Trump firing of Comey possibly worse than Watergate, says former Nixon prosecutor

(AP Photo/Henry Burroughs. File)

Watergate counsel Philip Allen Lacovara watched with keen interest the stunning move against F.B.I. Director James Comey by the Trump administration this week. Mr. Lacovara, a deputy to the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, was eyewitness in 1973 to the infamous Saturday Night Massacre when President Nixon’s order that Mr. Cox be similarly terminated led to the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and then acting A.G. William Ruckelshaus.

Those cascading resignations were perceived as a constitutional crisis at the time, but Mr. Comey’s dismissal, if it is indeed intended to throw off an F.B.I. investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump administration, represents a far graver threat to the republic than even the Watergate conspiracy, Mr. Lacovara says. That historic scandal involved a poorly executed spy operation against one political party by a faction within another. But the ongoing F.B.I. investigation of all the current president’s men, Mr. Lacovara points out, involves the intervention of perhaps the nation’s greatest international adversary into its internal affairs—worse, the possible collusion of members of the Trump team in that effort.

He describes Mr. Comey's termination “not as clear cut” a case of executive overreach as Mr. Cox’s removal in October 1973 “but probably about equally as fishy.”

“There’s no doubt he has legal authority to fire Comey,” Mr. Lacovara says of President Trump, “just as President Nixon had the legal authority to fire Archibald Cox. So the issue is: What is the real motivation behind the dismissal?”

On that point Mr. Lacovara, a member of the America Media board of directors, is simply not buying the explanation offered by the Trump administration.

“It’s hard for me to credit that the president is now vigorously acting in Hillary Clinton’s interest,” he says. “The most plausible explanation is that this is an opportunistic excuse for getting rid of a guy who was conducting an investigation.”

That allegation seemed to gather credence just hours after Mr. Comey’s dismissal as media reported that Mr. Trump had been seeking to fire Mr. Comey for months. According to the press, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein only recently composed a memo justifying Mr. Comey’s termination under pressure from the White House. Mr. Rosenstein, apparently frustrated that his memo was cast publicly as the sole rationale for Mr. Comey’s dismissal, has threatened to resign, according to media reports on May 11.

Elliot L. Richardson (AP Photo, File)
Elliot L. Richardson (AP Photo, File)

The Associated Press reported on May 11 that just days before he was fired, Mr. Comey requested more resources to pursue his investigation into Russia's election meddling and the possible involvement of Trump associates, fueling concerns in Washington that Mr. Trump was trying to undermine a probe that could threaten his presidency. According to the A.P., it is unclear if word of Mr. Comey’s request, put to Mr. Rosenstein, ever made its way to Mr. Trump.

The current president’s Nixonian gambit in firing Mr. Comey is “ingenious,” Mr. Lacovara says. It seizes upon legitimate criticism of the former F.B.I. director’s actions regarding the investigation into the use of then Secretary of State Clinton’s private email server “as the basis for getting rid of [Mr. Comey] in the midst of the Russian collusion investigation.”

The president’s move, he says, “pulls the fangs” out of the possible responses of Democrats who have complained for months that Mr. Comey acted unprofessionally during the election. In July, the F.B.I. ended its review without filing criminal charges but using the opportunity to criticize the Democratic candidate. Traditionally, prosecutors and investigators follow a “put up or shut up” policy at the end of criminal investigations, according to Mr. Lacovara, maintaining a professional silence when the evidence they have uncovered does not end in indictments.

At the time Mr. Comey’s actions had been enthusiastically supported by candidate Trump. He had urged the F.B.I. director to move even more aggressively against Ms. Clinton. But on May 10, the president used Mr. Rosenstein’s one-page memo criticizing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation to justify his firing. “It’s simply the latest example of how President Trump opportunistically changes his position to meet the perceived political needs of the day,” Mr. Lacovara says.

Mr. Lacovara is concerned that a Republican-controlled Congress has not demonstrated the will so far to aggressively run down the possible collusion of members of the Trump campaign with Russian operatives during the 2016 election. But he has looked to one of the other pillars of U.S. democracy, its career civil servants in the Justice Department and F.B.I., to assure that the matter would be pursued without prejudice. Now the move against Mr. Comey, coupled with the eagerness of Senate and House Republicans to overlook the Russian narrative while pressing for more aggressive actions against government leakers, has him worried.

