Cheryl Cook: Contact the FBI? Fuggedaboutit!
Remember when the FBI were The Untouchables in the United States of America? They fought the mob stronghold within our country and protected us from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Now Donald Trump appears to be Untouchable.
He defies subpoenas, displays arrogant indifference to the Rule of Law, stonewalls House and Senate investigations, and circumvents Congress like VETO Corleone.
When Trump was asked by George Stephanopoulos if he would contact the FBI when presented with information on a campaign opponent, the president answered more like the leader of a crime family than a leader of the free world.
“I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that if contacted by a foreign nation, the campaign needed to contact the FBI.
President Trump blurted out, “He’s wrong!”
Following Helsinki, President Trump once again made it clear to the world that personal aid by a foreign adversary takes precedence over the rule of law and his own intelligence agencies.
Trump admires Putin, who has devised a system of indebted patronage by which he parcels out economic privileges to business elites and punishes those who don’t profess loyalty with selective enforcement of public disgrace and financial ruin.
Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and continues to characterize him as Public Enemy Number 1.
Trump sadistically fired the acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe a mere two days before he would have been eligible for a government pension he had earned.
In his upside down world, Trump continues to disparage and weaken the FBI by directing his Consigliore-style Attorney General, William Barr, to interview senior counter intelligence officials in the FBI and CIA who worked on evidence of Russia’s attempts to sabotage the 2016 election.
But Christopher Steele was not a foreign adversary. He was a former British spy originally hired though Fusion GPS by the Conservative Washington Free Beacon to gather information on Republican candidates running for President in 2016. And when the Steele dossier was handed over to the Democrats, they handed it over … to the FBI.
Congress must give Trump an offer he cannot refuse. Congress must insist that Trump work to protect our free elections and sanction countries that attempt to interfere in our elections. But they must also act to ensure that public officials disclose and divest any business interests that may undermine their decision-making in office.
When asked about accepting dirty intel on a campaign opponent and reporting to the FBI, Jared Kushner said, “I don’t do hypotheticals.”
Here’s a hypothetical, Jared:
The Trump/Kushner family has personally profited through government meetings with world leaders, i.e.. the Saudi Prince invested $90 million in your real estate company, Cadre.
Does that private financial deal effect your advisory role to the president when it comes to the Saudi blockade of Yemen causing a humanitarian disaster, the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, or the U.S. sale of weapons and nuclear power technology, including uranium enrichment technology, to Saudi Arabia?
Trump holds vendettas against those who did not come to his aid when American banks refused to lend him money. It was Russian oligarchs who saved him from financial ruin. The flow of Russian cash was a lifesaver to Trump in the 1990s when he was swamped by business failures, bankruptcy, and debt (“How Russian Money Helped Save Trump’s Business,” Foreign Policy, December 21, 2018).
But Obama’s sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Crimea and interference in U.S. elections hurt Russia economically. Trump has worked towards lifting those sanctions since the first day of taking office.
Trump doesn’t respect Congress. Trump has never been afraid of the courts. Trump fears Putin. The clandestine amount of Russian cash that salvaged his business is information that might mess with Trump’s tax returns. Those tax returns might land him in the slammer for tax evasion.
Just like Al Capone … another family boss.
Cheryl Cook lives in Penn Valley.
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