Comey says Trump ‘lies‘ continually, ‘unfit to be President‘ as fears develop about his subsequent transfer

WASHINGTON: Donald ‘‘lies constantly,‘‘ ‘‘treats women like pieces of meat,‘‘ is ‘‘morally unfit to be President,‘‘ and is ‘‘possibly compromised by Russia,‘‘ former FBI Director James said in a scathing interview on ABC News as the clash between the traditional American establishment and the maverick US President moved into a thicket of moral, legal, and constitutional issues.

Trump and his loyal White House aides in turn lashed out at Comey, with the President virtually threatening him with jail time for ‘‘lying‘‘ to , and suggesting that he and other establishment personnel from the FBI, which he called a ‘‘den of thieves and lowlifes,‘‘ were in cahoots with Democrats and ‘‘committed many crimes.‘‘

Amid this unprecedented public battle, Trump also went to court, asking a federal judge on Sunday night to allow him to review documents that FBI agents seized from the office of his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen before criminal investigators have a chance to see the material. Prosecutors indicated in court filings last week that Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months by the US attorney in Manhattan and that, unrelated to the FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, a grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case.

Trump has railed against the raid claimed that it left ‘‘all” lawyers “deflated and concerned” and reduced attorney-client privilege to “a thing of the past,” his rage fueled ostensibly by apprehensions that investigators could lay their hands on material relating to Cohen paying off the porn worker Stormy Daniel for her silence on her alleged one-night stand with Trump.

Many lawyers have pointed out that attorney-client privilege is not a blanket right, but such is the sense of siege in the Trump White House that there are growing apprehensions that the President may resort to unconstitutional means to remain in office should various investigations put him in trouble.

Trump has repeatedly suggested that the President’s office is above the law by indicating that since he was elected, everything he does is kosher and he cannot be held to the same standards as ordinary people. But in a massive 1,366-word editorial, the New York Times on Monday maintained that the ‘‘President is not above the law.‘‘

Warning that Trump “may act to cripple or shut down an investigation by the nation‘s top law-enforcement agencies into his campaign and administration,‘‘ the paper said, “lawmakers need to be preparing now for that possibility because if and when it comes to pass, they will suddenly find themselves on the edge of an abyss, with the Constitution in their hands.”

“The president is not a king but a citizen, deserving of the presumption of innocence and other protections, yet also vulnerable to lawful scrutiny,” the editorial said. “We hope Mr. Trump recognizes this. If he doesn‘t, how Republican lawmakers respond will shape the future not only of this presidency and of one of the country‘s great political parties, but of the American experiment itself.”

The sense that the clash between a disruptive President who marches to his own tune and traditional establishment values is becoming serious heightened over the weekend after Comey, who was fired by Trump, purportedly for not professing loyalty to the President, attacked him for moral turpitude and suggested he may be compromised because of this.

‘‘A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they‘re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person‘s not fit to be president of the , on moral grounds,‘‘ Comey said in an interview preceding the release of his book Higher Loyalty on Tuesday.

Comey spoke at length on the so-called ‘‘golden showers‘‘ episode which a dossier of dubious origin claims resulted in Russians extracting what has been dubbed the ‘‘pee-pee tape,‘‘ ridiculing the President’s response to the possible existence of such a tape.

Comey says Trump brought up the subject unprompted during a White House dinner on January 27, 2017, saying, ‘‘If there‘s even a 1 percent chance my wife thinks that‘s true, that‘s terrible.‘‘

‘‘And I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there‘s a 1 percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?‘ I‘m a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true. So what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think there‘s only a 99 percent chance you didn‘t do that?‘‘ said Comey.
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