Monday, 15 May 2017 11:47

Comey firing moves administration into Trump constitutional crises

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fredricksonFor many political and legal observers of the Donald Trump campaign and administration, the recent firing of James Comey moved the investigation of Russian interference in American elections into a totally different and higher constitutional orbit.


Trump has committed the outrageous and the unthinkable over the past now almost two years ever since he became a candidate for President.  His firebrand in-your-face- approach to business, society, and politics, his inflammatory tweets, his made-for-TV persona, has been branded by his supporters into the man who could shake up Washington DC.

While many of us have had concerns over whether his campaign has had strange relationships with Russia, we have been countered by his proponents and defenders with their counter-claims there is nothing there, there.

But, last week, the events related to the firing of Comey created a layer of legal uncertainty and opened up a new chapter of the Trump investigation, just as the cover-up in the Watergate proceedings put Richard Nixon administration into jeopardy.

I received an email from a progressive constitutional organization,  The American Constitution Society, whose President Caroline Fredrickson, was quoted to make this very point.  After reading her comment below, I wanted to discuss via Facebook Live her reasons for her comment.'

“The events surrounding Comey's firing raise questions for investigators in Congress and the Department of Justice. The most immediate questions are why, why now and whether the administration will appoint a truly independent investigator. The dismissal politicized the Bureau and jeopardizes the rule of law. What will stop the president from demanding loyalty from the next FBI director over a piece of chocolate cake? The most important obligations of the FBI director are to the American people and the Constitution.”

Below are transcript segments from part I of the Facebook Live discussion from the interview.

I think we have a constitutional framework, a separation of powers and rule of law, and that in a lot of that functions not just on the basis of legal enforceable obligations that is you can sue somebody or put them in jail-- but also on the basis of norms how do we usually operate and I think what's so concerning right now is that President Trump is throwing all the out the window--normal ways of behaving that Republicans and Democrats in the presidency or in Congress, the way they behave the way that taking action way they've interacted with each other and the respect they've had-- for the different branches of government is very much in danger right now and so I think this is an area where we're seeing anxiety, a real concern from Republicans, Democrats, independents--you name it-- our constitutional framework is under duress right now okay so this past week was really.... 

 So it's all just so murky right now it raises so many questions but I think the only thing that we can that we as Americans  really should be demanding is a fair impartial and thorough investigation...


There are a lot of questions about whether he was coerced (Rosenstein) so he doesn't see why he's independent either so I think you know we need an independent commission appointed by Congress we need a special counsel who is in the Justice Department but free from intimidation and coercion by Jeff Sessions or Rosenstein and and without that  i think we are not going to be satisfied that that that we know the answers and that we know whether or not the Russians were engaged in trying to swing an election and I want to go back to that, because that is really what is at base here, a foreign country that not only is a foreign country but is one of our oldest and worst enemies I and they came in and we have strong evidence that they tried to have influence in an American election-- that is cause,  not just for concern but for you know that's a state of emergency and we need to get to the bottom of that and that involves you know what how Donald Trump is involved and it involves how his campaign people and others and so you know this is a very very very significant matter....


Last modified on Monday, 15 May 2017 13:18
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