After Trump’s firing of Comey, Congress’ demand (or lack thereof) for an independent commission into Trump-Russia will be judged forever.
Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey yesterday. But you already knew that. We won’t give one inch of space to consider the fictitious reasons Trump posited as the reasons for Comey’s ouster. To do so would only give them the credibility and publicity that Trump craves.
We’re here to make one thing crystal clear: Of all the things that have happened in 111 days, this is the scariest for the future of the country. Bragging about eating a delicious chocolate cake with the president of China while bombing Middle Eastern countries feels sort of insignificant at the moment.
Jeff Sessions, attorney general and perjurer, was supposed to recuse himself from all things Russia. Yet, he wrote a letter to Trump recommending Comey’s firing. (And if you believe this firing had nothing to do with Russia, we have a bridge to sell you.) Sessions recused himself from the Trump-Russia inquiry, in part, because the FBI investigation may have included his actions in meeting (and subsequently lying about) the Russian ambassador on at least two occasions.
Despite his reputation, Trump hasn’t actually fired that many people, but there is a pattern to those he has.
The acting-attorney general, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the FBI director have all been fired. They were all also investigating Donald Trump and his shady ties to Russia for crimes up to and including treason. That should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, no matter what side of the aisle you lean politically.
This should be a bi-partisan issue. Members of Congress should be universally outraged over this. Some are. Notably, House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) vowed to push legislation for an independent commission on Russia. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) struggled to come up with any non-nefarious reason for the timing of Trump’s actions and couldn’t do it.
But others, like Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), desperate to keep their power and seats have basically thrown their hands up and said that the president was within his rights to fire Comey. Others, somehow even more cowardly, have maintained total silence, such as Paul Ryan (R-WI).
It’s another party over country moment for many on the right.
What Congress — and, yes, that includes Democrats — chooses to do or not do at this very juncture will echo throughout the halls of American history. It took 111 days to get to the crossroads of history, but we’re officially there. We either allow a president to move further toward consolidation of power and obfuscation of his role in undermining the U.S.’s democracy or we push for truth.
This situation — and it feels perverse to call a potential constitutional crisis a mere situation — requires an independent investigation and commission, a special prosecutor and total and complete separation from Trump, Sessions and everyone else in the administration.
Unfortunately, at this point, the best possible outcome for the U.S. would be that Russia interfered with our election on their own, that they hacked one or both parties, published stolen emails, engaged in cyber-warfare via bots, social media and fake news and did everything possible to throw the U.S. into chaos. That’s the best possible outcome.
As Americans, we should all hope that our democracy was not undercut by one of our own, no matter how much we disagree with them politically (or otherwise). Trump’s actions indicate that there is more there, however. (One report indicated Trump screams at the television when the Russia probe is brought up.)
Trump-Russia has always been the story. Yesterday’s actions should make all Americans realize just how big it is and how much worse it may get.
111 days in, 1351 to go