Mr. Lacovara remembers the historic importance of the leaks authored by F.B.I. deputy director Mark Felt—who became known as “Deep Throat”—during the Watergate crisis.

“The Watergate affair would not have gone anywhere were it not for The Post repeatedly covering the story,” he says, “and [The Post] would not have been able to do that without the leaks from Felt.” He wonders if, perceiving that evidence of wrongdoing were being suppressed, contemporary public servants may not be as willing to take the same risks with careers or the threat of incarceration.

Mr. Lacovara is not convinced that even an aggressive congressional investigation would be sufficient to the task of exposing Russia’s hand in the 2016 elections, given its limited resources and expertise with criminal inquiries. Appointing a special prosecutor to supervise a thorough investigation with the assistance of career investigators from the Justice Department and F.B.I. would be the best outcome to the controversy stirred up this week. But Mr. Lacovara sees little likelihood that the attorney general’s office would make such a recommendation or that the Trump administration would countenance it.

In political survival mode, the president seems imperturbed about the effects of his lurching decisions. “He’s got his base,” Mr. Lacovara observes, “and he’s confident that he can ride this out.”

In the end, Mr. Lacovara argues, as political and civic institutions fail to fulfill their obligations, it may be up to the general public to keep the pressure on congressional representatives until the complete truth comes out about the 2016 elections, whether that exonerates Trump administration officials or further implicates them.

MICHAEL PAINTER
1 month 1 week ago

"The president’s move, he says, “pulls the fangs” out of the possible responses of Democrats who have complained for months that Mr. Comey acted unprofessionally during the election."
-------
I don't think it pulls anyone's fangs out. One always has to look at the motivation behind actions. The Democrats do not believe that Mr. Comey was fired because of the Clinton investigation. They are free to criticize the firing all they want.

Context is everything.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

This article has references to so called "facts"which were directly contradicted by testimony before the the Senate.
Lacovera posits aComey request for increased funding as causing Trump to act. Yet Deputy McCabe today testified the FBI investigation is fully funded and he knew of no request for more funds.
Lacovera repeats the claim that the new Deputy AG Rosenstein had threatened to quit over being blamed for Comey's dismissal when Mr Rosenstein has publicly come out and stated that this was not true

Mr Lacovera and the author conveniently omit that DNI Clapper has just this week reconfirmed that the report from the 17 intelligence agencies, including the FBI, contained "no evidence of collusion" with the Trump campaign. It did find the Russians tried to interfere. He had previously noted he could not measure the effect if any of such interference. The intelligence agencies have know about such Russian attempts to interfere by using cyber penetration since 2012. Mr Obama says he knew about it in late 2015/early 2016 and spoke to Putin about it in October 2016. Yet he didn't talk publicly about it until December 2016!??? Or take any action to stop it!??

Mr McCabe also testified today that the Comey removal would not affect the investigation in the slightest.
The fact that Mr Lacovera doesn't believe that "Trump acted in Hillary Clinton's interest" is a complete straw man of Mr Lacovera's own construct. Mr Comey's actions last July indicted her and then exhonerated her of a crime ..... his actions in do doing indisputably usurped a function delegated to the Attorney General or a Grand Jury and a prosecutor and a jury.
In talking of Loretta Lynch's tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton as a disqualifying conflict, Comey simply ignored that the rules required himto go to the Deputy Attorney General whose job it was to act if the AG had a conflict and he ignored the the alternative of going to a grand jury. He chose instead to take center stage.... to act as investigator/prosecutor /Jury.
Further Comey's handling of the testimony of Cheryl Mills et al with a grant of immunity and a guarantee of destruction of their computers when they were then subject to a congressional subpoena were unheard of deviations from the FBI norms and practices. Getting testimony from Hillary Clinton which was not under oath was calculated to shield her from perjury charges if she repeated under oath what she had said publicly.
It is ridiculous to even try to analyze the hypocritical statements from both political parties about "The Comey Affair " . Both sides were for him/ before they against him and vice versa.
In the case of Trump and Schumer, those two have scored a trifecta: They were respectively Against Comey/For Comey ....before they were For Comey/Against Comey....after which they respectively were Against Comey/For Comey!
Little wonder there is public confusion !
If you are going to start analyzing motive and intent behind political statements and actions you had best note that in addition to Trump there are statements and actions by Comey, Lynch, Schumer,Reid and Obama etc etc etc that require the same analysis. This is indeed the yellow brick road to OZ where everything is "not in Kansas anymore" or for that matter not in any world inhabited by regular people.

