by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The proximate cause of the FBI investigation, if the Times reporting is correct, wasn’t any new information about Russia’s activity. It was Trump acting entirely within his powers to fire his FBI director. This might be the first time that a FBI counterintelligence investigation was triggered by a lawful domestic action. This is crazy. Perhaps you believe that Trump’s firing of Comey was ill-intentioned and abusive. That’s a reasonable view, but it is Congress’s job to take this up, not the job of a subordinate law-enforcement agency within the executive branch. The regulations David cites say nothing about the FBI starting a counterintelligence investigation of a president acting pursuant to his legitimate powers.
Now, perhaps something truly monstrous is going on. This brings us back to the scenario of Trump being a witting agent of foreign power. What if the FBI had evidence of that? What should it do then? Well, I believe in that extreme scenario that Trump’s fundamental transgression wouldn’t be violating whatever criminal statute might be implicated; instead, he would have committed an offense against our republic, a political offense that should be dealt with by our political leaders, not by the FBI.