Mike Whitney — The Unz Review June 14, 2017
“The Democrats are not fighting Trump over his assault on health care, his attacks on immigrants, his militaristic bullying around the world, or even his status as a minority president who can claim no mandate after losing the popular vote. Instead, they have chosen to attack Trump, the most right-wing president in US history, from the right, denouncing him as insufficiently committed to a military confrontation with Russia.”
— Patrick Martin, “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming”, World Socialist Web Site
Donald Trump has never been the target of an FBI investigation.
The FBI is not investigating Trump for collusion, improper relations with a foreign government, treason or any of the other ridiculous things he’s been falsely accused of in the fake media. In fact, the FBI is not investigating him at all.
Last week, former FBI Director James Comey admitted publicly what he has known all along: that Trump was not a suspect in the Russia hacking probe and never has been. Here’s the story from Politico:
“Comey assured Trump he wasn’t under investigation during their first meeting. He said he discussed with FBI leadership before his meeting with the president-elect whether to disclose that he wasn’t personally under investigation. “That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey said.” (Politico)
So, there was no counter-intelligence case on Trump? There was no investigation of collusion with Russia?
But how can that be, after all, Trump has been hectored and harassed by the media from Day 1? His appointments have been blocked, his political agenda has been derailed, and the results of the 2016 elections have been effectively repealed due to the relentless attacks of the media, political elites and high-ranking leaders in the Intelligence Community. Now Comey admits that Trump is not guilty of anything, he’s not even a suspect.
What’s going on here? Why didn’t Comey clear the air earlier so the American people would know that their president wasn’t in bed with a foreign power? Why did he allow this farce to continue when he knew there was no substance to the claims? Did he enjoy seeing Trump twisting in the wind or was there some more sinister “political” motive behind his omission?
Trump repeatedly asked Comey to announce that he wasn’t under investigation. According to Comey, Trump “emphasized the problems this was causing him” and (Trump) said “We need to get that fact out.” But Comey repeatedly refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Why?
Comey never answered that question to Trump, but he did explain his reasoning to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. He said he didn’t want to announce that Trump was not part of the Bureau’s Russia probe because “it would create a duty to correct, should that change.”
A “duty to correct”? Are you kidding me? What kind of bullshit answer is that? How many hours of legal brainstorming did it take to come up with that lame-ass excuse?
Let’s state the obvious: Comey wanted to maintain the cloud of suspicion that was hanging over Trump because it helped to feed the perception that Trump was a traitor who collaborated with Russia to win the election. By remaining silent, Comey helped to fuel the public hysteria and reinforce the belief that Trump was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. That is why Comey never spoke out before, it’s because his silence was already achieving the result he sought which was to inflict as much damage as possible on Trump and his administration.
Did you know that Comey was spying on Trump from Day 1?
It’s true, he admitted it himself. Following his first meeting with Trump on January 6, he started recording contents of his private conversations with the president-elect on a secure FBI laptop in his car outside Trump Tower. He didn’t even wait until he got back to the office, he did it in the goddamn parking lot. That’s what you call “eager”. In his testimony he admitted that he kept notes of his private meetings with Trump “from that point forward.”
Does that sound like the normal activities of dedicated public servant acting in behalf of the elected government or does it sound like someone who’s on an assignment to dig up as much dirt as possible on the target of a political smear campaign.
Isn’t that what Comey was really up to?
Comey is a man with zero integrity. Did you know that?
He is applauded in the media and by his fellow establishment elites because he is an unprincipled sycophant who slavishly obeys the directives of his deep state paymasters. Take a look at this except from an ACLU report on Comey:
“There’s one very big problem with describing Comey as some sort of civil libertarian: some facts suggest otherwise. While Comey deserves credit for stopping an illegal spying program in dramatic fashion, he also approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration during his time as deputy attorney general. Those included torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.
On 30 December 2004, a memo addressed to James Comey was issued that superseded the infamous memo that defined torture as pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure”. The memo to Comey seemed to renounce torture but did nothing of the sort. The key sentence in the opinion is tucked away in footnote 8. It concludes that the new Comey memo did not change the authorizations of interrogation tactics in any earlier memos.
In short, the memo Comey that approved gave a thumbs-up on waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture – all violations of domestic and international law. …Then, there’s warrantless wiretapping. ….”(“Let’s Check James Comey’s Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director”, ACLU)
Repeat: “He approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration (including) torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.”
How does that square with the media’s portrayal of Comey as a man of unshakable integrity and honor?
It doesn’t square at all, does it? The media is obviously lying.