Thomas Farrelly
1 month 1 week ago

What is startling about such articles is the overwhelming amount of speculation as opposed to facts and evidence. One wonders what the FBI has been doing since last July when this investigation started, and what in fact they have found. One wonders what exactly in the legal sense is the definition of "collusion", with regard to the actions of a foreign power.
As an experienced prosecutor, Mr. Lacovara might have thrown some light on this. Instead, he engages in the same kind of unlawyerly speculation as the violently ant-Trump press. Editors, do you think you could find someone without a partisan axe to grind to provide some intelligent comment?

Tom Fields
1 month 1 week ago

Dear Kevin,
Where does your article come from?---your heart---your research and analysis----or from the far left "anything to hurt Trump" paranoia? Comey had to go. He is one of many FBI--Directors fired by Presidents. His recitation of Hillary's crimes---followed by---"no prosecution" was crazy. The real investigation will be of Obama's minions going after Trump and his people with every tool available---a little "Joe McCarthy" throw back. Please stick to topics more appropriate to a Catholic publication---and---get your facts straight. God forgive you.

Kevin Clarke
1 month 1 week ago

Dear Tom,

Thanks for reading. This article came from an interview.

Actually only one other FBI director has been fired, William Sessions by Bill Clinton, because of the misuse of FBI resources for personal affairs.

I try my best to get my facts straight and I hope God forgives me, for many things, but not so much for the articles I write. May he show you the same mercy.

Tom Fields
1 month 1 week ago

You are right----see below----I should have said----many directors did not finish their terms.
An FBI director has been fired only once before ... - Business Insider
www.businessinsider.com/last-fbi-director-fired-bill-clinton-william-se…
9 hours ago - An FBI director has been fired only once before — and it was under ... to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds.

Edwina Maritza Prelaz
1 month 1 week ago

Sinning against Charity is no longer a sin?

Who knew!?!?

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

Both the author and the quoted expert have relied on Fake News to write this article. As such it should be withdrawn with an apology.

Tom Fields
1 month 1 week ago

Yes---may God forgive them both!

Lisa Weber
1 month 1 week ago

The basic problem is that Donald Trump is a pathological liar with a history of corruption in his business dealings. He has refused to divest himself of his businesses in order to avoid having conflicts of interest while being president. He refuses to provide information about his business holdings so that the public can know whether he is making political decisions to benefit his businesses.

There seems to be general agreement that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election in order to help Trump get elected. The question is whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. James Comey was pursuing that investigation - as he should have. Every time that witnesses testify before Congress, the whole investigation rapidly heats up.

The details of Trump firing Comey don't really matter because no one with good sense is likely to believe the excuse provided - that Trump was unhappy with Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation. Trump and Sessions are obstructing an investigation likely to lead to criminal charges against either or both. Where there is a cover-up, there is most likely a crime. Protestations of innocence from a liar should be evaluated with the relevant history in mind.

Trump will eventually be ousted because he deserves it. The truly shocking aspect of Trump's candidacy and time in the White House has been that he has revealed the rotten core of the Republican party, the willingness of religious organizations to sell their souls for a conservative Supreme Court justice, and the willful ignorance of a large swath of the American citizenry. I thought this country was better than that and it has been painful and frightening to realize that many Americans are willing for this country to become a banana republic with a corrupt dictator.

Edwina Maritza Prelaz
1 month 1 week ago

I feared for women abused by Bill clinton and the enabling that Hillary did to embolden his depraved acts for power.

