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The Comey hearing: More smoke, wrong fire

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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.

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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.

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Immigration

House proposal makes DACA permanent and grants citizenship to illegals

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When Donald Trump issued an executive order in Sept. 2017 rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) order issued by Barack Obama, he was cheered by his adoring fans for appearing to keep one of his campaign promises regarding the illegal immigration problem. However, as the old saying goes, appearances can be deceiving.

The reason I call it deceiving is because Trump’s order was merely a technicality—sort of a Rescind-In-Name-Only moment—used to buy the time necessary to make DACA permanent, which has been his “big heart” goal from the beginning.

Of course, any permanent legislation needs to come from Congress, which should have been problematic for Republicans who campaigned for years against Obama’s handling of illegal immigration. But in today’s Republican party—owned and operated by Trump—such commitments have become secondary to the requirement to please Dear Leader.

For example, just days after Trump’s deceptive order, Mitch McConnell went on record in support of negotiation with Democrats and the president—but I repeat myself—to save DACA and create an amnesty plan and eventual citizenship for approximately 1.8 million DREAMers.

Though past attempts have failed, election-season fever is sweeping Washington, so Trump and Republican party loyalists are making another push to get the job done.

After conducting several days of Nancy Pelosi-style meetings behind closed doors, Paul Ryan released an immigration plan yesterday that will legally protect DREAMers while also providing over $23 billion for another Trump promise—a border wall.

Wait a minute! I though Trump promised us that Mexico was going to pay for the wall. I suppose that’s just another in-name-only moment for the New York liberal.

Back to the House proposal. DREAMers can apply for “nonimmigrant status” which is essentially a newfangled way to say visa. The extra visas necessary to handle these requests will be available due to new restrictions that will lower the number of legal immigrant applications, which means legal immigrants will be effectively moved to the back of the line.

But that’s not the worst part.

Once obtained, these visas become the first step on a pathway to citizenship, which means that years down the road, 1.8 million illegals—probably more—will have jumped the line to US citizenship ahead of legal immigrants, despite the rhetoric from Trump and the GOP claiming otherwise.

Though this proposal may or may not pass, making DACA permanent and creating a pathway to citizenship are broken promises. But as I wrote a few days ago, breaking promises has become a job requirement in the age of Trump and today’s GOP.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Politics

Like Obama, Trump has earned his Nobel Peace Prize too!

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After Trump signed an agreement with N. Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, promising to end joint military drills with S. Korea—because drills are so “provocative”—and to withdraw US troops from the Korean peninsula in exchange for Un’s pinky-swear promise to destroy his nuclear arsenal, the deal-maker-in chief announced to the world that everyone could “sleep well” now that N. Korea was no longer a nuclear threat.

While Trump’s pre-emptive, unconditional surrender to N. Korea’s “loving dictator” contained absolutely no details on how this East Asia Nirvana would come to fruition—Trump said he didn’t need them because he has “one of the great memories of all time“—it had enough substance to rekindle rumors of a Nobel Peace Prize for Trump.

In recognition of what Sean Hannity called Trump’s Reagan moment, two Norwegian lawmakers have nominated Trump to be the 2019 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for taking what they called a “huge and important step in the direction of the disarmament, peace, and reconciliation between North and South Korea.”

While there are those who feel Trump is undeserving of receiving what would essentially be nothing more than a participation trophy because he failed to actually win anything, I have to take a stand in defense of Trump because he’s just as worthy to receive something he didn’t earn as his predecessor was.

Early in his presidency, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing to earn it other than sounding like he would “work for a world without nuclear weapons.” Absent of any accomplishments to that end, the Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

In Trump’s case, he too lacks any verifiable accomplishment and has done nothing tangible to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. But like Obama, Trump’s efforts in Korea make it appear like he’s done something he hasn’t, so the fact that he hasn’t doesn’t matter.

The administration appears ready to live down to the Nobel Committee’s low expectations. Since all that’s required is for Trump to vaguely take a “step in the direction” of disarmament, Secretary of State Pompeo made the bold proclamation that the White House would set that as a goal by hoping to have “major, major disarmament” within the next 2 ½ years—which, coincidently, is the time of the next presidential election.

In an interview with Trump’s daily intel Team, FOX & Friends, Kellyanne Conway stated that Obama had his Nobel Peace Prize handed to him, but that Trump would earn his.

I have to say she’s right. Obama did have the Nobel Peace Prize handed to him while doing nothing to earn it. And if we use “doing nothing” as our barometer, it means Trump has “earned” the right to the Nobel Peace Prize too!

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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