Today, not only do we have polling showing that the public wants an independent investigation of the Trump- Russia scandal (see post below), but there's also a rising chorus of people formerly in the law enforcement and intelligence communities calling for people in a position of power to stand up and speak out against the slow- rolling unraveling of American norms and Constitutional boundaries.
Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (fired in March along with 45 other U.S. Attorneys), sets out three parameters going forward to restore faith in the rule of law: a bipartisan investigation in Congress, a new FBI director who is "apolitical and sensitive to the law enforcement mission" of the FBI, and
Finally, I join in the common-sense call for an independent and uncompromised special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. Given the manner of Comey’s firing and the pretextual reasons proffered for it, there is no other way. My former colleague, now-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, is a respected career prosecutor but has mostly deserved the doubts he generated with his peculiar press-release-style memo purporting to explain Comey’s sudden sacking. He can still fix it. The move would not only ensure the independence of the investigation, but also provide evidence of Rosenstein’s own independence.
History will judge this moment. It’s not too late to get it right, and justice demands it.Rosenstein has some damage control to his reputation to attend to, if he's serious about his oath of office and loyalty, not to deranged autocrat Rump but to the Constitution and rule of law in this country. Let's hope he hears history knocking.
Then, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Jr., came out and said what others have been saying for some time, that Rump is attacking our institutions:
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday that he thinks US institutions are under assault from President Donald Trump.
"I think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally -- and that's the big news here is the Russian interference in our election system -- and I think as well our institutions are under assault internally," Clapper told anchor Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union."
Pressed if he meant US institutions were under assault internally from the President, Clapper responded, "Exactly."
Clapper called on the other branches of the federal government to step up in their roles as a check on the executive.
"The founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances," Clapper said. "I feel as though that is under assault and is eroding." (our emphasis)Even former Bush administration NSA and CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF, Ret.) is shaken by the Comey firing and what it signals:
Hayden, a four-star general and former NSA and CIA chief, told Zakaria that up until Comey's firing he had been cynical of special investigations as a whole, confessing to a real "dislike" of "special structures, special prosecutors and efforts and so on. [snip]
"After the events of the past week I really have an open mind as to whether or not we need some extraordinary structure," he said.
Hayden said he believed something was needed to reach "the criminal resolution," of whether a crime had been committed during Trump's presidential campaign, but also so the American people could "fully understand the totality of what happened here."It's "the totality" that has Rump reacting like the tinpot would- be autocrat he thinks he should be. Once again, the collusion with Russia during the election is the tip of the iceberg. The ties between Rump and his many associates and lackeys and Russian oligarchs and mobsters are what are thought to be what Comey's FBI are closing in on.