Firing Comey: Start of the Swamp Draining?

The firing of Comey shouldn’t have really surprised us – as Byron York points out:

…the more institutionally-minded members of the Trump team wanted to see a process observed. In the case of removing Comey, that involved going through the chain of command.

The structure was this: The FBI director reported to the deputy attorney general, who reported to the attorney general, who reported to the president. When Trump fired Comey Tuesday afternoon, that chain of command had been in place for all of 14 days.

First, it took a long time to get an attorney general in office. Facing Democratic opposition, Jeff Sessions, one of the president’s first nominees, was not confirmed by the Senate until Feb. 8. Then, it took a long time to get a deputy attorney general in place. Rod Rosenstein, the deputy — and the man who wrote the rationale for axing Comey — faced similar Democratic delays and was not sworn in until April 26.

Only after Rosenstein was in place did the Trump team move ahead…

The most ardent “Drain the Swamp” guys wanted Comey out the second Trump’s hand came off the bible…but (and I think this is a better way to do it), the more experienced people had their way…regular order was to be done. It just took a long time, thanks to Democrat obstruction, to get regular order in place.

On thing I’d like to point out – some of you might remember “Pardongate”. This was where President Clinton issued a raft of pardons on his last day in office, most notably in the case of Marc Rich. Rich was indicted for massive tax and racketeering fraud (by Rudy Giuliani, as it turns out) and fled the country as he was looking at up to 300 years in jail if convicted. Rich’s wife had donated a bucket of money to the Democrat Party, to Clinton’s Presidential library and to Hillary’s 2000 Senate campaign…so, yeah, to a lot of people it looked like a quid pro quo (a President can, of course, pardon anyone he likes for any reason – but if it could ever be proved a President issued a pardon for corrupt reason, that President could be sent to jail). An investigation was launched and eventually dropped. The federal prosecutor who dropped it was Comey. So, Comey has a lot of long-term experience in explaining away questionable Clinton activities. Does this mean Comey is crooked? I have no idea – but he doesn’t appear to be ardent in making certain that the powerful come under close scrutiny in a court of law. At the end of the day, he was probably the very last person who should have had any say in the investigation of Hillary’s e mail mess.

This is also an illustration of how massive the swamp is…how interconnected all the corruption is on a lot of levels. And how it just goes on and on and on…because no one really ever does anything about it. Oh, sure, every now and again some low-level person will be caught stealing beyond his station and will get sent to jail…but the big boys and girls always manage to skate, don’t they? Ten years ago, Matt and I published Caucus of Corruption, detailing how corruption is endemic in the Democrat Party. One of the complaints launched against it was that we didn’t go into Republican corruption. Our answer to that was simple: sure, there are plenty of Republican crooks, but the Republican crooks are made to pay the price for their corruption. Democrat crooks are usually let off, if anyone ever bothers to look into the matter to begin with.

You might recall how Trump was saying that he wanted to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Hillary’s dealings – and how he hasn’t said a whisper about it since taking office. Has he just dropped it? Was it just campaign rhetoric? Maybe. Or, perhaps, he’s just biding his time…and making certain that those who would protect Hillary are no longer in a position to do so? Time will tell. But one thing I’ll say: if we ever launch a full-scale investigation into foreign influence and general corruption, a very large number of public officials are going to jail. Sure, a lot of them will be Republicans…but most will be Democrats. And here’s something to think on: Trump owes nothing to these people. If, in fact, he could enter the 2020 campaign with a dozen Republican officeholders in jail due to his Justice Department, it’d make him a hero to the Republican rank and file (especially as that would mean at least three dozen Democrats sharing their cells).

We’ll see how this comes out – but I do hope that the firing of Comey is only an opening shot in a larger, anti-corruption process.

25 thoughts on “Firing Comey: Start of the Swamp Draining?

  1. Retired Spook May 10, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    I have no idea how history will eventually record it, but, IMO, James Comey’s career died largely of self-inflicted wounds.

    • M. Noonan May 11, 2017 / 12:27 am

      He was just another cog in the Establishment machine – even if Republican, he still knew the rules: some people are to be allowed to skate, regardless of facts. This is what people voted against when they voted Trump.

    • Amazona May 11, 2017 / 8:05 am

      What surprised me was the amount of information about past Comey decisions that had never been well covered by the media, probably because they benefited Democrats. He should have been fired years ago. As for being “Republican” that is only a label, which may be slapped on if convenient.

