Connect with us

Everything

The Comey hearing: More smoke, wrong fire

Published

on

About a month ago, National Review editor Rich Lowry called Trump “a human smoke-making machine . . . incapable of a little deftness.”  The headline of his opinion piece in Politico characterized the entire Trump-focused wing of the investigation into Russian election interference as “a scandal about smoke.”

When they saw all the Trump-fueled smoke, said Lowry, the Democrats wanted “to make fire.”  And when Comey suddenly decided he wanted to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee, many on the Left christened this the Great Fire-Making Moment.

The narrative almost wrote itself.  Comey had been director of the FBI; Trump had fired him due to the Russia investigation; Trump had perhaps pressured Comey to let the investigation of Michael Flynn go.  Surely on June 8, the smoke would roll back to reveal a giant conflagration – Comey would accuse Trump of obstruction, let slip that Trump was part of a giant Russian conspiracy, reveal something, anything impeachable.  Doctor visits were canceled, watch parties were scheduled, and cable news networks broke out their countdown clocks.

What are those who pushed that narrative left with now?

Well, Comey did confirm that the leak of his memos was accurate, that Trump told him he “hoped” the Flynn investigation would be dropped because Flynn was, in Trump’s estimation, a “good guy.”  Comey said that due to Trump’s “imperceptible body language,” he took this as a direction to stop the investigation.

But Trump said the very same thing about Flynn to the press, if you recall.  And whatever Comey’s “feelings” about whether Trump meant what he said as a direction, it’s a stretch to use Comey’s feelings as the sole basis of obstruction.  To my knowledge, an “I hope” statement has never been used as the sole basis for an obstruction charge.

Comey went on to reveal that the president had made false public statements, didn’t seem to be that concerned about Russian election interference, had directly asked for his loyalty, and had fired him because of his handling of the Russia investigation.

None of that information was new.  More smoke; no fire.  Collective yawns all around.

Instead, the Comey hearing turned a flamethrower on the charred remains of the Clinton email investigation.  Comey revealed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had asked him to refer to the FBI investigation of Clinton’s email server as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.”  Perhaps not so coincidentally, this is the rhetoric the Clinton campaign was using at the same time.

What’s that?  Evidence of Lynch’s DOJ colluding with the Democratic Party?  Will wonders never cease.

It’s astonishing to me that Comey chose not to investigate Loretta Lynch in relation to the Clinton email imbroglio after his encounter with her, especially given Lynch’s well-documented meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac in Arizona.  Lynch’s alleged interference in the Clinton investigation must not have had as much “intent” as that alleged in the Trump investigation, I suppose.

Comey’s hearing boiled down to a long, drawn-out attempt by Comey to justify his actions in the Clinton and Trump investigations by slant. It really didn’t work.

Nothing said at the Comey hearing changed my opinion that Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation and the Russia election investigation both bordered on incompetence.  Frankly, that’s the only justification Trump needed for his firing, though that’s not the one he gave.  As Mr. Lowry said almost a month ago, Trump reliably produces smoke, but even after today’s circus, I see no accompanying fire.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Donate to NOQ Report
3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bryan Woodsmall

    June 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    This is an interesting piece, and you make some good points.

    However, if there is “no fire” in the Trump smoke, then why is the info about Lynch’s alleged interference, which you say had “as much ‘intent’ as that alleged in the Trump investigation” tantamount to a “flamethrower”?

    The “intent” is “as much”, yet with one it is only smoke, and with the other it is a flamethrower. I don’t get that.

    I enjoyed the article. It was informative and thought provoking. But elevating the revelations about Lynch as being more damning than the info about Trump seems like partisan spin to me. In fact, both are bad. Some of the info about Lynch is new. That is one difference. Also, Lynch tried to give the appearance of being above the fray, while Trump doesn’t really try to hide his dishonesty and lack of principles. But if Trump’s problems are just smoke, then so are Lynch’s.

    • Connor Mighell

      June 9, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Hi, Bryan. Thanks for your comment. The sentence about “intent” which left you so bewildered was meant as a joke. When Comey announced that he wasn’t going to recommend charges against Clinton in the email scandal. Comey justified his actions by saying he found no evidence Clinton intended to do anything illegal. However, the crime Clinton allegedly committed does not require proof of intent to establish guilt. My statement about Lynch’s intent was meant as a joke about Comey’s ability to treat intent as consequential in cases when it isn’t. Once again, thanks for reading.

