Notes On The Firing of James Comey

It never fails. It never fails at all. Every time I think that something is relatively explicable or whatever a new twist of the knife to surprise me. It would all be quite funny if it was not real and was happening right now.

Time to explain this all again: so, as you all surely know by now James Comey, FBI Director, was fired by Trump on the advice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this week. To say this is a controversial move would be a lie: this is a near catastrophic move for the general well-being of America.

You may want to dismiss me. That is all right. It is a natural move to do when the truth is too terrible to bear.

Now, there is a lot of perfectly good reasons to fire Comey: he broke the rules of what an FBI Director is supposed to do numerous times and his letter on October 28 almost certainly was what turned Trump from the general election’s catastrophic loser into a man who barely won and only did so because of the Electoral College. He was bad at his job and he deserved to be fired. But he should not have been fired simply because for all his fault’s he is not a stooge. He does not blindly follow anything. Even though he helped get Trump elected, he was still going to investigate his ties to Russia correctly.

His firing changes this dynamic. The next FBI Director will in the best case be a Republican slow-walker who will simply do nothing in regards to the investigation or a loyalist who will actively destroy the investigation. To determine if the President is beholden to a hostile foreign power is an imperative for Republican or Democrat. With both Congressional chambers controlled by Republicans, the FBI investigation was the most independent and least beholden to Trump and now unless we get an independent investigator, we likely will not find out very much on an official, objective source. The FBI is a very trusted institution in the eyes of the public, so this is an even more egregious wound.

But enough about what we know, let us theorize a little bit. I have talked extensively about the people who Trump surrounded himself with in the campaign before and after who have extensive ties to Russia. Campaign lobbyist and manager Paul Manafort. Oil executive Carter Page. Trump’s lawyer Felix Sater. Former American general Michael Flynn. There were some surprising connections too, such as Sessions’ softening from his hawkishness on Russia and Wilbur Ross and the Devos family’s connections and even stuff that just seemed weird, such as the Russian bank server being found in Trump tower and choosing Rex Tillerson, a man who stood to gain a great deal of money from working with Russia, as Secretary of State. But I had assumed that this was not necessarily an act of malevolence as we would be thinking it. The Trump family gets an enormous amount of money from Russian creditors and Trump has long been associated with the country. When he ran for president, people like Manafort, Flynn and Page naturally gravitated toward it and made deals with Russia. Because Trump is not much of a patriot, he did not care if they helped him win or cheat. I did not call him the Siberian Candidate or Putin’s puppet because I just assumed Trump was too lazy for anything like that, that even if he collaborated, it was just in the sense of “this is good for me to get what I want and to get more money.” I assumed if it ever really got bad, people like Manafort and Page would go to jail and Trump would step down and spend the rest of his life doing things like playing golf and making speeches about how the liberal media framed him. It made sense.

The firing of Comey, however, and that Trump had apparently been wanting to do it for some time, cast a much darker light. It means that Trump might not have been a passive or even indifferent collaborator, but in fact someone who was much more approving or even involved with working with Russia. This is, technically, an act of treason. If this was uncovered, they would have to impeach him, or it might even lead to a military coup. I wish I was joking, but whatever is there Trump is scared by. If this information is found, it is all over.

So what can we do? The answer is not much sadly, albeit with enormous power. Find your Congressman: demand an independent investigation. Ask for recusals. Throw everything you can at calls and protests and running for office and voting and do not back down under any circumstances. Defend your country. Defend your planet.

 

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