Now ask yourself this: Can a man who rubber-stamped waterboarding be trusted?
No, he can’t be trusted because he’s already proved himself to be inherently immoral.
Would a man like Comey agree to use his position and authority to try to “undo” the damage he did prior to the election when he announced the FBI was reopening its investigation of Hillary Clinton? In other words, was Comey being blackmailed to gather illicit material on Trump?
I think it’s very likely, although entirely unprovable. Even so, Comey has been way too eager to frame Trump for things for which he is not guilty. Why has he been so eager? Was he really just protecting himself as he says or was he gathering information to build a legal case against Trump?
In my mind, Comey tipped his hand when he said that he leaked the memo of his private conversation with Trump to the media in order to precipitate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Think about that for a minute. Here’s what he said:
“My judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square. So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel, so I asked a close friend of mine to do it.”
Listen to Comey. The man is openly admitting that leaking the memo was all part of a very clearly-defined political strategy to force the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was the political objective from the get go. He doesn’t even try to hide it. He wasn’t trying to protect himself from ‘mean old’ Trump. That’s baloney! He was laying the groundwork for a massive and expansive investigation into anything and anyone even remotely connected to the Trump team, a gigantic fishing expedition aimed at taking down Trump and his closest allies. That’s what Comey’s been up to. Only his plan didn’t work, did it, because the ‘leaked memo’ didn’t lead to the appointment of the special prosecutor. Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump’s ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that’s all it took. In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenberg had to step in and give Comey his pink slip before the media could cry “obstruction”, creating the perfect opportunity to appoint “hired gun” Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now that the dominoes are in motion, Comey can trundle off to some comfy job at one of the many rightwing Washington think tanks while Mueller gathers together his team of superstar prosecutors to launch their first broadsides on the White House.
Whoever wrote this script deserves an Oscar. This is really first-rate political theater.
Now it’s up to Mueller to prove that Trump tried to obstruct the investigation by asking Comey to go easy on former national security advisor General Michael Flynn. (According to Comey, Trump said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”) It might sound like obstruction, but there are real problems with this type of prosecution particularly the fact that Trump denies the allegations. Also, Comey has acknowledged that Trump expressed his support for the overall goals of the investigation when he said, “that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out.”
Clearly, Trump was not trying to impede the investigation. But even if he was, it is a particularly murky area of the law and difficult to prove. Here’s a short clip from an article by Professor Jonathan Turley at George Washington University who helps to clarify the point:
“The desire for some indictable or impeachable offense by President Trump has distorted the legal analysis to an alarming degree. Analysts seem far too thrilled by the possibility of a crime by Trump. The legal fact is that Comey’s testimony does not establish a prima facie — or even a strong — case for obstruction.
It is certainly true that if Trump made these comments, his conduct is wildly inappropriate. However, talking like Tony Soprano does not make you Tony Soprano….
The crime of obstruction of justice has not been defined as broadly as suggested by commentators……The mere fact that Trump asked to speak to Comey alone would not implicate the president in obstruction. ….
It would be a highly dangerous interpretation to allow obstruction charges at this stage. If prosecutors can charge people at the investigation stage of cases, a wide array of comments or conduct could be criminalized. It is quite common to have such issues arise early in criminal cases. Courts have limited the crime precisely to avoid this type of open-ended crime where prosecutors could threaten potential witnesses with charges unless they cooperated.
We do not indict or impeach people for being boorish or clueless … or simply being Donald Trump.” (“James Comey’s testimony doesn’t make the case for impeachment or obstruction against Donald Trump”, USA Today)
The fact that the obstruction charge won’t stick is not going to stop Mueller from rummaging around and making Trump’s life a living Hell. Heck no. He’s going to dig through his old phone records, bank accounts, tax returns, shaky land deals, ex girl friends, whatever it takes. His prosecutorial tentacles will extend into every nook and cranny of Trump’s private life and affairs until he latches onto some particularly sordid incident or transaction he can use he can use to disgrace, discredit, and demonize Trump to the point that impeachment proceedings seem like a welcome relief. It should be obvious by now, that the deep state elites who launched this coup are not going to be satisfied until Trump is forced from office and the results of the 2016 presidential election are wiped out.
But, why? Why is Trump so hated by these people?
Trump is not being attacked because of his reactionary political agenda, but because he’s been deemed insufficiently hostile to Washington’s sworn enemy, Russia. It’s all about Russia. Trump wanted to “normalize” relations with Moscow which pitted him against the powerful US foreign policy establishment. Now Trump has to be taught a lesson. He must be crushed, humiliated and exiled. And that’s probably the way this will end.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted on Counterpunch