While the FBI was investigating Bill Clinton for the White Water corruption situation, President Clinton fired the FBI Director. The media took President Clinton’s actions at face value. They did not question him. In fact, conservatives who raised red flags were dismissed. Today, we get to see what happens when a Republican does what Bill Clinton did.
The hysterics from the left over Donald Trump firing James Comey would be silly, except that many reporters who shape the news are part of that contingent. Witness Jeffrey Toobin, a leftist who CNN gives the veneer of objectivity to, railing about the President of the United States exercising lawful constitutional duty to fire a man many on the left wanted fired. Who is now in charge of the FBI after this? A Democrat whose wife’s run for the Virginia Senate was supported by Clintonites. Yes friends, in the hysteria of claims about Russia, everyone ignored who now runs the FBI. The man is not exactly Trump friendly.
But even the defense does ignore some reasonable nuance. Yes, I think the timing was designed to distract from Sally Yates’ Senate testimony. Yes, it does look bad given the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s election interference. It comes as a grand jury is issuing subpoenas related to Mike Flynn.
The preponderance of the evidence, however, suggests the President did fire Comey based on the advice of senior Department of Justice officials and not on his own. The preponderance of evidence does suggest that Trump fired Comey because of his botched testimony before congress about Huma Abedin and his handling, in general, of the Clinton email situation. And yes, the preponderance of evidence suggests it was not a coverup considering Andrew McCabe is now in charge of the FBI.
Still, this is another reason why I do think the Russian situation is so serious that it deserves an outside investigation. It deserves resources Republicans demanded of the Whitewater investigation, which only involved a President’s potentially corrupt dealings with a land deal and a law firm. This involves a foreign power attempting to subvert the American democratic process. There is no allegation that President Trump did anything wrong. But there are serious allegations about Russia that deserve a thorough, independent review.
The reality, however, is that many of those most critical of the President firing Comey were the same people demanding Comey be fired for his handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails. We have a hyper-partisan environment in which all sides too easily and too quickly abandon intellectual honesty. It is notable that Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins, two of the GOP’s most strident critics of Donald Trump, are okay with this firing.
It is not a constitutional crisis, nor is it a dark day for democracy. It is a President exercising his constitutional duties on the advice of his cabinet ministers. The timing is bothersome and looks bad, but the underlying rationale suggests the decision was made thoughtfully. However, the left will never believe President Trump nor believe anything other than the worst possible conspiracies about him. Russiaism is the new Birtherism.