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“FBI’s Comey, Not Russia, Tilted the Election Toward Trump”
Interview with Dennis Kucinich
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MW: Should FBI Director James Comey be investigated for meddling in the 2016 presidential election?

Dennis Kucinich, Former Congressman: The Director of the FBI is not beyond accountability. President Obama should have demanded Director Comey’s resignation immediately after Comey interfered in the 2016 Presidential election with his October 28, 2016 pronouncement of the discovery of new emails in the Clinton case. Comey breached protocol, bypassed channels, and tilted the outcome away from Clinton and toward Trump.

If Comey refused a presidential demand that he resign, then President Obama should have dismissed him. There is a precedent. President Clinton dismissed FBI Director Session in 1993. Also The FBI Director can also be subject to impeachment by the House and removal by the Senate. Given his role in upending the 2016 President election, it is astonishing that Director Comey is being given a chance to prove it was ‘the Russians what did it.’

MW — In a recent Fox News article, you discussed Director Comey’s “unprecedented intrusion into presidential politics”, (that) “has damaged public confidence in the Bureau.” In an earlier article you mentioned that independent surveys have been conducted that strongly suggest that Comey’s meddling may have changed the outcome of the election.

Here’s is an excerpt from an article about one of those surveys. The article clearly states that “Comey’s letter, 11 days before the election, was the precipitating event behind Clinton’s loss”, and that “it was the single, most indispensable factor in the surprise election result.” Here is the entire except from the article:

“Most decisively, there was a sudden change in the net sentiment results that followed immediately after FBI Director James Comey released his Oct. 28 letter to Congress about a renewed investigation of Clinton emails. Immediately afterwards, there was a 17-point drop in net sentiment for Clinton, and an 11-point rise for Trump, enough for the two candidates to switch places in the rankings, with Clinton in more negative territory than Trump. At a time when opinion polling showed perhaps a 2-point decline in the margin for Clinton, this conversation data suggests a 28-point change in the word of mouth “standings.” The change in word of mouth favorability metric was stunning, and much greater than the traditional opinion polling revealed.

Based on this finding, it is our conclusion that the Comey letter, 11 days before the election, was the precipitating event behind Clinton’s loss, despite the letter being effectively retracted less than a week later. In such a close election, there may have been dozens of factors whose absence would have reversed the outcome, such as the influence campaign of the Russian government as detailed by US intelligence services. But the sudden change in the political conversation after the Comey letter suggest it was the single, most indispensable factor in the surprise election result.” (Comey Letter Swung Election For Trump, Consumer Survey Suggests”, Brad Fay, Huffington Post)

How should Congress deal with this situation?

Dennis Kucinich: Congress could impeach Comey, but that will not happen for two reasons. (1) Democrats want to maintain the fiction that the Russians tipped the election to Trump. (2) Republicans want to maintain the fiction that Trump won because voters preferred Republicans.

ORDER IT NOW

I believe it is essential to focus on Comey. His interference was a miscarriage of justice, which must still be rectified. Congress must pass a law which requires all FBI officials to refrain from an public or private comment, within four weeks of a primary or general election, on any case involving a candidate for public office, or executing any search warrant, or seeking charges against any candidate for elected office, under penalty of criminal charges.

The FBI must not be permitted to interfere in elections through supposition, rumor or stuffing the ballot box with allegations or indictments. If voters elect someone who is later proven to have committed a crime, there are plenty of legal procedures to force removal.

MW — Here’s a quote by Masha Gessen from an article titled “Russia: The Conspiracy Trap” at the New York Review of Books. Gessen thinks the Democrats are actually hurting themselves by pursuing the Russia hacking story. Here’s what she says:

“Trump is doing nothing less than destroying American democratic institutions and principles by turning the presidency into a profit-making machine for his family, by poisoning political culture with hateful, mendacious, and subliterate rhetoric, by undermining the public sphere with attacks on the press and protesters, and by beginning the real work of dismantling every part of the federal government that exists for any purpose other than waging war. Russiagate is helping him—both by distracting from real, documentable, and documented issues, and by promoting a xenophobic conspiracy theory in the cause of removing a xenophobic conspiracy theorist from office.”

Do you agree with Gessen, is Russiagate actually helping Trump? Do you think the investigation could backfire on the Democrats and hurt them politically?

Dennis Kucinich: “RussiaGate” is not helping Trump, nor is it hurting him. It is hurting the Democratic party as its minions in Congress perform weak imitations of Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism does not sound better spoken out of the left side of the system’s mouth than it did out of the right side. The Democrats are losing valuable time trying to blame the 2016 election results on Moscow. 2020 will be not decided in Moscow, but in Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and like cities in the US, which is why the party should be promoting an alternative economic vision with jobs for all, health care for all, education for all, retirement security for all, a clean environment, fair trade and an end to war.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Counterpunch Archives, Donald Trump, Russia 
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  1. Did you ask him why? As in why did Comey throw the election to Trump. Without a satisfactory answer to that question the accusation makes no sense.

