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更新时间:2017-6-10 10:07:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

For Trump, the ‘Cloud’ Just Grew That Much Darker

WASHINGTON — Upset about the investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election, President Donald Trump sought relief from James Comey, then the FBI director. By Comey’s account, Trump asked him to help “lift the cloud.”

华盛顿——由于对俄罗斯干预去年美国大选的调查感到不安,唐纳德·特朗普总统寻求时任联邦调查局(FBI)局长詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)的帮助。据科米的陈述,特朗普让他帮忙“驱走乌云”。

But thanks to Trump’s own actions, the cloud darkened considerably on Thursday and now seems likely to hover over his presidency for months, if not years, to come.


Rather than relieve the pressure, Trump’s decision to fire Comey has generated an even bigger political and legal threat. In his anger at Comey for refusing to publicly disclose that the president was not personally under investigation, legal experts said, Trump may have actually made himself the target of an investigation.


While delivered in calm, deliberate and unemotional terms, Comey’s testimony on Thursday was almost certainly the most damning j’accuse moment by a senior law enforcement official against a president in a generation. In a Capitol Hill hearing room, the astonishing tableau unfolded of a former FBI director accusing the White House of “lies, plain and simple” and asserting that when the president suggested dropping an investigation into his former national security adviser, “I took it as a direction.”


Comey gave ammunition to the president’s side, too, particularly by admitting that he had orchestrated the leak of his account of his most critical meeting with Trump with the express purpose of spurring the appointment of a special counsel, which he accomplished. The president’s defenders said Comey had proved Trump was right when he called the former FBI director a “showboat” and a “grandstander,” a conclusion Democrats once shared when he was investigating Hillary Clinton last year.

科米也给总统的阵营提供了弹药,尤其是他承认,他对自己与特朗普的一场关键会晤的叙述,是在他的策划下泄露出去的,该会议的目的很明确,就是为了促成一名特别检察官的任命——最终他如愿以偿。总统的维护者表示,科米证实了特朗普的一个观点:这位前FBI局长“爱卖弄”、“摆姿态”。去年科米在调查希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)时,民主党人也曾这样认为。

But Comey also revealed that he had turned over memos of his conversations with Trump to that newly appointed special counsel, Robert Mueller, suggesting that investigators may now be looking into whether Trump obstructed justice by dismissing the FBI director.

不过,科米还透露,他把自己与特朗普谈话的备忘录交给了新任命的特别检察官罗伯特·穆勒(Robert Mueller),这表明调查人员现在可能正在调查特朗普解雇FBI局长是否妨碍司法公正。

“This was a devastating day for the Trump White House, and when the history of the Trump presidency is written, this will be seen as a key moment,” said Peter H. Wehner, who was White House adviser to President George W. Bush. “My takeaway is James Comey laid out facts and was essentially encouraging Mueller to investigate Trump for obstruction. That’s a huge deal.”

“对特朗普政府来说,这是毁灭性的一天,在书写特朗普任总统的历史时,这将被视为一个关键时刻,”乔治·W·布什总统(George W. Bush)的白宫顾问彼得·H·韦纳(Peter H. Wehner)说,“我认为,詹姆斯·科米公布这些事实,主要是为了敦促穆勒调查特朗普是否妨碍司法公正。这是一件大事。”

Washington has not seen a spectacle quite like this since the days of Watergate, Iran-Contra or President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Whatever the controversies under Bush and President Barack Obama, neither was ever accused of personal misconduct by a current or former law enforcement official in such a public forum.

自水门事件、伊朗门事件(Iran-contra)或比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)弹劾案以来,华盛顿还没遇到过这么重大的事件。不管布什和贝拉克·奥巴马总统任职期间存在过哪些争议,他们都未曾被现任或前任执法官员在如此公开的场合指控个人行为不当。

Indeed, Comey highlighted the difference by noting that he had never taken notes of his conversations with either of those presidents because he trusted their basic integrity, but he did write memos about each of his one-on-one encounters with Trump because “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”


In any other presidency, the events laid out by Comey — Trump asking for “loyalty” from the FBI director who was investigating the president’s associates, then asking him to drop an investigation into a former aide and ultimately firing him when he did not — might have spelled the end.


But Trump has tested the boundaries of normal politics and upended the usual rules. To his supporters, the inquiries are nothing more than the elite news media and political establishment attacking a change agent who threatens their interests.


“This is like an explosive presidency-ending moment,” said John Q. Barrett, a law professor at St. John’s University in New York and an associate independent counsel during the Iran-Contra investigation in Ronald Reagan’s presidency. “But we have a different context now.”

