Swampy Washington swallows another insider

James Comey went to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.  It was not a good day for him, the Justice Department bureaucracy, the former administration, President Trump, or the American people.  Comey admitted that he was not strong enough to comfortably tell the president that his request to minimize the investigation into Michael Flynn was inappropriate.  He told no one at the Justice Department or the White House counsel that this request was over the line.  Wow: The head of the FBI was afraid of Trump, but he was not afraid of A.G. Loretta Lynch when she requested that he change the narrative of his investigation into Hillary Clinton.

There is little to doubt that Trump fired Comey after the former FBI director never publicly announced that there was no direct investigation of Trump related to the Russian election interference.  Comey admitted yesterday in his seven-page opening statement that he told the president three times this fact.  Yet, today, he said he could not do this since he might have to retract it should details change later.  Again, did he become savvier after his faux pas with Clinton?  Or is it likely that he had a dislike for Trump that precluded his support for his legislative program, or "loyalty"?

Does it appear troubling that the former FBI director leaked memos that were written on government computers?  Could this possibly put him in legal jeopardy?  Did Comey violate the federal records acts?  Does it make the matter worse that he used a third-party friend at Columbia Law School? 

If Comey thought the president's request was a directive (or obstruction of justice), then he had a duty under federal law to report it.  Yet Alan Dershowitz argues that this is wrong, since Trump has the full constitutional power to pardon Flynn and dismiss Comey or end any investigation.  After all, didn't Lynch do this indirectly during the summer after the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton?

Further, Jonathan Turley, another liberal law professor, questions whether Comey might have legal issues pertaining to his memos.  He cannot see any obstruction of justice in Comey's testimony.  Perhaps special prosecutor Robert Mueller does not see any obstruction either.  He let his most important witness on this issue testify before the Senate, which is unusual for any prosecution.  The media have driven this story in an effort to destroy the Trump presidency.  But they have fallen victim to their own demon.

As a longtime insider, James Comey should have navigated the swamp with more precision.  He played too cute, and Trump is not one to overlook Comey's tightrope walk.  Trump was clumsy to hold any private meetings with Comey, but he took his cue from their first meeting at the Trump Tower during the transition, in which Comey spoke to him privately.  Comey states that Trump could not be trusted to tell the truth regarding their meetings, even calling him a liar.  But it appears that he wanted to remain in his job and was vindictive when fired.  Comey says he wanted to trigger a special counsel appointment.  This could not provide any evidence for Russian collusion, since there was none, according to Comey.

Washington politics allows for some questionable behavior.  Comey has spent too long in D.C. as it has colored his perception.  It is sad that he has been swallowed by the swamp monsters.  However, he damaged the president, who clearly has yet to understand the Washington political world.   Comey damaged the Justice Department system that exercised political influence during the election.  He hurt the media that he used to leak information damaging to Trump.  He showed that they publish false articles about the Russian investigation.  Perhaps worse, Comey damaged the American people, as he has prolonged this phony collusion investigation.  The electorate wanted a change in Washington, but the swamp refuses to go easily.

Trump has lost some time, but if he can reduce his questionable tweets and move to getting legislation reforming health care and taxes, then he can redeem his promises.  He has some able people reforming the executive branch, but he must focus on legislative wins.  Democrats have aimed at stalling his initiatives so he must harness the different Republican legislators toward a unified victory.  Trump must now resolve to let others handle the Russian investigation or the swamp will swallow him.

James Comey went to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.  It was not a good day for him, the Justice Department bureaucracy, the former administration, President Trump, or the American people.  Comey admitted that he was not strong enough to comfortably tell the president that his request to minimize the investigation into Michael Flynn was inappropriate.  He told no one at the Justice Department or the White House counsel that this request was over the line.  Wow: The head of the FBI was afraid of Trump, but he was not afraid of A.G. Loretta Lynch when she requested that he change the narrative of his investigation into Hillary Clinton.

There is little to doubt that Trump fired Comey after the former FBI director never publicly announced that there was no direct investigation of Trump related to the Russian election interference.  Comey admitted yesterday in his seven-page opening statement that he told the president three times this fact.  Yet, today, he said he could not do this since he might have to retract it should details change later.  Again, did he become savvier after his faux pas with Clinton?  Or is it likely that he had a dislike for Trump that precluded his support for his legislative program, or "loyalty"?

Does it appear troubling that the former FBI director leaked memos that were written on government computers?  Could this possibly put him in legal jeopardy?  Did Comey violate the federal records acts?  Does it make the matter worse that he used a third-party friend at Columbia Law School? 

If Comey thought the president's request was a directive (or obstruction of justice), then he had a duty under federal law to report it.  Yet Alan Dershowitz argues that this is wrong, since Trump has the full constitutional power to pardon Flynn and dismiss Comey or end any investigation.  After all, didn't Lynch do this indirectly during the summer after the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton?

Further, Jonathan Turley, another liberal law professor, questions whether Comey might have legal issues pertaining to his memos.  He cannot see any obstruction of justice in Comey's testimony.  Perhaps special prosecutor Robert Mueller does not see any obstruction either.  He let his most important witness on this issue testify before the Senate, which is unusual for any prosecution.  The media have driven this story in an effort to destroy the Trump presidency.  But they have fallen victim to their own demon.

As a longtime insider, James Comey should have navigated the swamp with more precision.  He played too cute, and Trump is not one to overlook Comey's tightrope walk.  Trump was clumsy to hold any private meetings with Comey, but he took his cue from their first meeting at the Trump Tower during the transition, in which Comey spoke to him privately.  Comey states that Trump could not be trusted to tell the truth regarding their meetings, even calling him a liar.  But it appears that he wanted to remain in his job and was vindictive when fired.  Comey says he wanted to trigger a special counsel appointment.  This could not provide any evidence for Russian collusion, since there was none, according to Comey.

Washington politics allows for some questionable behavior.  Comey has spent too long in D.C. as it has colored his perception.  It is sad that he has been swallowed by the swamp monsters.  However, he damaged the president, who clearly has yet to understand the Washington political world.   Comey damaged the Justice Department system that exercised political influence during the election.  He hurt the media that he used to leak information damaging to Trump.  He showed that they publish false articles about the Russian investigation.  Perhaps worse, Comey damaged the American people, as he has prolonged this phony collusion investigation.  The electorate wanted a change in Washington, but the swamp refuses to go easily.

Trump has lost some time, but if he can reduce his questionable tweets and move to getting legislation reforming health care and taxes, then he can redeem his promises.  He has some able people reforming the executive branch, but he must focus on legislative wins.  Democrats have aimed at stalling his initiatives so he must harness the different Republican legislators toward a unified victory.  Trump must now resolve to let others handle the Russian investigation or the swamp will swallow him.