America Is Now in a ‘Full-Fledged Constitutional Crisis’: Firestorm Unleashed and Cover-Up Confirmed

by on May 10, 2017 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine, 1776

By Frank Gormlie

A firestorm of unprecedented proportions has been unleashed. With the FBI Director James Comey firing, Trump has  threatened the rule of law in this country and has moved to undermine any Constitutional accountability that his administration has to face.

This is the very first time in our history that an American president has fired an FBI director while the director was investigating the president.

Today, Wednesday, while Senate Democrats called for a special prosecutor to look into the White House and Russia ties, Trump was meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador.

And while pundits and politicians described the situation as having “echos of Watergate” and made comparisons of Comey’s firing with the Saturday Night Massacre that occurred when President Richard Nixon in October 1973 fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and the US Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, Trump had an unscheduled meeting with Henry Kissinger, veteran of the Nixon White House.

The timings of these meetings cannot be simply coincidental. Staff in the White House have been scrambling ever since the firing to try to take over the narrative emerging, claiming they were unprepared for the heat of the push-back.

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hi) stated quite unequivocally on Tuesday, May 9th, that the United States is now in “a full-fledged Constitutional crisis”, in response to Trump’s firing of James Comey. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and other Democratic House members and Senators have agreed.

In his 109th day in office, Trump created a firestorm of reaction with Comey’s summary termination. And it’s a firestorm that may very well consume the White House and the remainder of Trump’s time in office. Dan Rather, veteran CBS reporter-retired, called it “one of the darkest days in American history, a history that may soon take an even more ominous turn.”

The firing of Director Comey – in the midst of the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and administration with Russian’s covert manipulation of the Presidential election – is the single most Constitutionally-damaging action by Trump since being in office. And that is saying a lot.

Now we learn that not only was the FBI investigation expanding its reach with the issuance Tuesday – the same day Comey was dismissed – of federal grand jury subpoenas to Mike Flynn’s associates, but that Comey last week had requested additional resources and staff from the Department of Justice to press forward with the investigation. And now he’s gone.

The Senate met this morning under exceptional circumstances where Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority head, called for the immediate appointment of an independent and Special Prosecutor to jump-start the investigation into White House and Russia connections.

Senate Democrats are threatening a “slow-down” in Senate business until a special prosecutor is appointed. Some Democrats have stated that they will not vote on any FBI director replacement until they have this guarantee.

They understand that the American people will not trust the conclusion or results of any FBI investigation into the White House and Russia if Trump is allowed to appoint the head of that investigation.

No one really believes the reasons stated for Comey’s firing. It is ludicrous to think that Comey was dismissed because of his  handling of the Hillary Clinton emails and his subsequent reports about his investigation into those emails.  Not only did Trump praise what Comey did during the campaign, he led chants of “lock her up!” at his rallies. So, no, Trump is not upset at Comey for his email bungling.

Neither the Department of Justice nor the White House waited until the Inspector General’s investigation into Comey’s actions was completed before they moved against him. Even Trump’s letter to Comey informing him of his termination, referred to the FBI’s White House investigation.

Trump is angry at Comey for announcing on March 20th before the House Intelligence Committee that not only was he – Comey – looking into the Flynn controversies but was also conducting a intelligence and criminal investigation into the White House itself. This announcement was explosive and sent shock waves through the West Wing. Trump is also angry at Comey for publicly disagreeing with him over whether President Obama “wire-tapped” Trump Tower.

With Comey asking for more funds for his investigation last week and with the delivery of grand jury subpoenas to Flynn associates on Tuesday, the FBI investigation was just getting too close for comfort.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who publicly recused himself from any involvement into the Russian-Trump campaign connections plus any involvement into the presidential campaigns – broke that recusal by recommending Comey’s removal due to the claimed mess made of Clinton’s emails.

Trump has called the FBI investigation “fake news”, “a hoax”, and a “charade”.  His PR surrogates have demanded that everyone get over the Russian thing, and move on. The White House has not cooperated with the House Intelligence committee’s requests for documents on Mike Flynn.

The public disparagement of the Congressional and FBI investigations cannot go unnoticed. It is evidence that the cover-up is in full swing.

It is a cover-up – so what are they covering up? Most likely, they want to hide that Trump and his people colluded with the Russians and Vladimir Putin’s efforts to disrupt our election and tilt the election to Trump’s benefit.

But the cover-up is still going on.

Right this minute, most Republican Congressional leaders are falling in line with the White House position, as Senate leader Mitch McConnell did this morning. Yet the hope is that enough of them will place country before party and join Democrats’ calls for a special prosecutor and special commission.

Yes, the parallels with the Nixon era Watergate scandal which forced him to resign resonate with reality-based Americans. Then, patriotic Republicans were able to forgo partisan trappings, as they had also called for a special investigator along with their Democratic colleagues into Nixon’s scandal. Some pundits, however, have called the Watergate scandal much worst than today’s crisis.

At this moment, it does not seem that Republicans will force the White House to concede to a special prosecutor. Senator Burr, for example, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation, does not think there is a need for special counsel. Neither does Senator Lyndsey Graham.

So, the American people will witness over the next few days which way this constitutional crisis will swing. If the GOP circles the wagon around the White House, the crisis will continue and the very real threats to what’s left of the rule of law and our flailing democracy will mount.

Who will investigate Trump and the White House?

The country needs to know why Comey was fired yesterday, plus we need to know what Trump and the Russians did together, and what the Russians are continuing to do in their covert actions in our country. Until we get those answers, nothing else matters. No business of the nation is now more important. Not more troops in Afghanistan, not the tax bill, not the Trumpcare bill.

These are the times that try the souls of the women and men of America. How we and the nation respond to this constitutional crisis may very well determine the rest of the American experiment in democracy.

 

 

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar David Simon May 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

You go Frank…great column!
Keep the fires burning.
Thank you,
David

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