Talk:Dismissal of James Comey

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RfC: Summary of reasons for dismissal[edit]

VERSION A:
The consensus is to use version A to summarize the reasons for Comey's dismissal in the lede section. Editors found version A to be written better and to be more chronological.

Cunard (talk) 00:55, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How should we summarize the reasons for Comey's dismissal in the lede section? — JFG talk 09:41, 22 August 2017 (UTC)

In a previous thread, various editors have worked to improve the lede section. The second paragraph of the lede attempts to summarize the reasons offered by Trump and others to dismiss Comey from the FBI directorship, and we have reached a blocking point in the discussion where two versions are on the table with no agreement between two sets of editors about which one is more neutral. This RfC aims to gather input from a wider audience and pick the most appropriate wording. Note that both versions refer to the same sources, most of which are already cited in the article body.

Version A

Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter citing recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[1][2] He then gave contradictory explanations for the dismissal.[3][4] Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey,[5] and it emerged that he had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it.[6] He believed that dismissing Comey would relieve pressure from the Russia probe,[7] which he called a "witch hunt".[8] Trump was reportedly "enormously frustrated" that Comey would not publicly confirm that the president was not personally under investigation.[9]

Version B

Trump gave contradictory reasons for the dismissal.[3] Initially, in his termination letter to Comey, Trump cited a memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[1][2] However it was later reported that Trump had solicited this memo the day before,[6] and Trump stated that he had already decided to fire him.[5] Trump later said that his dismissal of Comey would relieve pressure from the Russia probe,[7] which he called a "witch hunt".[8] Trump was reportedly "enormously frustrated" that Comey would not publicly confirm that the president was not personally under investigation.[9]

Sources

  1. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie; Thrush, Glenn (May 10, 2017). "'Enough Was Enough': How Festering Anger at Comey Ended in His Firing". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Glum, Julia (May 9, 2017). "Six Reasons Why Donald Trump Fired James Comey". Newsweek. 
  3. ^ a b Ye Hee Lee, Michelle (May 12, 2017). "All of the White House's conflicting explanations for Comey's firing: A timeline". The Washington Post. The president then contradicted his staff’s earlier comments. In a preview video clip of his interview with NBC News, Trump said he planned to fire Comey all along, regardless of Department of Justice recommendations. 
  4. ^ Hafner, Josh (11 May 2017). "OnPolitics Today: Trump contradicted himself on the Comey firing". USA Today. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Liptak, Kevin (May 10, 2017). "Behind the scenes of James Comey's epic firing". CNN. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Rucker, Philip; Parker, Ashley; Horwitz, Sari; Costa, Robert. "Inside Trump's anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey". The Washington Post. 
  7. ^ a b Barrett, Devlin; Rucker, Philip. "Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey". The Washington Post. President Trump on Thursday said he was thinking of 'this Russia thing with Trump' when he decided to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, who had been leading the counterintelligence investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election... Trump's account flatly contradicts the White House's initial account of how the president arrived at his decision, undercutting public denials by his aides that the move was influenced in any way by his growing fury with the ongoing Russia probe. 
  8. ^ a b Donald Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (June 16, 2017). "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt" (Tweet). Retrieved August 5, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  9. ^ a b Haberman, Maggie (June 24, 2017). "Trump suggests tweet on tapes was meant to affect Comey testimony". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2017 – via Las Vegas Sun. Trump appeared to be referring to his statements over the months, which Comey confirmed in his testimony, that the then-FBI director had told the president that he was not under investigation. Trump, according to his advisers, had become enormously frustrated that Comey would not say so publicly. 

Survey[edit]

Please select Version A or Version B with a short rationale. Longer arguments go to the #Discussion section below.

  • Version A - as the means of dismissal should be started first and clearly. While I don't think the two versions are significantly different, I am bothered by B referring to the termination letter wording as stating an actual motivation (a termination letter will, obviously, mention some cause however such letters are crafted for legal compliance / relationship mgmt and are not, typically, an actual rationale - they are often sugercoated and/or padded with legal compliance).Icewhiz (talk) 10:59, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Version A It reads a little smoother, by starting with a description of the firing and working forward from there. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:19, 22 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Version A per MjolnirPants. It reads and flows a lot smoother, and the phrasing and order of the sentences (corresponding with the order of the events) is also much better. NoMoreHeroes (talk) 02:33, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
Greetings, SPA. Per your comment, could you clarify what you believe "by way of" means in this version. Could you give a synonymous phrase or paraphrase of those words? SPECIFICO talk 02:42, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
"Via" or "through", meaning "Trump dismissed Comey [insert one of the previous words mentioned] a termination letter..." NoMoreHeroes (talk) 16:31, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
I understand that's the ordinary language of "by way of" but how does via or through relate to the dismissal? Did the letter effect the dismissal, did it inform Comey of the dismissal, did it provide a public explanation of the dismissal, did it provide a required legal basis for the dismissal? The sense of "via" does not explain anything essential to the facts. Please compare this version A with the version at Comey's own article here: [1] -- Isn't that a much more informative and better-written, encyclopedic statement of the facts? SPECIFICO talk 16:40, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
It informed Comey of the dismissal (it's a termination letter, after all). To me, that is quite clear in the lede suggested, but feel free to suggest a change to it if you think there is a more straightforward way to word it. For the record, yes I think the version on Comey's article is more clear, so maybe we could adapt that here. NoMoreHeroes (talk) 16:49, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
Well, I think option B is more clear. Remember this sentence comes in the lede where the fact that Comey was terminated has already been stated directly above. So really, the first sentence of B could be removed and it would still be clearer than A. After all, we don't know via how Truman fired McArthur, Nixon fired Cox, or thousands of other dismissals. So the "by way of a termination letter" is only noteworthy for the fact, revealed a few days hence, that the termination letter was false or misleading. SPECIFICO talk 17:14, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Neither, because the existence of this article is itself absurd, and a classic example of WP:RECENTISM. The content in question should be covered at the main pages for the topic, ie Trump's administration/white house and James Comey. Vanamonde (talk) 05:35, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
<slow clap> I concur. But I'm aware that an AfD on this article would almost certainly result in a keep or no consensus close. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:36, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. Ultimately this article will be trimmed down to the essentials and merged into the James Comey bio, just like the infamous Comey memos were merged here. Events are still a bit too recent and controversial to suggest this now. Let's see in a year or two. — JFG talk 19:20, 25 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Version A because it's more chronological. Talk about contradictions did not start until after the dismissal letter was followed by other news about the dismissal. I also point out yet again that the quote in footnote 3 refers to Trump contradicting his staff, not contradicting himself, so that either needs to be clarified in versions A & B, or else a better quote needs to be included in footnote 3. Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:50, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
Nice try, but it's not more chronological, because the dismissal is stated immediately preceding the place where either A or B would be inserted. Read the lede up to and including A then up to and including B. SPECIFICO talk 03:09, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Version A - it's just better written. There's something vaguely awkward about the wording of Version B. Cjhard (talk) 03:32, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Version A because it flows better. However, I am unhappy that both versions have eliminated the OTHER reasons Trump gave. These proposals say he gave "contradictory reasons" (plural) but then cite only one other reason. What happened to "he wasn't doing a good job" and "the FBI was in disarray and poorly led"? Note that this is a side comment and does not affect my preference for Version A out of these two versions. --MelanieN (talk) 18:57, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
MelanieN, are you comfortable calling the Rosenstein memo a "recommendation"? Do you think this reflects the current weight of RS. SPECIFICO talk 20:32, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I am comfortable with the word "recommendation" - relating to the Justice Department letters, not the Rosenstein memo specifically - because the Sessions letter says in so many words, "Therefore, I must recommend that you remove Director James B. Comey, Jr." --MelanieN (talk) 23:02, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Well, but the proposed A cites Rosenstein, so that seems to be inconsistent with your analysis. If you don't mind, have a look at the NPOV version I linked from the James Comey article in the discussion bin below. It's hard to understand why a POV version would be preferable in this article. SPECIFICO talk 23:11, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Version A- First of all I'd like to congratulate everyone who worked on this article for their great success on creating the monstrosity that is this article! I also concur with Vanamonde93 and MPants that the article should be deleted and only remain a section in James Comey! Alas, who amongst us has the power to slay such a beast, I know not. As for the rfc, I don't see much difference in these two choices, but I too agree that version A reads a little better. Ultimately, don't care either way(which would make me one of the best to decide, ironically.) both conveys pretty much the same information.Darwinian Ape talk 07:26, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Debate goes here. Please read #"Shifting and contradictory accounts", #What was purportedly contradictory and #Marek vs JFG versions before commenting.

See here for an NPOV version without the defects of JFG's proposal A above. SPECIFICO talk 16:49, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

@SPECIFICO: Are you contending that "...by way of a termination letter citing recommendations..." is less neutral because it doesn't indicate that the recommendation was solicited by Trump? I'm just trying to understand your position, here. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:50, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Hello MP.
There are two problems with "...by way of a termination letter citing recommendations...". First, "by way of" is weaselly language that signifies nothing in particular. Each reader will interpret it differently. Does it mean that the letter was how he informed Comey to vacate his role? Does it mean that the substance of the letter was a legal justification for the firing? Does it mean that this letter communicated the meaning and significance of the firing to the public? Or is it one of many other possible interpretations that readers may bring to this undefined "by way of"? It's at best subpar writing for an encyclopedia. Do we have "by way of" language either in the press, in historical narratives or in WP to describe the dismissals of other officials? Or for that matter are any other human actions accurately and unambiguously described as "by way of" this or that? Second, this sentence uses WP's voice to call the memorandum a "recommendation" when it became clear shortly after the event that the memo had been solicited by Pres. Trump only as a pretext that he could call a "recommendation" after his mind had already been made up. And this is not interpretation, or speculation about Trump's intention -- this is what he told a TV interviewer and what his administration's official account states he confided in hsi Russian visitors within days of the event.
Finally, JFG has repeatedly claimed that "his" version has been decided upon at the talk thread above and he has insinuated that others, including yourself MP are co-owners of his POV version. Then finally he claimed that both versions are the same, while nevertheless apparently feeling so strongly about his that he mounted this RfC in the hopes of salvaging the longer weaselly and POV version which supports Trump's deprecated initial talking points. Anyway, I linked to the treatment of the same event at the James Comey article here to show that nothing like JFG's version was used by the different group of editors at that article, where their text raises none of the weasel POV concerns. SPECIFICO talk 19:13, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the response.
I don't really agree that "by way of" is weasely, as I see it just as synonymous with "through" or "via". However, if one of those (or some other synonym) would ease your concerns, I'd be quite happy with such a change.
I also disagree that this is using wikivoice to indicate that the recommendation was legit. Instead, I look at the events: Trump fired Comey claiming it was due to a recommendation that actually did exist in the GA/AGA letter. It later came to light that Trump solicited this recommendation. Now, reading the termination letter, I can see that Trump actually referred to the recommendation in the letter. I can see where you're coming from, but I just believe that the POV problem you're seeing in that is an artifact of the English language. I would, however, be okay with putting "recommendation" in scare quotes, or rearranging the next sentence in JFG's version to mention that Trump solicited the memo before mentioning that he contradicted himself.
As to the nature of the dispute thus far, I think we're more or less in agreement. I think if this really was no big deal, JFG might have simply resigned themselves to your version. I'd say this applies to you, as well, but you haven't been claiming that it's a non-issue. As for my own involvement, I described it above: I have absolutely nothing to do with JFG's version of this paragraph beyond adding a single source to better support the "Trump contradicted himself" claim. A claim which, it is notable, appears in both versions. I feel that attributing any more support than a "meh"-level of personal preference for the prose to JFG's version from me is disingenuous. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:40, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
Well, the alternatives, via, through, or others also relate to physical travel and at best imply some sort of analogy or image which is needlessly and confusingly WP:VAGUE. I don't say the two are identical and then go on and on (and on) disputing the consensus for a version that I say is identical, just that somebody else wrote it. Actually, of course it's always good if somebody else writes the best version. Less work for momma. Anyway thanks for the note, I think this little bit is a big deal because it reflects a recurring issue on these American Politics articles. There's no reason to accept fake news or POV language in politics edits or to establish a false equivalence between fact and fake news. If we just apply site policy and the accumulated wisdom of the community we can curtail these time-sump ring-around-the-rosie discussions. I think the good NPOV treatment in Comey's own article shows that there's no excuse for anything less. SPECIFICO talk 22:27, 23 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't have strong feelings either way, but I do object to the "Trump was reportedly 'enormously frustrated'" language, for two reasons. First, the word "reportedly" should be removed; if it was reliably reported, then we should state it outright without the qualifier. Second, we either need to make clear who said said "enormously frustrated," or we need to remove the quotation. (I favor the latter.) (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 22:26, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

