During the election, the press was consumed with the "optics" of Hillary Clinton's every move. If she coughed, there was a problem with the optics. If her State department helped a Nobel Peace Prize winner, the optics were problematic. If her foundation helped people, why couldn't she fix the optics problem and stop doing that?
Donald Trump's optics, on the other hand, were well and thoroughly overlooked by the press and perhaps that is why they figured the insanely bad optics of firing the person investigating them wouldn't matter.
Not only did Trump fire FBI Director James Comey is as public and humiliating way as possible, they did right after he publicly testified that there are ongoing investigations, including grand juries, into the connections between Trump's campaign and administration and the Russians. But the optics get even worse:
WASHINGTON — Days before he was fired, James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in resources for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, according to four congressional officials, including Senator Richard J. Durbin.
That's the kind of escalation that would make a guilty man break into cold sweats. That's the kind of escalation that would lead to an unprecedented panic-firing on the filmiest of grounds. Honestly, are we really supposed to believe that Donald Trump, the man that led "lock her up!" chants about Hillary Clinton suddenly decided over 100 days into his presidency that he felt bad about how Comey had bungled his email investigation and handed the Oval Office to Trump himself?
If you believe that one, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Barely used!
The amazing thing about this is that the people around Trump let him do it. Even the most casual and disinterested observer is going to notice how undeniably bad this looks. No amount of spin is going to wash away the stench of overt Nixonian corruption. The fact that Nixon did something similar to cover up his crimes makes it that much easier for the public to understand, meaning if one would be hard pressed to come up with a way to look more guilty short of holding a bloody knife over a corpse.
So either Trump is surrounded by sycophants completely incapable of protecting their manchild boss from his own worst instincts (a very likely scenario) or they simply assume that the public is so stupid they'll be able to hand wave this away by bombing Syria again or starting a war with North Korea (also a very likely scenario).
More likely, Trump and his collaborators know they're in a lot of trouble and they're in full panic mode now, desperately trying to shut down the investigation. That might even work for a while until the midterms when the public's rage at Trump will give control of the Congress to the Democrats. That's when a special prosecutor picks up where Comey's agents will be shortly forced to leave off and it all goes downhill from there. If he even lasts that long. Leaks from angry FBI agents might just do the job before then.
There are 544 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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