A few days ago, the President of the United States admitted to the crime of Obstruction of Justice on national television. In an interview, he told NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired the Director of the F.B.I., James Comey, because he was frustrated by the investigation into Russian meddling in the election, which he said wasn’t real but rather made up by Democrats who lost an election they should have won.
This is Obstruction of Justice, an impeachable offense.
He left out the part about how it was the very same Comey’s timely revelations about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails that tipped the scales of the election. It’s hard to remember now, but the reason everyone was so upset about which email account Clinton used was that she might reveal classified information to our nation’s enemies, e.g. Russia. Even though no such information was revealed, Trump repeatedly called for Clinton to be “locked up” for her imagined crimes.
But with Trump, Obstruction of Justice is like everything else. Nothing. Republicans in Congress said he had a right to fire whoever he wants (not if it’s Obstruction, he doesn’t), that it’s all smoke and no fire, and so on.
Only four days ago, I wrote,
By next week it will all be forgotten, replaced in the “news” by stories about the selection of the new F.B.I. director, who, by the way, will certainly be loyal to Trump. Or by some other craziness, maybe the new investigation into voter fraud, led by a proponent of Voter ID laws. Or more likely by something we just can’t see coming right now. Your assignment: come back here in a week and add a comment about what it turned out to be!
Well, don’t bother. It didn’t take a week and we already have the answer. Yesterday, we learned that the President revealed highly classified information to the Russians in that meeting that only the Russian news agency was allowed to cover. He was bragging to the Russians about all the “great intel” he gets every day (Really? Who’d have imagined?). The WaPo article says,
The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.
The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.
This is Treason, also an impeachable offense.
To summarize, Trump wanted to lock up Crooked Hillary Clinton because she couldn’t be trusted to keep our secrets out of Russian hands, and applauded James Comey for revealing that the F.B.I. was investigating her handling of emails, an investigation which ultimately resulted in nothing.
In a fit of petulance, he then fired Comey for investigating the Russian hacking of the very emails we’re talking about, because it might be revealed that his campaign staff colluded with the Russians. Such a firing is unjustified, improper, and completely without precedent.
He then disclosed highly classified information directly to our enemies on his own. Personally. To the Russians. While standing in the Oval Office. With the Russian State News Agency present.
Does any of this matter to the “No Regerts” crowd? Nah. As everyone knows, Trump is Draining the Swamp and Making America Great Again. Lock Her Up. That’s what matters. When his current 88% approval rating with those who voted for him starts to drop, then maybe something will be done about all this. But there’s apparently nothing that could ever have that effect, so don’t hold your breath.
Obstruction of Justice + Treason = Nothing.