Senators Feinstein and Grassley, in a somewhat shocking and grossly under-covered set of statements, all but confirmed that President Trump is not under FBI investigation. Moreover, on May 3, 2017, Senator Feinstein confirmed after an intel briefing at Langley that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians trying to interfere with the election. This is big news.
It is time the FBI come forward and confirm or deny if the President is under investigation.
Byron York, in an outstanding piece of reporting, connected the very public statements of Mr. Comey from his testimony to the hearing statements of Senators Grassley and Feinstein. It should have been the biggest news of the week, had Mr. Trump not fired Comey, or if an honest media had paid attention to real facts.
In his Hill testimony, Mr. Comey would neither confirm nor deny if the president was under FBI investigation, citing FBI policy and rules, which he now feels obliged to follow. Fair enough. However, and this is critical, both Feinstein and Grassley, referencing a briefing they received directly from then Director Comey, confirmed that the FBI Director revealed to them who the targets of the investigation are. Here is what Senator Grassley said as the Chairman when he opened the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing:
“It would not be appropriate for me to reveal those details before the professionals conducting the investigations are ready. So I will not answer any questions about who are targets of the ongoing Russia investigations. But I will say this: Shortly after Director Comey briefed us, I tweeted that he should be transparent. I said he should tell the public what he told Senator Feinstein and me about whether the FBI is or is not investigating the president. On Tuesday, the president’s letter said that Director Comey told him he was not under investigation. Senator Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the president’s statement.”
Appropriate or not, Senator Grassley, did say that Comey confirmed to him what Mr. Trump wrote in his letter to Comey, which was that the President is NOT a subject of FBI investigation.
How is this open admission not the biggest story in America?
As York reports, again from the public record, Senator Feinstein added,
“Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman,” I very much appreciate what you’ve said, and it’s very accurate, and we were briefed. And the nature of the briefing was a counter-intelligence and criminal investigation that the FBI was carrying out, and more than that I will not say, either.”
The “President is under investigation charade” appears over. He is not according to these Senators. It’s a lie, and indeed, it appears to be a purposeful lie by the left and the media. Nearly every outraged democrat or left-wing media outlet begins its Comey firing coverage by saying that that the President fired Comey while the President was the subject of a criminal investigation led by Comey. The irony of that is there is nothing in the entirety of the public record that confirms or even intimates that the President is the subject of an FBI investigation.
It’s a political ruse and a narrative trumped up for the War on Trump.
It is 100% true that the FBI, our intelligence agencies, and both the House and Senate are and should be fully investigating purported and reported efforts by the Russians to influence our elections. That investigation is rigorous and fulsome, and any honest America should support that it.
The left and the media have shamelessly and purposely merged an honest investigation of Russian interference into a lie that Mr. Trump is a subject of that investigation. After the election, the media ran countless pieces noting that 17 US intelligence agencies all concluded that the Russians hacked the DNC, and that they were trying to influence our election, most likely to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Those 17 intelligence agencies all reached one more conclusion. There is no evidence of collusion by Trump or his campaign. In fact, that remained the conclusion on May 3, 2017, when CNN interviewed Senator Feinstein and she confirmed that US intelligence had no evidence of collusion (that’s in minute 9 of the interview).
The most fascinating part of the interview, however, might be the first part, where Senator Feinstein admits Director Comey violated FBI rules with his July press conference clearing Mrs. Clinton. However, the Senator seems to indicate that the FBI was right to do so outside of the election window given the facts of the case. Really?
Then, she goes on properly to assail Mr. Comey for inserting himself wrongly in the election on October 28, 2016. The key point, however, is that Feinstein admits that the FBI doesn’t write it’s policy in stone. She is right, in some instances, releasing more information about certain cases is in the public interest because of how that information affects the public at large.
We have no election pending. We have no Presidential election pending. It is ironic indeed that Senator Feinstein in the course of just the last 10 days has confirmed that our intel agencies have no evidence of collusion with Russians, and she confirms that the FBI is not investigating Mr. Trump. Likewise, her CNN interview makes the right case that sometimes the FBI needs to come out and reveal information that is of such importance that it affects the country and gives Americans confidence in those who lead her.
If the FBI is not investigating a sitting US President, it should say so, particularly when the FBI knows that the media, the American people, one US political party, and most of the America’s allies and enemies all are convinced the President is under investigation. This weakens America, and it makes Americans vulnerable. Moreover, it is pulling America apart.
Only the FBI can issue a clear, strong statement that clears up if the President is under investigation. Only the FBI, or the DOJ that leads it, can make clear the difference between investigating Russian election influence peddling and investigating a sitting President.
I have no more interest in clearing Mr. Trump than I do in finding out if his is under investigation. Either way, I am my fellow Americans ought to know the truth. That is our interest.
Mr. Trump’s buffoonery never helps him, and it certainly doesn’t make him a sympathetic figure. He is a flawed leader, with obvious temperament issues. He is surrounded by leakers, sycophants, and politically inexperienced advisers who either don’t know how to do their job or he is not permitting them to do it. Still, the FBI should not permit the media and political adversaries to spread false and misleading information suggesting the President is the subject of a criminal probe if he is not.
The FBI silence is weakening the Presidency, and not just the President.
Likewise, if the President is a subject of this investigation, it is time for the FBI to make that public too. “Americans,” as Mr. Nixon once said, “deserve to know if their President is a crook.” Mr. Nixon was a crook.
Is Mr. Trump a crook?
As of the morning of May 12, 2017, two Senators with direct knowledge have said on the public record that Mr. Trump’s letter firing Comey, which asserted that Mr. Comey three times told Mr. Trump he is not the subject of an FBI investigation, is accurate. Our intelligence agencies have found no evidence of collusion between Trump and his campaign with the Russians.
It is time the FBI clarify the status of any investigation against the President. It shouldn’t do it to help the President; it should do it to help the country.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.
Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.
At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.
Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.