  2. Bryan Woodsmall

    June 9, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Ok, I see that I missed the joke, and I missed the word “not” which I now understand as sarcasm that seems more to suggest that Lynch’s interference was perhaps worse than Trump’s, rather than suggest equivalence.

    At any rate, your point was NOT to say they were of similar seriousness, so my bad.

    Still, while I agree that the revelation that Lynch asked Comey to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” is a big deal, I don’t see it as a “flamethrower” vs. just “smoke” from the Trump situation. For one thing, asking the FBI to assist with spin doesn’t constitute interference in the investigation itself. It is totally improper for sure, especially since it is the same word the Clinton administration was using, but it still doesn’t amount to actually interfering with the investigation.

    Your point about Comey treating intent as consequential when it isn’t is well taken. It kind of seemed like he was trying to thread a needle with a legal and logical explanation for his decision. I don’t know the law well enough to know whether he succeeded. However, in my opinion his actions were very beneficial to the Republican candidate (I’m not saying it was intentional). Had he indicted Clinton, I think she would have been replaced as the Democratic nominee. The new nominee would have had a headwind due to not being chosen by the normal process, but probably would have been a MUCH better candidate than Hillary Clinton. By not indicting her he took away the Dems need to replace her, and by being very critical of her he helped her opponent. So it was a win-win for Trump. And then he disclosed very late in the race that more emails had come to light, and needed to be looked at. I won’t argue either way whether that tipped the election, but it was helpful to Trump in a close race.

    I am not knowledgeable enough to assess Comey’s competence or lack thereof, but I think Trump supporters should be grateful for the way he handled the Clinton investigation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Culture and Religion

Mormons no more: LDS Church wants new branding

Published

on

Mormons no more LDS Church wants new branding

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, often referred to as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, no longer wants to be called by these names. They want the full name of the church used and any references to “LDS Church” or “Mormon” are to be ignored.

LDS Church wants everyone to stop calling it the LDS Church — and drop the word ‘Mormons’

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/08/16/lds-church-wants-everyone/On Thursday, the church released this statement from Nelson:

“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with his will. In recent weeks, various church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.”

This represents another swing of the pendulum for the church. In 2002, a similar de-emphasis on the word “Mormon” was announced. Timed to the arrival of the Winter Olympics in Utah, the church asked news outlets to refer to it by its full name.

Ironically, the statement was released through Mormon Newsroom.

My Take

The church, like nearly all of the big ones around the world, is as much of a business as it is a spiritual denomination. Today, the phrases “LDS Church” and “Mormon” are bad for business. After hitting a high note in 2012 with a major party presidential candidate, the church has taken some public relations beatings.

They want as close of an association with Jesus Christ as possible even if mainstream Christianity views their teachings as abominations. This is a rebrand, nothing more.

Continue Reading

Democrats

Jonathan Van Ness gives Democrats sound advice, gets demonized for it

Published

on

Jonathan Van Ness gives Democrats sound advice gets demonized for it

The Democratic Party is in shambles. They’re still flustered over an election two years ago and have been pointing fingers at each other ever since. The far-left socialists have gained a foothold in the party, making it less likely they’ll be able to make a dent in the coming midterm elections.

“Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness knows this and voiced two apparently unpopular opinions that have enraged his fan base and made him the target of the far left. First, he made the logical statement that going to far to the left will hurt their chances of taking the House and Senate.

That was bad from the progressives’ perspective, but his follow up Tweet sent them reeling into triggered oblivion.

The narrative from the left is that ALL Republicans are racist. Therefore, Van Ness is no longer the leftist hero he once was. Shame. He was actually starting to make sense.

Continue Reading

Guns and Crime

Will Elon Musk face criminal charges over his Tweet?

Published

on

Will Elon Musk face criminal charges over his Tweet

Elon Musk is in deep trouble over a Tweet. Nine little words could land him in court and possibly even in jail.

By Tweeting in the middle of the day, it’s a red flag to the SEC. The other, more important question that Musk must answer is whether or not he committed fraud by claiming he had the funds to buy the shares. He didn’t, and that alone could make his Tweet criminal.

Continue Reading

NOQ Report Daily

Advertisement

Facebook

Twitter

Advertisement Donate to NOQ Report

Trending

Copyright © 2017 NOQ Report.