It never ceases to amaze me how often Donald Trump, the GOP candidate for president was underestimated during the primary season, his campaign declared dead in the water in hundreds, if not thousands of headlines, before he picked off 16 other GOP candidates and became the official GOP nominee for President, then again underestimated during the general campaign against Hillary Clinton, when even on the day of the election the MSM was declaring he had no chance of winning, just to go on to win and become the President of the United States.
During the whole process, Trump dominated the media narrative, consistently making outrageous statements that would send the MSM and liberals across the board into complete meltdowns, while he relentlessly went about making his case to the heartland of America, which is exactly what gave him the win.
TIMING OF COMEY FIRING WAS AN ACT OF POLITICAL GENIUS
Before getting into my reasons for seeing the timing of firing FBI Director James Comey as act of political genius, let me highlight another point of view as to the "simple explanation for Trump firing Comey when he did," in the opinion of Breitbart writer Joel Pollak:
But why fire Comey now? The answer is simple. The day before, President Barack Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper repeated, under oath, what he told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on Meet the Press on March 5 — that he had seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That gave the Trump administration the breathing room to dismiss Comey — which it simply did not have before.
It is true that Trump did not have an attorney general and assistant attorney general in place until relatively late, but he could have acted before then — though having their recommendation certainly adds weight to his decision.
Put simply, if Trump had fired Comey while there were still serious questions about Russia, then it would have been more plausible to accuse him of trying to interfere in the investigation or cover up whatever happened. It is now clear that nothing, in fact, happened. Monday’s hearing with Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was meant to reveal a “smoking gun,” and produced nothing but viral videos of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
I don't disagree, but I see that as only a piece of a puzzle, as I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday, before the Comey firing blew the Internet up, watching a site called Memeorandum (Yes that is how they spell it!), where political stories are highlighted and basically ranked by how much "discussion" there is surrounding a particular article, and where the majority of what is highlighted is "liberal" in nature.
One might ask why, as a conservative, would spend time reading liberal sites, tracking far left opinion...... that is easy, if I only read opinions that echo my own, I would be in a bubble and not be able to "see" any opinion but those that agree with my opinion, which is why I spend a headache-inducing amount of time every day on liberal sites.
Before The Comey Firing- Yesterday morning, before the Comey firing, the liberal echo chamber was on a roll, screaming about Comey being "inaccurate" in his testimony to Congress in regards to Huma Abedin, Clinton's top aide, and how many emails she forwarded to her husband Anthony Weiner's, computer. They were questioning his "competency," and his "reliability." Others accusing Comey of "still misleading people on emails."Still others were describing Comey as giving "false testimony" to Congress."
Some examples below:
Gizmodo was reporting that Comey's statements to Congress were "wildly inaccurate," saying "The gut-wrenching knowledge that Comey’s initial announcement about the emails may have gotten Donald Trump elected is bad enough. If he has misrepresented the FBI’s findings under sworn testimony after clearing all parties of wrongdoing, he’ll be in the running for the most hated man in America."
Balloon Juice's's title and one line statement, simply said "Thought by now you’d realize..... Jim Comey is a real piece of work," while linking to, and offering a short quoted portion of the original ProPublica story that set them all off to begin with.
Daily Kos was asserting that Comey "still hadn’t bothered to get his facts straight," and was instead "still creating a fantasy that had Republicans drooling for potential legal action."
Washington Monthly was clear in their very headline, which blared "Comey’s Competence and Reliability Are Questionable," saying that "For those who want to keep the story about Clinton’s emails alive, last week Comey gave them a reason to do so."
Think Progress headlined with "Comey misled everybody about Clinton’s emails — again," asserting "FBI director James Comey just can’t get it right when it comes to talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails," and that Comey is "still misleading people." That writer went on to say "This is only the latest example of Comey exaggerating, misrepresenting, or otherwise distorting the details of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails." They followed that up with the claim that "At every step along the way, Comey’s decisions seemed to provide political ammunition for congressional Republicans at the expense of the truth. And though the election was six months ago and Clinton’s emails have little newsworthy relevance, Comey continues to serve as director of the FBI."
Those quotes are representative of the majority of how yesterday, before Comey's firing, liberals had their pitchforks and torches out and were ready to burn Comey at the stake.
