“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” ~William Shakespeare, Henry II
In the year 1170, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury was killed within 2 days of the casual comment made by King Henry II. The “meddlesome priest” was killed because even a casual suggestion given by a king has the same affect as an order of death.
In today’s senate hearing, when former FBI Director James Comey testified, he used the above quote to describe the significance of President Donald Trump’s statement, “I hope u can see your way clear to letting this go.” Clearing the Oval Office of everyone except himself and Comey, it would appear Donald Trump knew he was about to say something inappropriate, and he didn’t want witnesses.
Republican Senator Risch of Idaho latched onto the word “hope” in Trump’s comment, implying hoping is not the same as ordering. Not so. The word “hope” doesn’t change Donald Trump’s intent to persuade Comey to end the investigation. Failing to succeed at obstruction doesn’t eliminate the offense.
Donald Trump asked James Comey on several occasions if he liked his job, and he asked for a pledge of loyalty, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” When Trump realized he couldn’t manipulate Comey into dropping the Russian investigation, he fired him.
“Obstruction by Intimidation, Threats, Persuasion, or Deception (18 U.S.C. 1512[b])
Donald Trump DID “attempt to persuade” Comey. Obstruction of Justice IS an impeachable offense.
Other hilights of Comey’s hearing—
- Senator John McCain’s line of questioning was bizarre to put it mildly.
- When Comey was asked why he kept a memo of his meetings with Trump, he said, “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting.”
- Senator Mark Warner said Trump expressed an “odd and unexplained affection for the Russian dictator while calling for the hacking of his opponent”.
The Trump camp is spinning today’s senate hearing into a success, saying Trump feels “completely vindicated” by Comey’s testimony.
The problem for Donald Trump is, from his— I don’t know— “hair,” to the fluorescent bleached teeth displayed with every overly practiced smile, to scotchtaped ties, and his amazing skin of a different technicolor, he exudes all the trustworthiness of a used car salesman. Between his appearance and his history of unethical behavior, ranging from sexual assault to nonpayment of contractors for services rendered, he is not believable.
In contrast, James Comey is crisp and professional, honest to a fault, more ethical than any politician, he makes mistakes because he is human, and he owns them, he talks about what his mother taught him with regards to honesty.
In a side by side comparison, Donald Trump is…Donald Trump and as such, I am on team Comey. What I really want right now though, is to be in on the closed session…damn it.