Weekly Letter to the President
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ofthisandthat.org. All rights
INAUGURATION, January 20, 2009
Drunk in its stale air
For two hundred years.
Fettered in mind and body,
The soul, the safe escape
To let me breathe the cries
Of my heart singing
Tears of mel-an-choly.
The tears flow free today
Washing the stains of blood
And sweat in brotherhood.
Raise the curtain then an'
Let the world look in
On this promised land --
We breathe free today.... almost.
--- Arshad M. Khan
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.
--- Native American proverb
May 12, 2017 (posted May 14, 2014)
Mr. President: This week on Tuesday (May 9), the president fired FBI Director James
Comey. The resulting news storm allowed much speculation ... for very good reasons.
The U.S. Attorney General's department and officials, the FBI and its agents, are all
sworn to uphold the law. They also serve the president and serve at his pleasure.
What happens then when the president himself becomes the subject of an
When Archibald Cox, the U.S. Solicitor General appointed Special Persecutor,
subpoenaed President Nixon for his secret tapes of Oval Office conversations and a
compromise on the issue failed, Nixon ordered the Attorney General, Elliot
Richardson, to fire him. He refused and resigned. Deputy Attorney General William
Ruckelshaus was then asked. He also refused and resigned. These were principled
men, not easily cowed by the fear of losing their prestigious positions.
In the end, it was Solicitor General Robert Bork sworn in as acting Attorney General,
who wrote the letter firing Cox. It cost him in the end. When Ronald Reagan
nominated him for the Supreme Court, the Senate rejected him.
The last and only other FBI Director to be fired was William Sessions by President Bill
Clinton. Needless to say, both Clinton and Nixon were in legal trouble, and almost no
one believes the Trump administration's straight-faced explanation that Comey
botched the Hillary Clinton investigation. In that case, why did Trump not do the firing
when he took office on January 20th is the obvious first question.
There is additional news pointing to a more rational reason. Mr. Comey was seeking
additional funds to expand the 'Russiagate' investigation. That is, the ties between
Russia and the Trump campaign.
Is Trump in trouble? Probably not as long as the Republican majority in the senate
and congress holds, and as long as public voices remain muted. But these things
have a tipping point which may or may not be reached. No one can tell.
The next step is a new FBI director and what he does. People sometimes forget, the
FBI is a huge organization carrying out hundreds of investigations led by numerous
agents. As with any large body, it can have a momentum of its own. A dissatisfied
investigator feeling he is being hampered by a politically directed chief has a weapon
-- the dreaded leak to the press to bring down a house of cards. If Mr. Trump has
violated any laws, he is certainly not out of the woods. Like an annoying bunion on a
toe that hurts with every step, the issue is likely to dog Mr. Trump's presidency for a
Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama, fresh on the heels of a $400,000
speech at investment bankers, Cantor Fitzgerald, has hit the jackpot in Milan.
Arriving in a convoy of 14 cars, a helicopter, and a 300-man police escort, he spoke
to a sold-out audience at Seeds and Chips, a conference on the impact of
technology, innovation and climate change on future food availability. His fee? $3.2
million. In this unseemly spectacle of presidents cashing in on the celebrity of public
office, should the public purse not receive an equal split? Is it not after all the public's
office that is being parlayed?
With Trump's money, perhaps his saving grace will be sparing us any more of this
latest indignity, brought we had wrongly assumed to its zenith by the Clintons.