Comey had it coming since Loretta Lynch left him in the lurch to meet with the Predator Bill Clinton - bullying yet another woman but on his private airplane. So Comey had an axe to grind - Justice Dept was left in shambles under Obama

F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby" reflects the Clintons all too well in the characters Tom and Daisy Buchanan. Like Tom and Daisy, a dysfunctional vile couple, the Clintons paid back Comey and now they have "retreated back into their money of their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made" - F. Scott Fitzgerald

We are a lawless nation. Venezuela is happening here

Laura Field
1 month 1 week ago

I guess you didn't fear for the women literally abused by Donald Trump in his depraved acts for power? Just wondering.

Lisa Weber
1 month ago

I found his sexual assaults disgusting as well, especially the fact that he bragged about them. The larger issue is what he is doing to the nation.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 month 1 week ago

Mr Clarke,
A lot of speculation starting with the big "IF" and a couple of "Possibles".
"if it is indeed intended to throw off an F.B.I. investigation into possible Russian collusion"
"F.B.I. investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump administration,"
"the possible collusion of members"
The article is right out of the Senator Schumer and democrat's playbook, full of ifs, innuendoes, sound and fury signifying nothing.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

If Trump is telling the truth when he says that Comey told him three times that he, Trump was not personally under an investigation, and if Trump believed him and then fired him, then it is inaccurate to say he fired him because he was being investigated by Comey. There is nothing Nixonian about it . The anti Trump people are now even using the fact that he fired Flynn as fodder for saying he is authoritarian, as if Flynn now deserved to remain in office!He fired him because as he said, he really did not like his style; he was a showoff according to Trump. And showed himself to be rather incompetent during the committee hearing. He does not seem to know if his job is to gather evidence in an investigation,[police work] or to be a district attorney deciding what is prosecutable and what isn't.[ justice department].He is confused about what his duties were. If other people could see this about Comey, why can't Trump ?To claim that because Trump approved of Comey going after Hillary which served Trumps interest, he must have a nefarious motive to now fire him, is to see him as a caricature. who cannot go outside the box.Trump in firing Comey went against the grain of expectations. [I too thought the firing would be approved of by the Democrats as they were saying that Comey was both unethical in undermining Hillary AND incompetent as per his testimony before congress a few days prior]. What does Hillary have to say about his firing? I wonder. More news blackout about that!
The media and the people were caught off guard. The Democrats who had been complaining about Comey's poor performance before the senate committee a few days prior, could not or would not see Trump as being able to think outside the box of expectations[that he has no ethical principles but is only self serving]. That Comey had to issue a correction to his statement under oath before the committee when he made false allegations against the Weiners, is something the Democrats and media are sweeping under the rug.That Comey is now the fair haired boy when it is he who blatantly and transparently unethically undermined Hillary's campaign, more so then Russian hacks concerning Podesta emails ever did, shows how unprincipled and quick to revise history Trump haters themselves can be. There is a kind of hysteria taking place by these anti Trump people; you'd think he usurped power and liquidated the whole FBI so no investigation could go forward like in some dictatorship!
Having said this ,if the people and their representatives are clamoring for a special council /prosecutor then let that investigation take place.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

Trump has claimed that his campaign headquarters ; Trump Tower, was being surveilled by the intelligence agencies ;he claims that by unmasking the names of US citizens in his campaign, who ever talked to Russians, the Constitutionality of ones right to privacy ; prohibiting the surveillance of unnamed individuals without probable cause[a warrant issued to a NAMED person] was illegal. And Comey showed no interest in persuing justice for US citizens who were unmasked. He believed the intelligence community had over stepped their authority in the service of the Democrat administration, who sincerely believed that he was a bad man who should not win, and a smoking gun was needed;Russian "collusion". Some believe that unmasking a name of a US citizen when gathering intelligence against foreigners is legal. Others say it isn't; Trump was one of them. [if I'm understanding correctly].

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

The author has tried to frame the discussion by his choice of topic, his choice of expert and his choice of headline.

This framing has a couple major problems.

First, is that Trump did not try to stop an investigation as Nixon was doing with the Watergate investigation. The investigation into possible Russian collusion has not been impeded nor could firing Comey have any effect on it. It is a red herring.

Second - there is no known crime that was committed in terms of the Russia investigation that Trump is supposedly is impeding. In the Watergate investigation, there was the minimum of the actual burglary and highly suspected interference by the White House of trying to impede the investigation. None of that exists here. High members of the Obama administration say there was no evidence of collusion with Russia and high ranking Democrats also say there was no evidence of collusion with Russia. All there is are accusations and innuendo.