“这就像一个终结总统职位的爆炸性时刻,”纽约圣约翰大学(St. John’s University)的法律教授、罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)总统时期的伊朗门副独立检察官约翰·Q·巴雷特(John Q. Barrett)说,“但是现在的环境不同。”

The articles of impeachment drafted against President Richard M. Nixon and Clinton both alleged obstruction of justice, in effect making clear that such an action could qualify under the “high crimes and misdemeanors” clause of the Constitution. The “smoking gun” tape that doomed Nixon in 1974 recorded him ordering his chief of staff to have the CIA block the FBI from investigating the Watergate burglary. Critics said that Trump’s comments to Comey effectively cut out the middle man.

理查德·M·尼克松(Richard M. Nixon)和克林顿的弹劾文件都提到了妨碍司法公正,表明这样的行为符合宪法的“重大犯罪和行为不端”条款。1974年导致尼克松下台的“铁证磁带”记录了他命令幕僚长让中央情报局(CIA)阻止FBI调查水门闯入事件。批评人士表示,特朗普对科米说的话实际上是去掉了中间人。

The House impeached Clinton in 1998 for lying under oath and obstructing justice to cover up his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern, during a sexual harassment lawsuit. The obstruction alleged in Clinton’s case was persuading Lewinsky to give false testimony, advising her to hide gifts he had given her to avoid any subpoena and trying to find her a job to keep her happy. After a trial, the Senate acquitted him.

1998年,众议院对克林顿提出弹劾,理由是他在性骚扰诉讼中,为掩盖自己与前白宫实习生莫妮卡·莱温斯基(Monica Lewinsky)的婚外情而作伪证,妨碍司法公正。克林顿案中提到的妨碍行为包括劝莱温斯基作伪证,建议她为避免收到传票而隐瞒他送给她的礼物,以及为取悦她而努力帮她找工作。参议院在审讯后宣布他无罪。

“The polarization seems even worse than during the Lewinsky investigation, which I hadn’t thought possible,” said Stephen Bates, an associate independent counsel during the investigation into Clinton. “Everyone gets judged in terms of helping or hurting Trump. Whatever Mueller does, half of the country will call him courageous and half will call him contemptible. We just don’t know which half is which.”

“现在的分歧比莱温斯基调查时更严重,这样的分歧我以前以为是不可能的,”克林顿调查案的副独立检察官斯蒂芬·贝茨(Stephen Bates)说。“人们从帮助或伤害特朗普的角度评判每一个人。不管穆勒做什么,都会有一半美国人认为他有勇气,而另一半人则会认为他很可鄙。我们只是不知道谁属于哪一半。”

The defense on Thursday was left to Trump’s personal attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, who selectively used Comey’s testimony, disputing the damaging parts while citing the parts he considered helpful. He denied that the president had ever asked Comey for loyalty or to let go of the investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. But he cited Comey’s statement that the president himself was not under investigation at the time the FBI director was fired.

周四的辩护人是特朗普的私人律师马克·E·卡索威茨(Marc E. Kasowitz),他选择性地利用科米的证词,批驳有害的部分,同时引述他认为有利的部分。他否认总统曾要求科米忠于自己或放弃对前国家安全顾问迈克尔·T·弗林(Michael T. Flynn)的调查。但他又引用科米的陈述,称这位FBI局长被解雇时,总统本人并没有被调查。

Tellingly, the Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee paid no heed to the talking points distributed in advance by the Republican National Committee at the behest of the White House. Instead of attacking Comey’s credibility, as the RNC and Donald Trump Jr. did, the Republican senators praised him as a patriot and dedicated public servant. They largely accepted his version of events, while trying to elicit testimony that would cast Trump’s actions in the most innocent light possible.

很显然,参议院情报委员会(Senate Intelligence Committee)的共和党人没有留意共和党全国委员会(Republican National Committee)应白宫的要求提前散布的谈话要点。共和党参议员没有像共和党全国委员会和小唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump Jr.)那样攻击科米的可信性,而是称赞他是一位爱国者和热诚的公仆。他们总体上接受他对这些事件的陈述,同时试图引出一些证词,从最无辜的角度解释特朗普的行为。

Comey cooperated to some extent by trying not to go too far beyond the facts as he presented them, declining, for instance, to say whether he thought Trump’s statements amounted to obstruction of justice.


“In a credibility battle between Trump and Comey, everybody knows Comey is going to win that war,” said Adam W. Goldberg, who was an associate special White House counsel under Clinton during Kenneth W. Starr’s investigation.

“在特朗普和科米的可信性之争中,大家都知道科米会获胜,”在肯尼思·W·斯塔尔(Kenneth W. Starr)调查期间任克林顿的副白宫特别律师的亚当·W·戈德伯格(Adam W. Goldberg)说。

For Trump, the battle with Comey now overshadows much of what he wants to do. Major legislation is stalled. Kasowitz said the president was “eager to continue moving forward with his agenda, with the business of this country, and with the public cloud removed.”


For now, though, the cloud remains.