COLUMN: An Abuse of Power

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to Harry is a resident of Logan and an alumnus of Utah State University. He can be reached via email at His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees. 

I am a lifelong student of American history and the American political process. I made these two subjects my main concentrations when I was attending Utah State University. I can be in a room with PhD’s on these subjects and would be viewed as their equals in conversation. I am an expert. And in my expert opinion, when President Donald J. Trump fired James Comey as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations on May 9th, it was one of the worst incidents of political abuse in the history of the United States of America.

Comey, a man who had made political enemies throughout Washington, D.C., heard the news when a television that was on in a room where he was giving a talk flashed the bombshell story across the screen. Comey thought it was a prank. When he found out that it was real, he excused himself from the room, proceeded to an airport in Los Angeles and flew home meekly.

Trump, a cowardly man prone to erratic behaviors, did not call Comey himself. He sent a letter to FBI headquarters a short walk away from the White House. And, in what should be to no one’s surprise, the word got out to news outlets before someone could call the former FBI Director and tell him he had been removed from his position.

The reason for Comey’s removal was something out of a parody film about an unstable dictator of a small banana republic. In Trump’s letter he stated Comey was let go because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email case. In my memory, I cannot recall such an act of absurdity and audacity by a political leader in a purportedly free country.

Trump was outright giddy in October when Comey interjected into the presidential campaign. Trump praised Comey for the act he now used to fire him. Trump, who as POTUS has the authority to fire the FBI director any time he desires, could have fired Comey on January 20th. He didn’t.

So, why May 9th? Because Sally Yates and James Clapper gave damning testimony to the United States Senate on May 8th.

Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, and Yates, who briefly served as the Acting Attorney General under Trump, gave profoundly damning testimony that strongly hinted the FBI was investigating Trump and many of his inner-circle for ties to Russia.

It was Yates, who was fired by Trump for her legal protestations against Trump’s “Muslim ban”, that was the star of the Senate Intelligence hearing. Yates testified that she warned Trump that his new National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, could very well be compromised by the Russians.

Good call! Flynn has lied on multiple occasions about the influence he has offered to Russia and Turkey, two countries run by thuggish potentates who consolidate power as a means to wield control.

But this is the pattern of our mentally-unhinged Commander-in-Chief. He eliminates those who have a responsibility to the U.S. Constitution if they come after him or his adoring flunkies. Yates not only was in opposition with Trump’s grotesquely illegal Muslim travel ban, but she presented information that suggested one of his most loyal groupies was in cahoots with a foreign adversary that rigged the 2016 Presidential election.

And so it was with Comey. All indicators point to the FBI, under Comey’s direction, gathering solid information about Trump’s involvement with the Russians. Trump’s top henchman and many family members are immersed in Russian ties. Flynn has done everything but stand on a street corner and beg for immunity to spill his guts.

And Trump fired Comey using an excuse that would not even make sense if regurgitated by Kim Jong-un.

Here is my theory:

Trump sees that Comey and other investigators are closing in on the truth. Yates slam dunks her testimony on the 8th. News that Grand Jury subpoenas are coming reaches Trump. On the 9th, Trump calls U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions—who is supposed to be recused from all investigations into Russia—and asks him for any excuse to fire Comey. Sessions responds with a three page statement so blatantly ridiculous that anyone with an IQ over 75 would be aghast reading this drivel. Trump makes another of his patented irrational gut decisions and goes through with it.

This is what mad dictators do. This is what guilty men do—they fire law officers investigating them on short notice with a flimsy excuse and to Hell with anyone that does not like it.

This is what narcissistic men, drunk with power, do when they have been found out. They spit in the face of the Rule of Law and thumb their nose at the possible repercussions. This lunatic, who is the most powerful human being on the planet, is now trapped inside the caverns of his own delusional mind. And the United States Constitution, American law enforcement and the integrity of the Executive Branch of the United States suffer due to this crazy man’s obfuscation.

No doubt Trump will fall back into campaign mode. A rally with his bigoted, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist, undereducated, deplorable cult followers is necessary to embolden this deranged wackadoo into thinking he is above the Law.

And what do Trumpkins care? So long as their messiah continues to blow the nationalistic dog whistle, they are immune to remorse if the country that they proclaim to love is torn apart by totalitarian rule. Most Trumpkins lack the basic intellectual breadth to understand the complexities of the American system of government.

<em>“Trump fired some guy just like he did on The Apprentice! Pass me a Keystone Light and let’s grill!”</em>

This is why people like me feel senses of superiority and disdain for Trump voters. Deep down, under your American flag bandana, you know this guy is no good. But he sticks it to those danged liberals…and isn’t that what is really important?

Trump fired James Comey because Comey’s FBI was investigating him for illegal acts. And if Trump nominates a frothing doppleganger like Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie to take Comey’s place, the United States, under this despotic madman, will officially become a dangerous, undemocratic farce of a nation as well as being the enemy of freedom.

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