Since I really do read all your comments and questions, it seems like a logical extension to respond to some of the more compelling ones. This week, most of your questions have had to do with “The Swamp” and what has to happen to get the doggone thing drained.
Answers to new questions will appear every week, so don’t be shy.
Thanks to Alice L. for this question:
Q: How can Comey be allowed to share personal conversations he claims he had with the President? Why isn’t that classified info?
A: That case can certainly be made, but why would Comey even care? He’s openly admitted that he did this indirectly by leaking classified personal notes (property of the FBI) about meetings with Trump that he knew would end up being published, with the goal of getting a special counsel appointed. So at the very least, he could already be charged with leaking classified information just for that, and he should be.
And that’s not the only issue. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that people who work at the FBI must follow publication guidelines. One big no-no is writing about substantive issues in open/pending investigations, which Comey certainly has done.
Comey’s book, taken together with his false testimony and pompous public comments, is so unprofessional, self-aggrandizing and downright bizarre that it will go down in history as an embarrassment, if not to him, then at least to the FBI. Given their context, those accounts of his few conversations with the President don’t deserve to be taken seriously, except perhaps in a court of law when “the book” gets thrown at him.
The next three questions come from Lisa B...
Q: The few emails that Nunes has ‘redactively’ received –- why can’t Trump unclassify these redactions?
A: Technically, he could. The President has the legal authority to declassify anything he wants to. But to avoid the threat of impeachment for obstruction and interfering with an investigation –- it’s not necessary for this to stand up in court –- he’s been advised to stay out of it, which for him must require an iron will. He could win this battle legally, but perhaps at the expense of losing the war politically. Too bad he can’t step in and speed up this interminable process, but those documents will eventually come out.
One thing about the redactions we never knew till now: the FBI has been redacting whatever it thought necessary to hide its own misconduct. Redaction is supposed to be done in the interest of national security, not FBI CYA.
Q: If Horowitz has the 1.2 million emails, why can’t he hand them over to Devin Nunes?
A: I’ve wondered that myself. Horowitz certainly has a talent for getting documents –- he’s the one who got hold of those revealing Strzok-Page tweets that the FBI claimed were unobtainable. Perhaps he’s holding onto supporting documents until his report is finalized and will pass them along together with the report. Summarized and annotated, if we’re lucky! He released a portion of his report on Friday, the part about why Andrew McCabe was fired from the FBI, so I think we’ll be getting the rest soon.
I wonder if the reason he’s taking so long is that he just can’t get to the bottom of this swamp. Or maybe, in the “matter” of Hillary’s email case, I should say the top of it.
Q: Why can’t AG Sessions move to impeach, fire, subpoena the snake, Rosenstein? (NOTE: This is a popular question, along with why Trump can’t do the firing. See above for why Trump is staying out of it.)
A: Impeachment comes from Congress, and they did threaten Rosenstein (and FBI Director Christopher Wray) with that, plus charges of contempt, if the unredacted FISA warrants for the Carter Page spying weren’t delivered. (Funny how the threat of impeachment can light a fire under people’s feet!) Otherwise, the answer to this question depends on which lawyer you talk to. Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russia, but Rosenstein’s conflicts of interest are so blatant it that it defies reason that Sessions couldn’t fire him anyway. If Sessions can’t or won’t act, it seems to me that Congress should impeach Rosenstein and remove him for failing to recuse himself in the Russia investigation after writing the memo in support of Comey’s firing and signing off on a FISA warrant against Carter Page.
Thanks to Paula G. for this next question:
Q: Why is there no justice in our nation? What is the point in uncovering all the wrong things if nothing is done about it?
So, to paraphrase your question, “What difference at this point does it make?” Others asked me this, too, and, as the President might say, SAD!!! Thanks for bringing it up, though, because it’s important for our democracy that we stay on this like a dog with a bone.
Part of the problem is that government got away with this stuff for so long, it’s become institutionalized. Precedent was set. But we have an opportunity now to follow through and make some real changes. Keep in mind that if Hillary had been elected, we never would have found out about any of this, and life in Washington would have gone on as usual, with Hillary’s power set in cement. The traditional power structure has suited many so-called Republicans, too, so the argument advanced by Democrats that the anti-Trump brigade is populated with Republicans means nothing. As more and more is revealed about what’s been going on, it will become impossible for them to continue defending the indefensible.
One word of warning: it’s ESSENTIAL not to let Democrats retake the House and/or Senate in November. Aside from the untold damage they would do legislatively, they would seal off any pipe that allows for swamp-draining and immediately impeach the President over anything and nothing. Sending criminal “public servants” to jail would be great, and I hope we do, but cleaning up our institutions and safeguarding our political system is ultimately “the point.”
MORE TO FOLLOW!!!
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