      His bizarre treatment of the Clinton emails was enough to get him fired. Since when does “intent” to do wrong mean someone can knowingly break a law and get away with it? The old adage that ignorance of the law is no excuse is based on fact. If you are ticketed for speeding and claim you just didn’t see the sign that lowered the speed limit, you are still guilty of speeding. If you violate the law against driving drunk and injure someone, it doesn’t matter that you had no intent to injure anyone—-you not only broke the law, you knowingly and purposely broke the law, whether or not your intent was malignant. The very idea that the head of the FBI could excuse criminal activity because the person in question didn’t have bad intentions when she knowingly broke the law is, in and of itself, ample reason to get rid of the guy.

  2. Amazona May 11, 2017 / 8:12 am

    I think the first and most important step in investigating “foreign influence” is to look at campaign contributions from foreigners. Remember, it was the attempt to keep US intelligence agencies from sharing information on foreign campaign contributions to Bill Clinton that led to Jamie Gorelick’s implementation of the “wall” forbidding such information sharing, a rule which later contributed to the inability of these agencies to share information on the terrorists who flew the planes on 9/11.

    The pattern of soliciting and accepting foreign campaign money continued all the way into the Hillary Clinton era, and shows up rather thinly disguised as payment for speeches and as contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

    • M. Noonan May 11, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      That, I think, is the crucial thing to look at – and why Democrats really don’t want to go there…but I think they’ve hyped up their base so much that they may be forced into it. Any time, now, I’m expecting Democrats to make impeaching Trump an official part of their Campaign ’18 platform (of course, I think Trump is actually trying to manipulate them into doing just that – he knows his best chance is an enraged and out of control opposition).

      Last night, as I watched the hot takes roll by on Twitter, it started to occur to me that our experts don’t really know much…they are mere poll-crunchers and repeaters of Conventional Wisdom (said wisdom, I suspect, usually originating in some DNC boiler room).

      Trump is governing. They don’t get this – he’s the President of the United States of America. It is his Administration…and one thing all President’s worth their salt do is make sure that if there are mistakes, they are his own, rather than someone else’s. Comey had to be fired – he wasn’t one of Trump’s people, but any mistakes Comey made were charged to Trump. More firings are probably coming as more and more of Trump’s people are inserted into leadership positions. Whatever this Administration does, it will be Trump’s…not someone else’s. This may work out good, it may work out bad…but you can bet your bottom dollar that if I were magically made into President, it would be precisely what I’d do. Everyone’s neck is on the chopping block until I’m absolutely convinced they will carry out my policies. The end.

      • Amazona May 12, 2017 / 1:13 pm

        Everyone’s neck is on the chopping block until I’m absolutely convinced they will carry out my policies.

        Yeah, but even more important should be “Everyone’s neck is on the chopping block until I’m absolutely convinced they are qualified to do the job..”

        Comey showed two huge red flags that called attention to his lack of qualification for his job.

        The first is the absolute lack of integrity. Remember, he was behind the witch hunt that ruined Scooter Libby’s life, under the pretext that Libby had broken the law by discussing the fact that a woman was an employee of the CIA. She wan’t undercover, she wasn’t covert, her CIA employment was widely known, and Libby was not even the first person to comment on it, but because Libby was part of Dick Cheney’s staff he was targeted for a vicious and unwarranted attack.

        The second is the insanity of the head of the nation’s biggest investigatory agency explaining that it is OK to break the law if you never intended that violation to have negative consequences.

        If we look at those two elements—–integrity and competence—we can see that Comey had to go.

  3. Retired Spook May 12, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Very few political writers combine wit, humor and word smithing as well as Ben Crystal and his description of the Comey firing and the ensuing Democrat hypocrisy is spot on.

    No lesser liberal lights than Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both proclaimed their desire to see Comey hit the bricks on multiple occasions. Schumer’s predecessor as team captain of the runners-up (ROTFLOL), Harry Reid, even suggested Comey’s “partisan actions” “may have broken the law.” Congressional gadfly Maxine Waters managed to land the rare political triple axel, both supporting and opposing Comey’s firing at the same time; admitting she would have been fine with Comey losing his job, if Hillary had done the firing.


    The millennial-laden audience of comedian Stephen Colbert’s show broke into applause when Colbert announced the firing; creating a brutally awkward moment as the redoubtably leftist Colbert gently explained how their masters no longer cheered the idea; an unintentional “Animal Farm” moment, with Colbert in the role of Squealer.

  4. fieldingclaymore May 12, 2017 / 11:13 am

    This site is starting to look like the old “Blogs For Bush” circa fall of ’06.

    • Retired Spook May 12, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Except there were a lot more of us back then.

