Some people are calling for President Donald John Trump to fire Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller, and even though Mueller is giving the mainstream media plenty of opportunities to attack Trump, firing him would be the wrong move.
Sometimes the best move is to give someone plenty of rope so they can hang themselves.
Mueller has been investigating since May and he hasn’t found any evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia that he is supposed to be investigating.
Mueller has uncovered evidence of the Clinton campaign colluding with Russians – if paying people for salacious information about your opponent is collusion. And he has also found some evidence of the FBI colluding with the Russians and the Clinton campaign.
If Mueller is supposed to follow this investigation wherever it leads then he should be investigating Hillary Clinton and the FBI.
The text message from FBI agent Peter Strzok about needing an “insurance policy” if Trump is elected is evidence that a crime may have been committed; it isn’t proof but it is evidence. If Mueller is doing his job, he is investigating that evidence of a crime.
If he hasn’t found any evidence of Trump colluding with the Russians in six months, there isn’t much chance he’s going to find it in eight months or a year. Trump says that Mueller can’t find anything because there isn’t anything to find.
The best thing Trump can do at this point is allow Mueller to keep spending exorbitant sums of money, keep hiring obvious Hillary Clinton fans on his team and make a fool of himself.
Mueller has taken tens of thousands of emails without a warrant, which may not be technically illegal but it’s not a smart move. He should have made sure all the t’s were crossed and the i’s dotted. He’s not going after some little scientist this time, he’s going after the president of the United States. If he should ever find any evidence, he had better be 100 percent sure it’s evidence he can take to court.
When he decided to fire one of his lead investigators, he should have been open about it. The whole Peter Strzok mess would have had an entirely different spin if Mueller had come clean on it. Both the emails and the handling of Strzok are indications that this investigation is falling apart. Mueller is supposed to know how to handle highly political investigations, but he’s not handling this one like you would expect.
The evidence of collusion between the FBI and the Clinton campaign needs to be investigated, if not by Mueller then by someone else.
The FBI is immensely powerful and that power is supposed to be used to protect the American people; it is not supposed to be used to help a presidential candidate get elected. But the evidence so far is proof that at least some FBI agents used their power to try and help Hillary Clinton.
It appears the Justice Department was also in on helping Hillary Clinton. Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr met both with Fusion GPS, who contracted to have the investigation of Trump, and Christopher Steele, who was paid for the investigation and produced the Steele dossier. Ohr’s wife, who also worked for the CIA, worked for Fusion GPS. Ohr was demoted when these facts became public.
If there was nothing wrong with his meetings or with Nellie Ohr working for Fusion GPS, why was he demoted from his job as associate deputy attorney general, the number four spot in the attorney general’s office?
Another question that should be asked is, with that kind of background, how did he get hired as the associate deputy attorney general by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Did Sessions not vet the people who he hired to work in the Justice Department for conflicts of interest?
It appears that because both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Ohr were hired to high-ranking positions in the department, Sessions just assumed that everyone working in the Justice Department was above reproach.
It’s not a good time to fire Sessions, but Sessions deserves to be fired for not checking out the people who had been working for former attorneys general Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder. It seems that it would be a safe assumption that people loyal to Obama, Lynch and Holder might have trouble being loyal to a president with radically different views on how the country should be run.
Sessions has, in fact, been behaving like one of the people that Trump said he would run out of Washington. Sessions has been in Washington for 20 years and so far he has been acting like he is a member in good standing of the Washington swamp, whose real loyalty is to the swamp and not to the country or the people of the country.
Sessions has said that he has Justice Department officials investigating whether or not the Justice Department should be investigated for collusion with the Clinton campaign.
That makes him no better than Rosenstein, who also thinks the Justice Department investigating the Justice Department is the way to go.
When the evidence without anyone investigating has already reached the top level of the associate deputy attorney general, you have too big a problem for the Justice Department to investigate itself.
Look at the fact that Mueller chose Strzok to be one of his lead investigators for the special prosecutor’s office. Strzok must have been recommended. One would hope that nobody told Mueller that Strzok would be good because he hates Trump and is a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. But it appears that was one of the criteria for being hired on by Mueller. His top deputy Andrew Weissmann attended the Hillary Clinton victory party on election night.
Mueller has been in Washington too long to be that tone deaf. Why would he hire someone who was so obviously a Hillary Clinton supporter, if he wasn’t looking for people who supported Hillary Clinton for his team?
There is no shortage of experienced prosecutors in Washington and no shortage of experienced prosecutors who had nothing to do with either campaign. How is it that Mueller has so many people on his staff with obvious bias?
One question that Strzok raises is, how high did this collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign go in the FBI. And the answer is, all the way to the top – former FBI Director Jim Comey, whose firing gave the excuse for hiring Mueller as special prosecutor.
Comey drafted the speech exonerating Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing in the email scandal before Hillary Clinton was interviewed. Strzok helped Comey with his speech, and by changing “gross negligence” to “extremely careless” made clear that Hillary Clinton was not to be charged with a crime when the evidence that the FBI released indicated that she had in fact committed a crime.
