Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Firing Comey: the mother of all political bombs and an attack on democracy

For whatever reason Trump said he fired Comey, the effect was it could possibly quash the Russian connection investigation that could have been damaging to the administration. .The stench is overwhelming because of the timing .and Trump is acting like a tin-pot dictator.. The rule of law is once again being tossed into the trash pile and no matter to what party one belongs, the basic tenant of our Democracy is under attack. The independence of government entities that could provide independent investigations of the Russian connection has been undermined as Trump purges everyone that could possibly implicate him or his associates.

This is the mother of all political bombs. The fallout is not yet known, but it will not be minor. It impacts both the rule of law and the checks and balances in our Constitution and will go down as a major historical event in our country's history and will determine the course of the Trump presidency.
I am no fan of Comey and he did contribute to Clinton's loss...but the Russian issue now becomes part of the entire picture. Comey's "mistakes" were bi-partisan...harming both Clinton and Trump. The two biggest issues , the Clinton emails and the Russian connection/meddling in the 2016 election are combined into one.

Now who will take over the FBI and will he pursue the Russian connection with integrity.? Congress needs to make sure the investigation to go on and get it into the hand of a special independent prosecutor. Had the investigation gotten too close to finding the damning evidence of the Russian connection? . Now for the special prosecutor.. Heads up.: The President appoints the attorney general (who has recused himself from the Russian issue,though not sure he has recused himself from the Clinton issue), so now the deputy attorney general would appoint the special counsel or prosecutor., if he has the guts to stand up to Trump. Nixon, by the way, fired the special prosecutor. We, people of a , democracy, are not out of the woods, yet, even if a special prosecutor is appointed. The independence and integrity of the FBI is now open to question as is the Jusice Department as Trump purges all those who do not march to his tune. and to divert and thwart investigations of the Russian connection, claiming there is no there there.

The Democrats do not have enough votes in the Senate to force the establishment of an independent prosecutor. A few good GOP men and women are needed to do that, but even then, the independence of a prosecutor appointed by the same Department of Justice person who crafted the Comey firing letter is also in question. The entire burden of any faith in an independent investigation now falls on those GOP senators with the guts to join with the Democrats to find the independent person to conduct the investigative function.

Firing the acting attorney general and now the director of the FBI in the middle of the investigation into the Trump campaign's Russian connection is raising more questions. Sen Chuck Schumer (D NY) pointed out that the Clinton error on the part of Comey that Trump used as an excuse to fire Comey has very suspicious timing since that reason could have been used at the end of January, but is not making as much sense now now. That Trump had praised Comey to the rafters after he disclosed that Clinton's emails were again under scrutiny ten days before the November 16 election, probably reassuring Trump's election, shows an unexplained reversal. If the theory is that Comey was getting close to finding the Russian connection that implicated Trump himself, and that was the real motivation for the timing,
makes more sense.. Comey was scheduled to address a Senate committee in an open session within the next day. Shortly before that that, Comey refused to rule out that Trump was an object of investigation by the FBI in a recent open Senate committee hearing. This contradicts Trump's assertion that Comey had told him the FBI investigtation did not involve him. Perhpas new evidence was found after Comey told Trump he was off the hook.
The unanswered questions. What new evidence could have the FBI found? Would it have been Trump himself actual coordinating with the Russians during the 2016 campaign (aka treason) or that Trump told a lie about his business dealings with the Russians? Was money laundering or financial crimes were involved because a recent request to the Treasury department showed FBI investigators pursuing that angle? Or was Trump himself "compromised", open to blackmail by the Russians? The FBI viewed the investigation as Russian activities that involved espionage (counter intelligence) but not criminal activity, so it is not just matters of lying in sworn testimony or failure to file disclosure of being a foreign agent or failure to fill out a tax return correctly. Or is there something else? This is the time to get Trump's tax returns he has worked so hard to conceal, if the latter is a tree the FBI was barking up. An important clue may be in that.

The next morning after the Comey firing, deputy press secretary, Sarah Sanders, flatly stated that the firing of Comey had nothing to do with the Russian connection, because thre was nothing to the story that Trump had a Russian connection.
If there is no there there, then independent investigations should prove thaose negatives and Trump would be exonerated. So why is Trump and his spokespeple so anxious to declare there is no reason for the investigations to take place.

Since most of the investigations are still in its infancy stages, and Comey verified that the investigation included all actors in the Trump campaign, and not ruling out the President was being investigated that a request the day before was to the financial crims section of the Treasury department, that a grand jury investigation is on going and just issued subpoenas, that an ethics report of the Inspector Genral is not due until next year but is on-going, that the Senate and House have numerous investigations on-going, then that assertion there is no there there holds no water.




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