Criminal investigations are inevitable under any viable democracy, but the fabric of that democracy is tested when it is an associate(s) of the current President of our country that’s under investigation. New revelations from the Washington Post yesterday revealed that a one-time Trump associate Carter Page was/is under FBI investigation for potentially acting as an agent of a foreign government (i.e. Russia). Page has come out against the FBI FISA warrant by arguing in part that ” It shows how low the Clinton/Obama regime went to destroy our democracy and suppress dissidents who did not fully support their failed foreign policy” according to CNN. FBI director James Comey, in a recent congressional hearing did acknowledged that an investigation was opened into Trump’s campaign or associates and potential collusion of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Since then, the information into the investigation has been trickling out in painstaking public leaks from unnamed sources.
In a recent interview with Fox Business on Tuesday, Trump was asked why he had so many Obama hold-overs still in his administration, particular pointing to Director Comey, to which he tersely replied “It’s not too late’ to get rid of FBI Director James Comey,” and further followed up with “But you know I have confidence in him. We’ll see what happens. it is going to be interesting.”
The dangers inherent in Trump’s phlegmatic position on whether FBI Director Comey was wrong not to charge Clinton with a crime, and the unsubstantiated claim that Susan Rice may have committed a crime by unmasking the names of US citizens, should be troubling to constitutional scholars, jurists, Congressional Committees investigating the Trump campaign and the public. Keep in mind that Trump could potentially derail any investigation into his campaign by effectively asking Comey to resign and appointing a surrogate to squash any further investigations against Trump associates. Likewise, Trump also has the ability to declassify the information and make it public so to support his position about him being illegally investigated or wiretapped during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Right now, we do not know whether Carter Page committed a crime, or whether other Trump associates including Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were/are under FBI investigation. At this point, there’s a black-out of information available to the public. Whether this is in the interest of keeping the investigation untainted or just plain old “need to know basis” information adage, the public has a right to know.
Comey’s time as FBI Director may be expiring if Trump’s no-confident interview response is to be taken at face-value. If that’s the case and Trump is thinking of asking Comey to resign, regardless of how politically ugly this may look, Trump will spin the narrative as Comey being an Obama hold-over and Trump’s no confidence in Comey’s failure to indict Hillary and the various leaks coming out of the FBI as reasons for asking for Comey’s resignation.
Comey should move expeditiously now and indict Trump associates if evidence of wrongdoing occurred during the 2016 campaign. Otherwise, there’s an inherent danger in a failure not to bring charges now, especially when the Trump administration has the power to stop/pause/prolong or derail this investigation.