This should change some people's minds. Probably won't, but should.Volunteer Marek (talk) 16:38, 1 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Volunteer Marek, sometimes it can be fascinating to see how two different people can read the same source and latch onto completely different parts of it depending on their personal biases. When I read "Mueller Has Early Draft of Trump Letter Giving Reasons for Firing Comey," I saw it as conclusively disproving SPECIFICO's unsupported assertions that Sessions and Rosenstein had not truly "recommended" that Trump fire Comey or that Trump had provided them with a ready-made rationale. To the contrary, Trump drafted his own termination letter that was completely open and forthright about his motivation for the dismissal, but this more transparent approach was overruled by White House Counsel Don McGahn: "Mr. McGahn met again that same day with Mr. Trump and told him that if he fired Mr. Comey, the Russia investigation would not go away. Mr. Trump told him, according to senior administration officials, that he understood that firing the F.B.I. director might extend the Russia investigation, but that he wanted to do it anyway. Mr. McGahn arranged for the president to meet in the Oval Office that day with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein, who he knew had been pursuing separate efforts to fire Mr. Comey. The two men were particularly angry about testimony Mr. Comey had given to the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous week, when he said 'it makes me mildly nauseous' to think his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation might have had an impact on the 2016 election. Mr. Comey's conduct during the hearing added to concerns of Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein that the F.B.I. director had botched the rollout of the Clinton investigation and had overstepped the boundaries of his job. Shortly after that hearing, Mr. Rosenstein expressed his concerns about Mr. Comey to a White House lawyer, who relayed details of the conversation to his bosses at the White House." Note that Comey's May 3rd testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee included the allegation "that Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff at the State Department, Huma Abedin, 'forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information' to her husband Anthony Weiner's laptop for him to print out"—a whopper that prompted the FBI to issue a formal correction and that, by all accounts, raised very serious questions about Comey's competence. Therefore, it seems to me that The New York Times corroborates the accuracy of Anythingyouwant's analysis, and definitively debunks SPECIFICO's false claims. What parts of the article, specifically, do you think "should change some people's minds," and why?TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 10:03, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Merging Comey memos[edit]

The result was: merge. --MelanieN (talk) 13:55, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Reading this article and Comey memos in parallel, I noticed that almost everything that is written in the memos article is also written here. Two solutions: trim this article down or merge the other article here. Given that the Comey memos are just an element of the Comey dismissal saga and its consequences, I would advise a merge. Asking for community sentiment before doing the work. — JFG talk 17:41, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

  • Support - I have thought the same for a long time. I see that the Memos article has never been subject to a deletion discussion or merge discussion (unlike many of these Trump spinoff articles), so there is no previous consensus against it. I agree that the Comey memos are merely a sidebar to his dismissal, although they might in the future become evidence in some other matter. But that's WP:CRYSTAL thinking; something like that could be dealt with when and if it happens. I think a section here containing what we know about the memos, and a redirect from the Memos title, would be an improvement. I do agree that we need a discussion (I would say at least a week) and a consensus before actually carrying out the merge. --MelanieN (talk) 18:01, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Having two articles with duplicate content is a sure sign the articles should be merged. Octoberwoodland (talk) 18:43, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Same as above. --M.W.B.A.B. 20:27, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support I actually think this article should be merged into James Comey as well now that the dust has settled, but I suspect that would probably be met with resistance. Until then, strong support for the merge of Comey memos into this one. Hidden Tempo (talk) 22:46, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment JFG, it looks as if you have started merging material already? That doesn't hurt anything, but this discussion should not be closed, or the memos article made into a redirect, until a decent comment period has passed. --MelanieN (talk) 02:07, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
  •  Done – Fully merged. Hey, I'm quick sometimes, sorry MelanieN… Looked like a SNOW case anyway. — JFG talk 02:23, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
You are too damn quick. This discussion hadn't even gone on for 48 hours. I said at the beginning, and I said again just now, allow a week for discussion. It's true you have done this kind of thing before - decide after 12 or 24 hours to just go ahead and implement something. You need to stop that. It wouldn't have hurt anything to wait a few days. Sometimes WP:Process is important. Sorry, but that was way out of line. --MelanieN (talk) 04:38, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Hey, this was not a formal process, I figured we got enough of a pulse to go ahead. I could have done a bold merge in the first place but as I said in my first comment here, I was "asking for community sentiment before doing the work". Now look on the bright side: I've given some structure to the "Comey memos" section, so that a new reader can actually make sense of it all instead of being carried haphazardly through accumulated day-by-day reports. The rest of the article needs some kind of the same treatment, but I'm not volunteering this week: it's time-consuming work! However, on a personal note, I'm sorry I overlooked your recommendation to hold on for a week; will pay more attention to your wise words next time. — JFG talk 10:26, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose You need to have a discussion that is longer then 48 hours. These memes, in and of themselves, are likely important enough pieces of evidence that need an article. Undoing based on lack of notification to page created (myself) and lack of a longer discussion. Casprings (talk) 02:29, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. The repetitiveness is unnecessary, and having it all in this article seems apt, especially since leaking one of the memos to the presss was done by Comey in direct response to being fired, and designed to prompt appointment of a special counsel. Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:45, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Comey memos is independently notable as evidenced by 43 references and 1891 words of prose. This (target) article should mainly discuss the firing and aftermath. I'm stunned to see that some of the same people supporting this were recently complaining about this article being too long, including who added this to the top of the page:. This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Excessively long, no organization. Please help improve this article if you can. I also see that some important material (coincidentally unfavorable toward Donald Trump) has been removed from this article under false pretenses. Sad.- MrX 11:25, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
@MrX: Which material do you contend has been "removed from this article under false pretenses"? — JFG talk 21:08, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Source citations; portions of source citations; massive portions of the lead; material verifiable in sources but critical of Trump; etc.- MrX 15:46, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
@MrX: You'll need to be more specific and actually quote things that were removed and would deserve restoring without being redundant; only then can we have a healthy editorial debate about such content. I performed the merge very carefully, I gave structure to a messy hodge-podge of content and I gave no preference to positive or negative views of the facts. I'm really curious about your bad-faith assumption of "false pretenses": please clarify what you mean or strike the aspersions. — JFG talk 13:53, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment I would strongly suggest that this is re-listed and allowed to run for the full amount of time.Casprings (talk) 12:49, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Reality Whatever the outcome, the merge mustn't be used as a pretext for insinuating twists of language, juxtaposition, and emphasis. A heavily involved editor should not do the merge. #NPOV SPECIFICO talk 14:25, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
@SPECIFICO: Was there an issue you saw with the text that was in the article for the past few weeks? PackMecEng (talk) 23:39, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, I wasn't aware it had been done, but the principle remains the same. Uninvolved merger is a good first approximation. If it's ultimately decided I will read whatever text is proposed. SPECIFICO talk 23:51, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough, sounds like a good plan. PackMecEng (talk) 00:03, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support merge - the merge discussion should have been open longer, but I support the merge. Power~enwiki (talk) 19:17, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support but give time for people who oppose the move to have their say. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:19, 26 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment It looks as if this discussion was reopened August 26. Thus IMO it should remain open until Sept. 2, and then someone other than JFG should close it. It doesn't have to be someone completely uninvolved in the discussion, just someone else - since it was JFG who made the first, too-quick decision to proceed with the merge. No offense intended to you, JFG, just wanting to ensure a non-controversial outcome this time. --MelanieN (talk) 19:16, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the timing. As per WP:Merge, the normal time period is 30 days. This was closed 48 hours after it opened. It should be allowed to run for 30 full days and closed on September 26th, if there is consensus.Casprings (talk) 20:20, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Actually, WP:Merging says the opposite: "There is no required 30-day discussion period. If a consensus in favor of the merger is formed in less than 30 days, then anyone may perform the merger whenever they want." I tend to favor a week as a minimum discussion time, because not everyone is online every day, and in fact some people only log on to Wikipedia on weekends. A week has been recommended to me by more experienced editors as a good way to make sure everyone interested has had a chance to comment, without dragging things out forever. --MelanieN (talk) 23:11, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I should have waited a week before performing the merge instead of relying on the unanimous support received in the early comments. 30 days is overkill, this was not an RfC. Waiting 3 weeks for somebody to contest the merge and revive the WP:CFORK is not optimal either. — JFG talk 23:28, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment See relevant discussion at WP:Articles for deletion/Comey memos. --MelanieN (talk) 19:19, 27 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per MrX - DN (talk) 14:32, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm inclined to think that a merge would promote the POV that there's "nothing to see there" in the memos by minimizing them and to promote Trump's false narratives concerning the dismissal. The memos are a separate subject and either one of the memos or the dismissal could have occurred independently, without the other. SPECIFICO talk 18:21, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
Note that SPECIFICO's argument is logically inconsistent—she says both that the memos and the dismissal are entirely "separate subjects" and that not having an article on the former would tend "to promote Trump's false narratives concerning the" latter. Moreover, SPECIFICO does not affirmatively state that readers are well-served by the existence of Comey memos or that a merge would not be feasible or even (in the long-term) desirable: Her primary concern is only that, given current political considerations, "a merge would promote the POV that there's 'nothing to see there' in the memos by minimizing them." Several editors, both here and at AFD, have espoused variations of SPECIFICO's insinuation that merge proponents are not acting in good faith, but rather simply dislike the content of the article in question, but none have refuted JFG's central point that "Almost all content was duplicated, and everything was WP:PRESERVED during the [previous] merge." Instead, we have seen aspersions cast absent any evidence—see MrX's unsupported aspersions, and his failure to respond when challenged by JFG, as well as SPECIFICO's unsupported aspersions. SPECIFICO alleged that JFG had used the merge "as a pretext for insinuating twists of language, juxtaposition, and emphasis," but when asked "Was there an issue you saw with the text that was in the article for the past few weeks?" she replied: "As a matter of fact, I wasn't aware it [the merge] had been done, but the principle remains the same." Casual personal attacks of this kind make collaboration more difficult, but there is a more fundamental problem with ad hominem reasoning: Even if merge proponents are motivated by WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT, merge opponents still need a better rationale for retaining Comey memos than WP:IJUSTLIKEIT.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:34, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
All I see there is disparagement of our colleague, @MrX: for his good faith analysis. SPECIFICO talk 20:35, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
The equation of the Nixon White House tapes with the alleged Comey memos in terms of established, long-term historical significance and independent notability is, indeed, ludicrous—obviously so to anyone familiar with the former topic—but I do not see how explaining that constitutes "disparagement" of any kind. If you have a response to my substantive arguments, please post it at the relevant AFD.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:34, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
"obvious" and "ludicrous" and "I don't see..." are not policy-based refutations of the points articulated by comrade X. Please review WP:TPNO. SPECIFICO talk 22:45, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
SPECIFICO, you really need to stop trolling.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 09:55, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@TheTimesAreAChanging: You're entitled to your opinion, but I think it lacks perspective. Although this scandal is unprecedented in US History, there are striking similarities to Watergate, especially in in the obstruction of justice aspect. This is not the time to be removing, burying, or significantly condensing content just as the scandal in its many forms is unfolding. - MrX 22:59, 28 August 2017 (UTC)
Asserting that "Trump-Russia"—whatever that may be—constitutes the biggest scandal in American history does not actually establish a policy-based rationale for a dedicated article on a minor detail like Comey memos. "This is not the time"? See WP:RECENTISM.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 09:55, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Merge Only notable in relation to dismissal of James Comey. If it ends up being a white water situation then it should have its own article. Until then its nothing but WP:CRYSTAL. PackMecEng (talk) 00:23, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - seems like these are independently notable. This is an extremely important event in historical context. I may revisit following the special prosecutor's report, but see no reason for a hasty merge. Neutralitytalk 00:28, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
This is a key point. We should not be in any rush to conclude that these two events are collinear. That would unnecessarily limit WP's content for our users and it's a clear POV tilt toward what RS describe as the Trump Administration's self-serving spin on the subject. SPECIFICO talk 00:46, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
From a policy perspective, you've got things exactly backwards. No secondary sources so far have even seen, much less analyzed, Comey's alleged memos. Therefore, we should not create an article entirely devoted to these alleged memos on the theory that they may ultimately turn out to be hugely historically significant and independently notable in their own right. It's not about "minimizing" the possibility of Comey memos contributing to future earth-shattering developments; there is no "rush to conclude" anything. Editors should merely wait until sources have made that determination.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 09:55, 29 August 2017 (UTC)
One need not "see" an object in order to analyze it. [2]. Suggest you read more widely. SPECIFICO talk 15:19, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - independently notable. The memos are part of this story but also a part of a different story.Volunteer Marek (talk) 16:39, 1 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - as per User:Neutrality. --Chris Howard (talk) 03:34, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment – Several opposing editors insist that the memos are "independently notable" from the dismissal of James Comey. Even if that were the case (it's mostly speculation at this point), that doesn't automatically grant them a separate article. Duplicate content is not good for the encyclopedia. — JFG talk 05:52, 2 September 2017 (UTC)
You're welcome to propose an AfD for the other article.Volunteer Marek (talk) 03:56, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Admin note: I've closed Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comey memos with a result of redirect to this article. I have to leave it up to editors how to reconcile this result with this still-open discussion.  Sandstein  10:39, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
    • Thank you, Sandstein. I would say that settles it. That discussion was done at AfD which is a more general venue than an article's talk page. And looking at the current discussion, which now has been open for a week, we have 10 in favor of merging and 7 opposed. Based on that result plus the AfD closure, I am going to close this discussion as "merge". I believe relevant material has already been merged here so it is only necessary to do the redirect, which I will do. Anyone who believes additional relevant material should have been merged is welcome to bring it here from the redirected article's history. Be sure to attribute it to that article if you copy it directly. --MelanieN (talk) 22:01, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
P.S. I was about to close and archive this discussion but decided not to just yet, as people may want to make additional comments. --MelanieN (talk) 22:04, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
And I see that Sandstein already carried out the redirect when he closed the AfD. --MelanieN (talk) 22:06, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
"That discussion was done at AfD which is a more general venue" - except far more editors participated here than at AfD. Many editors who participated here were not aware of the AfD. Hell, I *suggested* that JFG start an AfD unaware that he had already done so. And how do you explain JFG carrying on over here while at the same time pursuing AfD and not even bothering to mention it here. Multiple users who opposed the merge here did not participate in the AfD. This appears like a particularly WP:GAMEy instance of WP:FORUMSHOPPING. Volunteer Marek  23:43, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Re "not even mentioning": See my Comment from August 27, above. Five of the seven "oppose" !votes commented AFTER that was posted here. --MelanieN (talk) 23:50, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes I see that now but it's really easy to miss. Honestly, even looking at it now my first thought is "oh there was an AfD about it once". You should've made a formal notification. BTW, the fact that "Five of the seven 'oppose' !votes commented AFTER that was posted here" sort of shows that lots of editors may not have been aware of the AfD. Why waste your time commenting here when it's all getting decided at AfD?  Volunteer Marek  04:42, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Here are multiple further wikilinks at this talk page to the afd from August 28. WTF, VM? Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:57, 3 September 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, Anything, don't read every single one of your comments, so I missed that. Especially since your links to the AfD where buried within diffs which commented on something else. Volunteer Marek  04:42, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - independently notable. Gandydancer (talk) 13:59, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should we mention previous Democratic opposition to Comey?[edit]

