As of Thursday, 8 June 2017, the Trump Presidency has reached a point where it has no allies. Well before this, Ryan and McConnell had alternately duped Trump into backing stupid ideas (Ryancare) by stroking his ego, or turned their backs on his agenda (taxes and infrastructure). Now they have the cover they need to simply walk away. And they will. These are no men of honor.
They’ll still pay lip service to doing the right thing, but they have no intention, and now no motivation, to actually lift a finger to fix anything. Within weeks, Washington DC will be every man for himself.
This is not a pity party. Much of what we are seeing is Trump’s own doing. Through his open display of ineptitude, undercutting his own people and his mindless tweeting, Trump has made himself easy prey. If he had the least inkling to listen and learn over the last two and a half years, he would not be where he is today.
He won’t be impeached. There is nothing apparent right now which would be impeachable. In fact, he is more useful to his enemies, and those who have abandoned him, in office than he would be if he resigned.
But between James Comey and the news networks’ drama with their dipshit, countdown clocks, there will be almost no place left for the Administration to work its will.
There will be no wall, but we already knew that.
There will be no tax cuts. If there are they will be offset by Ryan’s incredibly stupid import tax.
There will be no real improvements to infrastructure.
There will be little done in the way of improving our position internationally.
Obamacare will remain intact or 80% intact. Again, thank you Speaker Ryan!
The budget will not be cut by one, thin dime.
The deficit and debt will explode as both parties in congress will embark on a vote-buying frenzy the likes of which we have never seen before. Even Obama’s monumental irresponsibility will pale.
History and Context
Among the most egregious crimes Hillary Clinton committed by keeping her illegal and unsecured server during her time as SecState, was her concealment and destruction of historical records. While not as many people will die from this as those who might due to her sharing of intelligence documents, there are now historical gaps in the record.
She did slick her server, of course. She knew the device was illegal and that she held the information on it illegally. So by trying to cover her misdeeds, she not only made it easier to prosecute her, but when it is important to know what was said when, and by whom, we won’t have the information. And thanks to Comey, the damage will be forever buried.
But these historical documents are as much the concern of the Federal Code and the Federal Records Act as any of the classified documents she stole and destroyed. None of these documents belonged to her. They were entirely the property of the U.S. Government.
There are a few decent, thinking human beings left in this world who understand the importance of keeping a clear history of events for our benefit and the benefit of future generations. Clinton is not in their number. It is by DNA alone that Clinton qualifies as a human being.
Comey seems to have learned a lot from the sham investigation into HRC’s illegal servers. And it has served him well in the estimation of dull-witted people.
For starters, many actions taken by Comey mirror Clinton’s in both intent and motivation. And his explanations even surpass HRC in terms of vanity and self-righteousness. He is nowhere near as slick as Clinton. But he’s trying anyway.
Working backward from this week:
In his congressional testimony, Comey stated affirmatively that he kept memos of his meetings with President Trump because he feared Trump might lie about their conversations. With only one exception, the pleas for loyalty (not a target of these hearings), their stories jive almost perfectly. Not a whole lot of lying going on if you believe either of them.
But beyond that, our previous president had been caught repeatedly throughout his tenure lying outright about all kinds of things. Among the worst could arguably be, “everyone will save $2500 on the health insurance”, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” and the biggee: denying the administration’s knowledge or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious. (This debacle resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. It also got a bunch of those little Mexican people killed as well. Offense was compounded by the harassment and denigration of Brian Terry’s family for pursuing the truth about his death.)
And those are just three of the countless whoppers told by BHO and the spineless people who served under him, including James Comey.
But Comey took no notes of his conversations with BHO. He also kept no record of his interrogation of Hillary Clinton for her crimes. She wasn’t even put under oath. And Clinton can’t go from here to there without lying, stealing or extorting. You can call Trump a lot of things. I make a habit of beating him up often. The one reputation he hasn’t earned is that of a liar. That doesn’t mean he is or isn’t a liar. But he hasn’t had the time to establish himself as one, at least not in his capacity as President.
But poor Jim was worried, so he kept notes.
The Self-Appointed AG
Comey’s story about his dealings with Trump, in sworn statements has gone from never having been pressured to stop any investigation in the spring – to - I felt quite sure he was ordering me to stop the investigation as of early summer. When was he lying? Both statements cannot be true.
So many fascinating things pour off the transcripts here.
First when asked why he didn’t take his impressions and his memos to the DOJ, Comey gave two reasons. First he didn’t want investigators to get the impression the President of the United States wanted the investigation to move in a specific way.
Well! I’d like to thank my personal god that James Comey is the man he is. Imagine the burden he suffered. He was the only FBI guy who could have such knowledge and still remain honest and forthright. Oh heavens! What if all those average, mortal agents heard the president wanted to see Flynn left alone! They don’t possess Comey’s super human fortitude! They would be crippled by the knowledge and would stop investigating.
