Comey

So, I don’t have an entirely coherent theory of what all this means yet, but I do have some takes I really like.  So, here they are.

1) Chait:

It is impossible to prove that these firings were intended to insulate Trump from the Russia investigation. That impossibility is inherent to the nature of the acts themselves; when the president quashes independent investigations, it quashes the evidence that would confirm his motive for doing so. We are left only with a series of extremely suspicious facts. The stated cause for Comey’s firing — his mistreatment of Hillary Clinton last July — is absurd on its face as a Trump motivation. Trump and Sessions have repeatedly praised Comey for the actions they now claim to be a firing offense…

Trump has demonstrated his inability to tolerate any authority that lies beyond his control. He disputes the right of courts to review and overturn his actions; he regards his power as a vehicle for enriching himself and his family, and recognizes no public right to know even the contours of his self-interest. It is fitting that Trump sent his personal bodyguard to hand-deliver Comey’s letter of termination. He sees the federal government as a whole as personally subordinate to himself, exactly like his business. He would no more tolerate independent legal enforcement investigating his potential misdeeds than he would allow his own private security detail to dig up dirt on him.

There is no longer any serious possibility that he will respect the norms of conduct governing his office. The only questions are how far his fellow Republicans, who control all the power in Washington, will let him go before they stop him, or whether the midterm elections will give Democrats the chance. [emphasis mine]

How far will Republicans let him go?  Evidence so far today– pretty damn far.

2) Frum:

Who can sincerely believe that President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey for any reason other than to thwart an investigation of serious crimes? Which crimes—and how serious—we can only guess.

The suggestion that Comey was fired to punish him for overzealously mishandling the Clinton email investigation appears laughable…

Now comes the hour of testing. Will the American system resist? Or will it be suborned?

The question has to be asked searchingly of the Republican members of Congress: Will you allow a president of your party to attack the integrity of the FBI? You impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex. Will you now condone and protect a Republican administration lying about espionage?

Where are you? Who are you?

Sadly, I think we know the answers already.

3) Drum:

Summary: The Comey firing had nothing to do with the Hillary Clinton email investigation. It was all because Trump was outraged over Comey’s public acknowledgement that the FBI was investigating his Russia ties. He wanted the investigation to disappear, and he began obsessing about firing Comey—presumably in hopes that this was all it would take to kill the case. And apparently Trump was shocked when Democrats didn’t line up behind him. They hate Comey too, don’t they?

Trump’s astronomical ignorance has finally caught up with him. He seems to have had no idea that firing Comey wouldn’t stop the investigation—nor that a new FBI director wouldn’t dare quash it. In fact, all the firing does is make the investigation untouchable. And Trump’s astronomical narcissism has caught up with him too. He has so little insight into other humans that he simply couldn’t conceive of anyone hating Comey but still defending his right to serve out his term. In Trump’s world, you reward your friends and punish your enemies and that’s that. [emphasis mine]

I’d like to think Drum is right on that, but seems like all bets are off when it comes to Trump.  It’s going to take at least a few Republicans to actually show some character here.  I’m cautiously optimistic, but not exactly holding my breath on that score.

4) As for impeachment– this may be grounds way down the road.  But that word is meaningless while Republicans still control Congress and Trump still has strongly favorable approval among rank-and-file Republicans.  A few good tweets from Patrick Miller:

5) And this tweetstorm from David Roberts is simply awesome.  I think it makes so much sense.

[And if you don’t read the whole thing, tweets 9-14 are key]

 

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