John Cornyn: Donald Trump’s Pat Gray?
I guess that’s where we are in Watergate 2.0. This week we already had the Saturday Night Massacre 2.0-Comey firing-and the Trump Tapes-unlike Nixon, we know about Trump’s tapes from Trump himself.
Ok-some may split hairs and argue we don’t know there are really Trump tapes. But as Ari Melber pointed out subbing for Lawrence O’Donnell last night at 10 PM, there is a legal term called admission of guilt where someone who admits something incriminating about themselves is more likely telling the truth.
We’ve already had obstruction of justice in the whole wild and wacky Nunes debacle. So where are we now? Trump needs his own version of Pat Gray.
Pat Gray was Nixon’s replacement for J. Edgar Hoover after he passed away in 1972. Gray destroyed evidence for Nixon.
“The New York Daily News reports that acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray destroyed potentially incriminating evidence taken from the safe of Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt (see Late December 1972). Gray, who testified to this days before to the Watergate grand jury, said that he received the material from White House counsel John Dean. “I said early in the game,” Gray testifies, “that Watergate would be a spreading stain that would tarnish everyone with whom it came in contact—and I’m no exception.” Shortly afterwards, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward learns from his “Deep Throat” source, FBI deputy director W. Mark Felt (see May 31, 2005), that the story is true. Felt informs Woodward that Gray was told by Nixon aides Dean and John Ehrlichman that the files were “political dynamite” that could do more damage to the Nixon administration than Watergate (see June 28, 1972). Woodward realizes that the story means Gray’s career at the FBI is finished. Woodward and his colleague Carl Bernstein write their own report for April 30; the same day, Gray resigns from the FBI (see April 5, 1973). Instead of Felt being named FBI director, as he had hoped, Nixon appoints the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, William Ruckelshaus, to head the bureau. Felt is keenly disappointed.”
Yeah, good old Mark Felt. This is why you don’t declare war on the FBI as Nixon learned but Trump can’t learn from as he knows nothing about history.
Gray was a hapless Nixon loyalist as clearly would Jon Cornyn be a hapless Trump loyalist.
“Top Justice Department officials are scheduled to interview four candidates Saturday to serve as FBI director on a permanent basis, a source familiar with the process told POLITICO Friday night.”
“The four potential nominees set to be interviewed are: acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), former Justice Department Criminal Division Chief Alice Fisher and New York state judge and former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Michael Garcia.”
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are expected to conduct the interviews Saturday afternoon, the source said. Saturday’s meetings are the first wave of interviews for the FBI director nomination, but more candidates are expected to be brought in later, the source said.”
Wow. Where to start on what’s wrong with this picture? For starters Jeff Sessions should not be part of the process to choose the next person to lead the FBI Russia collusion investigation as he is supposed to be recused. To be sure, this didn’t stop him from being in on the decision to fire Comey, either.
Sessions may have broken the law with his actions.
He certainly crossed all kinds of moral and ethical lines.
Rosenstein himself is now compromised as he has refused to appoint a Special Prosecutor. But John Cornyn as Director?!
This was Cornyn’s reaction to the Comey firing:
Ds were against Comey before they were for him.
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) May 10, 2017
He also stated to reporters that he had no reason to believe Russia had anything to do with the firing. Trump himself now had admitted that it did.
So he’d be the worst kind of partisan hack cum Trump loyalist imaginable. But Bill Palmer over at his Palmer Report explains why this could work for Trump-it’s potentially smart tactically:
“Donald Trump trotted out the names of four people he’s considering for nomination as the next Director of the FBI, and there may only be one we truly need to worry about: Senator John Cornyn. It’s not because he’s a Trump loyalist who wants to make the Russia investigation go away; anyone Trump appoints will fit that description. We have to worry about Cornyn because he’s the only one who could actually get confirmed.”
His point is that Cornyn as a Senator might get the kind of deference the Senate normally gives to one of their own.
“We’ve seen just enough vocal pushback from Senate Republicans this week over the firing of FBI Director James Comey to know that Trump will have a difficult getting anyone confirmed as his replacement. The Republicans only have fifty-two votes in the Senate, so if even just three of them vote no, any nominee can be derailed. So Trump is stuck looking for some kind of backdoor way to sneak one of his own loyalists past the confirmation process – and he may have hit on it with Cornyn.”
“Trump is floating the name of acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. But Trump will only nominate McCabe if he concludes that McCabe is loyal to him, and in such case, the Senate will conclude that McCabe shouldn’t be confirmed. The other two names, Alice Fisher and Michael Garcia, seem to have been thrown in as mere filler, although we’re still looking into any ties they might have to Trump and/or Russia. It’s difficult to imagine either of them getting confirmed under current circumstances, either.”
It’s an interesting argument by Palmer. At first glance, Cornyn is the only name that’s obviously objectionable. But no one that Trump nominates will be trusted. Note that Rod Rosenstein had a good reputation-then he worked for Donald Trump. Like Rick Wilson puts it-everything Trump touches, dies.
But Cornyn could benefit from being a Senator voted on by other Senators. Maybe Graham, Collins, and McCain are won over. Actually maybe not McCain, I wrote about this a few days ago. Watch McCain. Was that vote against CRA a one off or start of a trend? If he intends to force the issue of a Special Prosecutor it will prove to be the start of a trend.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.