Since the news about the leaked Comey memo was released in the New York times on Wednesday, the liberals in Washington and their puppets in the Media have been reeling about so-called Russian collusion between Trump and the Kremlin during the campaign and obstruction of justice during the Michael Flynn investigation, which reportedly was documented in the leaked memo. Likening this case to Watergate, the liberal politicians have called for Trump’s impeachment and the designation of a special prosecutor to investigate whether there was in fact collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Yesterday on MSNBC, Democratic congresswomen, Maxine Waters from California, said that she believes that “when we get the subpoenas and we get the special counsel at work do the real digging into whether or not there was collusion…we are going to learn a lot about he connections between this president, his allies and the Kremlin.”
In addition, Waters stated that “obstruction is clear” and this will lead directly “to impeachment.” Moreover, Democratic Congressman Al Green of Texas called for the “impeachment of the President” for “obstruction of justice.” Before, I analyze each of these points it is important to identify what the Congresswomen is talking about. First, in regard to the collusion comment, she is discussing the allegation that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia during the months leading up the election. However, to the point of this writing there has been no amount of evidence to suggest that there was any collusion between Trump and the Kremlin. In fact, on May 8th James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee “that he still has not seen any evidence of any kind of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian foreign nationals.”
Second, in her comment about obstruction of justice, Congresswomen Waters was referring to reports from the New York Times identifying the existence of a leaked memo, written by Former FBI Director James Comey. According to the article, in the days following Michael Flynn’s resignation in February, Trump had supposedly told Comey in a private meeting that, “he hoped he could let [the Flynn investigation] go” and that “Flynn is good guy.”
Assuming that the memo, which was read over the phone to the Times, exists, it is far from evidence of obstruction of justice. According to legal statue 18 U.S.C. § 1503, “whoever. . . corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be guilty of [obstruction of justice].” Trump’s words, cited in the memo, are from anywhere close to meeting these criteria. No one has been threatened, killed, or impeded. In fact, last week during his testimony to Congress, acting FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, stated that “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”
Moreover, article II of the Constitution gives the President the executive power to pardon anyone for any crime at any time. In theory, President Trump could legally pardon Michael Flynn right now, ultimately ending the investigation. I am not suggesting that he do this, however, this act would not be unprecedented. In fact, Gerald Ford pardoned Former President Nixon after the Watergate investigation. In that case there was clear evidence of illegal activity, in the case of Michael Fynn and Donald Trump there is none.
The unfolding of events brings up a few additional questions. First, if Former Director Comey had felt that President Trump was trying to obstruct his investigation into Michael Flynn why didn’t he immediately notify the Attorney General? Why is it now, that the memo was leaked almost immediately after his firing? These are all questions that need to be considered when determining the legitimacy of this story, questions which have been largely ignored by the liberal media and liberal politicians alike.
Furthermore, this story has revealed the gross double standard of the mainstream media in its reporting. For example, in October 2015 during a interview on 60 minutes, President Obama commented on the ongoing Clinton investigation when he said to interviewer Steve Kroft, “This is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” While I do not think that Obama was trying to change the outcome of the investigation, he was clearly establishing his opinion about it. How is this any different than what Trump said to Comey? Yet, the media was nowhere to be found to indict Obama for providing his preference for the outcome of an ongoing investigation.
More importantly, this was not an isolated incident. In 2014, during the middle of the investigation concerning allegations that the IRS was targeting conservative groups, Obama commented in an interview with Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. “You’ve got a 501c4 law that people think is confusing, that the folks did not know how to implement,” Obama said. “There were some boneheaded decisions, but not even a smidgen of corruption.” In both these cases, like Trump in the case of the Flynn investigation, Obama was revealing his preference for the outcomes of ongoing investigations. Where was the liberal media then? There were no calls for impeachment or claims of obstruction of justice by the New York Times or Washington Post.
Furthermore, the supposedly groundbreaking New York Times article that started this whole fiasco claimed that Comey was a frivolous note taker and documented most of his meetings and investigations in order to help him remember details later. This is a common practice for prosecutors who must pay attention to every detail. If this is the case then there must be other memos, documenting meetings Comey had with Former President Obama, the Clintons and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Where are these memos? If congress is going to subpoena the memo about the Flynn meeting, for the sake of the integrity of the law, they must subpoena all of Comey’s memos. The government cannot allow the media and illegal leaks of classified information to determine who gets investigated and who doesn’t. That is a dangerous precedent for both parties.
As they stand today, Comey and the leakers are partisan actors, participating in an attempt by a developing “deep state,” which has been defined recently in the media as a community of people within the government and the intelligence services who are very loyal, have a lot of information and know how to get revenge, especially on the current administration. They are acting to undermine the Trump Presidency. This is the part of the story that is most unsettling. By illegally undermining the Trump presidency, these government bureaucrats are undermining not only Trump the individual, but our entire democratic system, which elected this administration. It is scary to think of an America in which career bureaucrats can undermine and call for the expulsion of any democratically elected official who is not to their liking. Detractors will argue that the Russia investigation indicates that Trump was not legally elected. However, as I mentioned previously there has been no evidence of a collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign and I therefore will not assume that Trump is innocent until proven guilty, as our law states.
Moving forward there are improvements that need to made in the Trump administration to more effectively combat the attacks. First, President Trump needs to clean up his press office at the White House. He needs to coordinate and communicate better with his press team and ensure that everyone is on the same page. As a business CEO, Trump may not yet fully understand the importance of messaging in politics. In order to move forward effectively, the president needs to gain a better understanding of how to properly message what is going and be more consistent with his messages. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, there is no margin for error. Every day, Sean Spicer faces a Press room looking for every reason to indict the President. It is critical for this administration to message clearly, have their stories straight, and have all key members on the same page.
Second, the Administration needs to go after the leakers. According to 18 USC § 798, “Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”
Whether someone believes their cause is justified or not, in America there is a rule of law and that law states that it is a crime to leak classified information. Therefore these leakers must be brought to justice, not only for the sake of the law, but also for the sake of not setting a precedent where disgruntled members of the intelligence community, referred to previously as the “deep state,” have the ability to undermine the democratic political process.
On May 16, Linsey Graham said to Fox News, “People are taking the law in their own hands. You may not like this president, you may not like what he’s doing, but it’s a crime to take classified information and this whole idea that I’m justified because there’s a greater good destroys the rule of law.” He finished by stating that those people need to be brought to justice.
In conclusion, there is still no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia and I am still confident that the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller III, will confirm what I already believe to be true. The media and the political left should not and will not be able to undermine the legitimacy of this administration and the legislative agenda that it advocates and the one America voted for. In the meantime, Republicans and Democrats alike must stand up for the law, justice, and the principles that make America what it is and not allow the media or disgruntled government employees to undermine America’s noble democratic experiment.