There is no clear consensus across these discussions.

The main policy/guideline-based concerns seem to revolve around something along the lines of editorializing via immediate disqualification of preceding text to create undue weight in the context of the main topic, but there's also counter-argument that reliable sources covering the main topic have also raised the issue as part of that coverage. Some favor including the content in a Reaction, Timing, or similar section while opposing inclusion in the lead, however attempts to clarify the best place(s) to include the content (and/or if including it at all is okay) have also been marred by allegations of improper procedures/handling/approaches related the WP:RFC(s) and/or simultaneous proposals.

It might be an idea to pool together the most favorable versions for inclusion at specific points, with context, and run an RFC with two subheaders: "Lead" and "Section" (for example) with the most-likely-to-be-acceptable version + context at each place and then don't touch either of them nor create additional options until it concludes. If neither of those can establish clear consensus to support inclusion, wait until the RFC closes and then casually brainstorm others for the next RFC if there seems to be enough support for a new RFC (e.g., if the input indicates that changes to the proposed content could be acceptable). Regardless, consider waiting several months between RFCs covering the same content/proposal to avoid voter fatigue.

--slakrtalk / 09:09, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This reinsertion of challenged content [3] misrepresents the context and meaning of the statements in the cited source and should not have been reinserted in the article. SPECIFICO talk 16:19, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Remove per SPECIFICO.Casprings (talk) 16:48, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove - This has been discussed before. It does misrepresent the coverage in reliable sources, apparently to promote an alternative theory about why Comey was actually fired.- MrX 16:54, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove I don't see how previous (months old) Democrat criticisms are related to the suspicious timing of Comey's firing, and I've yet to see a source suggest that they are. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:56, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep The relation is like the source says Democrats cry foul over Comey firing after previously calling for him to resign. It's been widely covered by most RS, the love hate relationship. I am not sure how it is controversial or misrepresenting the source to mentioned that. PackMecEng (talk) 17:00, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Among other things, what the Donkeys think has nothing to do with the "dismissal of James Comey". SPECIFICO talk 17:03, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I think this !vote rationale makes the case for this being a POV push better than anything else. It's relevant because it exposes some hypocrisy on the part of Democrats? That's pretty much the definition of POV pushing. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 17:07, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
No, it's relevant because of the large body of RS reporting on it. Which is why I put "Democrats cry foul over Comey firing after previously calling for him to resign", it is exactly what the source says. It is relevant to the Comey dismissal because that was what the RS brought up in response to his dismissal. Also the Donkeys comments before and after the firing of Comey as reported by RS are what should be in the article. Besides that the WP:ASPERSIONS are not helpful or constructive. PackMecEng (talk) 17:44, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I could see that being used to justify mentioning it (with attribution, not in wikivoice as was done) in the reactions section. But I've pointed out that it has nothing to do with the timing of the dismissal, and no-one has yet to even assert that it does, let alone offer any rationale. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 18:35, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Yeah I could agree with that, attributed to the source in non wiki voice. Reactions does seems like a more natural place for it. PackMecEng (talk) 18:41, 5 September 2017 (UTC)


Comment: Rather than just support-or-remove, can we analyze it a little? We are talking about the first sentence in the "Timing" section, which now reads "Observers were suspicious of the timing of the dismissal, given the ongoing Russia investigation; Democrats had previously been critical of Comey or called for his ouster regarding matters other than the Russia investigation". Newly added material bolded.

First question: is the material supported by the sources? Yes, it is. The ABC News report explicitly supports the connection, contrasting the Democrats' previous opposition to Comey with their negative reaction to his firing. The NPR interview says the Democrats are suspicious of the timing because if Trump had been actually bothered about Comey's handling of the email investigation, he would have done something in January, not May. The Bloomberg article quotes Trump's tweets mocking the Democrats over their previous opposition. All three sources say the Democrats are challenging the firing, and its timing, because they suspect it was really about the Russia investigation. It seems as if this should be in the article someplace.

Second question: is this the best place, or the best way, to bring up the Dems' previous opposition? No, it isn't. It interrupts the train of thought in a sentence about the timing. But a separate sentence might work. How about something like this:

Many observers questioned the timing of the dismissal, since if the Clinton email investigation was the real reason for it, Trump could have fired Comey months earlier. (NPR source) Democrats, including many who had previously been critical of Comey or called for his ouster, suspected the real reason for firing Comey at this time was to obstruct the Russia investigation. (ABC News source) (Bloomberg source)

Thoughts? MelanieN (talk) 19:16, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

That reads sign significantly more neutral, however it also reads as if we're merely appropriating the source's statements. I think some better attribution would be in order. How about this:

NPR reported that Democrats were questioning the timing of the dismissal, claiming that if the Clinton email investigation were the real reason, Trump would have fired Comey months earlier.[NPR] ABC News and Bloomberg reported statements from Democrats, made at the time of the firing and during the election which were critical of Comey, including calls for his resignation as far back as October of 2016.[ABC][Bloomberg]

Too much? Not enough? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 19:58, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. Adding some time context is good. I usually don't see a need to name the source in the text if it is sourced, but will accept if consensus prefers it. Also this version leaves out the fact (reported by all three sources) that Dems were suggesting that the timing might be linked to the Russia investigation. --MelanieN (talk) 20:29, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Honestly, I prefer and am willing to support MelanieN's version. That the Dems "suspected the real reason for firing Comey at this time was to obstruct the Russia investigation" definitely should be in there.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 20:39, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I think if we changed MelanieN's version from "...since if the Clinton email investigation was the real reason for it, Trump could have fired Comey months earlier." to "...claiming that if the Clinton email investigation were the real reason, Trump would have fired Comey months earlier." I would be happy enough with it. Or something similar, just making sure that we're clear the rationale given was that of the folks complaining, not our own. The issue I had was pretty much all in that part; identifying the specific sources cited was just a bit of overkill I thought couldn't hurt. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:58, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
That's a good idea - "claiming" instead of "since" and "would" instead of "could". Also, probably "Many Democrats" is better than "Many observers" as the first word. --MelanieN (talk) 21:02, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
So long as I'm not wrong about it being all Democrats. But then, if I'm wrong, the sources are, too so it'll work. I think that's three of us on the same page. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:05, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So the proposal now is

Many Democrats questioned the timing of the dismissal, claiming that if the Clinton email investigation were the real reason for it, Trump would have fired Comey months earlier.(NPR source) Democrats, including many who had previously been critical of Comey or called for his ouster, suspected the real reason for firing Comey at this time was to obstruct the Russia investigation.(ABC News source)(Bloomberg source)

Let's not jump the gun and add it immediately just because three of us have agreed. There were earlier comments on this thread about the original material, and it would be good to hear from them about this revised version. Pinging @SPECIFICO, Casprings, MrX, and PackMecEng:. --MelanieN (talk) 21:28, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

WP should not adopt fake news narratives as if a perfect tweak would legitimize the insinuation of an entirely off-topic, undue mention of the Clinton investigation, when POTUS promptly discarded it and RS tell us the only reason it endured even temporarily is that Trump's advisors were concerned that Trump's original draft firing statement might implicate him in obstruction of justice, so that a valid "cause" for the firing needed to be retro-fitted. This doesn't belong in this article. Maybe some other article. SPECIFICO talk 20:06, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm not sure what narrative you think is fake news. The reports are from RSes, and they are accurate. I may be getting old, but I can remember the hate Comey got from the Dems last October. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:08, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
The introduction of a 9-month old reaction in a completely different context, crafted and brought up to support the false narratives to which I referred above. If there had been, for example, an organized or otherwise objectively notable call for Comey's resignation among any group at that time, then it might be a closer call. But saying that lots of folks were upset about something then and then tossing it in the current context is not what WP does. Did we see rallies in the street of happy democrats rejoicing at Comey's dismissal? This was a dumb miscalculation, RS tell us, by Administration insiders including POTUS and Kushner, but actually, their assessment turned out not to be correct. SPECIFICO talk 21:12, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
The reaction is by the sources, not by the Dems. The sources reacted by pointing out all this stuff. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:16, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Well yes, but the source does not make the condensed presentation or the synthy insinuation that's presented by the text that was removed. And it's not as if the source is a notable political or legal analyst. If there's a named notable analyst who presents the conclusion that is promoted by the deleted text then of course we could cite her and her analysis. Otherwise, off topic, undue (do most RS juxtapose the 9-month earlier unquantified non-specific opposition with the firing?) Not that I have seen. SPECIFICO talk 21:25, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

To reply more directly to @MelanieN:'s proposal: The mainstream view was that the Hillary bit was preposterous so attributing this to Democrats promotes a pro-Administration talking point. We don't have to limit ourselves to the current two sources. The bulk of RS don't say only Democrats hold this view. But I think the whole thing is dicey. It's really important that WP not promote false equivalence between mainstream RS reporting and POV spin. And WP's standard is not the "mainstream" of the editors who show up here, it's the mainstream of the real world. And the real world -- not just some presumably self-interested Dems licking their wounds over losing the White House (POTUS narrative) -- thinks the Clinton excuse is irrelevant and a lie. SPECIFICO talk 21:53, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

I would also prefer to be able to credit this to "Many observers" rather than specifically Democrats - but we'd need a source that cites someone other than a Democrat saying so. Do you think you could find such a source? --MelanieN (talk) 22:39, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I'm still firmly opposed to this material. Changing the words does not make it less WP:UNDUE. Only one of the sources I've seen (ABC) places any importance at all on this at all. Contrary to the proposed text, the source says "some of the same Democratic politicians" not "many democrats". This construct is obviously intended advance an idea that democrats were hypocritical about Comey's firing, a narrative pushed in tweets by Trump. I will say the exact same thing I said when this scandal was fresh: "I object to the proposed sentence. It puts far too much weight on the point of view that Democrats have been hypocritical about the firing, when the much more significant issue is the impropriety of the President firing the person leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia, possibly involving Trump himself." Nothing has changed.- MrX 12:38, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Proposal to be added to the Reactions sub-section[edit]

The following is proposed as an addition to the Reactions sub-section. I think there's a pretty broad agreement that the original edit was too POVish, so can we please discuss this version?