    In an earlier article you mentioned that independent surveys have been conducted that strongly suggest that Comey’s meddling may have changed the outcome of the election.

    Independent surveys? As in polls? Aren’t they just as corrupt as the corporate media? With all the crap going on in that election do you really want to conclude that Comey was the deciding factor? Does anyone remember the charge that Ralph Nader threw the election to Bush The Lessor? Some still believe it. But there were many factors that could just as well have been singled out.

    I have great respect for Dennis Kucinich. I supported him in his bid for the nomination. And he is correct that the Russians didn’t do it. But I will not let the corrupt and hateful Hillary Clinton off the hook. It was Hillary herself that undid Hillary. And it was the DNC who stole the primary for her that lost the White House for the Democrats.

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  2. willem1 says:

    Comey shouldn’t have been talking at all about the investigation; that was the job of Attorney General Lynch. As speculation only, consider that perhaps the entire purpose of the infamous tarmac conversation was to give Lynch an excuse to recuse herself. By standing Comey up and throwing the entire ball into the FBI’s lap, the bad optics of a clearly partisan AG declaring Hillary innocent of any wrongdoing could be avoided.

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  3. Why does everyone ignore basic facts? Comey covered up Clinton crimes, but was about to be exposed, so had to restart the investigation.

    Last year, thousands of Clinton e-mails had been illegally withheld from Congress by Obama’s FBI. Watch this short video of a Congressmen berating an FBI representative at a hearing for refusing to turn over e-mails and handing him a subpoena.

    Two days later, Comey resumed the investigation. It is obvious that these e-mails were not withheld because of their national security content, but revelations of illegal activities, corruption, and incompetence. Congressmen can read top secret information, but face criminal prosecution if they leak it. What if they leak information about criminal activity that is not related to national security? They might be prosecuted, but that would only draw more attention and is unlikely to result in a conviction.

    So Comey’s Clinton cover up was exposed as his career FBI agents who he can’t fire would turn over all the e-mails full of evidence. Comey was forced to “discover” new evidence and announce this before Congress got the e-mails.

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  4. How can anyone take this sort of thing seriously? Clinton “tilted” the election towards Trump by being corrupt, reckless, and the very embodiment of a Washington Insider.

    The polls that over-sampled Democrats and relentless media bias against Trump are the reasons it appeared to be a surprise Trump won. The whole idea of anything at the end tipping the election away from that beautiful, young, and anti-establishment virgin Hillary Clinton is ludicrous.

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  5. Svigor says:

    Here’s is an excerpt from an article about one of those surveys. The article clearly states that “Comey’s letter, 11 days before the election, was the precipitating event behind Clinton’s loss”, and that “it was the single, most indispensable factor in the surprise election result.”

    I think this is nonsense. Clinton was dragging a closet so full of skeletons that bones were constantly tumbling out. I think Comey’s letter was more of a straw that broke the camel’s back, giving some swing voters the excuse they needed to ignore Big Media’s Total War on Trump the Maniac and do what they knew needed doing.

    It’s like the one final argument in a marriage that triggers the divorce. Big Media/gossip-mongers will tend to attribute more importance to it than it deserves, because drama needs a good ending, but usually it was of little importance by itself.

    “Independent surveys that have been conducted,” lol. We got an awful lot of garbage from “independent surveyors” over the last year (inter alia). What makes this any different? As with the pro-Hillary garbage we were served non-stop during the election, this “finding” fulfills a very real Oligarchic need: to explain the election results with a minimum of damage to Oligarch interests. Nothing to see here, people, move along.

    Oligarchs: “it wasn’t me! It was the one-armed FBI man!”

    Dennis Kucinich: Congress could impeach Comey, but that will not happen for two reasons. (1) Democrats want to maintain the fiction that the Russians tipped the election to Trump. (2) Republicans want to maintain the fiction that Trump won because voters preferred Republicans.

    And the oligarchs would rather preserve this Narrative, or the Comey Narrative, over the “Trump has paradigm-shifted American politics” Narrative.

    Dennis Kucinich: “RussiaGate” is not helping Trump, nor is it hurting him. It is hurting the Democratic party as its minions in Congress perform weak imitations of Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism does not sound better spoken out of the left side of the system’s mouth than it did out of the right side. The Democrats are losing valuable time trying to blame the 2016 election results on Moscow. 2020 will be not decided in Moscow, but in Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and like cities in the US, which is why the party should be promoting an alternative economic vision with jobs for all, health care for all, education for all, retirement security for all, a clean environment, fair trade and an end to war.

