The unanimous very smart person take on Trump’s firing of James Comey is that it’s a political disaster which will lead to total ruin and possibly his impeachment. I disagree.
The key factor that will determine how this ultimately turns out hinges largely on whether or not there was actual coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to sway the election through hacking or other nefarious means. Personally, I don’t think there was, which is why I don’t expect Donald Trump to be removed from office. The consensus view right now is that Trump’s firing of Comey offers further circumstantial evidence that he’s trying to cover up coordination with Russia in order to end the ongoing investigation. This is certainly a possibility to consider, but it’s definitely not the only possibility, nor is it the most likely explanation.
– From last month’s post: The Consensus Echo Chamber Take on Trump Firing Comey is All Wrong
I’ve been warning incessantly for months that the Democratic Party is on the verge of blowing itself up in a mushroom cloud of Russia conspiracy theorizing. Many high profile Democrats, corporate media hacks and partisans of all shapes and sizes have spent Donald Trump’s first six months screeching about how the President is a Russian agent who conspired with Putin to rig the election against Hillary Clinton. Of course, if there is any truth to this claim Trump should justifiably be tossed from office. The problem is we haven’t seen any proof, most likely because none exists.
You can already see Democrats trying to pivot to, “but Trump tried to obstruct justice.” Sorry, but based on what I’ve seen so far, this just ain’t gonna fly. The public’s expectations have been far too intentionally and incessantly inflated by Democratic politicians and corporate media pundits. Anything less than proof of collusion between Trump and Russia to influence the 2016 Presidential election will likely be seen as a win for Trump. This is what happens when you’re really stupid strategically and decide to put all your eggs in the Russia conspiracy theory basket.
As such, despite there being all sorts of investigations going on, I don’t expect anything to emerge that will lead to an impeachment of Donald Trump. Considering what we know about how domestic spy agencies operate, I strongly believe we’d have leaked proof by now if Trump colluded with Russia to influence the election.
That said, the Democrats will never let this go because it would force them to talk about real issues like Wall Street, oligarchy and imperial foreign policy, but they don’t want to do that. That’s the dirty little secret. Since the Democrats largely agree with Trump on many of his most heinous policy stances, they have to come up with an overseas bogeyman to obsess about. That’s what this has been about since day one. As such, there continues to be no functioning opposition party in American at this time. Unfortunate, but true.
Enough of that though, let’s get to the point of this post, the Comey testimony. We knew today would probably be a good one for Trump last night when a prepared statement was released. An interesting analysis was written by Sean Davis over at The Federalist. Here are the first few paragraphs:
Ahead of former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, the committee released the seven-page prepared statement Comey provided on Wednesday. While it’s clear that Comey and his allies believe the statement is proof that President Donald Trump acted inappropriately, and perhaps even illegally, the statement itself is a much bigger indictment of Comey’s own behavior over the last six months. Not only does Comey’s statement corroborate Trump’s claim that the former FBI director told him three times that the president was not being investigated by the FBI, it also reveals the Beltway game Comey was playing with the investigation.
In his statement, as my colleague Mollie Hemingway noted earlier today, Comey acknowledges the accuracy of Trump’s claim — included in the letter announcing Comey’s firing — that Comey had on three separate occasions informed Trump that he was not being investigated by the FBI. The corroboration of the claim by Comey himself is by far the most newsworthy nugget from the lengthy statement. But several other claims from Comey also do far more to indict Comey than they do to implicate Trump.
The most damning aspect of Comey’s prepared testimony is his admission that he deliberately refused to inform the public that Trump was not being personally investigated by the FBI. Comey’s justification for this refusal to publicly disclose material facts — that those facts might change — is laughable, especially in light of Comey’s 2016 two-step regarding the investigation of Hillary Clinton.
“I did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change,” Comey claims.
Recall that in 2016, Comey had no problem 1) publicly exonerating Hillary Clinton despite the fact that the authority to charge (or not charge) someone with a crime lies with federal prosecutors, not the FBI; 2) using the same press conference to excoriate Clinton’s behavior; 3) telling Congress that the investigation of Clinton was closed; and then 4) announcing days before a presidential election that the FBI had reopened the case and was once again investigating Hillary Clinton. Yet we’re supposed to believe that James Comey had grave moral concerns about disclosing facts that may be subject to change? Please.
If anything, Comey’s latest statement only highlights why Trump was justified in firing Comey in the first place. Comey, according to his own testimony, repeatedly told Trump that the president was not being investigated by the FBI. Not only that, Comey also told Congress that Trump was not being personally investigated. How on earth is it inappropriate, in light of those facts, for the president to ask for those facts to be made public by the very individual asserting them? Trump’s exasperation looks far more justifiable given the behavior to which Comey admits in his own testimony, largely because Comey’s tortured explanation for refusing to publicly explain those facts, even after disclosing them to Congress, holds so little water.