Many Democrats questioned the timing of the dismissal, claiming that if the Clinton email investigation were the real reason for it, Trump would have fired Comey months earlier.[1] Democrats, including many who had previously been critical of Comey or called for his ouster, suspected the real reason for firing Comey at this time was to obstruct the Russia investigation.[2][3]

ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:18, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Sources

  1. ^ "Democrats Question Timing Of James Comey's Dismissal From FBI" Archived May 14, 2017, at the Wayback Machine., NPR (May 9, 2017).
  2. ^ "Democrats cry foul over Comey firing after previously calling for him to resign" Archived May 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine., ABC News (May 11, 2017): "Democrats in Congress are questioning the timing of Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey... but less than a year ago, some of the same Democratic politicians who are now attacking Trump for firing Comey called for the director's resignation or questioned his credibility."
  3. ^ "Comey Ouster Threatens to Backfire on Troubled White House". Bloomberg News. May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017. 
I would actually propose this to be the first two sentences of the "Timing" section". --MelanieN (talk) 22:30, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't want it there. That section is about the timing wrt the Russia investigation. Adding this there would just muddy the waters and make it look like a POV mess to me. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:32, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
OK, well, I based it on what is currently in the "Timing" section. Do you want to take a look at how that should read, then? --MelanieN (talk) 22:36, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I think that section looks fine right now, though I'm always open to suggestions. Or good arguments for why I'm just completely full of shit. Either or. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 22:41, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, you're right; now that somebody has removed the "Democrats" addition it reads all right as it is. (Hard to keep up around here.) Where in the "Reactions" section would you put this? --MelanieN (talk) 23:13, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
Maybe as a standalone paragraph, after the one that starts "Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer renewed..." Thoughts? ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 23:16, 5 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't see why it shouldn't be in the timing section, which it was for several months until September 3. Many Democrats didn't object to Comey getting the ax, and instead were mainly concerned about the timing of it. The fact that Democrats had previously urged Comey's firing is not a reaction. Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:39, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Because the timing of the firing wrt the Russian interference is a completely separate matter from the "timing" (one wonders if an issue of several months in time along with a flip-flopping Trump opinion can even count as a "timing" issue) of his firing wrt the Hillary investigation. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:10, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Democrats had previously called for Comey's ouster[edit]

User:MrX has deleted the fact that Democrats had previously called for Comey's ouster.[4] MrX's edit summary says, "Discussed and rejected before." On the contrary, from 16 May thru 3 September (almost four months), this BLP had included language like "Democrats ... previously called for Comey's resignation or doubted his credibility." Here is the specific language that MrX removed today:

I disagree with removing longstanding relevant information without any accurate rationale whatsoever. Please don't hide these references, because they include quotes that clearly support the removed material. Additionally, the fact that various Democrats had previously called for Comey's ouster is not a "reaction" and does not belong in the reactions section. Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:27, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

This is already being discussed in a previous section, and yes it has been discussed and rejected before. You did not quote the source in the citation; you manufactured your own quote by removing words and phrases from the actual quote.- MrX 12:20, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Comes across to me like: a member of one party did something bad, so for balance, let’s find something bad to say about the other party. In any case, already discussed. Objective3000 (talk) 12:55, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Presumably, MrX, you are merely referring to the quote in the third footnote. The full and lengthy sentence in the source is "Democrats, who had frequently criticized Comey for his handling of the Clinton inquiry, found themselves comparing Trump’s move to Richard Nixon’s firing of the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal that eventually ended Nixon’s presidency." As you can clearly see, I quoted properly the part relevant to the material in the main text of this BLP, i.e. the part confirming what is quoted in footnote 1. I have no objection if you amend your article edits to merely include the full sentence in footnote 3, or none of it in footnote 3, but there was nothing improper about the brief quote I put into footnote 3. Additionally, MrX, your link to prior talk was about the lead, not the article body. Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:22, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Survey about previous Democratic opposition to Comey[edit]

This information has been removed, added to, and removed from the Timing section, and we have several different subsections going on here so it's hard to tell who thinks what. Some of us had agreed on a wording to insert into the Reactions section. While we continue to discuss there, let's just see where we stand on inserting MPants's proposed wording into the Reactions section. It's here, two sections above this one, and it mentions Democrats' previous opposition to Comey as kind of in passing or secondary to their suspicions about the timing. --MelanieN (talk) 14:06, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Do include it. --MelanieN (talk) 14:06, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Include natch. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:11, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Include I can get behind it. PackMecEng (talk) 14:12, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Include this relevant, reliably-sourced, and longstanding information in the reactions section, but only if people nonsensically insist that it should no longer be in chronological order as it was for several months until September 3. The fact that many people had called for Comey's dismissal prior to the actual firing is not a reaction to the firing. Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:14, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
No, but the coverage of it absolutely is. The sources would not have been writing about it at that time if Comey were not fired. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:16, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Include – Good neutral wording from MPants at work, however I'd suggest to avoid repeating "the real reason" twice, that looks heavy-handed. Agree with Anythingyouwant that it's not a reaction, but then the text should be split between "Some Democrats had called for Comey to resign because of his handling of the Clinton email investigation" (prior to the dismissal, in the background section) and then, in the Reactions section, "Democrats questioned the timing of the dismissal and suspected the real reason for firing Comey at this time was to obstruct the Russia investigation." — JFG talk 14:20, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, splitting in that way would be much better than moving it all to the reactions section. If we organize articles according to the age of each footnoted source, instead of according to the age of events discussed by each footnoted source, then we might well be the first people ever to advocate such an odd arrangement. Anyway, the previous Democratic calls for Comey's ouster are relevant to whether their ultimate opposition to the firing was more of a timing issue than an expression of support for Comey, so putting both in the "Timing" subsection (where it was located for months until September 3) makes sense too. Anythingyouwant (talk) 01:48, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Firm oppose per my previous comments and the previous talk page discussions, and per WP:UNDUE . This material merely promotes Trump's narrative that democrats are hypocrites and that any scrutiny of Trump's actions are invalid. As I have previously pointed out, the cited sources do not say "many democrats" in this context.- MrX 14:29, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
I have no objection to saying "Democrats" instead of "many Democrats" to track precisely two of the cited sources, though "many Democrats" seems like an accurate paraphrase. Also, if we delete every fact that tends to support one side of the other, then this article would be about two sentences. Anythingyouwant (talk) 14:33, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
MrX, multiple sources are covering this in the context of the Comey firing. That passes WP:DUE by definition. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 15:17, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, but not as a factor central to the topic of this article. Journalists have a lot of space and airtime to fill, and it may be interesting how times have changed but that should not be used to risk a false equivalence in readers' minds between partisan Dem disappointments and the actions of POTUS-in-power. SPECIFICO talk 15:38, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
The overwhelmingly majority of sources do not cover it as a significant point. There was brief burst of coverage in which some sources mentioned it after the firing, but as far as I can see, it's a minority of sources that even mention it. I just reviewed a random sampling of 30 sources cited in this article. 20% mention the Democrats "previous condemnations of Comey". Two of those source simply quote third parties (in one case Trump) without adding any further analysis. What is evident in looking at these sources is that they highlight the possibility of obstruction of justice and harsh criticism of the timing of the firing, not the hypocrisy. Further, in the three cherry picked sources listed above, only one establishes a firm connection between the criticism of Trump's timing and the hypocrisy of "some of the same" democrats. I stand by my position that this is not only WP:UNDUE to the point of being fringe, but also that the juxtaposition of the timing and hypocrisy is so exceedingly rare in sources, that it would blatantly violate WP:NPOV to represent it in the article as proposed.- MrX 16:03, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
This is a 14,000 word article. We're well past the point of only covering things which are central to the subject. It's also POVish to exclude it because, no matter how immature the cries of "dems are hypocrites" are, they're accurate and they help contextualize the reaction to this subject. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 16:16, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with the dismissal of Comey and it doesn't belong in this article, especially not as written.- MrX 16:37, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
So the calls for Comey's firing before the election and then the compared reaction to the firing after the election are unrelated to the firing of Comey? How does that work? PackMecEng (talk) 16:40, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Trump fired Comey to take pressure off of the Russia collusion investigation, not because of pre-Trump Comey's investigation into butter emails. I'm surprised it's not obvious how that works.- MrX 16:52, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Yes that is one of the theories around why he was fired. The article is about more than why he was fired. We have a whole section in the article dedicated to reactions to the firing, which is what this is. PackMecEng (talk) 17:00, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, that's not just one of the theories, it's POTUS own theory and its the overwhelming reportage of RS, so it is for WP purposes, the NPOV theory AKA the fact. SPECIFICO talk 17:08, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
POTUS' own theory is, respectuflly, a load of bullshit. POTUS doesn't even know what his own theory was, else he'd not have contradicted himself so much. That being said, the assertion that this oft-repeated commentary about Comey's firing has nothing to do with Comey's firing is spurious. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:03, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Pants, Better to shorten the article than include coatrack POV stuff, right? SPECIFICO talk 17:08, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
SPEC, if you can shorten this article to that point, I'd be a happy man. But absent that, it's POVish to leave out a talking point repeated by multiple sources (including sources known to have a left-wing slant). ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 20:03, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
@MPants at work: One way you could put me out of my misery on this is if you have sources that show I'm mistaken in my view that as of mid-May 2017 there was no homogeneous partisan Democrat call for Comey to be fired. I don't recall ever seeing a uniform Democrat call for that and certainly not 6 months past the election. If there had been such a united Democratic Party call for Comey's removal 1. Pres. Obama could have done the deed, or 2. We'd have some way to document this and put a date on it. SPECIFICO talk 01:59, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I'll do that the moment you show me where in the text we discuss a "homogeneous partisan Democrat call for Comey to be fired". smh ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 05:47, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
@MPants at work: OK the dairytalk was not a good way to express myself. Sorry for the mixup. Try again: The Democrats were not reported to be united in outrage, calling for Comey's resignation after he dropped the Weiner bit. Most likely because upset as they were they didn't really think this would cost them the election. And the democrats who did speak out against it were not concerned with getting him fired but rather with discrediting his statement as undue and not substantively implicating Sec'y Clinton. WP needs to ensure that no significant number of readers come away thinking that the Democrats had a core issue about firing Comey. They just didn't. They might be said to have had core issues about "gun control" "womens' health rights" or a few other issues, but I haven't seen the bulk of RS reporting say that "fire Comey" was a widespread core issue of the Democrats. After POTUS's surprise victory they had bigger concerns. So now that I've restated, do you disagree about mainstream reporting on this? SPECIFICO talk 13:26, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying about the Democrats as a whole. During the election, the Democrat reaction to Comey was predictable and not given more than the pro-forma coverage any such reaction would get. But the thing is that several news outlets brought up that coverage when Trump actually fired Comey. Now, as you can see elsewhere in this thread, I'm completely opposed to putting this in the timing section for much the same reason several editors outlines in opposing !votes here; namely that it reads as kind of a tu quoque response, which is undue and POVish. But to even have a reactions subsection without mentioning what might be the biggest partisan criticism of Dems made as a reaction to the firing would be equally undue and POVish. Does it make Comey's firing more understandable? No. Does it really say anything new about the Democrats? No ("OMG, politicians can be hypocritical? I had no idea!"). If it had just been Trump or even the Republicans pointing this out, I'd agree to leave it out due to irrelevance. But this was a reaction by the sources themselves. The pro-Trump side has a bad habit of not admitting error of any sort; let's try not to let the anti-Trump side develop that same habit, here on WP. My initial suggestion specified which source made which critique, and the more I discuss with you, the more I'm thinking that might be a neccessary addition. So take the proposal above, and alter it by making sure that it says "Some Democrats" instead of grouping them all, and the add in the direct attribution to the sources from my first proposal in the section above ("NPR said...", "ABC News stated..." etc) and tell me what you think of that, in light of what I've said just now. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 13:46, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Happy to you too. But meanwhile, it doesn't make sense to me that we all feel this article is fatter than a Louisiana goose and then use that as a reason stuff it all the more. I think we get this baby down to size by paring current coatrack, not be getting cozy with more off-topic. In the story of any public figure this is a constant battle, and the bit about Comey's quandry wrt Clinton-Weiner or even Clinton round 1, is not readily connected to the story of his dismissal. SPECIFICO talk 21:03, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
Except that citing Comey vs Clinton was one of the more common reactions. There are three sources used in the proposal, and I've seen at least two more. That lets me know there are even more out there doing this. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 12:40, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
"Except that citing Comey vs Clinton was one of the more common reactions" That's just not true. Only a minority of sources even mention it, and of the ones that do, most are quoting a third party, like Trump. Maybe you meant that the comparison is one of the more common reactions amongst the cherry picked sources? Yes, that I would agree with.- MrX 14:00, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
I stand by what I said above. You can disagree all you want, but it's an objection that has been covered by even left leaning sources in addition to right-wing and other sources not mentioned here, and repeated often enough to have RS rebuttals, such as in The Atlantic and Slate. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 14:48, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This talk page is very messy, with extensive discussion and !votes above that are likely to be disregarded now that we have a new survey. Per my earlier comment, it's vital that we prevent any possible insinuation or misinterpretation that only Democrats know that POTUS was misrepresenting the reasons for firing Comey, when RS have reached that conclusion and POTUS acknowledged it on TV and to Lavrov. It's not a criticism or a reaction, it's a fact about the dismissal. To repeat one of the factors I mentioned above: WP may have editors ready to comment on a hair-trigger and reject the mainstream view but that does not mean that those editors reflect the weight of mainstream opinion in the real world or of RS reporting and narrative. NPOV says we must convey the weight of views in the real world, not just the views fervently expressed on this talk page. There's plenty of policy to back up that distinction, and we need to be much more strict about applying it here. SPECIFICO talk 15:38, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Undue weight given to the president's "but hypocrites!" argument. ValarianB (talk) 16:49, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Undue weight per SPECIFICO and others. Gandydancer (talk) 16:54, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Include - I don't know what's going on with this talk page, but this is another piece of unobjectionable text that is said to push a POV. I don't see how it pushes a POV, I don't see how the other bits some have claimed pushed a POV did so either. The arguments that it pushes some sort of pro-Trump agenda appear to be based on an extreme 'reading-into' of the text. Cjhard (talk) 00:15, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Comment. There does not seem to be consensus here to remove information that was in this BLP for months. But if I were to put it back now, undoubtedly there would be a revert war. So, I may start an RFC. It also seems like a clear violation of WP:Preserve to simply hide from readers that there had been calls for Comey's dismissal even before he was dismissed. Anythingyouwant (talk) 18:25, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