Which clearly explains President Trump's tweet from last night: "The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!"
President Trump's reference is the all-out freakfest occurring all last night, continuing on through this morning and afternoon, over the fact that Trump gave them exactly what they were calling for just yesterday morning before Comey was fired.
A look at the reactions to Comey's firing over at Memeorandum today, shows literally hundreds of headlines and discussions, (check them out), claiming the rationale behind the firing is false, demands for a special prosecutor, assertions that it is all a "cover-up," people comparing Trump to Nixon..... and much, much more.
Liberals are also telling their readers that the rationale behind firing Comey is "false," yet a look at the actual memorandum from the Deputy Attorney General, Rod J Rosenstein, to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, providing his recommendation to terminate Comey as FBI Director, and his reasoning, may be the most honest rationale yet...... and also might provide hope to those that thought Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted for her illegal use of a private server, and using it for classified data.
Many are simply saying the letter cited Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation, and that is technically true, but what most are not providing is the context, or the actual content of the memorandum.
Letter in full below, emphaisis mine.
Memorandum for the Attorney General
FROM: Rod J Rosenstein
SUBJECT: Restoring public confidence in the FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation's premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI's reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.
The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.
The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation's most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.
Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.
In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his "goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it." But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then - if prosecution is warranted - let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte.
Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would "speak" about the FBI's decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or "conceal" it. "Conceal" is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.
My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who served as Deputy Attorneys General under President Ford, wrote that "it is not the bureau's responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted." Silberman believes that the Director's "Performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that [he] doubt[s] the bureau will ever completely recover." Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Director had "chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, department from the department's traditions." They concluded that the Director violated his obligation to "preserve, protect and defend" the traditions of the Department and the FBI.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W Bush, observed the Director "stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion" because the FBI director "doesn't make that decision". Alberto Gonzales, who also served as Attorneys General under President George W Bush, called the decision "an error in judgement." Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorneys General under President Clinton and Attorneys General under President Obama, said that the Director's decision "was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season." Holder concluded that the Director "broke with these fundamental principles" and "negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI".
Former Deputy Attorneys General Gorelick and Thompson described the unusual event as "read-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation," that is "antithetical to the interests of justice".
Donald Ayer, who served as Deputy Attorneys General under President HW Bush, along with former Justice Department officials, was "astonished and perplexed" by the decision to "break with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections." Ayer's letter noted, "Perhaps most troubling… is the precedent set by this departure from the Department's widely-respected, non-partisan traditions."
We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.
Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.
While much of the memorandum does address Comey's public statements about an ongoing investigation, especially during an election cycle, the specific references emphasized above, also speaks to Comey's specific recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, when the FBI's job is to investigate, then provide the results to those who legally should be making the determination as to whether or not to prosecute or not.
LOCK HER UP
We heard the expression quite often from Trump and his supporters in reference to "lock her up," meaning Hillary Clinton, and many were severely disappointed when President Trump later made statements that appeared as if he was backing off that position, such as when he said in a New York Times interview "Well, there was a report that somebody said that I’m not enthused about it. Look, I want to move forward, I don’t want to move back. And I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t."
What most didn't acknowledge is his direct answer after that when asked "So you’re definitively taking that off the table? The investigation?"
Trump's answer was crystal clear, stating "No, but the question was asked."
When the NYT tried to nail him down on the answer by asking if that applied to both the email and the foundation investigations, note his wording in his answer: " TRUMP: Yeah, look, you know we’ll have people that do things but my inclination would be, for whatever power I have on the matter, is to say let’s go forward. This has been looked at for so long. Ad nauseam. Let’s go forward. And you know, you could also make the case that some good work was done in the foundation and they could have made mistakes, etc. etc. I think it’s time, I think it’s time for people to say let’s go and solve some of the problems that we have, which are massive problems and, you know, I do think that they’ve gone through a lot. I think losing is going through a lot. It was a tough, it was a very tough evening for her. I think losing is going through a lot. So, for whatever it’s worth, my, my attitude is strongly we have to go forward, we have so many different problems to solve, I don’t think we have to delve back in the past. I also think that would be a very divisive, well I think it would be very divisive, you know I’m talking about bringing together, and then they go into all sorts of stuff, I think it would be very, very divisive for the country."
