1. In 1867, the Radical Republican dominated Congress passed The Tenure of Office Act, an unconstitutional breach of the Separation of Powers that took away the President’s ability to fire his own Cabinet members without the legislature’s approval. President Andrew Johnson, extremely unpopular in the victorious North and more so with his own party (Johnson was a Democrat, added to Lincoln’s ticket as Vice-President to bolster Lincoln’s desperate bid for re-election in 1864), deliberately defied the law by firing War Secretary Edwin Stanton, a Lincoln appointee and an ally of the Radicals. In response, Johnson’ own party led a n effort to impeach him, and he was narrowly saved from conviction by a single vote in the Senate. The Act was soon ruled unconstitutional, as Johnson said it was. As lousy a President as he was, Johnson had every right to fire someone who served at his pleasure, and doing so was not an impeachable offense.
2. The Democrats and journalists who are—absurdly, irresponsibly, embarrassingly, hysterically—calling for President Trump’s impeachment for firing James Comey neither know their history nor respect democracy. Just check off the names of anyone, including your friends and colleagues, who make this argument, as hopeless, deranged partitions without perspective or integrity. I’m making my own list, with early entries like Maxine Waters and Vox, which beclowned itself by writing that a President’s lawful firing of a subordinate who clearly deserved it raises the possibility of impeachment. At least the Radical Republicans had an unconstitutional law to back that theory: Vox has nothing but, of course, the Left’s hate campaign against the President of the United States. Then there are Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) who also think a firing for cause is grounds for impeachment. Gallego:
“We are certainly moving down that path. There is a lot of runway until we get there, but the president is not helping himself by firing the person investigating him. … We don’t have the numbers to do something right now, but when it comes to a point when we feel there is no other recourse, you’d have — I think — we’d have the full support of the Democratic caucus.”
Pocan said that impeachment might be possible “if there was obstruction of justice by firing [the] FBI director … We’re seeing Democrats and Republicans concerned with timing of this decision … We would first need a majority in Congress or some Republican votes … but we need to keep every tool available to make sure the President follows the law.”
Ethics alarm: who elects idiots like these? I have searched for any situation, anywhere, in which a legal and justifiable firing of an official was prosecuted as “obstruction of justice.” Nor is an act that is neither a crime, nor a “high crime or misdemeanor,” nor something a President isn’t clearly empowered to do “moving down” the path of impeachment.
3. This is public disinformation, aided and abetted by the news media. The primary ethics issue in the Comey firing is that it is just another stage of an unethical, dastardly effort by Democrats, progressives, the left-leaning news media and their allies to veto a Presidential election that they lost by their collective arrogance and incompetence, and to undermine the United States’ elected leader no matter what harm comes to the nation as a result. The firing itself was legal, ethical, and responsible, indeed overdue. Representing it as otherwise is designed to cause fear and confusion among the public. Responsible citizens are obligated to counter this in any way they can.
4. James Comey reaffirmed my belief that he is an honorable and admirable man whose career was unavoidable harmed by circumstances beyond his control. In his farewell letter to his staff, he wrote in part…
“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.”
Exactly. My dad taught me that leaving a job after being fired was a test of character, and that leaving with grace and honor was always wise and the right course. Obviously Comey agrees. He is also right.
5. Comey also wrote this:
“I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence.”
It is undeniable that a majority of Americans and both political parties did NOT see the FBI this way under Comey’s leadership. That itself was strong justification for his firing.
6. The comparisons with Watergate being floated by the Trump Hate Squad are also historically ignorant, hysterical, deliberately misleading and irresponsible. When Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the Harvard professor who had been appointed as special prosecutor, he had just issued had a subpoena ordering the White House to hand over nine tapes of phone calls and West Wing conversations in connection with the Watergate break-in. Nixon argued that executive privilege should apply, and the tapes should remain private. But the Court of Appeals in Washington upheld Cox’s request. Refusing to comply, Nixon decided fired the special prosecutor. His Attorney General, Elliot Richardson had promised Congress that would never happen.
The BBC accurately describes that scenario as a President defying the courts, putting himself above the law of the land. That is not remotely the situation with the Comey firing:
Donald Trump’s sacking of his FBI director, while highly unusual and deeply controversial, is constitutionally permissible. No court orders have been flouted. The president, while breaking with the norm of allowing FBI directors to serve out their 10-year terms unimpeded, is not putting himself above the law….Unlike the Saturday Night Massacre, the president is at one with the most high-ranking figures in the justice department rather than at odds with them. The president, the attorney general and the deputy attorney general together they made the case that Comey should go – not purportedly because of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but because of the former director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
7. Moreover, there was no question that the investigation Cox was engaged in was indeed an investigation that included the President himself. This is not the case in Comey’s firing. In fact, this is another list to start: check off who says that there is an investigation of President Trump’s collusion with Russia to affect the Presidential election. There is not. The anti-Trump mob has continued to repeat the lie that this is the case. I’ve read it six times this morning, not counting the Gallego quote. Comey and the FBI were not and are not “investigating him.” Here is the often perceptive but Trump-hating Amy Alkon:
“The President — who is being investigated by the FBI — suddenly fires the man in charge of the investigation. Sure, there are agents doing the ground work. But this sends a message that keeping your job means keeping the President off the hot seat.”
No, Amy, this is false. You, like your fellow anti-Trump zombies, think it’s true because you have already determined that the President is so evil and untrustworthy, and that Hillary’s loss is so otherwise inexplicable, that he MUST have colluded with the Russians…treason, essentially. Therefore, you assume that any investigation of the Russian hacks will be an investigation of Trump, and so, so want it to be true that he would engage in such unspeakable conduct.
But you see, bias has made you stupid. This logic could just as easily be used to say that the FBI is investigating you, or me. After all, if the Russian investigation uncovers evidence that suggests that either of us colluded with the Russians, then we would be investigated by the FBI. There is no such evidence, however…at least, not on me. Nor do you have any evidence that Trump was colluding with the Russians any more than I was. Neither do Rep. Gallego, or Maxine Waters, but they say otherwise, either because they are dishonest, or stupid, or trying to make the public distrust the President.
Quite possibly all three.
8. Republican Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain have been the leading Republican voices openly trying to suggest that the firing is sinister. This is sad and disappointing, because it is part of a personal vendetta by both men. Candidate Trump viciously and personally attacked both men, which was wrong and really, really foolish. Now he is paying the price. These two veteran lawmakers should be above trying to harm a President out of personal animus, but they clearly are not.
9. The New York Times reports that Comey told colleagues that the President was “crazy’ and “outside the realm of normal” when he claimed Obama “wire-tapped his phones.” Quick: name three Presidents who would not fire a subordinate who told other government employees that they were crazy. This is disloyalty, and will generally get anyone fired, anywhere.
If you don’t believe me, try it. I dare you.
10. It has been reported that when Stephen Colbert told his studio audience that Comey had been fired, they applauded and cheered. This required the anti-Trump comic to explain why they shouldn’t have reacted like that. The U-turn made by progressives regarding Comey is so outlandish that even partisans see the hypocrisy.
11. The various leaks and anonymous sources, as inherently dubious as they are, make a strong collective case that the method and manner of the firing was incompetent and impulsive, like so many other decisions and actions by President Trump. All criticism of that is warranted. The President makes his job harder by such unforced errors: it is unfair that he has to cope with an ongoing virtual attempted coup by Democrats and the news media, but a smart, competent leader would realize that this makes it even more critical to be impeccable ethically and operationally.