We don't have consensus either way. Six want to include it, four want to keep it out. I suggest you work with MPants to incorporate the suggestions in this discussion, and then file an RfC. --MelanieN (talk) 19:00, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There was never a consensus for including this material in the first place. Including it would be a clear violation of WP:DON'T PRESERVE and WP:GAME. Since only a minority of sources even mention it, it would also violate WP:UNDUE.- MrX 19:02, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
There was never a consensus for including it in the lead. There was obvious consensus for including it later in the article, because "Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus." The material was in the BLP for months which is strong evidence of consensus. Sources don't get much stronger than ABC News, and no source contradicts ABC. Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:19, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
But it was reverted by another editor. In fact, it was reverted by several editors, so it indeed does not have consensus.- MrX 19:23, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
Removed after several months passed. If any eventual removal proves there was never a consensus, then consensus is meaningless. Anythingyouwant (talk) 20:33, 15 September 2017 (UTC)
No, it proves that your POV is meaningless. But only in this case. In some other matter, your POV might be sustained. Let's move on. SPECIFICO talk 22:22, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

RFC about opposition to Comey prior to dismissal[edit]

Should this Wikipedia article say --- either in its background section or in the lead or both --- that during the year prior to the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey various politicians including both Democrats and Republicans (e.g. President-elect Donald Trump and the Democratic leaders in Congress) had publicly questioned whether he should remain in office, instead of this Wikipedia article not mentioning that there had been any such public statements? [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Sources

  1. ^ "Democrats cry foul over Comey firing after previously calling for him to resign" Archived May 13, 2017, at the Wayback Machine., ABC News (May 11, 2017): "Democrats in Congress are questioning the timing of Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey... but less than a year ago, some of the same Democratic politicians who are now attacking Trump for firing Comey called for the director's resignation or questioned his credibility."
  2. ^ Demirjian, Karoun. “Democrats accuse FBI's Comey of stonewalling on Trump-Russia ties”, Chicago Tribune (January 13, 2017): “More Democrats are calling for FBI Director James Comey's resignation after a closed-door briefing….”
  3. ^ Tani, Maxwell. “'Comey acted in an outrageous way during the campaign': Bernie Sanders suggests FBI director should resign”, Business Insider (January 15, 2017).
  4. ^ Politi, Daniel. “Harry Reid: FBI Chief Comey Covered Up Russian Hacking, Should Resign”, Slate (December 10, 2016).
  5. ^ Schleifer, Theodore. “Pelosi on Comey: 'Maybe he's not in the right job'”, CNN (November 2, 2016).
  6. ^ Shelbourne, Mallory. “Dem lawmaker: Obama should fire Comey”, The Hill (November 14, 2016): “Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Monday that President Obama should fire FBI Director James Comey….”
  7. ^ Collins, Michael. “Rep. Steve Cohen: Once a critic of James Comey, he now defends fired FBI director”, USA Today (May 14, 2017): “Just six months ago, Rep. Steve Cohen was so furious over the way FBI Director James Comey handled the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails that he demanded Comey resign for the good of the country.”
  8. ^ King, Alexandra. “Ex-AG Mukasey: Comey should resign, Trump should pardon Clinton”, CNN (January 14, 2017).
  9. ^ Johnson, Carrie. “Trump Advisers Assess Whether To Keep FBI Director James Comey”, NPR (November 14, 2016).
  10. ^ Hensch, Mark. “Wall Street Journal: Comey should resign”, The Hill (January 13, 2017); “James Comey’s Best Service”, Wall Street Journal (January 13, 2017): “Donald Trump can and should fire him in the best interests of the nation’s most important law enforcement agency.”

Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:49, 16 September 2017 (UTC)(Signing with four tildes instead of signing with five tildes. Both are specifically allowed by WP:RFC.)

RFC !votes[edit]

