Why has President Donald Trump not fired FBI Director James Comey? Comey, who was recently called the most powerful man in America, directs an organization which collects all kinds of information on people in all stations of life. His is a position which can instill intense fear, even in the most powerful of elected politicians.
History is replete with institutions which have had both far-reaching investigative and arrest powers. Some of those organizations are (or were) not nearly so civilized as the American F.B.I. The men in command of investigative agencies can wield tremendous influence, even over heads of state – because of information in their possession which may cause damage to the subjects of the information. Especially if it is leaked to the public.
J. Edgar Hoover was such a man. The Director of the F.B.I. for forty-eight years, he was never fired from his position. He was immensely powerful and untouchable.
Reinhard Heydrich was such a man. He was, until his assassination, the head of the most feared police agency in the world – the Gestapo.
Heinrich Himmler, Heydrich’s successor, was such a man.
Erich Mielke, the head of East Germany’s security agency called the Stasi, was such a man.
Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria was such a man. Stalin reportedly called him “my Himmler.”
While the nature of the foregoing men’s character and deeds is not in any manner the same, their powerful positions were quite similar. They were all feared because of information they possessed – and their arrest powers.
Yesterday I posted a video which depicted an exchange between Congressman Trey Gowdy (R) and F.B.I. Director James Comey. At issue was the gathering and release (or rather leaking) of classified information which had been collected on American citizens, by and through America’s various intelligence agencies. Surveillance and wiretapping of telephone conversations came up during the conversation.
The most telling moment in the exchange (7:50 on the video counter) came when Mr. Gowdy asked the F.B.I. Director if he had ever briefed President Obama about the factual ongoing wire-tapping of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s telephone conversations.
GOWDY: Did you brief President Obama on any calls involving Michael Flynn?
COMEY: I’m not gonna get into either that particular case , that matter, or any conversations I had with the President. So, I can’t answer that.
The query was not complex or compound in its nature. It was a “YES or NO” question, which Mr. Comey did not answer.
A clear denial of having briefed then-President Obama about the Flynn wiretapping would have absolutely closed that door on the President’s involvement – for the time being.
Had Comey affirmed that then-President Obama indeed knew about Michael Flynn’s phones being tapped, that would have opened a huge door for Gowdy to walk through, to ask what other ongoing phone taps of which Mr. Obama had been apprised by the F.B.I. Director. Comey is a lawyer. He knows that.
In the alternative, had Comey untruthfully denied that he ever briefed President Obama about Michael Flynn’s phone conversations being secretly recorded, Comey would have been opening himself up to later criminal prosecution for lying to Congress.
But rather than affirm or deny, Comey declined to respond. From his refusal to answer that very simple “YES or NO” question I am drawing a very strong inference that James Comey did brief the then-President about the ongoing wiretapping of Michael Flynn’s phone conversations, reports of which later appeared in major newspapers.
This brief series of words goes to the heart of an issue which has recently consumed the American Press Corps and the Democrat Party. Are Donald Trump’s statements about his phones being tapped during the 2016 campaign, with the knowledge and under the auspices of then-President Barack Obama, credible or not credible? And why is James Comey still the Director of the F.B.I.?
TO BE CONTINUED…..