Mueller was quick to charge both Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos for lying to the FBI, but Clinton’s ever present aide Huma Abedin was not charged with lying to the FBI when she said that she didn’t know Hillary Clinton had a private server. Abedin had an email account on that server. Assuming that Abedin is not a complete idiot, she knew by her email address that it was not on a government server.
It appears the voters of Alabama believed there was some truth in the allegations of Roy Moore behaving improperly with teenaged women 40 years ago.
Absent those allegations the race was a slam-dunk for the Republicans, and Moore on the issues was much closer to the views that the voters of Alabama have expressed in previous elections. So the results show that the people of Alabama – the ones who know Moore far better than the national media – believed that there was enough truth in the allegations that they didn’t want Moore representing them in the Senate and would rather be represented by someone who politically they disagreed with, but who didn’t have a history of taking advantage of young women.
The voters have spoken and it’s time to move on.
Sometimes people claim not to know what they do know, and I think that is what Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is doing. In Judiciary Committee hearings, Jordan has said repeatedly that it is his gut feeling that the Steele dossier – which was paid for by the Clinton campaign through an intermediary to launder the money – was used by the FBI to get Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to wiretap the Trump campaign.
If this is true, Trump has good reason to clean out the upper levels of the FBI and the Justice Department. Anyone who had any knowledge, or should have had knowledge, of this should be gone – and some folks should go to jail. The FBI is not supposed to tamper in political campaigns.
But Jordan has doubled down on his comments. He not only gave his spiel at the Judiciary Committee hearing, but he went on national news shows to say the same thing. He is either a very reckless politician – one who is willing to risk his career on the flip of a coin – or far more likely he knows exactly what the answer to his question is.
In politics, information comes from sometimes unlikely sources. I think Jordan knows without a doubt that the FBI did use the Steele dossier to get the warrants; he can’t say how he knows, but evidently he knows that the Justice Department will be forced to answer the question and he knows exactly what that answer will be.
He may even have the documents to prove that the FBI did use the Steele dossier to get the FISA warrant, but he can’t divulge how he got them. Or else someone he knows and trusts has told him that the Steele dossier was the basis of the information presented to the FISA court to get the warrant. He knows it’s true and is enjoying making the FBI and Justice Department officials squirm when he asks the question that they don’t want to answer.
Both Jordan and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte agree that there is no reason why the question can’t be answered in an open committee meeting, but Jordan and Goodlatte have said that if they have to do it in a classified setting that is fine with them. When the chairman of the Judiciary Committee has to remind the director of the FBI that the Judiciary Committee has direct oversight of the Justice Department, there is something wrong.
Trump can go a long way toward bringing this probe to an end, and he doesn’t have to fire anybody.
What Trump should do is call Sessions into the Oval Office and say, “Jeff, the behavior of your employees in front of congressional committees is appalling. I feel like I’m watching Hillary Clinton, who managed to sit for hours and not answer a single question. I won’t have that in my administration. I want you to send a memo to everyone in the Justice Department who might be called to testify and tell them in no uncertain terms that they are to answer every question they are asked and to provide all the information that can be provided or the next time you walk in this office I’m going to say, ‘You’re fired.’”
Trump ought to do it, but Sessions shouldn’t have to be told. You have members of a Republican administration going to talk to Republicans on committees and they act like they are captured soldiers being interrogated.
If Rosenstein answered any question of import during his testimony, I missed it. All I saw Rosenstein do was give the same speech over and over about an investigation by the inspector general.
First of all, you have the Justice Department investigating the Justice Department, which is not a good start, but, secondly, an internal investigation – which is what the inspector general’s investigation is – doesn’t preclude the deputy attorney general from answering questions. What prevents Rosenstein from answering questions is that Rosenstein doesn’t like the answers and doesn’t like the people asking them.
Sessions should get rid of Rosenstein for his behavior testifying to committees, if not for the whole special prosecutor fiasco.
Rosenstein worked for Mueller early in his career. The whole thing is so incestuous. Comey and Mueller are good friends, and Comey is considered Mueller’s protégé; so Rosenstein, who also worked for Mueller, hires Mueller to head an investigation started by Comey.
One would think from the way this whole thing has been handled that Washington is a very small town and everybody is related to everyone else.
It seems Republicans are convinced that the FBI used the Steele dossier, which the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for, to get the FISA warrants to electronically surveil the Trump campaign.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that isn’t true because the FBI had to go to the FISA court with something other than the desire of its agents to do everything in their power to keep Trump from being elected.
So if the FBI has other evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, where is it? The special prosecutor has been working now for six months and hasn’t come up with anything. If the FBI had something, so would the special prosecutor. But according to reports he has come up with nothing.
It’s also a little bit like pleading the Fifth. You can’t plead the Fifth if you aren’t guilty because the Fifth Amendment protects someone from being a witness against themself. If you have committed no crime then you don’t have Fifth Amendment protection. If the FBI didn’t use the Steele dossier to obtain the FISA warrants than Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray would declare openly and loudly that they weren’t used. Not denying that they were used is nearly the same as saying they were.