  • Yes for the lead and yes for the background section. The question of Comey's continuance in office had been a widespread topic of discussion for many months before the dismissal, with Republican leaders and even more Democratic ones calling for his resignation. The sources are plentiful and unequivocal about it. Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:49, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Insufficient information. What is the edit being proposed? Context matters. No conclusion should be drawn from this RfC without the necessary context. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 05:12, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
You mean insufficient information to support or oppose inclusion? Please see the ten sources listed at the end of the RFC question. If you mean that further context should be included along with the stuff in the RFC question, that would be fine and can be hashed out later. WP:RFC says, "Keep the RfC statement short and simple". The edit being proposed is insertion of "during the year prior to the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey various politicians including both Democrats and Republicans (e.g. President-elect Donald Trump and the Democratic leaders in Congress) had publicly questioned whether he should remain in office". Anythingyouwant (talk) 05:15, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
That's somewhat helpful, but I'm most interested in where that sentence is being proposed to be added in the article. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:22, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
In the lead and/or in the background section. Anythingyouwant (talk) 07:43, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Qualified support for the background section only, and preferably with some wording tweaks. I suggest you remove the parenthetical "e.g." part. And I don't like "during the year prior to the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey". How about "during and after the 2016 presidential campaign" or "immediately before and after the 2016 presidential election"? And of course if you name him you would just say "Comey", not "FBI Director James Comey"; by this time in the article we know who he is. And I wish you would put this proposed wording into the actual RfC proposal; I didn't see it at first and had posted a note that I couldn't comment on this without seeing the actual wording, then I found it buried in the discussion. (Thank you!) --MelanieN (talk) 14:51, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
P.S. And of course trim the number of references from 10 to maybe 3. --MelanieN (talk) 15:00, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Abort - Unfortunately, this malformed RfC attempts to duplicate the failing survey above while subtly begging the question. This is not an example of how to properly determine consensus.- MrX 15:17, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Abort/malformed RfC - an RfC is supposed to be on a specific, narrow question, preferably "option A vs option B vs option C." An RfC is not suppose to be this vague and general. Try again. Come up with specific language. Neutralitytalk 15:57, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
The specific language is now in bold. Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:12, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose/Abort This is an all too familiar sight: A malformed RfC that might later be used to inisnuate POV or UNDUE material into the article, citing the close on a meaningless proposition. Abort, per my comments to OP below. SPECIFICO talk 16:45, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes for lead, edited for background to expand what each call was complaining about. As discussed in prior thread, RFC for additional input from outsiders (other than x, specifico, and anything for example) seems needed. Since the article merged in related topic Comey memo, then other associated causes should be included or it fails WP:NPOV. That he had previously been strongly and repeatedly criticized were mentioned at the time as part of the dismissal decision. Some portrayed that Trump expected (naively/optimistically) the dismissal to not be criticized. The article did not limit itself to the dismissal alone, so ... for the full story, this ones in too. Markbassett (talk) 20:15, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Markbassett, can you cite RS accounts of these repeated ongoing calls for Comey's dismissal prior to his dismissal? SPECIFICO talk 20:26, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Anythingyouwant already provided ten sources; SPECIFICO is playing a word game and attempting to move the goalpost with her use of the word "ongoing." Don't feed the troll—as we can see below, nothing good can come of it.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 22:01, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
User:TheTimesAreAChanging - Plenty of coverage of Comey before the dismissal and so simple Google 'calls by democrats for Comey dismissal' shows a WP:WEIGHT about that. Also WEIGHT that there are claims of hypocrisy after dismissal about it. The WEIGHT about expectations is another simple Google 'Trump thought democrats would welcome Comey dismissal' ... Washington post, nytimes.com, vox, salon, .... It's part of the analysis of why it happened in enough of the sources that it would be POV to not have it. Markbassett (talk) 17:03, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
All those google results come after the Comey firing and in the context of the POTUS/Kushner miscalculation. If there were widespread ongoing Democrat sentiment to fire Comey, which RS tell us is what the Trump family believed, then you'd have google results that would demonstrate what you're seeking to prove. There aren't and you haven't. Your google results do suggest that there could be more extensive discussion of the POTUS/Kushner misjudgment of public opinion. SPECIFICO talk 17:27, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
That is not the content that's being proposed. If you want to take a swipe at Kushner (or at POTUS for relying on him), you need to propose language that would convey that meaning and provide RS citations to support it.
Quite to the contrary, in fact, what's been promoted without success on this talk page is that we adopt the voice of Kushner and claim that the Donkeys wanted Comey out for misdeeds, so Trump fired him cause he wanted him out cause his job performance didn't measure up just like they said. But that is not supported by RS or by Trump. It could go in Kushner's article however. SPECIFICO talk 22:40, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Exclude as written, as drafted above, the text gives a context-less and potentially misleading picture of what the sources are saying. Pincrete (talk) 17:21, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Feel free to suggest an alternative, Pincrete. The bolded language that has been suggested in the RFC is not written in stone (or between quote marks). We've already had more than one editor support the content provided certain changes are made. You can even go farther than that if you like, by suggesting a completely different version. Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:54, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Well almost certainly not lead worthy, and since there are already many comments, giving specific text is - quite frankly - beyond the commitment that I'm prepared to make to this RfC. One can tell that something lacks context, without having mastered everything needed to give context. Pincrete (talk) 18:09, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for your input Pincrete. Please note my remark above to another editor: "If you mean that further context should be included along with the stuff in the RFC question, that would be fine and can be hashed out later. WP:RFC says, 'Keep the RfC statement short and simple.'" Anythingyouwant (talk) 18:14, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose / Abort. This RFC is too broad and vaguely-worded; I'm particularly troubled at it being created immediately in the wake of the failed RFC above. It's already obvious that there's no consensus for what's being suggested here, so the right thing to do is to hammer out possible wordings, sources, and tone issues before leaping straight back into an RFC. I can't see this RFC producing any useful results as it is. --Aquillion (talk) 19:00, 18 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose and restrict this user from creating new discussions for a set time. This talk page is just a barrage of RFCs and gives the impression that the intent is to wear the opposition down. TheValeyard (talk) 02:19, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
By "this user", you presumably mean me, so I'll respond by saying that you've given zero rationale for your oppose, and zero evidence that this page as it stands now includes any other RFC started by me, or even any other RFC about the present subject. I started an RFC in May (now archived) but withdrew it after less than 24 hours. See WP:NPA, please. Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:49, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Oh, stop bellyaching. The user before me pointed out, aptly, the problem with this "...being created immediately in the wake of the failed RFC above." It doesn't mean that you have created all of them, just that you showed fairly poor sense in starting one now on the heels of a failed one. Lacking said sense, you shouldn't be creating hem at all. TheValeyard (talk) 03:21, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Please point me to this imaginary "failed RFC above". Thanks so much. Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:40, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I have a reasonable degree of confidence that you can work out the meaning of the words "failed" and "above". TheValeyard (talk) 04:08, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
There is no failed RFC above. Just like there is no rationale in your oppose. Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:11, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
In fact there is one there, and in fact I have echoed the opinion of several editors above who also feel this RfC is defective and without merit. But by all means continue driving your train-wreck down the tangent that is l'il ol' me, if you feel you must. TheValeyard (talk) 04:18, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
You have "echoed" the false assertion that there is any failed RFC above. You ought to verify before echoing. Anythingyouwant (talk)
I did verify it, by observing the tanking RfC that you failed to get consensus in, immediately above this one. Anything else you'd care to be untruthful about, or are you done? TheValeyard (talk) 04:33, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Obviously, the section above titled "Should we mention previous Democratic opposition to Comey?" was not an RFC, it had nothing to do with WP:RFC, and it did not solicit opinions from the wider community. It included a survey which reached no consensus, thus rendering an RFC timely and appropriate. Now, if you'd like to persist in your state of denial, feel free to have the last word in this bizarre little conversation. Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:41, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
#Should we mention previous Democratic opposition to Comey? failed to gain consensus. After your addition of the material was twice reverted, you started #Democrats had previously called for Comey's ouster. Then another user created #Survey about previous Democratic opposition to Comey After that failed to gain consensus, you started the #RFC about opposition to Comey prior to dismissal, a poorly-constructed RfC. We are now on our third RfC/survey in two weeks on the same material. When will it end?- MrX 11:37, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Thankfully, other editors see through your obfuscations. TheValeyard (talk) 23:29, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Trump rather obviously fired Comey because he didn't like being investigated. This attempt to "soften" Trump's action by implying Comey's job was already under threat seems non-neutral. -- Scjessey (talk) 12:13, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment - RfCs are meant to be used as a "last resort" when normal discussion has broken down. The continuous use of RfCs as the primary discussion tool is problematic at best, and should be actively discouraged. -- Scjessey (talk) 12:13, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • I Support this for the background section, but I'm not quite sold on the lede yet. Mr Ernie (talk) 14:21, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Qualified support I tend to agree that this should be in background only. But I do not think it is relevant enough for the lead.Slatersteven (talk) 17:16, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose as written I think this is useful context, in part because those criticisms by were part of why the Trump admin underestimated the backlash for the firing. However, the proposed language is vague and seems to exaggerate how widespread the calls for resignation were. He was harshly criticized, but the party leadership (Dem or Rep) never called for him to be removed. Nblund talk 21:34, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes for lead, edited for background as it is worthy information and helps readers understand the situation in a greater way than without it. 70.44.154.16 (talk) 23:51, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose and abort as written. The reasons for opposition to Comey are very different and complicated, so providing sources isn't enough. We need the actual proposed content wording as it's a worthy topic. Try developing that and then start a regular discussion. Save an RfC for use if discussion gets stuck. -- BullRangifer (talk) 15:14, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support in body; Include brief mention in lead by rephrasing "Comey had been under public and political pressure as a result of both the FBI's role in the Hillary Clinton email controversy" as "Comey was harshly criticized by commentators and members of both parties for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation" James J. Lambden (talk) 18:26, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - seriously, several key Democrats wanted Comey fired before Trump fired him, and the RS are abundant. This shouldn't even be up for discussion considering the calls for his dismissal on both sides of the isle. Hillary Clinton blames him to this day for costing her the election. Atsme📞📧 01:03, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion in background and commentary, not in the lead except maybe with a very brief mention, or with the current "Some went so far as to decry" language in the commentary. FallingGravity 03:07, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Trump has said he was thinking of "this Russia thing" when he decided to fire Comey. This is just original research into additional reasons Trump could have hypothetically used to fire Comey but did not, in fact, use. It does not belong in Wikipedia. Gouncbeatduke (talk) 12:53, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose/neutral (Summoned by bot) This is a judgment call, but based on the focus of the article I'm not seeing it in the lead. Coretheapple (talk) 20:53, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, with advice. Be very careful about how you word this according to the sources. Trying to detract from the emotional aspect of this case and break down the issue per wp guidelines, we should think about it like this - assuming x,y and z are democratic individuals, while a,b and c are republicans:
    • If we have a source that says, "x,y and z called for his dismissal". and another which reads "a,b and c called for his dismissal" it may be wp:OR/wp:SYNTH to write any of the following.
      • Democrats called for his dismissal
      • Both Democrats and Republicans called for his dismissal
    • If we have a source (1) which reads, "Democrats called for his dismissal" and a source (2) which reads, "Republicans called for his dismissal, it may be OK to write:
      • Both sides called for his dismissal.
      • Republicans and Democrats called for his dismissal (followed by attribution)
    • In short, when adding up and summarizing sources, beware of Original Syn, It's probably better in certain cases to add a short sentence from a few of the most reliably sourced pieces of information than to write something in the article which equates to, "because agents (a) from party (p) in sources (1,2,3,4...etc) said this then all (p) said this
Edaham (talk) 06:42, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support – Well-sourced and significant public position about Comey from many Democrats. We don't need to highlight this in the lead, though. — JFG talk 09:43, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

RFC discussion[edit]

Shame on you Anything. A bunch of second-string references from six months previous? Please withdraw this and work on something solid. SPECIFICO talk 02:53, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

The RFC question specifically deals with the year prior to the dismissal, and the material would go in the background section. So including sources dated prior to the dismissal is obviously appropriate, and they are all very reliable. Shame back at you. Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:54, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
For what? There's clearly no consensus for this and you're dragging the page into a senseless waste of editing resources. SPECIFICO talk
There was clearly no consensus per the talk page regulars (i.e. no consensus whether to remove longstanding material). Is lack of local consensus not the precise time to launch an RFC seeking broader input? Hint: yes, it is. You seem fearful of the outcome, User:SPECIFICO. Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:27, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
No just weary of seeing good editors give up in disgust and leave these politics articles to be hogtied by the repetitive insistence on deprecated undue insinuations. SPECIFICO talk 03:41, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
This RFC is the first one on the subject, and almost certainly the last one. There was a previous RFC here, but it was entirely about the lead unlike this RFC, that RFC was aborted, and that RFC also dealt with other issues so it lacked focus. Until September 3, this article for months mentioned that the Comey dismissal had been publicly discussed by many politicians before it actually happened. Removal of that information, without any consensus to do so, is what precipitated the current RFC. Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:17, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
The previous one was "aborted"? Your POV was unanimously rejected. Let's be clear. Some readers may not recall the facts. If you are not prepared to specify the proposal here, nothing will be resolved. Last time it was clear enough that it was quickly and efficiently rejected. SPECIFICO talk 14:56, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
The previous one was only about the lead. Do you dislike that fact? The reason it was only about the lead section is because I did not imagine that there would be any concerted attempt to completely remove this obviously pertinent information from the article body. And there was no such attempt until this month. Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:11, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
Did I say it was about anything other than the lede? Straw man. Deflection. cha-ching. I said that you misrepresented it by calling it "aborted" when it was actually rejected. So what's your point? Not clear. SPECIFICO talk 17:36, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
The RFC that was started on 17 May was aborted less than 24 hours later on 18 May, so it stands for nothing about what belongs in the lead of this Wikipedia article. And even if that RFC had instead ultimately been closed with a decision about the lead, still the present RFC would be appropriately seeking comments about the article body as opposed to the lead. You're a smart guy SPECIFICO, so I need not elaborate further. Anythingyouwant (talk) 17:54, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
You're a smart cookie, Anything, so I conclude that you are deliberately misrepresenting it as "aborted" after I've pointed out that it was rejected. I think you'll find there's less tolerance for this kind of POV stuff recently. Now that the community knows that roaming Admins are by and large not enforcing DS as they once did, the community is more willing to shut this stuff down before too much time is wasted. SPECIFICO talk 18:20, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
[5] Anythingyouwant (talk) 18:46, 16 September 2017 (UTC)
You, ironically, claimed that it was an abortion instead of having somebody else declare WP:SNOW rejection. So, in light of the fact it was already dead (to continue your bizarre terminology) it was a miscarriage, not an abortion. Pair of one, two of the other. SPECIFICO talk
  • Please do personal exchanges on personal talk pages. Markbassett (talk) 20:19, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Anything, why not close this RfC and we can all get to work on some text that might be acceptable. This one's going nowhere, and as @Pincrete: points out we can't really change donkeys in mid-stream. Personally I think that if you're really committed to mentioning Democrat feelings about Comey six months prior to his dismissal, we can work something out in the course of describing the miscalculation POTUS made when he asserted a false rationale for the firing, bolstered in his confidence by an erroneous affirmation from Advisor Kushner. SPECIFICO talk 18:57, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

No, I'm not going to close this RFC. If people want to include additional info on this subject in this BLP, then I am very open to doing so, but there's nothing in the RFC preventing that. Dismissal of James Comey was a subject of considerable public discussion before it happened, and at least a brief mention of that fact belongs in the background section. Otherwise, we are presenting the actual dismissal out of context. Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:36, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Well, as I am often pointing out, time is on our side with these thorny content issues, because the truly encyclopedic content generates more RS discussion as developments ensue. In this case, we now have the very noteworthy Steve Bannon interview on the tube wherein he calls the Trunp/Kushner gambit the single worst mistake in modern American political history. This has led to RS discussion of the whole matter and the "dems call for Comey's scalp" narrative and the events surrounding the May 2017 dismissal. So how are we going to craft good solid article text on all this if we have to wait for your proposal to be rejected first? It just seems like a needless distraction. SPECIFICO talk 19:50, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
Nothing's stopping you. This RFC is suggesting some stuff for the Background section. That doesn't prevent stuff from going later in the BLP right now. Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:53, 17 September 2017 (UTC)
I am going to turn my attention to the Kushner article where the new developments seem most significant. Since I don't see any need for what's proposed here, I'm OK with letting it wither on the vine. SPECIFICO talk 19:57, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

User:Aquillion, regarding your comment, as best I can tell, there is only one other RFC at this page, that RFC at the top of this page has nothing to do with this present RFC, that RFC has not failed, and that RFC does not mention anything about prior public discussion of Comey's dismissal. So I find your !vote rationale perplexing. I also do not understand how the present RFC question could possibly be more specific and understandable, perhaps you could elaborate. Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:03, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

