. But legal experts have said that Mr. Trump has a weak case to invoke executive privilege because he has publicly addressed his conversations with Mr. Comey, and any such move could carry serious political risks.
One of the administration officials said Friday evening that Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Comey to testify because the president had nothing to hide and wanted Mr. Comey’s statements to be publicly aired. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a decision that had not been announced.
Legal experts have said that Mr. Trump’s tweets about Mr. Comey would damage any claim of executive privilege.
“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Mr. Trump said in one post, shortly after The New York Times reported the request for the loyalty pledge.
Day in and day out, we deal with these ginned up and half-baked claims about the Trump administration. They are anonymously sourced and they are reported uncritically. It is as if every day is a brand new day for these people and there is no such thing as history or context or even reason and self-respect. There is just a visceral desire to throw something out there on the off chance that it may cause some damage and move on to the next outrage.