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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Will The Spinning Ever Stop?

For the last six months, FBI Director Comey was the target of anger from all sorts of Democrats.  For example, Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said that he has "lost confidence" in Comey and his ability to do his job.  Others voiced similar concerns.  Then yesterday President Trump fires Comey and now the Democrats are up in arms with criticism.  None of them actually defend Comey; he's still on their enemies list.  Instead, the Dems are upset by Trump's action.  Of course, they use this to argue for a special prosecutor for the investigation of a phony issue:  the supposed connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.  The Dems are having another of those phony Senate sessions this morning to jointly call for such a prosecutor.  It's an annoying joke.

On the other side, we have the President who not surprisingly praised Comey during the campaign for his handling of the Clinton email investigation but who now uses that investigation as a reason to fire Comey.  Wouldn't it be better to just be straightforward.

The truth is that Comey was an embarrassment to the FBI.  He would testify before Congress and misstate things.  These were not minor things either but rather facts of great importance.  The most recent came when he said that Huma Abedin has forwarded over a hundred thousand emails, including classified ones, to Anthony Weiner.  It turned out that the real number was less than 1% of what Comey claimed.  Comey also failed to investigate certain things that really required investigation.  According to reports, the FBI has not investigated the improper unmasking of Republican politicians and their staffs who got swept up in surveillance of foreign targets.  That's incredible.  It would be one thing to investigate the charge and determine that it had not happened.  That would be fine.  It is quite another thing to decide ahead of time NOT to investigate.  That choice is not Comey's to make.

There is also the Clinton email investigation.  I doubt that there is anyone in Washington who would say he or she was satisfied with the job Comey did.  We have all the old political statements, but that is not the standard by which to judge Comey.  The reality is that he did a poor job with that probe.  The key mistake was his decision on whether or not to indict Hillary.  I don't mean that he chose not to indict, although I disagree with that conclusion.  I mean Comey's inserting himself into the process to actually make that decision and then to publicize it.  Comey and the FBI investigate; the DOJ and the Attorney General make the decision.  Comey has said that after AG Lynch met with Bill Clinton in a secret meeting he had no choice but to do what he did.  Lynch may have perverted the course of justice (as the Brits say), but that did not increase Comey's role.  Once he took that step he never seemed able to get things back to normal at the FBI.

One last important point:  the idiots who say that Trump fired Comey because he found things in his Russia investigation are idiots (and that's putting it charitably.)  Think about it.  If Comey had actually found something, what is the one way Trump could guarantee that Comey would make that information public?  That's right, Trump could fire him.  With Comey angry at Trump, how long would it be until some congressional committee brought Comey in under oath and he let the info slip?  The over/under is two weeks.  Firing Comey does not silence him; it gives him reason to speak.  The fools who make this argument are just spinning.

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