Oh! Oops! That’s right, they did hear it. Months ago. Comey had already leaked that conversation too. And by some miracle, the investigation continues unabated.
So instead of reporting what he thought was interfering with an investigation, which he saw as his duty (his own words) he decided to keep things to himself. After all, we only had an acting AG at the time. The acting AG was still Comey’s superior and was the correct authority to report to. But Comey appointed himself Deputy Extra Double Secret Attorney General and reported the potential offense to himself and his immediate staff.
So worried was poor Jim about doing the right thing, when he was fired from the FBI he took government documents with him and had a friend leak them to the media.
(Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this self-appointment. Comey appointed himself HMFIC of Ignoring the Federal Records Act. There was a vacancy now that Clinton was gone. He decided the memos he’d written in his capacity as FBI director about official meetings with a sitting president, were his personal property. Those memos were suddenly the equivalent of Comey, sitting in his pajamas, scribbling in his diary about hanging out with his old pal Don at a barbecue. “Dear dairy: spent the day by the pool with Donny. He’s DREAMY! I think he likes me. Tee-hee.”
But in reality he was writing about official business, which, according to Comey, showed possible corruption on the part of the president. In order to use these memos as a weapon of personal vengeance he had to break more rules. So, abracadabra, presto! The memos are now personal notes, his to do with as he wished.)
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But Wait! There’s More!
Comey’s testimony was a circus of self-impeachment and mind-blowing hypocrisy.
- Comey volunteered that Loretta Lynch requested he lie to the press and to congress, calling the investigation of Clinton’s illegal servers as “a matter” and not “an investigation”. Comey said he was confused and shocked by the order. This is a lie or gives lie to Comey’s “reason” for taking notes about Trump. Because when shocked or confused by a government official, we already know Comey takes note and leaks them. He did neither in the case of the corrupt lackey, Loretta Lynch.
And he was in no way confused by Lynch’s clear abetting in the Clinton cover-up. Unless he forgot all his years as a prosecutor and his years and head of the nation's premiere investigative service.
2. “I am not a legal scholar,” says Comey. WTF!?!? A law degree? Years as an attorney? Years as a federal prosecutor? One of the brave legal minds that held the line against making policy decisions behind AG Ashcroft’s back? Years as head of the FBI? And not a legal scholar? The convenient, disingenuous humility is…
…Excuse me. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
- “I leaked information [to get a] special prosecutor appointed.” As a statement without context, that could be true, and rather prescient. But in the context of Comey’s fairy tales on Thursday, a reasonable person must stand incredulous. As we have established here, the memos the committee were fixated on were not the only information Comey leaked. The memos about “loyalty” and discussions about Trump firing him because of the Russian investigation were leaked as reprisal for being fired. That leaves any claims of honorable motivation in doubt.
The ONLY EVIDENCE we have as to his being fired (Trump’s impetuous tweets not withstanding) is Rosenstein’s memo, which speaks simply and legitimately to Comey’s deplorable handling of the Clinton investigation. I will go a step further and call it Comey’s participation in the Clinton cover-up. There too, he appointed himself Attorney General because he knew no matter what he said about his investigation, the utterly corrupt AG was not going to prefer charges. So, he gave himself a field promotion (from Senior Investigator to Extra Double Secret AG) and declared the case was beneath prosecution, nailing his name in the pages of history as the man who saved the unworthy HRC.
This was the clearest demonstration of Comey’s desire to thwart Trump. Save Hillary, he thought, and Trump is done. Being a creature of the Beltway, he was incapable of seeing that the citizens saw HRC as even more nauseating than Trump.
It’s Academic Now
And so, we are seeing the end of the Trump presidency as an effective entity. Not because Comey was right in any of the things he’s done. Since his July 15 press conference he has rarely put a foot right. He has been motivated by two ambitions: The aggrandizement of James Brien Comey, Jr. and the diminishment of Donald J. Trump, Jr.
And the media has only helped Comey. There was no way the MSM was ever going to warm up to Trump. But the “great deal maker” handled them as poorly as he has almost everything else. Instead of simply touting good press and ignoring, or even spinning negative reports, Trump showed he is probably the worst deal maker ever. He lacked understanding of the press and refused to approach his PR problems as tactical ones. He treated every negative news story as a personal vendetta against him. As a result, he made enemies, even in camps with conservative editorial lines.
So Is All Lost?
There is a silver lining here. We can anticipate the actions of our bloated, corrupt federal government. We may now, as a people, have the motivation to do something about it. I have talked about this in the past and will do so in my next piece. We’ll see who is paying attention.
Here's a good primer.
Matt Jordan is a travel writer and political commentator. He is the author of Street Politics: It Ain't Your Daddy's GOP Anymore!©