It’s time for Congress to have that information.
It seems quite a coincidence that the Atlanta airport, the busiest in the world, would be shut down for 11 hours, and a few hours later a train would derail over a busy interstate. What are the odds of a train derailing directly over an interstate?
If either of these events are the result of terrorists, I doubt if that information will be released any time soon. The authorities will decide that they don’t want the American people to panic.
But if they are a weird coincidence, it is proof that American infrastructure needs attention.
The Atlanta incident is actually more troubling. For decades the American electrical infrastructure has run on hope and prayer. It is extremely vulnerable, not just to terrorist attacks, but to everything. In large part because of overregulation we don’t have the redundancy that we need in a system that is so vital to American life.
As Trump noted in his speech on national security, the US has spent far too much money on building other nations and not enough on itself. We can’t keep spending money on everything else and not fix our own leaky roof.
The mainstream media are amazingly consistent. During the eight years that Barack Obama was president, the good economic news was attributed to Obama and the bad economic news was blamed on his predecessor, President George W. Bush. Now that Trump is president, Obama is given credit for the good economic news and Trump is blamed for any downturn in the economy.
Consumer confidence doesn’t sound like much, but it has a tremendous impact on the economy. The decisions made by millions of Americans whether to buy a new car or put up with their old one for another year are a fairly obvious indication of the state of the economy. Then multiply that by everything people do, whether they go out to eat lunch or bring a sandwich from home; buy new clothes or keep wearing the old ones.
People liked Obama enough to elect him president twice, but Obama had no background in business or economics, so neither the corporate executives or the great unwashed masses ever really trusted him to make the right economic decisions, and he didn’t. Obama clearly didn’t know how to get the private economy going and didn’t even know how to give more money to state and local governments, so the economy puttered along while he was president, but not once in eight years did economic growth reach 3 percent.
Corporate executives may not like Trump, but they know that he knows the economy.
The great unwashed got him elected. Most people figure that a man who has made billions of dollars in business knows something about business.
Now some folks in the news media claim that isn’t true, but it can’t all be luck. Trump did get help from his father, but a lot of people who come from wealthy families wind up losing it all. Trump didn’t. He took what he was given and multiplied it.
But it doesn’t matter what the mainstream media think about Trump’s business practices or success, because the people in the US believe that Trump will take care of the economy and that’s what counts.
Trump is known to exaggerate. Everything he does is bigger and better than anything that has ever been done.
Now he is claiming to have eliminated 22 federal regulations for every new one implemented. The goal was two for one.
So what if he is exaggerating and it is only 20 regulations for every new one, or even 15 or 10 for every new one? The point is that the federal government under Trump has eliminated a whole bunch of regulations and still has a lot more work to do. If he can eliminate 22 for every new regulation for eight years we might get back to where we should be.
The federal government was never supposed to make all the laws and regulations for the country. States and local governments are supposed to have a good bit of autonomy, but they haven’t because the federal government has had all the money. If states didn’t obey, they didn’t get money. It’s simple and it has worked.
Americans have been convinced by the mainstream media that the only people who are going to pay less in taxes under the new tax reform bill are the rich. But since the bill has passed and the liberals can now be honest about it, The Washington Post reported today that an estimated 8 out of 10 Americans will pay lower taxes next year.
And it gets better for most people, because the majority of those who will pay more are folks with six figure incomes and expensive homes in high tax states like New York and California because they will lose the tax deduction for state and local property taxes.
If The Post is correct, then next year the tax reform bill will be a whole lot more popular than it is now.
What the tax reform bill does is give Trump and the Republicans a big win to take into 2018.
The bill is a typical compromise. It doesn’t do nearly as much as Republicans hoped to be able to do but it does make significant changes in the federal tax structure.
Many of those changes are designed to help corporations, which were paying one of the highest tax rates in the world.
The economy under the Trump administration is already doing far better than it ever did under the eight years of the Obama administration. It appears that Trump, not Obama, should get the credit for ending the recession of 2008. If this tax reform bill does what Trump and the Republicans say it will do, the economy should really start booming.
One statistic that Obama must hate is that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate for blacks is 7 percent – the lowest it has been since 2000, which means it is lower than it ever was during the Obama presidency.
While most of the news is about the tax cuts in the tax reform bill passed by the Senate and House and signed into law by Trump on Wednesday, there is a lot more to the bill than tax cuts.
With this bill the Republicans, who can’t pass an Obamacare repeal bill, continue to repeal Obamacare piece by piece. The tax reform bill repeals the individual mandate, requiring everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
The repeal pretty much kills Obamacare. People are no longer required by law to buy health insurance, which means they get to make their own decision about their own healthcare insurance. It hardly seems like a radical idea.
I could never understand how the federal government could force people to buy a product they didn’t want, but now they don’t have to. It means Obamacare, which has never worked, is going to get even more expensive because healthy young people who don’t believe they need to have health insurance won’t buy it. The individual mandate was supposed to force young healthy people to buy health insurance to pay for people who have health problems.