Let's reframe what has happened on something that makes more sense

For the real reason that Comey was fired, one has to go to the actual crimes that were committed and which Comey refused/resisted investigating. These are the leaks of classified information by members of the Obama administration to hinder Trump before the election and to hinder him after it.

Specifically these leaks about Trump and his associates are seemingly for political purposes. The leak of Flynn was the most egregious.

So first, Comey refused recommending the sending of the Clinton information to a grand jury which would probably had indicted her and then stonewalled investigations into members of the Obama administration who committed crimes by leaking and unmasking Trump associates. The leak about Flynn is the one we know the most about. So here was a FBI director showing clear preferences for one administration over another in terms of what was being investigated.

He also use the specious Steele dossier as a basis for getting a FISA warrant on one of Trump's minor associates. That itself was incredibly negligent.

But the most damaging thing about Comey was that he knew the country was being torn apart by false allegations and he sat there and did nothing about it.

So he had to go. He became a disgrace. The actual removal was clumsily done and has become the focus instead of the reasons why he had to go.

Robert Killoren
1 month 1 week ago

Why would someone who disagrees with so much with what America Magazine stands for and says read it so faithfully? The comments from that person are frequent, negative, and predictable. It certainly doesn't suggest that that person is reading with the intent of learning something or in seeking dialogue. By the same token why would someone who disagrees with so much of what Crisis Magazine says read it so faithfully? The comments that person makes are so frequent, negative, and predictable. It certainly doesn't suggest that that person is reading with the intent of learning something or in seeking dialogue.

I am as guilty as the next person on this score. Sometimes I want to show off how much I know and how ignorant I believe others are, as if I alone held the truth. Sometimes I want to score points. Dialogue is not debate where the goal is to score the most points. Sometimes I'm expressing frustration that others do not see the world or the Faith exactly as I do. I think I am attempting to correct error on the part of some other. Both of the above mentioned magazines are tools for educating people about what it means to be Catholic. Recently Vatican Radio reported on some things that Pope Francis said about dialogue. "Pope Francis has urged all those involved in Catholic education to be builders of a more united and peaceful world...to help...people to be builders of a more united and peaceful world...Pope Francis stressed the need for a culture of dialogue saying our world has become a global village...Dialogue, the Pope said, is constructive when it takes place in an authentic atmosphere of respect, esteem, sincere listening, without the need to blur or mitigate one’s identity. [Catholic educators] are called to teach a method of intellectual dialogue which is aimed at revealing the truth."

I'm going to try to live by these words in my reading and comments from now on and ask my fellow readers to do so as well. Leave pride behind, stop using categorical terms like liberal and conservative, left and right, stop bullying, trolling, name calling, cynicism, self-righteousness, and seeing everything in terms of I'm right and you're not. Remember who said, "I am the way and the truth and the life."

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

"Corrupt, liar, collusion"; with such polarization rampantly expressed towards our elected president[s,] perhaps its time to "democratize" the executive branch by having a Constitutional amendment that mandates that the head of the FBI and the head of the Justice Department be of a different party then the president, or not be appointed by the president. The concentration of power in the Executive seems to be a recurring problem in and of itself.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 month 1 week ago

"the Pope said, is constructive when it takes place in an authentic atmosphere of respect, esteem, sincere listening," It would be more effective if Pope Francis practiced what he preaches.

Pope Francis is a very nuanced thinker and the actual meaning of his writings and/or "sound bites" of what he has to say are often not helpful and confusion reigns
Nuanced thinking (Nuanced definition, a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning,
response,) is the realm of politicians and those who seek to sow
confusion not for the head of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.
The more often Pope Francis speaks "off the cuff" before crowds or especially
reporters, the more he reminds me of Peter Sellers's Chance the gardener, better known
as Chauncey Gardiner, from the movie 'Being There' who spoke simple
words, spoken often due to confusion or to a stating of the obvious,
which are repeatedly misunderstood as profound and often, in the Pope's
case when he speaks or writes on economic systems, capitalism, climate change, immigration and other worldly matters, several factually in error, or even matters of a possible/potential change in long held Catholic doctrine which are walked back or explained later by a Vatican spokesperson. Is it
any wonder that different people hear different signals when the Pope writes or speaks?

