Michael Gaynor
Dismissing an FBI director is a presidential prerogative, not a crime or an impeachable offense
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By Michael Gaynor
May 15, 2017

Andrew McCabe, acting FBI Director and a strong Comey admirer now in charge of that investigation, had testified before Congress that the investigation is adequately funded and Comey has not claimed that he had made such a request, but the standard for fake news proponents like Reid is whether something fits their narrative, not whether it is true.

Trump haters expected Hillary Clinton to be elected President. When Donald Trump won instead, they determined to destroy him.

The liberal media establishment targeted Trump relentlessly and were aghast when he counterattacked and humiliated when he skipped the White House Correspondents Dinner and held a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania instead.

There won't be a rapproachment between President Trump and Trump haters and Hillary Clinton publicly announced that she was part of "the Resistance."

The means now favored by the Resistance to remove President Trump from office was to portray him as a tool of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

It should not pass the laugh test, but President Trump had held the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Moscow in 2013 and sold a property to a rich Russian in 2008 for $95,000,000.

There is no evidence that Trump's profits from those things were unreasonable, much less that Russian President Putin was clairvoyant and planning on Trump become President of the United States. anticipated that Trump.

Nevertheless, Trump has not made his tax returns public, so Trump haters reverse the burden of proof and demand that he produce them or else it should be presumed that he's been bought and paid for by Putin.

There is no legal requirement that Presidents or presidential candidates produce their tax returns, of course, and thus no basis for such a presumption.

Not all "liberals" are demagogues, fortunately, and some of them know and care about the law.

On May 12, 2017, constitutional expert Alan Dershowitz responded to the hysteria about President Trump's dismissal of former FBI Director Jamers Comey by tweeting: "Let's not confuse what we don't like with what is criminal" (https://twittesr.com/AlanDersh).

That's sound advice, but the hysteria has not abated, because Trump hater are obsessed with their goal and not deterred by facts.

Dershowitz explained in the Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com/alan-dershowitz-trump-did-not-obstruct-justice-in-firing-james-comey/article/2622875):

"A dangerous argument is now being put forward by some Democratic ideologues: namely that President Trump should be indicted for the crime of obstructing justice because he fired FBI Director James Comey. Whatever one may think of the president's decision to fire Comey as a matter of policy, there is no legitimate basis for concluding that the president engaged in a crime by exercising his statutory and constitutional authority to fire director Comey. As Comey himself wrote in his letter to the FBI, no one should doubt the authority of the president to fire the director for any reason or no reason.

"It should not be a crime for a public official, whether the president or anyone else, to exercise his or her statutory and constitutional authority to hire or fire another public official. For something to be a crime there must be both an actus reus and mens rea – that is, a criminal act accompanied by a criminal state of mind.

"Even assuming that Trump was improperly motivated in firing Comey, motive alone should never constitute a crime. There should have to be an unlawful act. And exercising constitutional and statutory power should not constitute the actus reus of a crime. Otherwise the crime would place the defendant's thoughts on trial, rather than his actions."

Alas, fanatics are posing as "liberals."

On May 13, 2017, on MSNBC's "AM Joy," Joy Reid flailed away against Trump and repeated as fact the fake news that Trump had dismissed Comey as FBI Director because Comey wanted more money for the FBI's Russia investigation. Andrew McCabe, acting FBI Director and a strong Comey admirer now in charge of that investigation, had testified before Congress that the investigation is adequately funded and Comey has not claimed that he had made such a request, but the standard for fake news proponents like Reid is whether something fits their narrative, not whether it is true.

In addition, Reid insisted that the FBI Director has a "fixed" 10-year term, disregarded the fact that the FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the President and what is "fixed" about the term is that an FBI Director cannot serve more than 10 years without reappointment.

"The position of FBI Director has a fixed 10-year term, and the officeholder cannot be reappointed, unless Congress acts to allow a second appointment of the incumbent. There are no statutory conditions on the President's authority to remove the FBI Director."

So stated the Congressional Research Service on February 19, 2014 (https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41850.pdf).

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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