Home National Politics On the FBI Director Job, Dems Should Be Tougher Than Schumer’s Terms

On the FBI Director Job, Dems Should Be Tougher Than Schumer’s Terms

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As reported in Politico,

“Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has declared that no nomination should go forwardsaid Sunday that he would support an effort to block any nominee to lead the FBI until an independent prosecutor is named to oversee an investigation into Russia’s interference into last year’s presidential election, as well as the possibility of collusion between the Kremlin and individuals with ties to President Donald Trump or his campaign.”

Certainly, it’s a step in a good direction whenever Democrats take a strong stand and seem determined to hold their ground against the onrolling corruptions of today’s Republican Party and their grotesque president, Donald Trump.

But Schumer’s terms don’t go far enough.

Not far enough after what we learned, plus what we have good reason to suspect, regarding the Comey firing:

  • from Trump’s own mouth, an inappropriate inquiry into Trump’s own status in an ongoing FBI investigation;
  • from Trump’s own mouth, that his firing was connected with his desire that this investigation — into his campaign, his election, as well as possible near-treasonous behavior by his inner circle (and perhaps himself) — close down;
  • and from anonymous sources in the FBI, strong grounds to suspect that Trump demanded loyalty — personal loyalty — from the Director of the FBI, thus trampling on one of the key embodiments of our basic American commitment to “the rule of law.”

That adds up to a picture of a president who has grossly violated American norms concerning the relationship between the American president and the Director of the FBI.

Are we to let the president who has already violated that relationship choose the next Director?

Has Trump not forfeited the right to any benefit of the doubt about whether he will exercise such appointment power appropriately?

How could permitting that be reconciled with the sworn duty to “defend and protect the Constitution of the United States”?

Yes, the Democrats should insist as boldly as possible on a special prosecutor.

But they should also insist that Trump establish some blue-ribbon legal panel to recommend a non-partisan figure, with unquestioned integrity, and the requisite professional expertise, to be the next Director. (Or possibly a list of several such candidates.)

The president could then pass that recommendation along to the Senate for confirmation.

At the very least, such a position would help highlight the gross inappropriateness of Trump’s actions.

Trump cannot be trusted with the powers of the presidency in general. And this appointment process offers an apt place to begin to separate Donald Trump from those powers because of his assaults on the constitutional order of the United States.

Investigate today. Impeach tomorrow.

Focus energies now on the integrity of the investigation– insist on special prosecutor, insist on FBI director with loyalty to the law and the Constitution.

But at the same time, keep educating the public on all that is already visible. Which is already more than enough to justify the impeachment of this president.

  • Andy Schmookler

    Similar thinking I just encountered on Slate.com, where Yascha Mounk — an expert on how democracies can be destroyed by autocratic forces — writes:

    “[W]hile it would be outrageous if Trump nominates an obvious crony to head the
    FBI, I am not sure that the alternative is nearly as reassuring as many commentators seem to believe. Given the circumstances of Comey’s dismissal and the process governing his replacement, no successor picked by Trump can be trusted to oversee an investigation into Trump. That is why the only way to limit the immense damage that Comey’s firing has already done to basic democratic norms is to appoint an independent committee or special prosecutor with robust powers and a wide ambit.”

  • John Candor

    DNC sued for allegedly violating wage+overtime laws.

    “Fight for 15; But Not With Our Money!”

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/05/15/giggle-dnc-sued-over-paying-workers-subminimum-wage-n2327106

    Generosity with other peoples money; textbook liberalism.