BarroMetrics Views: Comey Circus
It’s impossible to ignore the circus events posing as US politics. The problem is the ‘circus’ has the possibility of impacting market volatility.
Let’s see if we can take an objective view of the situation.
There is no doubt Trump has the authority to sack Comey UNLESS the sacking is for reasons of self-protection or self-aggrandisement. What do I mean by that? If it is subsequently established that a reasonable man could infer that the sacking was Trump’s attempt to block or hamper the FBI enquiry into possible Russian links with Trump’s staff, that would probably constitute grounds for impeachment.
Trump detractors argue:
- The dismal was due to the FBI’s investigation of the Russian connection, and not for the reasons stated in Roenstein’s memo recommending dismissal. (Figure 1)
- They point out that had the real reason been the handling of Clinton’s email server, the dismissal would have come once Trump became President.
- There are reports “A longtime friend who talked to the President over the weekend described him as “over Comey investigating the Russian meddling and not investigating enough the leaks from the White House”.
The fear is not the dismissal but that the replacement will kill the FBI investigation.
- Trump supporters argue that:
- Trump acted within his constitutional powers
- His failure to sack Comey earlier was because having sacked Yates, Sessions need to be approved before a move could be made against Comey. The matter was further delayed when Sessions had to recuse himself from the investigation. It was only when Roenstein was appointed that Comey could be sacked.
- Comey brought the sacking upon himself through his poor performance at the Senate testimony on May 3. Moreover, he refused to preview his testimony with Trump.
If we bear down on the essentials, we are left with this picture:
- The FBI is investigating the Trump team (and perhaps Trump if the evidence leads there)
- To date, the FBO has not disclosed any evidence that the Trump was involved.
- In an ongoing investigation, the FBI seldom reports on its findings, doing that only when it concludes.
- It’s a convention that ‘justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done’. Sacking the head of the FBI at a time when there is an investigation that may link you and your staff to a wrongdoing breaches that cannon.
All the rest is fluff and smoke. Trump did the wrong thing by sacking Comey at this time. Let’s see if he makes the next error – appoints a head who puts an end to the Russian investigation.