By Unz Review columnist Dr. Boyd D. Cathey:
A “fascist coup!”—a “massive cover-up!” —-“the most serious constitutional crisis in our history!” Wow. To hear these primal screams uttered by the Mainstream Media (MSM) and various Democratic leaders, in forcefully pained and apocalyptic tones, you would think that the nation teeters (or, is it “totters”?) on the brink of a coup d’etat, with Abrams tanks and the heavily-armed 82nd Airborne waiting in the suburbs to roll into Washington and seize control of our peaceful democratic republic, in the name of that “new Hitler” autocrat, SS Gruppenfuher Donald von Trump!
Yet the only startling element—although we shouldn’t be at all surprised— in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey was the obvious neo-Stalinism of the leaders of the Democratic Party and their advance Einsatsgruppen in the thuggish coterie called the Mainstream Media [MSM]. Yes, increasingly the Dems and the MSM remind me of the old Communist Party, and not just ideologically, but also in their everyday, turn-on-a-dime, praxis.
Consider: until Stalin and Hitler made their infamous “pact” in 1939 which essentially surrounded Poland with two hungry and powerful military powers, Communist parties worldwide had engaged in a constant campaign of attacks against “fascism” and “Naziism.” In France the Parti Communiste Francaise had supported the Popular Front with other so-called “democratic” and socialist parties. In the United States Communists had involved themselves in various “democratic” front groups and in support of various mainstream political candidates—all in the name of democracy and staunch opposition to “fascism.”
Then, after the sudden signing of the non-aggression pact on August 23, 1939, Communists parties throughout the Commintern—throughout the world—received the sharp directive: no longer attack Hitler and the Nazis. And The Daily Worker newspaper, which had only a few days earlier lambasted Hitler and his country in apocalyptic terms, all of sudden found nice things to say about them, and the PCUSA was told to cease and decease in criticisms.
For weeks, indeed, for months the very same Democrats and their advance units in the MSM now lauding Comey had been attacking him. Just a week ago Hillary Clinton once again blamed him for her loss last November. And Senator Chuck Schumer, on more than one occasion, had indicated that Comey should step down as FBI director for his antics during the 2016 election campaign. Same thing for the MSM. But then, after President Trump fired Comey, just like the old Commie Stalinists of yore, almost the entirety of the MSM/Democratic wing of the Deep State establishment came to his defense: now he was the valiant, brave, professional who was leading a fearless investigation into the supposed “collusion” between the Trump campaign and—shudder, shudder—Vladimir Putin!
Even some Republicans got into the act, mostly to question the “timing” of the firing, but, in effect, towing the Soviet—uh, I mean, Democratic Deep State—line. John McCain, the nation’s leading Russophobe politician, chimed in questioning the timing aspect, and he was joined by Senator Richard Burr, expressing similar disquiet. Such a response from the supposed “opposition” was fatuous, indicating that either those GOP solons had not really read through the sequence of events, or somehow gave credence to the completely hollow Deep State narrative that somewhere, somehow, hidden so profoundly in the minutiae of data that it had escaped our intelligence agencies for nine—nine!—months, there was “proof” of collusion.
Yet, this narrative—which not only James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence) and Comey have said repeatedly has no investigative basis whatsoever, and now Senator Dianne Feinstein and even Representative “Impeach the Prez” Waters from California admit has no basis in fact—this narrative re-appears suddenly like the dragon Fafnir of Norse mythology to explain why the president fired Comey. It was, they darkly claim and insinuate, to stop and to forestall the Trump/Russia collusion investigation! Aha! Thus, the timing: it happened just a few days before Comey was to testify before Congress, again, for the umpteenth time! And, of course, we all know that the former FBI director was going to spill the beans this time!
All of this is based on utter rubbish, a narrative that the MSM and Democrat left want to be true, that they work to make true, that they earnestly believe to be true, but, in fact, is completely and totally false. Just like the Communists of 1939, they have turned on a dime. Last week and for months they were demanding that Comey be drawn-and-quartered: “Give us the head of James Comey!” quoth Salome Hillary. Now, you followers of “Big Brother,” just forget what we said for the past nine months!
But the reality—that is, the real reality—is otherwise. The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was charged just a couple of weeks ago with preparing a report on James Comey’s tenure. Now, Rosenstein is a career Justice Department official, having served for decades, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, including under George Bush and Barack Obama. He was just recently confirmed by the Senate by an overwhelming 94-6 vote, with Chuck Schumer praising his probity of character, integrity, and professionalism. Only after his confirmation was he, quite properly, charged with this investigation. Rosenstein is apolitical, and that was the precise reason the AG Jeff Sessions entrusted him with the duty to examine Comey’s record. And that detailed report, when it was ready, was presented to the president who, then, acted upon it.
Certainly, the White House recognized that its enemies would attempt to make an issue out of this dismissal, but the crass, fly-in-your face hypocrisy and the Soviet-style volte-face response is, to put it mildly, incredibly revolting and blatantly offensive.
Nevertheless, the Deep State cultural Marxists, continuing to exist in their “Russia did it” reality bubble, have gone literally berserk. For them it’s all a part of a new Watergate, an attempted coup, et cetera, et cetera. And, sadly, there are millions of Americans, deformed by decades of higher educational indoctrination, a corrupted bowl of intellectually soured ideological porridge, who will believe this pushed, baseless narrative.
In fact, the only players in any attempted “coup” are those Deep State establishmentarians, the MSM and their epigones in the Democratic Party (and their fifth columnists in the GOP), who are doing their damnedest to weaken, de-legitimize, and destroy this president and his presidency. They are the real culprits here. And just like the Soviets and the Nazis of seventy-eight years ago, they will call white, black, and black, white, should it serve their nefarious political and cultural purposes.
Here, then, I pass on the detailed memo of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. This action was overdue, and it was done legitimately, with due process, and was right.
~ Dr. Boyd D. Cathey
Rod Rosenstein’s letter recommending Comey is fired
Memorandum for the Attorney General
May 9, 2017
FROM: Rod J Rosenstein
Deputy Attorney General
SUBJECT: Restoring public confidence in the FBI
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation’s premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.
The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.
The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.
Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.
In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his “goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it.” But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then – if prosecution is warranted – let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte.
Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would “speak” about the FBI’s decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or “conceal” it. “Conceal” is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.
My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who served as Deputy Attorneys General under President Ford, wrote that “it is not the bureau’s responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted.” Silberman believes that the Director’s “Performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that [he] doubt[s] the bureau will ever completely recover.” Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Director had “chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, department from the department’s traditions.” They concluded that the Director violated his obligation to “preserve, protect and defend” the traditions of the Department and the FBI.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W Bush, observed the Director “stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion” because the FBI director “doesn’t make that decision”. Alberto Gonzales, who also served as Attorneys General under President George W Bush, called the decision “an error in judgement.” Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorneys General under President Clinton and Attorneys General under President Obama, said that the Director’s decision “was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season.” Holder concluded that the Director “broke with these fundamental principles” and “negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI”.
Former Deputy Attorneys General Gorelick and Thompson described the unusual event as “read-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” that is “antithetical to the interests of justice”.
Donald Ayer, who served as Deputy Attorneys General under President HW Bush, along with former Justice Department officials, was “astonished and perplexed” by the decision to “break with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.” Ayer’s letter noted, “Perhaps most troubling… is the precedent set by this departure from the Department’s widely-respected, non-partisan traditions.”
We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.
Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.