  • The proposal here seems a bit too vague to really be workable. It might be reasonable to mention that some Democrats called for him to resign, but it needs to be carefully worded to avoid giving the (inaccurate) impression that this was mainstream view of the party. Democratic leaders definitely criticized Comey for the October letter, but none of the statements from party leaders in October explicitly called for him to step down. Reid eventually did say he should step down, but he made that statement as a lame duck on his way to retirement, no one thought he was speaking for his caucus. To the extent that this is discussed, I think it would be more appropriate to talk about it as a defense offered by Trump and his supporters, rather than a fact. Nblund talk 21:04, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Reliable sources like the LA Times refer to stuff like, "many Democrats who have called for Comey to resign...."[6] The RFC question above waters that down considerably to say "various" Democrats have "questioned" whether Comey should stay in the job. I'm concerned that watering it down any more wouldn't leave much. Keep in mind that it wasn't just Reid but also Pelosi, and Schumer too said "I do not have confidence in him [Comey] any longer". Even before Reid became a lame duck, he said he regretted helping Comey to get confirmed.[7]. The RFC is about questioning whether Comey should remain in his post, which seems as mild a way to describe what happened as possible. Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:27, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Pelosi and Schumer harshly criticized Comey, but neither of their remarks include an explicit call from him to step down and both mentioned that they wanted to revisit the issue after the election. That's not an accident. It's accurate to say that Comey was harshly criticized by Dems for the October letter, and a small number of Democrats explicitly called on him to resign. Similarly, it should be noted that Trump praised Comey for releasing the October letter and said it "brought his reputation back".
I'm not saying anything needs to be watered down, if anything, the problem is that the statement is too vague. It would be better to use in text attribution rather than use refer to "various" politicians. I think quoting or paraphrasing Schumer or Pelosi's response to the Comey letter might be an option worth exploring. Nblund talk 22:00, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
User:Nblund, I don't think you're being fair here. For example, Pelosi said "maybe he's not in the right job" and this RFC says various Dems "publicly questioned whether he should remain in office". That's almost a perfect match for what Pelosi said. The RFC does not refer at all to firing Comey. Nothing in this RFC prevents addition of further details, which would be fine; instead, this RFC covers only the bare minimum. Anythingyouwant (talk) 22:17, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree that would be a roughly accurate paraphrase of Pelosi's statement. My point is that the bare minimum is insufficient to paint an accurate picture - depth of detail matters for neutrality, and my support would be totally contingent on that additional information being included. Since it's not included in the proposed wording, I'm opposed to the proposal as currently written. Nblund talk 22:58, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
User:Nblund, you think that we have to quote Pelosi in-text to prove that we've paraphrased her correctly? And ditto for every one of the other "various" Democrats? I have no objection to doing so following the proposed text, but I'm very sure that other editors will object based upon undue weight. Regarding Trump, this BLP already says "President-elect Trump stated his intention to keep Comey as the FBI director" so we already have that aspect covered. Anyway, this is my last comment in this subsection unless I'm addressed. Cheers. Anythingyouwant (talk) 23:04, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
No, I'm not sure if this is snark or genuine confusion, but that's not remotely what I'm saying. I'm saying that we can avoid the problem of vague attribution by citing one or two specific examples of Democratic leaders who hold this opinion.
Regarding Trump: your proposed language seems to undermine that argument by saying that Trump questioned whether Comey should remain in office - without noting that those criticisms came at different times and for different reasons. A reader who wasn't familiar with the conflict would likely come get the impression that there was broad bi-partisan opposition to Comey, when, in fact, the opposite is true. Nblund talk 01:47, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Since you've addressed me, I'll just point out three things: (1) the RFC proposal refers to "President-elect Donald Trump" (not candidate or president), just like our article text already does ("President-elect Trump stated his intention to keep Comey as the FBI director") so there wasn't much of a difference in time; (2) I don't understand what you mean by "vague attribution", given that the RFC proposal says "the Democratic leaders in Congress" and provides lots of footnotes that cover Pelosi, Reid, and Schumer i.e. the top Democratic leaders in Congress; (3) if you would prefer the word "some" instead of "various" then that would be fine but in either case there is no suggestion of broader opposition to Comey than there actually was. Anythingyouwant (talk) 02:22, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
That may be an error in the article: the source has him publicly expressing confidence in Comey on April 2017, so he was president by that point. The timing matters here, it's a big part of the reason people were skeptical of the initial explanation for the firing. I don't think this is going to get anywhere until we start working with an actual proposed wording, but its clear to me that this isn't something that can accurately communicated with a single sentence. Nblund talk 19:09, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── A little late to the party, but there are plenty of RS that can be cited to support what Anythingyouwant has stated, including this ABC News report. Atsme📞📧 22:35, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

I'm still not entirely clear on what is being proposed here: in the conversation above, Anythingyouwant seems to be contending that the proposed language doesn't mention calls for Comey to resign or be fired - but that seems to be what several !votes are favoring.
I agree that there is solid sourcing for language more along the lines proposed by James J. Lambden is proposing: that Comey was harshly criticized at different times by both parties, but there were very few actual calls for his resignation or firing by Republican or Democratic leadership. Nblund talk 15:06, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you this RfC is not properly defined. In my opinion, it is supporting some kind of validation, in WP's voice, of Trump/Kushner's strategy of pretending that the firing was due to bipartisan disapproval of Comey's job performance. But since there's ample RS that show that was a ruse not grounded in fact we should just let this go. If anyone has specific well-sourced and verified text to propose, that would have to be done separately, because this RfC cannot be used to validate text that has not been set before us. SPECIFICO talk 16:30, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
The specific language proposed is in bold at the start of the RFC, though it is not fixed in stone, and people can suggest additions, subtractions, changes, et cetera. People may disagree with the proposal, but I don't see how people can be unsure about what the proposal is. Anythingyouwant (talk) 21:09, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Copy editing[edit]

No offense, but the grammar used in the lede reads like a sloppy news report. I attempted to tweak it - not change the gist of what the RfCs concluded - as a copy editor, I was replacing the 5th grade grammar with proper grammar. VM immediately reverted it. Use inline text attribution if controversial or questioned. Per NPOV: (my underline)

  • Editors, while naturally having their own points of view, should strive in good faith to provide complete information, and not to promote one particular point of view over another. As such, the neutral point of view does not mean exclusion of certain points of view, but including all verifiable points of view which have sufficient due weight.
  • Articles must not take sides, but should explain the sides, fairly and without editorial bias. This applies to both what you say and how you say it. Atsme📞📧 15:16, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
Proposed text Current text
James Comey, the 7th director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was terminated and removed from office by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.[1] Comey had been under public and political pressure as a result of both the FBI's role in the Hillary Clinton email controversy and the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections,[2] which also involves a possible collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.[3] James Comey, the 7th director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was dismissed by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.[1] Comey had been under public and political pressure as a result of both the FBI's role in the Hillary Clinton email controversy and the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections,[2] which also involves a possible collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.[3]
Trump's termination letter to Comey cited recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[4][5] He gave various explanations for the termination and contradicted the impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision.[6][7] Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey.[8] It was later revealed that he had already drafted the termination letter,[9] and solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it.[10] He also stated that dismissing Comey would relieve the unnecessary pressure that the "grandstanding and politicizing" had on the investigation and the ability to engage and negotiate with Russia.[11][12] He called the investigation a "witch hunt".[13] Trump was reportedly "enormously frustrated" over Comey's refusal to confirm publicly that he was not personally under investigation.[14] Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter citing recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[4][5] He then gave various explanations for the dismissal, in which he contradicted the impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision.[6][7] Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey;[8] it later emerged that he had written his own early draft of the termination letter,[9] and had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it.[10] He also stated that dismissing Comey would relieve unnecessary pressure on the ability to engage and negotiate with Russia, due to "grandstanding and politicizing" the investigation.[11][12] He called the investigation a "witch hunt".[13] Trump was reportedly "enormously frustrated" that Comey would not publicly confirm that the president was not personally under investigation.[14]
Shortly after his termination, Comey asked a friend to leak to the press excerpts of a memo he had written while FBI Director, recounting a private conversation with Trump in February 2017.[15] According to Comey, Trump had asked him "drop the investigation" and that he hoped Comey would see his way clear to "letting this go". National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before.[16][17] In light of the dismissal, the memo, and Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, several media figures, political opponents and legal scholars said that Trump's acts could be construed as obstruction of justice, while others disagreed.[18][19][20][21] add part I accidentally missed05:11, 7 October 2017 (UTC) Shortly after his termination, Comey asked a friend to leak excerpts to the press of a memo he had written while FBI Director, recounting a private conversation with Trump in February 2017.[15] According to Comey, Trump had asked him to "let go" of potential charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before.[16][17] In light of the dismissal, the memo, and Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, several media figures, political opponents and legal scholars said that Trump's acts could be construed as obstruction of justice, while others disagreed.[22][23][24][25]
Unchanged Following Comey's dismissal, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian meddling and related issues that Comey had supervised during his tenure.[26]

References

  1. ^ Kawa, Luke (May 9, 2017). "Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day". Bloomberg News. 
  2. ^ Collinson, Stephen (December 21, 2016). "Comey under fire again over Clinton emailsloy". CNN. 
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Helsel was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference Haberman was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Reasons was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Ye Hee Lee, Michelle (May 12, 2017). "All of the White House's conflicting explanations for Comey's firing: A timeline". The Washington Post. The president then contradicted his staff’s earlier comments. In a preview video clip of his interview with NBC News, Trump said he planned to fire Comey all along, regardless of Department of Justice recommendations. 
  7. ^ Hafner, Josh (11 May 2017). "OnPolitics Today: Trump contradicted himself on the Comey firing". USA Today. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference Liptak was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference draft was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Rucker was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference NYT170519 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Cite error: The named reference Barrett-Rucker was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ Donald Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (June 16, 2017). "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt" (Tweet). Retrieved August 5, 2017 – via Twitter. 
  14. ^ Haberman, Maggie (June 24, 2017). "Trump suggests tweet on tapes was meant to affect Comey testimony". The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2017 – via Las Vegas Sun. Trump appeared to be referring to his statements over the months, which Comey confirmed in his testimony, that the then-FBI director had told the president that he was not under investigation. Trump, according to his advisers, had become enormously frustrated that Comey would not say so publicly. 
  15. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Hill-Williams was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Smith was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Schmidt was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ Jan Wolfe (June 8, 2017). "Factbox: Did Comey's testimony support an obstruction of justice charge?". Reuters. Comey added fuel on Thursday to critics' accusations that the U.S. president engaged in obstruction of justice. ... Several legal experts said the conversation could be construed as an act of obstruction. ... Some legal experts said the president could say he was merely vouching for Flynn's character and voicing concerns about how the Russia probe was interfering with his ability to function in office. 
  19. ^ Ryan Goodman (May 17, 2017). "Did Trump Obstruct Justice?". Politico Magazine. 
  20. ^ "Scholars debate Trump, Comey and obstructing justice". National Constitution Center. June 6, 2017. 
  21. ^ Matt Ford (May 16, 2017). "Did President Trump Obstruct Justice?". The Atlantic. 
  22. ^ Jan Wolfe (June 8, 2017). "Factbox: Did Comey's testimony support an obstruction of justice charge?". Reuters. Comey added fuel on Thursday to critics' accusations that the U.S. president engaged in obstruction of justice. ... Several legal experts said the conversation could be construed as an act of obstruction. ... Some legal experts said the president could say he was merely vouching for Flynn's character and voicing concerns about how the Russia probe was interfering with his ability to function in office. 
  23. ^ Ryan Goodman (May 17, 2017). "Did Trump Obstruct Justice?". Politico Magazine. 
  24. ^ "Scholars debate Trump, Comey and obstructing justice". National Constitution Center. June 6, 2017. 
  25. ^ Matt Ford (May 16, 2017). "Did President Trump Obstruct Justice?". The Atlantic. 
  26. ^ Cite error: The named reference Levine was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

All, or at least the first two, of these have been extensively discussed before. Yours are not grammar changes. They are non-neutral. Please familiarize yourself with past discussions before attempting to make unilateral controversial changes. Volunteer Marek  14:58, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

You also need to self-revert your 1RR violation. Volunteer Marek  14:59, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

And sign your comment, whether it's a table or not, in a clear manner. Volunteer Marek  15:00, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

I had an emergency - settle down. I made 1RR so what are you talking about? Atsme📞📧 15:16, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
You made two. Volunteer Marek  16:33, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

You are incorrect, VM, and obviously don't understand what a "revert" constitutes, so please read the essay, WP:RV which defines it quite well:

  • You re-phrase the wording in the first paragraph of an existing article = A normal change, not a reversion. Which is what I did.
  • You reverse all of Alice's changes in wording, restoring the article to the previous version = A complete reversion. Which I DID NOT DO
  • You add a new paragraph at the end of the article = A normal change, not a reversion.
  • You remove most of the new paragraph, but leave one or two sentences = A partial reversion.

