For me, the biggest surprise in James Comey’s hearing on Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee was his statement that he leaked information to the press to pressure President Trump to do what he wanted him to do. This struck me as a jaw dropping admission that the media (to judge from the internet) seems to consider completely reasonable.
But I ask you, would you like someone you trusted posting disparaging information about you on their Facebook page? What if it was someone who just didn’t like you?
Had President Trump not already fired him, I would have said Director Comey’s job was in jeopardy just for that.
A knockout blow?
To judge from the few online news feeds I’ve read, most of the pundits believe that James Comey has delivered a knockout blow to Trump. But I’m having problems seeing it.
Alan Dershowitz, hardly a political conservative, believes that the pundits are simply wrong. Instead, he believes that that Trump has done nothing illegal, and he is petitioning his fellow Democrats to stop trying to “get” President Trump and move on to addressing Trump’s agenda.
A bias revealed
When I was reading or listening to the news, what struck me was the way that Mr. Comey portrayed himself. At times he claims he didn’t respond to something President Trump said. Well, that must have been awkward! Or his responses were odd. He kept detailed notes of meetings with President Trump, though he did not do so with President Obama.
For Democrats, that’s reasonable. After all, who could trust Trump? But Mr. Comey admitted to slanting the information released about Secretary Clinton under a lot more pressure from Attorney General Loretta Lynch than any sentence with the word “hope” in it from President Trump. Did he keep memos about his conversation with her, too? Apparently, he reserved that for President Trump.
I can’t help but think that Mr. Comey was biased against Mr. Trump from the beginning. Being fired by the President couldn’t have improved Mr. Comey’s perception of him. I’ve been a supervisor for over 12 years, and I can guarantee that there are some employees who wouldn’t be unhappy if I fell off the planet. Their accounts of what happened and mine are — I assure you — as different as night and day.
I must be careful here to state that my opinion has nothing to do with my job. It is my own opinion and not endorsed by the United States Government.
But I am indeed a government employee. I work in a “classified” environment. Every year, I and my employees get training on how to handle classified information, sometimes by NCIS! We aren’t permitted to use our personal email accounts for work at all — even for unclassified information. But Hilary Clinton did.
If any of my employees had done what Hilary Clinton did (assuming they had sufficient income to pay $30,000 for a server and an additional $60,000 for someone to set it up and maintain it), I would have had to fire them. I know this because I’ve had to discipline an employee for far less egregious behavior in an unclassified environment. It was an honest (if dumb) mistake that was far below the determined intent needed to purchase a server and hire someone maintain it. Servers aren’t purchased second-hand at Salvation Army stores, and $60,000 is probably the starting salary for an administrator.
And my employee, when faced with what he did, immediately came clean. He was completely cooperative. There were no denials followed by grudging admissions when the truth could no longer be denied.
But James Comey let that ride when Secretary Clinton did it. No one would prosecute, he said. Well, they would if the last name hadn’t been Clinton. Of that, I have no doubt. I’ve had to do it for far less.
He said; he said
President Trump says one thing. James Comey says another. Who are we to believe? As I’ve said in another blog (A Complete Nobody’s Look at The First 100 Days of President Trump, President Trump and His First Month) our new President isn’t always accurate, and he needs someone to tactfully filter his Twitter feed. (I would volunteer, but he might fire me.)
For Democrats, inaccuracies in Twitter feeds are tantamount to lying — unless a Democrat does it. When a Democrat does it (as Senator Schumer did recently when defending the number of unconfirmed positions in the Trump administration), then the news media yawns. Apparently, we need to understand that we’re all human — at least when a Democrat makes a mistake.
That being said, President Trump seems to be more human than any other President in living memory. He certainly isn’t a diplomat! I might wish that he would be a “kinder, gentler” President, but that doesn’t mean he’s a criminal.
But now Mr. Comey and Mr. Trump have conflicting accounts. Mr. Comey says, “Lordy, I hope their are tapes.” So do I. But then, if they didn’t confirm Mr. Comey’s account, I can only imagine President Trump would get the “Linda Tripp” or “Richard Nixon” treatment from the press. The press has not treated tapes kindly in the past when they demonstrated Democratic wrong-doing.
As I’ve said in What is truth? Do we care?, do we care to know the truth as much as we want “our side” to be right? I hope, liberal or conservative, we can search for the truth and recognize it when we see it.
I suppose, though, if we could do that, there would be no “left” or “right”.