WASHINGTON, May 10, 2017 — If you’re a political junky, you must be suffering from a serious case of whiplash. Very recently, Hillary Clinton told CNN she was “on the way to winning [the presidency]” until FBI Director “Jim Comey’s letter on October 28” told Congress he was reopening the investigation into her illegal handling of emails containing government secrets.
And in December, an angry Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer nodding approvingly nearby, said, “A week before the election, he [Comey] came out with this, ‘Oh, we found some more emails,’ and as a result of that, we lost Senate seats, and, I think, we lost the presidency.”
And Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said, “I have a great belief that the agency [FBI] is a good agency. I have a stronger belief that James Comey has done this nation a terrible disservice.”
Then on Tuesday, in what can only be called a monumental act of bipartisanship, President Trump fired James Comey.
“Here’s the bottom line,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Hukabee Sanders, “Comey had lost confidence across the board, from House members, from Senate members, from rank-and-file members of the FBI and the American public.”
And that is when, to borrow a phrase from columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell, Comey suddenly gained “strange, new respect” from the very Democrats that in a post-election, closed-door meeting heaped scorn upon him – at high decibel levels.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the press, “I told the president… with all due respect, you’re making a big mistake. The first question the administration has to answer is: Why now?”
Rep. Alcee Hasting insisted in a tweet, “The American people deserve to know why Director Comey was fired without reason & Donald Trump needs to explain himself immediately.”
And Robby Mook, who ran Mrs. Clinton’s disastrous presidential campaign, issued a statement, saying, “I was as frustrated, concerned and disappointed as anyone with Director Comey’s handling of the [Clinton] email investigation, but President Trump just fired the man investigating how Russia meddled in our election and whether members of his campaign were involved.”
If your neck is sore from whiplash, it’s understandable. Comey has undergone one of the fastest character rehabilitations in American political history. And you can attribute it to the “Trump effect,” sometimes called “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Where Comey’s firing is concerned, there is no escaping the fact that Sen. Chuck Schumer is correct to ask, “Why now?”
The answer is obvious: The Obama administration’s former Assistant Attorney General, Sally Yates, told Congress on Monday that the FBI was conducting a “counter intelligence investigation” into possible collusion between team Trump and the Russians in tampering with the 2016 presidential election.
James Clapper, former Director for National Intelligence, using the vapid language of bureaucratese, condemned the FBI probe by saying it “did not reach the evidentiary bar in terms of levels of confidence.”
Translation: “The so-called evidence uncovered in the FBI’s counter intelligence probe of Trump and Co. is utterly worthless.”
In Trump’s termination letter to Comey, he snarkely noted, “While I greatly appreciate your informing me, on three occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
In other words, an appointed bureaucrat lied to the President of the United States, at whose pleasure he serves, about a politically-motivated, Obama administration-inspired, FBI probe.
And then President Trump fired yet another Obama appointee.