Fact is, President Trump can make his "wishes known," therefore being able to point to those carefully crafted answers indicating he "personally" would take the high road, but if the Attorney General, along with the Deputy Attorney General's statement in the memorandum above, decide there is enough evidence, they can still prosecute Clinton. Loretta Lynch, Obama's former Attorney General said she would follow the FBI Directors "recommendation," but she is no longer in charge, Jeff Sessions is.
"I think it's important that the president do essentially what he does, which is get out of the business of prosecuting, but at the same time he's appointed or proposed appointing an attorney general who has a long record of doing his job," Issa, a California Republican and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends," doubling down on comments he made on the matter earlier this week.
Sessions, along with the FBI and other investigatory organizations, "need to do their job," Issa said Friday, and he believes with Trump in office, that will happen.
"I think that's where the balance of the next president is going to come, in reestablishing the independence of the Department of Justice," said Issa, and he thinks Congress will "certainly push" for further investigation or prosecution of the former Secretary of State.
Meanwhile, Issa said, he thinks Trump will stand back and let the Department of Justice do its job.
"I think you are going to find a president who says let them do their job and stays out of it," said Issa. "You know, he hasn't said she's innocent. That's a decision that needs to be made by the professionals."
I may be reading more into the memorandum than what is meant, but some on the liberal side of the aisle, do seem to be pretty concerned that prosecution for Hillary Clinton, is still on the table.
Mook isn't the only one freaking out either, as popular liberal blog CannonFire, declares "I have said it all along. The Trumpers really do plan to lock her up. My hunch is that they are going to use the entire mechanism of government to find some reason to attack Obama as well.
The 'recommendation from the Justice Department' refers, of course, to a memo from Jeff Sessions, as reproduced here. (Scroll to the bottom.) Many people are misreading that letter. In short and in sum, Sessions says that Comey erred not when he told the public about the emails on the Weiner/Abedin laptop, but when he recommended closing the investigation without prosecution."
Conservatives are asking the same questions as we note Kenneth R. Timmerman, the 2012 Republican congressional nominee for Maryland’s 8th District and author of 'Deception: The Making of the YouTube Video Hillary & Obama Blamed for Benghazi," concludes his article at The Hill with the following statement:
The real question raised by Comey’s firing is whether Justice Department prosecutors are finally getting ready to pick up the Clinton email investigation where the FBI left off last year and make a determination on whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton and her associates, based on the evidence FBI investigators so ably gathered.
Clinical Professor of Law Cornell Law School, William A. Jacobson, asks "With Comey out of the way, will Hillary now be prosecuted?"
At the 2:23 minute mark in the Hannity clip below, Lou Dobbs, states that in his opinion,"This whole judgment today on the part of the president was based on the deputy attorney general and the attorney general saying, based on his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton, he ought to be fired. That being the case, the questions, the investigation, the consequences, and that should be reopened in my opinion."
On May 9, 2017's segment of The Story with Martha MacCallum, Judge Andrew Napolitano, states at approximately the 48:21 minute mark, "Let me suggest another scenario, that Rod Rosenstein reviewed the Hillary Clinton file, which he had never seen before, and decided that Comey's judgment was utterly irregular and inappropriate and that maybe she should have been and still can be indicted for espionage, the failure to safeguard state secrets while she was secretary of state. "
Since the day Donald Trump announced he was running for President, he has been underestimated, by his fellow GOP candidates, by pollsters, my the liberal media, by the Republican establishment, then went on to win the presidential election.
Since he has been President, he has been underestimated time and time again by the same people as well as his own supporters, and whether this latest move in firing Comey, results in the prosecution of Hillary Clinton or not, the timing has exposed the utter hypocrisy of Democrats who had their pitchforks and torches out yesterday for Comey, just to turn around and cry foul when Trump gave them exactly what they were demanding.
By firing Comey on a day where liberals were slamming him left and right, liberal voters were so confused that when Stephen Colbert went on stage to slam the decision, his left-leaning audience cheered when he announced Trump had fired Comey, then he had to remind them that they were not supposed to think it was a good thing, after telling them "Huge, huge Donald Trump fans here tonight."
That ladies and gentlemen, was political genius on the part of President Trump.