The news hit the other day. Donald Trump has fired Jim Comey, the guy — the only guy — who is conducting a series investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. It comes out now that this firing took place just after Comey asked for more resources to expand the investigation.
Apparently, Trump doesn’t get why this might look like a problem. That is understandable, given what Trump has shown us already about who he is. And apparently, the republican leadership in Congress doesn’t get it either. That is less understandable, given that they will go down with the dude in the White House if they don’t do something – anything – to show a hint of moral rectitude.
And here is why (also from HuffPo)
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shot down calls for a special prosecutor to lead the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to President Donald Trump, a number of his rank-and-file members struggled to understand Trump’s actions. (emphasis added)
In other words, MoConnell still thinks the republicans can ride this one out without doing anything. Some of his colleagues are a bit nervous, but none are showing any spine. None are standing up and saying “Stop the train!” BTW, if you have followed McConnell’s career, you would see this as yet another example of his “brass knuckles partisanship above all” brand of leadership.
This issue does not require a PhD in physics or any other subject to understand. It is very simple. Unless the media has got it totally wrong, the president and his minions are obstructing justice in a matter that has national security implications. BTW, firing Comey is just one example of this pattern of behavior. Letting them get away with it means banana republic time. And anyone who stands by and lets this happen is complicit in whatever happens next.
If you have any doubt, the only credible solution here is to appoint a special prosecutor who can pursue the investigation free of political influence.
The clock is ticking. The country and indeed the world are watching.
Quick Follow – Alex Ward at Vox provides a useful update on the other events related to Trump/Russia that took place yesterday. Contrary to what you are hearing from the White House, this is not much to do about nothing. Prosecutors are starting to zero in on hard evidence of criminal activity involving close Trump associates.
2d Quick Follow – You might ask, why we need a special prosecutor when investigations are already going forward. As we have seen, the political climate is highly partisan, which makes these investigations vulnerable to political influence. Moreover, while congress can investigate, it cannot prosecute. That is for the executive branch. And with Comey’s firing, we have reason to doubt that the FBI will be in a position to act impartially in doing that job. BTW, we might also keep in mind here Trump’s recent wholesale dismissal of all US attorneys, which affects the capacity of those offices to pursue criminal investigations and prosecutions.