May 9, 2017

Trump in Transition (v17)

James Comey, you're fired!

The celebrity president has fired the celebrity FBI director, only a few months after jokingly complaining that Comey had become more famous than Trump.

Should we have recognized that as a sign that Comey's tenure as FBI director was bound to be short?

In all seriousness, I'm not sure any of us really expected Comey to make it through, although I'm also not sure anyone thought the head-chopping would come so fast.

There were a few things working against him, not the least of which was his decision that Hillary Clinton would not be charged for anything related to her email server.

And, of course, there was that press conference last July, which polarized the last remaining two people who were still speaking to each other: he never should have said anything, it wasn't his decision to make, the press conference was wrong, the conclusions were wrong... on and on it went, and Trump did not stay on the sidelines, either - he blasted Comey six ways from Sunday, at every rally he held. Heck, blasting Comey was part and parcel of #MAGA for a while there.

And then, everything took a different turn in late October, when Comey discovered more stuff in an unrelated investigation into Clinton aide Huma Abedin's husband, the notorious sexter Anthony Weiner.  While that investigation must have been sickening, all the sudden Comey was "mildly nauseous" about interjecting himself into the election: he was between a very bad rock and a catastrophic hard place, and so he chose bad and told Congress there was more to look at in the Clinton investigation.

The Left was in a tizzy; the Right was in a state of euphoria, knowing that Comey plus Wikileaks plus Trumpian bluster would be an extraordinary burden for any candidate, even one as experienced as Hillary Clinton.

Clinton lost, the three million or so popular votes notwithstanding, and there were Trump and Comey, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s - oh, never mind. You get the picture.

Until Russia. All that Russia stuff, and then Comey's recent testimony, in which he confirmed there were investigations into Trump's team and Russia and Russia and Russia. Oh, and some lies about Clinton - there was that, too.

Comey perjured himself in his testimony, it would seem. Isn't that what it is when a person lies to Congress? The Department of Justice had to send a correction to the Senate regarding how Abedin handled emails (she did not forward hundreds and thousands of emails to a personal laptop shared with her husband), and the extent to which she forwarded anything classified (almost never, which was also not as described by Comey) and regarding certain terrorism investigations (Comey noted there were some 2,000 of them, when in fact it's more like 300).

One might wonder whether Comey exaggerated, or was mistaken, or lied in his testimony because he knew no good would come from it?

And there was still Russia.

While Trump's letter of termination to Comey was self-congratulatory, noting that Comey had told him three times that he was not a target of investigation, the fact remains that there are open investigations and not just the wimpy ones in Congress that are moving slower than mole asses covered in molasses.

Comey was dismissed not because he perjured himself, but because of what happened last July, because he reached the wrong conclusion on Clinton, according to the Administration. Assistant AG Rod Rosenstein noted
I cannot defend the director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives (emphasis added).
And yet... On Monday, Trump tweeted about Russia investigation(s) as he has a number of times.
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The answer, it appears, at least in Trump's opinion, is "Tuesday."