It’s this last part about how he informed Congress which will prove most harmful to Democrats. It seems many of them knew Trump wasn’t being personally investigated yet still went around yelling and screaming about how he’s a Putin puppet. This is not a good look, and non-partisan Americans will see right through it with complete disgust.
Next, we arrive at the most damaging aspect of the testimony for Democrats, and the Obama administration specifically; which we know couldn’t prosecute an elite criminal if their lives depended on it. The revelations about Loretta Lynch instructing Comey to use Clinton campaign talking points to describe the Hillary email investigation is unquestionably shady. Even Comey thought so.
The Daily Caller reports:
Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general under Barack Obama, pressured former FBI Director James Comey to downplay the Clinton email server investigation and only refer to it as a “matter,” Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
Comey said that when he asked Lynch if she was going to authorize him to confirm the existence of the Clinton email investigation, her answer was, “Yes but don’t call it that. Call it a matter.” When Comey asked why, he said, Lynch wouldn’t give him an explanation. “Just call it a matter,” she said.
Comey added later that he was concerned about that direction as it was false. He was further concerned because it aligned with the Clinton campaign’s spin on the investigation.
Lynch’s order, Comey said, “concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning.”
“I don’t know whether it was intentional or not but it gave the impression that the attorney general [Lynch] was looking to align the way we talked about our work with the way the political campaign was describing the same activity, which was inaccurate,” Comey added.
Comey also cited Lynch’s secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton as a reason he chose to hold the press conference, he said, as he was concerned about preserving the independence of the FBI.
The Clinton campaign consistently sought to mislead the public by denying that Clinton was the subject of an FBI investigation. Instead, the campaign claimed the investigation was a simple “security inquiry.” Comey said he was concerned by Lynch’s pressure on him and the FBI to use the campaign’s spin, as it appeared it appeared that Lynch was intentionally trying to align the language the FBI was using to match the angle pushed by the Clinton campaign.
Just like that, concerns of Trump trying to obstruct justice in his conversation with James Comey gets watered down considerably in the minds of the American public.
Next, there’s the admission from Comey that a story published by The New York Times on February 14th, 2017 titled, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence” was essentially fake news. Here’s the clip.
He touched upon the topic another time when under questioning from Lankford. Here’s the brief exchange:
LANKFORD: OK. You had mentioned before about some news stories and news accounts. Without having to go into all of the names and specific times and to be able to dip into all of that. Have there been news accounts about the Russian investigation or collusion about the whole event or as you read the story you were wrong about how wrong they got the facts?
COMEY: Yes, there have been many, many stories based on — well, lots of stuff but about Russia that are dead wrong.
This pretty much proves what many of us have long suspected, that many of these media stories are being fabricated by anonymous sources. This is why we should always be skeptical of what we hear from the agenda driven, billionaire-owned corporate media, especially when the sources are anonymous.
To summarize, today’s Comey testimony was a huge win for Trump and pretty much a disaster for the Democratic Party. While Trump will remain under pressure from various investigations, all of the new and important revelations today seems to portray Democrats and Obama cronies in a poor light, while negative stuff surrounding the Trump team (Flynn in particular) was already widely known. This is what happens when you make huge claims of treason and then find you can’t back it up.
Finally, the most concerning thing to the Democratic Party should be the fact that there have been many flashing warning signals leading up to this. For example, take a look at the following facts presented in a recent Politico article:
There are, here and there, warning signs that maybe the Democrats might want to, you know, focus on their own political problems. In April, the Democratic National Committee had its worst fundraising month in nearly a decade. As was seen in crucial states during the 2016 contest, African-American turnout remains a serious concern. The voters of admittedly red-state Montana just elected a guy who has been charged with assaultinstead of a (seemingly) competent Democrat with a clean police record. Reporters who actually spoke to voters in places like Ohio seem to have found some shrugs over the Russia frenzy. More than two-thirds of voters, according to at least one ABC News/Washington Post poll (if you believe polls anymore), said the Democrats were “out of touch.” The Democrats—yes, the Democrats—scored lower than Trump and the Republicans on that issue.
Trump, meanwhile, is trying to regain his message on border security, tax cuts, Obamacare repeal and telling off Europeans to their faces. You know, the kind of politically incorrect, occasionally rude things that actually ended up helping him win the election. A few weeks ago, a sociologist at Columbia University flatly predicted that Trump will be reelected in 2020. In an even crueler blow to the Democrats, an ABC poll released in April found that Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote if there were a hypothetical rematch. (A rematch that at least one humble genius long ago predicted.)
I tweeted the following a month ago when everyone thought Trump was about to go down in flames, and I stand by it.
Trump has a far better chance at a second term than being impeached.— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) May 16, 2017
Democratic leadership are either the dumbest people in America, or the most corrupt. Probably a combination of the two.