    On the other hand, Gessen* and Kucinich could both be wrong; the left’s Russia McCarthyism might make sense, if they’re trying to cover up their shenanigans during Hussein’s tenure. They may be facing a lot of blowback in the coming years, over Hussein’s skullduggery, which would have been smoothly papered over by a Clinton regime, but might very well see the light of day under a Trump regime.

    *Gessen is about the last (((Russia Expert))) I’d listen to.

    Did you ask him why? As in why did Comey throw the election to Trump. Without a satisfactory answer to that question the accusation makes no sense.

    Maybe he knew about Hussein’s skullduggery (and Clinton’s complicity). Maybe he knew Trump’s chances were better than the public did. To me, the whole thing smelled of ass-covering, of a rat looking at having to flee the sinking ship, and figuring it was best to get out ahead of any potential problems. In other words, he knew that there could be serious fallout from the FBI’s role in whitewashing Clinton, and wanted to distance himself.

    Comey shouldn’t have been talking at all about the investigation; that was the job of Attorney General Lynch. As speculation only, consider that perhaps the entire purpose of the infamous tarmac conversation was to give Lynch an excuse to recuse herself. By standing Comey up and throwing the entire ball into the FBI’s lap, the bad optics of a clearly partisan AG declaring Hillary innocent of any wrongdoing could be avoided.

    That is interesting, and dovetails very well with what I was thinking about Comey.

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  6. Svigor says:

    Keep in mind, by the time Comey made his move, most of the early ballots were in. That would make it a lot easier to extrapolate a “surprise” Trump win, or at least, its eminent possibility.

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  7. Svigor says:

    I see a lot of “cart before the horse” here. It makes more sense to see Trump’s election chances as driving Comey’s behavior, than vice-versa.

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  8. Svigor says:

    See what I mean?

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/03/susan-rice-ordered-spy-agencies-to-produce-detailed-spreadsheets-involving-trump/

    “The lawyers and counsel at the NSA surely would be talking to the lawyers and members of counsel at CIA, or at the National Security Council or at the Director of National Intelligence or at the FBI,” he said. “It’s unbelievable of the level and degree of the administration to look for information on Donald Trump and his associates, his campaign team and his transition team. This is really, really serious stuff.”

    Michael Doran, former NSC senior director, told TheDCNF Monday that “somebody blew a hole in the wall between national security secrets and partisan politics.” This “was a stream of information that was supposed to be hermetically sealed from politics and the Obama administration found a way to blow a hole in that wall.”

    Doran charged that potential serious crimes were undertaken because “this is a leaking of signal intelligence.”

    “That’s a felony,” he told TheDCNF. “And you can get 10 years for that. It is a tremendous abuse of the system. We’re not supposed to be monitoring American citizens. Bigger than the crime, is the breach of public trust.”

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  9. gda says:

    Obama spied on Kucinich. Obama spied on James Rosen (the Press). Obama spied on The Tea Party. Obama (likely) spied on Romney.

    Anyone noticing a pattern here?

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  10. Svigor says:

    Hussein’s desperate need to have a co-conspirator in office, and not the guy who put himself on the political map by questioning his birth certificate, has a lot of explanatory power.

    There are a couple of threads that, if pulled on, could really drag Hussein through the shit.

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  11. Comey or no Comey, Hillary is simply a terrible politician. In 2008, she lost to some obscure, inexperienced black guy with a Muslim sounding name; and in 2016, she lost to the guy from The Apprentice – despite having pretty much the entire establishment on her side.

    You know what most people call regular Americans who attribute their lack of success in life to external factors? Losers. It’s past time we apply this same harsh standard to wealthy Baby Boomer elites.

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  12. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    The left isn’t going to go after Comey. As head of the FBI, he’s the one guy out there who’s most likely got all the dirt on the major figures of the left. Since Obama’s no longer in office, Comey doesn’t have to kowtow to the left anymore. If the left goes after Comey, he can just pull out his files and start prosecuting them. Anyone remember why J Edgar Hoover was in office so long? He had the dirt on everybody, so no one dared attack him. Trying to take out the nation’s chief law officer, who has an entire bureaucracy he can summon to go nuclear on your ass with the assistance of a huge surveillance apparatus, is an inherently tricky proposition. Comey’s too strong to attack.

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  13. utu says:

    Comey’s October 28 letter was the message that very few wanted to hear that Hillary would not win 11 days later.

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  14. Svigor says:

    Comey’s October 28 letter was the message that very few wanted to hear that Hillary would not win 11 days later.

    Well, except for the majority of of the American citizenry, as expressed in the electoral college.

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