By Jason Taylor
I find it disturbing, and really pretty sickening, that so few of the Republican Senators (McCain’s confusing spiel at the end aside) expressed deep concern about Russia’s efforts to hack the election and the threat that poses to the U.S. What a long, odd road we’ve traveled where the party of Joseph McCarthy has now become a party that downplays Russian interference in our election and has not expressed their grave concerns in any robust way.
Comey not only spoke of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, he also warned us that they are not done and will be back. The agenda, as Comey put it, of undermining the American “experiment” with our democratic government, will go beyond one campaign season. And what has Trump had to say about the interference? He has alternated between denying it, shrugging his shoulders, or daring to say that we should move on from it.
No, Donald, the truth will not be buried, ignored, or trivialized. This is the integrity of the most powerful nation on earth at stake. This is bigger than even one presidential term. Comey laid it out: this is not a partisan issue, this is an American one. But only a real patriot would understand that distinction, and Trump is no patriot.
“The president is not a liar” will sit alongside “I am not a crook” as the most disingenuous statement ever uttered by a US presidential administration.
The portrait James Comey painted of our current president wasn’t just sad. It was sickening. It was also completely credible, utterly consistent with the candidate who blustered and lied his way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
James Comey is a man of integrity. He wants to do the right thing, regardless of party. He struggled with his decision to notify Congress that more Clinton emails had been discovered that “might” be pertinent to the Clinton investigation. It raised concern that classified information might be have been compromised. It shook the public’s confidence in Clinton at a very vulnerable time, right before Nov. 8th. Should he have done that? What if there had been something there and he waited until after the election? There was nothing — it was a red herring that the Russians had tossed in. So he played right into the core goal of Russia’s hacking effort. He’s a man who tries to do the right thing without partisan loyalty.
Among the most important things, Comey said yesterday was the wisdom of keeping the FBI Director for a ten-year term. That tenure is what keeps the head of intelligence out of politics and safe from “a patronage relationship,” as Comey put it. That tenure is what allowed Comey to speak privately with then-presidents Bush and Obama with confidence. But for Trump, who has no regard for the separation of powers, Comey was dispensable because he would not be Trump’s own tool. Trump has made clear why the FBI Director should operate independently of any administration.
Mr. Comey may have made questionable statements and did questionable things, but he is not known as a liar. The President of the United States, though, is. He and his administration have no credibility — and he has been the one to shred it with his childish tweets and blatant “falsehoods”. Every speech, from the campaign until now, is reviewed by fact checkers and found to be chock full of baloney.
Americans will look back at this year and wonder how we could have elected such an unscrupulous, ignorant and incompetent person to lead a great nation.
This is not just one person’s word against another — this is the word of a former FBI director with an impeccable reputation for honesty against a person who happens to be President who may well be impeached and has no regard for the truth whatsoever. For Trump, ‘right’ is synonymous with ‘whatever works,’ and wrong is whatever leads to him getting caught in his web of lies. It was disgraceful that his son served as his Twitter hatchet man during the proceedings — but not the least bit surprising, given they are birds of the same gauche feather.
After reading Mr. Comey’s statement and listening to his testimony yesterday, two concepts become crystal clear: 1) Comey has complete respect for the Office of President of the United States and Trump has none, and 2) Comey takes the job responsibilities of Director of the FBI completely serious and Trump does not. To his great credit, Comey sensed this out very early and he carried out his job adding the memos and documentation to prove it. Comey’s perceptions and judgment of Trump may help save our country’s integrity if Mr. Mueller follows through with the investigation that Comey help start.
The White House has offered no proof or evidence to counter any of Mr. Comey’s allegations. Mr. Comey, on the other hand, has left a trail of corroborative information in his wake. The evidence he offered can be further examined and other parties can be questioned regarding the validity of his testimony. This is not he said he said situation. All the White House has done is to issue denials.
We all know Trump lies constantly. He lies so much his supporters say don’t listen to his words, just listen to what’s in his heart. OK, Trump. Show us what’s in your heart. Step up and make your case. Show us your evidence. That’s how these things work in the real world where people have to follow laws.
Trump clearly obstructed Comey as head of the FBI. Trump fired Comey, stopping him from further investigating possible connections between Trump and his associates and Russia’s corrupt practices surrounding the 2016 presidential election. Comey was not fired because Comey wasn’t doing his job but because he remained independent, persistent, and relentless in his search for truth.
The President of the United States is a liar and most likely obstructed justice. Unfortunately, the Republican party no longer values country above all else. The only thing worse than a pathological liar who is President of the United States is a Republican party that betrays the country for power.