Sometimes a topic just gets out of hand and that’s the case with the Comey testimony today. I’m posting this now as our own election will dominate tomorrow morning.
For those not familiar, the former FBI director was joining Dems to try to impeach Trump but Comey came a cropper:
Ok, this was coming out in live tweeting and Comey was not delivering the blow he wanted and the left wanted – it was as suspected.
However, you’d never have known that from the BBC, the Telegraph and the Mail. The BBC was worst with huge headline: ‘Trump lied.’ In smaller print, it says ‘Comey says’. That is, the man trying to defend charges against him says his accuser lied. A bit different, yes?
It’s this lying by the press which is truly upsetting me – I’ve always been savage with liars but this lot I can do nothing about.
Plus it all moved so fast that the material I had lined up for a post is now outdated. However, something from Chuckles is still relevant and I reprint it below:
There have been thousands and thousands of pages of verbiage and posturing churned out in recent days, with some truly absurd assertions and’ proof by assertion’, some of which I’ve forwarded.
A good example was the gleeful media shrieking earlier today, that some dimwit democrats have ‘started impeachment proceedings’, or ‘Impeachment begins’.
I don’t know what the journalists involved think that grandstanding and posturing by a couple of house minority party members will achieve, but they clearly don’t know anything about the constitutional mechanisms involved.
The pair claim that they charge ‘obstruction of justice’ a theme oft repeated in much of the previously mentioned verbiage, of which this is as good a sample as any –
The problem is, as noted in the header article, that the US president IS the executive branch of the govt. As such, all of these depts and people, like State, or the FBI, are NOT exercising independent authority, one perhaps vested in an absr=tract concept such as ‘justice’ or ‘fairness’ but are instead exercising authority on behalf of the president, and in his stead.
Andrew McCarthy notes –
“This brings us to the second important principle: executive discretion.
It is not enough to say the president is the chief executive. In our system, he is the only executive with constitutional power. (“The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America” —Article II, Section 1.)
Every other executive-branch officer is not just subordinate to the president. These inferior officers do not have their own power. The power they exercise is the president’s power. They are mere delegates. These subordinate executive officials include FBI agents and federal prosecutors. Every day, throughout the United States, these officials exercise executive discretion to shut down investigations or decline prosecutions.
The Justice Department (of which the FBI is a component) decides, based on the totality of the circumstances, whether further investigation and prosecution are warranted. In this, again, they are exercising the president’s power. In light of the fact that the president is their superior and the power is his, the president cannot have less discretion than a United States attorney or an FBI supervisor does in weighing the equities and deciding that a case should not be pursued.
Charging discretion, moreover, is like the pardon power in this regard: It is a power of the executive that is unreviewable by the courts.
Now, you may disagree with his calculus. But it cannot seriously be said that the calculus is not a legitimate exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Those who claim it is illegitimate political interference in law enforcement misunderstand our constitutional system (and have apparently never heard of the pardon power, in which presidents routinely intrude on law enforcement).
The FBI and Justice Department are not an independent branch of government. They are subordinate to the president, and he gets to prod and even order them to do things.
A legitimate exercise of executive power cannot be corrupt. A president does not corruptly impede an investigation by deciding that the equities weigh in favor of halting it. That is a decision the president gets to make. Finally, it bears emphasizing that it is not the decision Trump made. He told Comey what he hoped would happen, and why. “
In this and a number of similar ‘talking points’ the media and non Tump supporting pollies, and going on and on as if the various US executive organisations are independent entities, rather than subordinate entities which exist to do the bidding of the president, and to implement his decisions, and which serve and in many cases exist, at the pleasure of the president.
Is it not difficult to be guilty of ‘obstruction of justice’ when you ARE justice?
In the article McCarthy notes however that if a president did indeed use his office and his powers for partisan purposes – protecting cronies, or personal vendettas, it may indeed be in the interests of congress to think about impeachment, but the current posturing is just ridiculous
As noted elsewhere, Comey frequently refers to the ‘independence’ of the FBI. It is NOT independent in any sense, and it is absolute nonsense to claim that it is.
And other matters from the testimony that the BBC will perhaps not be so happy to trumpet –
And another one who gets it –
Comey indicted everyone:
You’re not getting away with it, you bstds – the real press is right onto you!
Trumps lawyer ~ "The president feels vindicated".
He should, Comey embarrassed himself and hurt the dems. pic.twitter.com/kc1mzydFRF
— Mike (@mike_Zollo) June 8, 2017