  5. Amazona May 12, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    This site is starting to look like the old “Blogs For Bush” circa fall of ’06.

    Do you think this is a good thing? A bad thing? What leads you to this conclusion?

  6. fieldingclaymore May 12, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    I think there is a lot carrying water for Trump, that is beneath you all.

    • M. Noonan May 12, 2017 / 11:08 pm

      Wasn’t carrying water for Bush then, nor for Trump, now – just writing it as I see it. We dodged a bullet on 11/8. Sure, I would have much preferred to have President Jindal or President Walker right now…didn’t work out that way. But Matt and I titled the book “Worst President” for a reason…and as Hillary would have been a continuation of that, I’m happy with how it came out. She’s a horribly dishonest person…I could take all the bribery and graft, but it is her inability to tell the truth even when it would work to her advantage which makes her just awful…and I’m glad she’ll never see the inside of the Oval Office except on a tour.

      Will Trump be good or bad? Depends. If he can free up our economy, strike at some of the corruption and appoint some good judges, then it’ll be a success, as far as I’m concerned.

      • Amazona May 13, 2017 / 10:31 am

        We need to remember that no matter what, Trump is “better”. Better than Obama, better than Hillary, better than anyone the Dems might have tried to foist off on us.

        We also need to remember that when we objected to Obama, we had specific reasons for doing so. We didn’t know who he was, we didn’t know who had financed him and groomed him, we knew he was a socialist because his words told us so, and we could point to dozens if not hundreds of ways he and his philosophy and agendas and actions were not in line with our constitution. Yes, there were some personal comments, but the true and repeatedly stated reasons for opposing him and his agendas were legitimate concerns based on objective analysis of what he stood for and wanted to achieve.

        The Left only objects to Trump because he is not Hillary.

    • Amazona May 12, 2017 / 1:28 pm

      If you followed the blog during the primaries you know that this was never a big Trump-supporting site. I was adamantly against Trump getting the nomination.

      But we have to live in the reality that surrounds us. In that reality, Trump is the best choice. As George W. Bush said when criticized during his campaign—“I’m not the the best man for the job. I’m just the best man running.”

      Trump makes a lot of mistakes, and I am still not a big Trump fan. But I am coming to understand the difference between having a president who was a successful businessman in cutthroat business markets and having a president who is merely a politician.

      A businessman will make mistakes, and will act knowing that some of his actions will turn out to be mistakes. He just evaluates what worked and what didn’t and moves on to Plan B, or Plan C. But the goal is to solve the problem.

      A politician weighs every single potential action considering how it will affect his personal popularity, the polls on his party and his chances to remain in office or be reelected.

      I think in a country so accustomed to the latter, it has been a shock to see the former in action. And I agree, it takes some getting used to. I also think that Trump will eventually have to find a middle ground between pure results-oriented actions and political considerations.

      I don’t see any of us “carrying Trump’s water” and I certainly don’t think trying to understand his tactics, and/or agreeing with his decisions—-especially when that agreement is backed up with analysis and evaluation—-as being “beneath” us. And, as so many Dems screeched that Comey should be fired, I don’t see agreeing with the decision to replace him as just agreeing with Trump. As I have explained here, I have a couple of reasons for thinking Comey should go, and I think I have supported them. Do you disagree?

      I think it would be beneath us to jump on the anti-Trump bandwagon and join in the bloodletting, either because we don’t like him or because we are stuck in politician-as-president mode.

      If you think he was wrong in firing Comey, this is a good place to talk about it. If you don’t agree with the analyses we have presented here, this is a good place to comment on them. But some vague dissatisfaction with support for Trump’s decisions doesn’t seem like a very good basis for claiming that agreeing with them is “beneath” us.

      So—back to my question: I think there is a lot carrying water for Trump, that is beneath you all. What leads you to this conclusion?

      • Retired Spook May 14, 2017 / 9:42 am

        So—back to my question: I think there is a lot carrying water for Trump, that is beneath you all. What leads you to this conclusion?

        Just like “Blogs for Bush circa fall of ’06” when trolls were asked to explain or elaborate on their statements — crickets!

      • Amazona May 14, 2017 / 11:28 am

        I noticed that. I had wondered if “Fielding” was another troll trying to get his nose under the tent by tossing out some vaguely kinda-conservative comments, and the lack of content and then the vague accusation of being too Trumpish, along with the admission of being familiar with the old B4B, all point in that direction.

        There are so many points made here about the failures of Comey, any serious poster who thought Comey had gotten a raw deal could have addressed any or all of them and explained why he thought they were wrong. Instead, we just get the same old same old.


