For John, BLUF: Yes, President Trump was within his rights, and doing his duty, when he fired FBI Director James Comey. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Boston Globe, a New York Timess article by By Messers Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos, 12 January 2019.
Here is the lede plus three:
In the days after President Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.So, The Old Gray Lady publishes old news and does it based on information leaked to the Press. But that is how that city (DC) works. When I was a lowly colonel on the Joint Staff the watchword was to not share anything that one would not wish to see on the front page of The Washington Post. Someone I knew and worked with from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, an organization with a huge number of people, was incorrectly accused of leaking information to the press and it took months to clear it up.
The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
The investigation the FBI opened into Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Comey constituted obstruction of justice.
Agents and senior FBI officials had grown suspicious of Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
As for not knowing how to proceed if they were suspicious of the loyalty of someone high up, there was precedent. After all, FDR replaced one of his VEEPs with Harry Truman for his run in 1944. surely the late FBI Director, J Edger Hoover, left some notes on how to move forward.
This was a slow news day regurgitation of already known material. And, it lacked any real insight, any real analysis, and real nuance and balance.
I do hope this is not the Press carrying water for Mr Comey, who is not a shining example of what a Federal Civil Servant should be.
But, what really grabbed me was the comments at the end of the article. Some, like mine, were brilliant. Some were so bad they were deleted before we could view them. Some were printed, but were just vitriol. A lot of them of them did not speak well for the readership of The Boston Globe.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff