The real reason James Comey was fired

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The official reason given by President Donald Trump for the firing of FBI Director James Comey was his mishandling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information—a reason which, as I wrote in the previous post, was justified.

But most people take his real motive to be that fact that Comey is pressing forward with his investigation of ties of Trump and his supporters with Russia and Russians.

You can see this in Trump’s firing letter.  He wrote: While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless …

What would come logically after “I nevertheless…”?   Probably something like this: I nevertheless am under a cloud because of the FBI’s ongoing investigation of possible connections of my people with Russia.

Of course he wouldn’t and didn’t write this, but why mention the investigation at all if that wasn’t what was on his mind?

Whatever his motive, his firing of Comey will not stop the ongoing investigation.    If I were an FBI agent working on the case, I would double down on my efforts to find a Trump-Russia connection just to show that I am not intimidated.

FBI agents are civil servants, not appointees, so Trump doesn’t have the power to fire them.   The only way he could rein in the investigation would be to nominate an FBI director who was totally subservient, such as Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie or one of their underlings.

Even then, there would be a steady stream of leaks from the FBI about the suppressed investigation.

Click to enlarge.

I don’t believe the story about Trump as the puppet of Vladimir Putin.   I oppose Trump and most of his policies, but I don’t see any evidence that Putin put Trump in the White House or Trump asking Putin’s help in his election campaign.

I can’t prove a negative, but I think that, if any such evidence existed, it would have surfaced by now.  If it did exist, and the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been unable to discover it, then it was useless to give them all the extensive surveillance powers they have taken on since 9-11.

Click to enlarge.

The investigation may turn up more evidence of “ties” and “links” connecting Trump supporters with Russia and Russians, which would be interesting to know about, but that is not the same thing as Trump being Putin’s puppet, and no different from the many other Trump conflicts of interest.

All we have now is that certain Trump supporters talked to Russian diplomats, which is neither illegal nor improper, and Trump and that certain of his supporters did business in Russia, which is not wrong in and of itself, although some of the circumstances may be questionable.

The longer the investigation goes on, the less likely there is any significance evidence to be turned up.  And the less evidence to be turned up, the longer the investigation will go on.

The harm of all this is that it makes better relations with Russia politically toxic.  There is a small, but real, danger of nuclear war being triggered by U.S. confrontation with Russia in Ukraine and Syria over issues that are not vital to Americans.

LINKS

Why Was Comey Fired? by Philip Giraldi for The American Conservative.

Comey and the End of Conversation by Raúl Ilargi Meier for Automatic Earth.

The tragedy of James Comey by Noah Millman for The Week.  [Added 5/13/2017]

Cartoons by Ted Rall and Matt Bors.

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