Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Now is not the Time to be Appointing a Friend as FBI Director

  If Donald Trump wants to steer clear of charges of obstructing an investigation -- and actually it is too late to do that, but he might want to steer clear of additional charges -- he should appoint Andrew McCabe as the new director of the FBI.
   Andrew McCabe, or someone else already serving in the U.S. Intelligence Community who is working on the election meddling thing.
   Here is the thing: You (meaning Trump, of course) are already in hot water for firing James Comey, with some of us wondering if it was an attempt to influence the investigation. Now, if you do want to influence the investigation, you should choose someone who will be friendly to you.
   I said, if you want to influence the investigation. Hopefully, you don't. If, on the other hand, you want to follow the laws warning against influencing an investigation -- we call it obstruction of justice -- then you better not so much as appoint a friend. Not at this point. At this point, that, too, could be seen as an attempt to influence whether the investigation investigates you.
   Indeed, that might truthfully be what Trump is trying to do. He might be looking for someone who will be less inclined to dig into whether he was complicit with Russia.
   I will tell you this: investigators should have -- and perhaps have -- obtained court warrants to eavesdrop on the president and anyone in the White House who might interview potential FBI directors. If the conversations suggest the White House is looking for someone who will be friendly to Trump in the investigation of Russian meddling . . .
   Then that is a definite violation of our laws against impeding an investigation.  

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