    • Retired Spook May 12, 2017 / 5:14 pm

      I was a Never-Trumper up until about a month before the election. He still makes me shudder at times, but you have to admit he’s entertaining at the very least. People were giving him grades at the 100 day mark, and I started off with an F, giving him a full grade for Gorsuch, bringing it up to a D. A half grade each for heading in the right direction, not doing anything major that I disagreed with and beginning the dismantling of the administrative state brought him up to a C+. If that’s carrying his water then I plead guilty.

      • Amazona May 12, 2017 / 9:39 pm

        That’s pretty much my take on it, too, Spook.

        I wanted Ted Cruz to be president. But I am starting to see that it is possible, just possible, that at this time in this place the nation is better off with a president who just does what he thinks has to be done and enjoys watching Leftist heads explode. When you inherit as big a mess as Obama left behind, you need a bold approach, and so far even when Trump has stumbled in execution he has gotten my approval for his intent.

        As that great philosopher, Mick Jagger, has reminded us, you don’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.

      • M. Noonan May 12, 2017 / 11:12 pm

        That is what really amazes me – how so many people are not seeing the sheer fun of it all…it is great that the pride of the Ruling Class is being kicked a bit. These insufferable dolts have been running our country – the greatest in human history – into the ground for decades and telling us they’ve been doing a great job. I’m heartily sick of them…if it takes a bull-in-the-china-shop like Trump to rub some of the polish off them, I’m cool with it.

      • M. Noonan May 12, 2017 / 11:11 pm

        I brushed the side of Never Trump, but when it became a choice between Trump and Hillary, there really wasn’t much doubt which way I had to go. And, now, Never Trump is just lunacy…and the people sticking with it are joining leftwing conspiracy theorists in places which make Wonderland look sane.

      • Amazona May 13, 2017 / 2:19 pm

        As far as I am concerned, all NeverTrumpers are saying they wish Hillary had been elected. When a so-called conservative says that, or indicates it through opposition to Trump, I write that person off as intellectually dishonest and not very bright. For a Lib to feel that way is one thing—they are starting from so far below ground no one expects them to see anything that is not fed to them by their minders. They’ve got a long way to go to even see daylight. But when someone has done the thinking and research to be a conservative and then do this bizarre 180 is beyond explanation, other than indulgence in infantile temper tantrums.

        Seriously, what do they think they can accomplish?

      • M. Noonan May 13, 2017 / 10:59 pm

        There are two things they’ll steer away from if you ask them: why Trump colluded with Russia and who comes after Trump? The “why” of course, is the theory that Putin “hacked the election” and switched the result from Hillary to Trump…and, of course, what comes after, supposing they are able to destroy Trump, is Hillary, or someone like her. I can’t see how anyone can believe the former or desire the latter…but so fixated are they in Never Trump that this is what they are about.

      • Amazona May 14, 2017 / 11:22 am

        The most entertaining thing about the Russia claims is the tap dancing required to constantly keep the idea of Russia’s impact on the election alive while working frantically to shift attention away from the truth—that the only impact Russia had on the election, if they had any at all, was to reveal more ugly truths about Hillary, truths which helped lead to her defeat—–and substitute the fantasy that somehow Russia actively interfered in the election process in some other, vague, poorly identified way. The Left is juggling a live grenade here, because they have to try to stir up outrage about Russia while stifling the fact that the truth about a Clinton will always hurt a Clinton.

        Of course, the Right has no voice to remind people, every single time the fake Russia outrage surfaces, that all Russia did was reveal facts about Hillary, and it was those facts that helped do her in. We are so used to playing defense we are not even aware of the possibility of being proactive, or even active. We just sit around and wait to be attacked and then murmur “…but…but…but…” and impotently stumble backwards.

        As for who would assume the presidency if they were able to unseat Trump, the “RESIST” fantasies are based on their conviction, borne out over the past few decades, that the Constitution is just a tattered old scrap of paper which has no real authority. This allows them to indulge in lurid fantasies in which the loser can become, shazaam!, the winner. It’s an odd and rather distasteful alternate reality, which depends on completely ignoring the Constitution and its line of succession. They think if they can get the entire election disallowed, then Pence would be out, too. But that would not affect Ryan, who is next in line. Oh well, goes the Magical Thinking that is the heart and soul of the average Leftist, we’d take him out next, and….well, and….whatever.

        It is surreal, but the fact is, the loonies never even think that far down the line. They are giddy with the prospect of being such successful bullies that the nation cowers and hands them the keys to the government, and that’s about as far, or as detailed, as their delusions take them.

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