Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump Fires FBI Director - Attempt to Kill Russia Probe?

My sense of deja vu  of the Watergate era just went off the charts this morning as I learned that Der Trumpenführer has fired FBI Director James Comey.  I have no particular love for Comey who I hold to bear much responsibility for putting Trump in office.  However, he did seem to be pushing to get to the bottom of the Russiagate probe and now - given his firing - to confirm that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russian intelligence and committed treason.  What happens to that probe now is worrisome and it is clear that Trump will do anything to keep the truth from coming out.  The big concern is that Congressional Republicans will continue to put their political party ahead of the nation and a traitor will continue to occupy the White House.  I find the word "coup" coming to mind and the predictions of some that America had less than a year under Trump before he would attempt a coup.  We may be witnessing at this moment.  The most laughable part of the whole situation is that Trump is using "Unfair treatment " of Hillary Clinton as justification - this from the man who chanted "lock her up."  I'm sorry, but that simply doesn't wash.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at this very frightening development.  Here are highlights:
President Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey on Tuesday, at the recommendation of senior Justice Department officials who said he had treated Hillary Clinton unfairly and in doing so damaged the credibility of the FBI and the Justice Department.
The startling development comes as Comey was leading a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether associates of Trump may have coordinated with Russia to interfere with the U.S. presidential election last year. It wasn’t immediately clear how Comey’s ouster will affect the Russia probe, but Democrats said they were concerned that his ouster could derail the investigation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe, would be the acting director of the FBI. As a presidential candidate, Trump explicitly criticized Comey and McCabe for their roles in the Clinton probe while at other points praising Comey for his “guts.”
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in the White House briefing room. The firing is effective “immediately,” he said.
Democrats have long argued that Comey’s decisions in the months and days before the election hurt Clinton’s standing with voters and affected the outcome, but the president and his closest advisers had argued that Comey went too easy on Clinton and her aides.
Just last week, Trump publicly accused Comey of giving Clinton “a free pass for many bad deeds’’ when he decided not to recommend criminal charges in the case.
Democrats immediately linked the dismissal to the Russia probe. . . . . “The decision by a President whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an Attorney General who has recused himself from that investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. The House committee is looking into Russian interference in the election.
Some Republicans were also concerned. “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also examining Russian meddling.
There were multiple calls by Democrats on Tuesday night for the appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the Russia investigation and take the matter out of the hands of Justice Department leadership.
The senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), however, compared Tuesday’s developments to the Watergate scandal and said the actions “reek of a coverup and appear to be part of an ongoing effort by the Trump White House to impede the investigation into Russian ties and interference in our elections.’’
[M]any Democrats blamed Comey for what they viewed as his unprecedented interference in the election process, but most later came to see him as an independent figure in the Trump administration who would be critical to a fair and thorough investigation of any possible ties between Russia and Trump associates.

My take aways?  1. Trump and company are guilty of collusion with Russian and this is a ham handed effort to kill  the Russiagate probe. 2. If a special prosecutor is not appointed, we will know that Republicans put protecting a traitor and their party ahead of the nation's interests and future.  I have a very sick feeling that the equivalent of a coup has just occurred. It will now be up to foreign intelligence agencies to expose Trump and take him down. 

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