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Document, Document,Document!

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Were There Memos?

After yesterday’s testimony in front of Senators, the media and the American people, it is evident that former FBI Director James Comey knows what the word ‘Document” means. And yes, he was quite appropriate to have memos.

Many years ago as a young Trooper I was fortunate to attend a class taught by then State’s Attorney, Arnold Markle. That class was (The Law of Arrest and Search and Seizure; A State’s Attorney’s Guide for the Prosecution for the Law Enforcement Officer.)
To this day the one takeaway from that class repeated constantly by Mr. Markle was “Document, Document, Document, if it’s not written down, it never happened.”

Now here I was a young Trooper, still wet behind the ears and learning some basic investigative tools. That one tool stuck with me for over forty years and has never been forgotten. With all the news of late covering the firing of FBI director James Comey by the United States President, Donald J Trump, do you not think Mr. Comey had factual notes covering his private meetings with the president ( Donald Trump?) I do and were it on the books in Las Vegas, I’d bet the house.

Comey’s law background is extensive, even prior to graduation from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985. His grandfather William J Comey was a police officer and later the chief of the Yonkers, NY Police Department. I am sure that relationship laid some important groundwork for Mr. Comey’s career. The man (Comey), has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a U.S. Attorney, a Deputy Attorney General, and lastly the Director of the FBI. This man has been doing document, document, document for thirty-two plus years. Do you really think you would believe a Real Estate Developer with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School @ the U. of Pennsylvania over Mr. Comey? And, as a side note, someone once said Real Estate salesman are just one pay grade higher than a car salesman? Please be aware, I sold cars at one time and hated the game intensely. I also have some wonderful friends in the Real Estate business. If I offended you, I apologize.

About Arnold Markle

Arnold Markle, Esq.
Arnold Markle was the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New Haven from 1968 until his untimely death in 1987. Mr. Markle, a native of New Haven, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and the Boston University Law School after service in the United States Navy. He served as an assistant United States Attorney in New Haven before being named the first statewide chief prosecutor for Connecticut’s Circuit Court. Known for his feisty nature and his skill as a prosecutor, Attorney Markle instilled both loyalty and admiration in all with whom he worked.
Arnold Markle strongly believed that training and continuing education were important for police officers and all members of the criminal justice system. He started the arson task force for New Haven and established training programs for arson investigators. He believed in the teamwork of prosecutor and law enforcement, as reflected in his well-received handbook The Law of Arrest and Search and Seizure: “A State’s Attorney’s Guide for the Prosecution or the Law Enforcement Officer.”

Image result for states attorney arnold markle

Mr. Markle had a long association with Dr. Henry Lee and UNH, teaching various courses including arson investigation, homicide investigation, law and evidence. He was one of the first prosecutors to understand the importance of thorough crime scene documentation, standard procedures for crime scene investigation, and the value of forensic evidence to provide investigative leads and in criminal trials.
http://www.henryleeinstitute.com/?page_id=613 Dr. Lee is a former CT State Police Commissioner and established The Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science @ the University of New Haven in Connecticut.
I can remember many times when I was on the Witness Stand testifying in cases ranging from a speeding conviction to a murder investigation and trial. We, troopers, detectives and the like all carried field notebooks. Into these notebooks went the 5-W’s. They were the who, what, where, why’s and when’s of what ever case you were working on at the time.

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The Newsprint company

I would research these notes prior to my testimony in court. I would often be asked after answering a specific question, “How do you know that to be true?” I would explain the field notebook. Many times I would be asked if I had the notebook on me. I would present the notebook, read my documentation from it and it and it would become part of that case’s record. I can honestly say by Document, Document, Document, I was always able to, excuse the word, cover my ass.

Image result for CT trooper testifying in court

NBC Connecticut

When the time came to cover his ass, former FBI Director James Comey did so in front of us all and he did it with class. He also “DOUMENTED” his meeting with a sitting president. Good for you Director Comey.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll in late April found that 81 percent of Republicans think President Trump is honest and trustworthy – compared to 38 percent of Americans overall and 34 percent of independents. I wonder what those numbers would be today?
I have kept a log of events in a calander form since my retirement twenty-nine years ago and for the past three years I have written a daily journal. Document, Document, Document is the breath of good air from those of us in Law Enforcement. I continue to adhere to those principles today.

Image result for journal

Remember, if it happened, write it down. If it’s not written down, it never happened.

Let us hear the tapes Mr. President.

This writer is a registered independent voter, a United States Marine, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a resident of the Old Line State, and proud to be an America.


4 Comments

  1. There are so many fields in which good practice involves writing memos for record. Law enforcement is only one. I believe diplomats call these “Aides Memoires” which can be especially important when relaying discussions to others. Busy people need to get information into a format that allows them to refresh their memories when they return to a subject after a time. I’m more surprised that he didn’t routinely keep them from one-on-one meetings.

  2. Mark Wallack says:

    As a life long “Independent” voter I have you agree with you 100% on this particular issue. The President is a well established and documented liar. The race baiting “Birther” issue as well as the fear mongering “I saw thousands and thousands of Muslims celebrating on roof tops in Jersey City after 911…” are just two of many examples.

    From what I have read, Comey has been an honest and honorable man and public servant during his career. I believe him. The fact that a pathological liar offers to testify “under oath” means nothing.

    I enjoyed reading your posting and hope you are well.

  3. Frank says:

    I believe President Trump has a photographic memory. If you bet against Trump it rarely works out.

  4. Ron Walker says:

    I don’t think there will be any tapes forthcoming.

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