Pope Francis is totally misinformed either through a failure to study and understand the situations in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas or to rely on the leftist advisers when he offered the following explanation for the refugee problem,
"these poor people who are escaping from war, escaping from hunger, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. But underlying that is the cause, and the cause is a socio-economic system that is bad, unjust, because within an economic system, within everything, within the world, speaking of the ecological problem, within the socio-economic society, in politics, the person always has to be the center. And today’s dominant economic system has removed the person from the center, and at the center is the god of money. It’s the fashionable god today."

The Pope should be emphasizing that these refugees from the Middle East and Africa are fleeing from the inter religious Sunni vs Shia warfare and homicidal muslim hordes labeled,ISIS, Boko Haram, et al targeting non-muslims, in particular Christians, that are devastating their homelands. The refugees from Mexico, Cuba and Central/South America are fleeing corrupt politicians/government officials and vicious drug lords. And where do these homeless want to go? They are heading to those countries whose socio-economic systems the Pope condemns as "bad,unjust" and worse. The Pope should be lecturing the leaders of those countries to improve conditions so that their citizens do not have to leave instead of calling out those countries that he says must absorb them.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

The Assad regime is as homicidal as ISIS.Assad is not a fanatic fundamentalist extremist Muslim but he IS a homicidal dictator. So this Shia/Sunni narrative is not really on point about what is happening there. The Alawites [ Assad and his police state] are not Shia anyway[ I believe] though the narrative we get here is that they are, and that they are fighting fanatic Sunnis! Anyone who opposes Assad and his brutal police state dictatorship is labeled a Sunni terrorist. [ Russian pro Assad disinformation?].The refugees know better. If we let them in , we might have to ditch the false narrative we've bought into.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 month 1 week ago

False narrative when Assad and his followers practice Alawi Islam, centered in Syria, who follow the Twelver school of Shia Islam but with syncretistic elements.
That is why Iran supports Assad in the fight against the uprising of non-shia Syrian opponents and the radical ISIS Sunnis.The same Shia vs Sunni internecine wars are being fought in Yemen and sporadic uprisings of Shias in Sunni led Bahrain. Leadership of Islam has been fought over since the death of Mohammad in the 7th century.nd it will not go away soon.
And who are the losers, Catholic and Jews who are being forced out of the areas which their homelands for centuries before Mohammad.

John Linton
1 month 1 week ago

Strong emphasis on "possibly", please, as in "A large asteroid could possibly destroy the Earth soon."

I'm stunned by the sin of hypocrisy here. Liberals go ever on about Trump-Russia even though there's far more evidence of Obama-Administration-Spying-Cum-Leaks and further the latter crime is a far graver offense against this democracy than even if Trump did encourage/pay Russia to leak documents against the DNC.

The Obama administration spying/unmasking/leaking is: a) more serious; b) more evidence-based; c) itself worthy of a special prosecutor.

Whereas we've had a 6-month jihad against Trump by the nation's media attempting to plant the preposterous Russian meme with exactly zero evidence Trump ever colluded. Even principled leftists are calling the Trump-Russia meme absurd (Noam Chomsky) or without evidence (Sally Yates, James Clapper) or even without naming the statute broken (Jonathan Turley).

What exactly was the crime and when does it become more scary that the nation's media is engaged in statist agitprop to shill for Obama's spying and defenestrate Trump?

Leonard Villa
1 month 1 week ago

This has zero to do with Watergate. Such overheated analysis is simply false. Watergate involved a special prosecutor already well into his investigation of Nixon about events that actually had legs and substance. In this case the FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the President and can be fired by him. Both Senators Grassley (R) and Feinstein (D) indicated that Trump is not under investigation. The so-called Russian investigation is a counter-intelligence investigation not a criminal investigation. Not only Russia but countless countries seek to intervene and hack the U.S. including ostensible allies. According to Shattered the book by Allen and Parnes on the Clinton campaign, the Russian-narrative and Trump was hatched by Clinton operatives John Podesta and Robby Mook twenty-four hours after the Clinton election loss. I believe a lot of this media overdrive and hysteria is cover for its visceral inability to get over the election. The mainstream media has simply become by and large one viewpoint,which it feels is the only one. Any other viewpoint becomes a hated enemy. It is also colossus cornerstone of the Washington establishment which includes all Democrats and many Republicans. This one-viewpoint attitude is learned at J-school and imposed on countless campuses now involving violence. That's the real crisis and corruption.

