by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David Harsanyi of the Federalist delves into unresolved questions surrounding President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
The Comey firing was reflexively framed as the next Watergate because there is a predetermined conclusion regarding Russian collusion. We’re still re-litigating Trump’s victory. All coverage flows from this inevitable finale. It clouds all perspective and creates a hysterical environment that leaves no space for anything but rigid positions. …
… Never mind that the FBI director serves at the pleasure of the president. The firing of Comey is not a constitutional crisis until there is evidence that it is. Democrats have spent months impugning Comey’s integrity, after all, and most Republicans weren’t exactly fans either. When Politico asked a number of experts whether the Comey firing rose to the level of crisis, refreshingly enough, all but one was reluctant to say yes. They were inclined to wait and see what happens.
I’ve defended Comey’s integrity on numerous occasions, although I don’t believe he was particularly good at his job. Firing him was a mistake. The optics are appalling. Trump’s stated reasons for firing him are completely absurd. Still, it’s difficult to believe that Comey was dismissed because he was on the cusp of some great Kremlingate discovery. In fact, if Comey were about to break the case wide open, he has more freedom to divulge that information now. …
… But I’m open to believing the worst-case scenario. So if the Senate wants to pressure the president or launch an independent investigation, I’m all for it. Separation of powers is a vital component of healthy governance. The problem, though, is that Democrats only embrace these checks and balances when they’re convenient.