I made ONE REVERT here. My edits involved copy-editing, tweaking grammar, and using in-text attribution to more closely align with the facts and cited sources. You're making a mountain out of a mole hill, and I'm growing more concerned over your paranoia that every other editor but you is trying to make controversial changes. The only controversy here is what you are creating. You really need to settle down, VM. Atsme📞📧 18:54, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

This is a clear 1RR violation. Objective3000 (talk) 19:16, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
How do you figure? I only made one revert. We are allowed 1, no? Atsme📞📧 20:12, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
Try reading the Policy. Essay shmessay. SPECIFICO talk 22:02, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
What policy would you like me to read? Atsme📞📧 23:42, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
🤔WP:1RR? 🌩️🐱 SPECIFICO talk 13:19, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
In the edit that I reverted and Atsme immediately reinstated, Atsme changed "According to Comey, Trump had asked him to 'let go' of potential charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before" to "According to Comey, Trump had asked him 'drop the investigation' and that he hoped Comey would see his way clear to 'letting this go'. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before." Contrary to her assertions that she was merely "replacing the 5th grade grammar with proper grammar," Atsme's edit is both utterly incoherent and clearly beyond the scope of simple copyediting. Furthermore, Atsme misquotes Trump as telling Comey to "drop the investigation"; Trump actually said "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 04:41, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
What source are you citing? I was going by this source. The part I forgot to add (the two of you reverting me made it confusing) was what the source stated - I didn't make anything up. You should have used Trump's own words and quoted it properly if you knew what he said. Your POV crap about "potential charges" wasn't part of what Trump said. Atsme📞📧 04:52, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Atsme, the cited Guardian source quotes Trump correctly, as did the long-standing text that you edit warred to replace. Please self revert.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 05:32, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Ok - I self-reverted, but now you need to reword it to include what Trump actually said without the POV assumptions. And the copy editing I did was correct. The WP:OWN issues some of us have experienced here are not conducive to a productive editing environment. I mean, seriously, the syntax is an obstacle course.Atsme📞📧 13:39, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

Non-primary source needed[edit]

I've started to insert the inline tag {{Primary source inline|date=October 2017}}. If we describe opinion pieces, our sources should not include merely a link to the opinion piece, but also a secondary source recognizing or reporting that opinion. Per WP:OR, "Further examples of primary sources include...editorials, columns, blogs, opinion pieces...." Anythingyouwant (talk) 18:53, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

You left out that, for Wikipedia's purposes, the above quote refers to "accounts written by people who are directly involved". Opinions written in a secondary source like a newspaper, magazine, or website (other than their own), become a secondary sources. If written on the author's own website or in their own book, then it's a primary source.
Regardless of how we interpret it, if the person is a subject expert, we can quote them using proper attribution. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:33, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────User:BullRangifer, an expert opinion written about by the person who holds the opinion is a primary source about what that person’s opinion is. Here’s the full pertinent part of WP:OR:

Further examples of primary sources include archeological artifacts, census results, video or transcripts of surveillance, public hearings, investigative reports, trial/litigation in any country (including material — which relates to either the trial or to any of the parties involved in the trial — published/authored by any involved party, before, during or after the trial), editorials, columns, blogs, opinion pieces, or (depending on context) interviews; tabulated results of surveys or questionnaires; original philosophical works; religious scripture; ancient works, even if they cite earlier writings (lost or otherwise); tomb plaques; and artistic and fictional works such as poems, scripts, screenplays, novels, motion pictures, videos and television programs. For definitions of primary sources:

  • The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries define primary sources as providing "an inside view of a particular event". They offer as examples: original documents, such as autobiographies, diaries, e-mail, interviews, letters, minutes, news film footage, official records, photographs, raw research data, and speeches; creative works, such as art, drama, films, music, novels, poetry; and relics or artifacts, such as buildings, clothing, DNA, furniture, jewelry, pottery.
  • The University of California, Berkeley library offers this definition: "Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied (as in the case of memoirs). They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer. Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period".
  • Duke University, Libraries offers this definition: "A primary source is a first-hand account of an event. Primary sources may include newspaper articles, letters, diaries, interviews, laws, reports of government commissions, and many other types of documents."

Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:41, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Not always necessary. If it's a notable expert opinion published in a reputable newspaper or journal, for example. SPECIFICO talk 19:04, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
That seems to be covered by the portion of WP:OR that I just quoted. However, we could certainly seek confirmation of that. WP:OR wouldn’t have listed “editorials” if they thought publication in a newspaper was enough to make the editorial a secondary source. Of coarse, I don’t mind if we quote or cite an editorial or opinion piece, as long as it is reported in some independent secondary source that we cite as well. Anythingyouwant (talk) 19:27, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
What I said had nothing to do with "editorials" and of course the opinion if primary sourced would be attributed to the notable expert -- as is the case here. No tag needed. SPECIFICO talk 02:40, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
An opinion piece ‘’is’’ a primary source. Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:12, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
...until it's printed in a secondary source. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:57, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
If opinions are noteworthy, then they will be reported in reliable secondary sources. They determine what is noteworthy, not Wikipedia editors. TFD (talk) 03:19, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. If a writer wants us to use their writing, they should get them published in a secondary source, like a newspaper or magazine. (In some cases we, as Wikipedia editors, have actually directly said this to authors.) Then it becomes a secondary source. I've been here since 2003 and we have always interpreted it that way.
We do make exceptions and quote from primary sources when the person is a subject expert. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:33, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Not everything published in a newspaper is a secondary source. Otherwise, why would WP:OR say that editorials are primary sources? Anythingyouwant (talk) 03:44, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Opinion pieces even ones published in newspapers are reliable primary sources for their authors' opinions and unreliable secondary sources for the facts they mention. Until news reporters start reporting them they lack noteworthiness. Most opinion pieces are forgotten, but some become noteworthy, such as Zola's "J'accuse…!". They become part of the story and are reported in secondary sources. And while you may make exceptions, it is contrary to policy and guidelines. TFD (talk) 03:46, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

PLEASE SEE NOTICEBOARDS DISCUSSION: Wikipedia:No_original_research/Noticeboard#Are_opinion_pieces_and_editorials_published_in_newspapers_primary_sources.3F. Anythingyouwant (talk) 04:21, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Since the original OR noticeboard post hasn't gain much traction, I went ahead and posted this question at the NPOV noticeboard. Discussion here Nblund talk 17:03, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Didn't get traction because it's wrong. Lots of good editors have reviewed the complaint. No support. SPECIFICO talk 17:04, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

The Comey Memos[edit]

Closing this discussion, which was started and urged along by a blocked sock. --MelanieN (talk) 16:02, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This section seems very cluttered and not easily read. I would like to take a stab at condensing it down to make it more digestible, especially with the recent development (https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-watchdog-probes-comey-memos-over-classified-information-1524243505) that the OIG is now investigating the potential criminal implications of Comey's leaking of classified information to the fourth estate. Does anyone have any suggestions or care to assist with this? Mr. Daniel Plainview (talk) 18:08, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

I see nothing about criminal implications in that article and suggest you remove that suggestion. O3000 (talk) 18:49, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
I see you already did, but the source states that the Justice Deparment's internal watchdog is conducting an investigation into the classification issues related to the Comey memos. From United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General: "The OIG's investigative jurisdiction includes all allegations of criminal wrongdoing or administrative misconduct by DOJ employees." I think it's fairly clear that The OIG isn't looking at the memos for entertainment. We can leave out "The Justice Department inspector general is currently reviewing any possible criminality associated with this action," (although that's exactly what the OIG does), but I see no problems with "On April 20, 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that at least two of Comey's memos that he gave to a friend contained classified information." Regardless, I am fine with waiting for other sources to verify the Journal's reporting. WP:NOHURRY as they say! Mr. Daniel Plainview (talk) 19:19, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Actually, my suggestion is to remove the claim in your edit here as it is a WP:BLP violation. TPs are covered by BLP also. The article says nothing about any criminal investigation and the fact that the OIG jurisdiction includes criminal wrongdoing OR administrative misconduct in no way suggests that is the case here. Also, as far as I can see, the memos did NOT contain classified info when transmitted. One of the memos had info that Comey redacted that may have been classified and the other had info that was given a low-level of classification AFTER Comey gave it to another. The edit was highly misleading. We must be very careful in BLPs about suggestions of criminality. O3000 (talk) 19:27, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Even "investigation" implies the possibility of criminality. In light of BLP we should refer to it as a "matter." 185.65.206.138 (talk) 20:05, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
^ LOL! I feel "queasy" all of a sudden. To Objective3000: Are you saying we can't say the OIG is investigating "potential criminality" because the Journal doesn't use the phrase "potential criminality"? My understanding is that we take information from the source and then put it into our own words. I think we're okay without the second sentence for now, but I see nothing wrong with the first sentence. It's practically copy-pasted from the Journal, and isn't misleading at all. The source says what it says. About removing my edit here, this is what WP:BLP says: "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced and not related to making content choices should be removed, deleted, or oversighted, as appropriate." I started this section for the purpose of making content decisions, so I think we're in the clear. Maybe a mod can clear this up for us? Mr. Daniel Plainview (talk) 20:15, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
The article in absolutely no way suggests any crime is being investigated. Also, it does not say Comey himself is being investigated for anything. Your edits suggest a criminal investigation of a living person without any evidence. We don’t do that. O3000 (talk) 20:22, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
According to Axios "The Justice Department's inspector general is opening an investigation into whether former FBI Director James Comey illegally leaked classified information." So that's settled. Should we add a Justice Dept. Opens Criminal Investigation section? 31.171.155.106 (talk) 20:41, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
That’s a two sentence "article" that makes an incorrect statement about the WSJ article. I can find no mention of AXIOS at RS/N. We can't use this in a BLP. O3000 (talk) 20:48, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
I think we should wait until the OIG publicly announces this investigation/review, or other news outlets independently corroborate it, instead of just citing the WSJ report. I'm generally against using "criminal investigation" to imply WP:BLPCRIME before the results are published, unless the RS are pretty clear about the nature of this investigation. FallingGravity 20:57, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
Axios is a perfectly reliable source, and I think the Axios reporters interpreted the Journal's story perfectly. Reliable sources don't have to be listed at noticeboards in order to be considered reliable. It was started by the co-founder of Politico, another reliable source, and is one of the few sources out there deemed "Center" by AllSides.[8] But it's really clear that this story is just beginning, and more sources will continue to emerge, if you don't like Axios. Again, there's WP:NOHURRY. It should be mentioned that none of this applies to the first sentence that you removed, which was essentially lifted directly from the WSJ article. Mr. Daniel Plainview (talk) 21:01, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
First the liberals turn on Starbucks, now Axios. Unbelievable! No loyalty! Who's next? And more importantly - no collusion! I guess it doesn't hurt to wait a day or two. 31.171.155.106 (talk) 21:07, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
The first sentence was highly misleading in that it omitted the article's comments about Comey having redacted one memo and that the second memo was not classified at the time it was leaked. O3000 (talk) 21:12, 20 April 2018 (UTC)
NBC News now reports the OIG is "probing the classification status of information in the memos written by James Comey". The article appears to confirm that Comey redacted one of these memos, and the other memo was retroactively classified as "Confidential" for currently unknown reasons.FallingGravity 21:43, 20 April 2018 (UTC)

The Washington Post has a pretty good run-down about what we currently know about the classification of the Comey memos. FallingGravity 17:43, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

  • Note Mr. Daniel Plainview has been blocked as a sock puppet of a community banned editor. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:59, 26 May 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.