Charles Erlinger
1 month 1 week ago

In case we were wondering why so relatively few in Congress were reacting publicly with concern to the turmoil regarding the firing of the FBI director, we can formulate an analytic approach to constructing a hypothesis. We can start by considering those in the congressional hierarchy who, we can observe, have engaged in possibly frank and confidential strategy sessions at the White House. Assuming that these are not naive politicians, it is reasonable that they considered from the outset that their most intimate comments were being recorded. While they might be going over mentally what they said in the White House, they are probably fairly confident that, if recorded, the record will show that they expressed nothing but true blue loyalty and no one can develop special leverage from the recordings, so their respectfully moderate reactions in this case can be explained by their overriding personal and party loyalty. Their only concern would be if the recordings became available to independent investigators or to the press. We can hypothesize that any prominent congressional leader who debunks the existence of recordings or attempts to prevent release, if it is found that they exist, is at least as concerned about his or his or her own recorded voices as the voice of others on the tapes.

If we can mentally group the remaining congress persons who are reacting with noticeable reserve, we can possibly distinguish those whose native, characteristic caution, whether from fear of error or the actual desire to act prudently, or who have never engaged in confidential conversations in the White House, from their colleagues. There remains, then, congress people who because of inexperience or naïveté never thought their conversations might be recorded, and are either frantically going over memories of what they said, or are plunged deep in depression because they remember very clearly what they said.

John Walton
1 month 1 week ago

Bump this -- Comey's "memo to file", many! should be subpoenaed -- there's a lot more to this story, and i mean, A LOT!

Long those many decades ago when I worked in a huge bank, we would write"memo to file", and have a colleague initial it, and literally file in a client folder.

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

Apparently Comey could be indicted for his memo and be disbarred as he committed a crime if he thought there was actual intent to interfere in an investigation. He likely thought it was just a vague comment by the president about a friend unjustly accused.

Which case it just reinforces the need to get rid of Comey as he reveals himself as a partisan who shouldn't be in job.

Nobody has a clue why Flynn is being investigated. But a crime was committed by leaking his name indicating he was unjustly unmasked. Radio silence from press on this crime.

This article has it all backwards. A special prosecutor is enlisted to investigate a crime. So far no one has identified a possible crime by Trump. There are definite crimes in the unmasking by Obama administration so that is where a special prosecutor should be assigned if one were appointed. Again radio silence by press and America authors.

John Wren
1 month 1 week ago

Seems to me America Magazine has lost its way. I will pray for you, but don't expect me to renew my subscription unless your economic and political bias towards socialism and corporatism is balanced with articles critical of those destructive philosophies and more fair minded about the proven benefits to everyone of capitalism and our democratic republic.

My hope is the meeting next week between President Trump (no, I didn't vote for him, I will never vote for him, but he is my President and I respect the office and take this as just one more example of the undeniable fact that God works in mysterious ways) and Pope Francis will be a useful dialog that helps them both to work towards real help for the poor.

Balanced coverage of economic issues in general and especially of the meeting next week by America would be very helpful and very much appreciated. I will pray for all of you, please continue to pray for me through the otherwise excellent writing I've enjoyed and benefited from in the past.

John Wren
1 month 1 week ago

Why is my comment just now buried at the bottom of the many comments?

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

Comments are listed in time order. Your comment is the last one so it is last. If you reply to another comment it is in time order under that comment as your comment asking clarification is under the comment you replied to.

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Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.
Daniel Oreskes, Michael Aronov, and Anthony Azizi (foreground) with Daniel Jenkins and Jeb Kreager (background). Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Like all the best historical narratives, “Oslo” shows the intense fragility and contingency of human affairs
Rob Weinert-KendtJune 22, 2017
Senate proposal could “wreak havoc on low-income families and struggling communities, and must not be supported,” the bishops said in a statement released on Thursday evening.