“You Can’t Trust People in Power,” James Comey

“You Can’t Trust People in Power,” James Comey

James Comey’s abrupt firing as director of the FBI has led some legal experts to claim that Trump’s action represents an abuse of power by an elected government official. Even the president is not immune.

People in power need to be kept in check as the founders imagined by creating three branches of government.  Trump either does not believe or disagrees with the Founders, or is being guided by alternative facts that puts the president above the other branches of government, including the Justice Department, and more specifically the FBI.

Comey believed that the FBI needs independence from political intervention.  Without independence, the public can not be sure that people in power are held accountable according to the rule of law.

Comey had dinner with Trump.  That was a mistake by Comey.  He probably should have indicated that it would not be appropriate for the two of them to meet in private.  Otherwise, the the independence of the FBI would disappear.

For Trump to invite Comey to dinner could be construed as an abuse of power.  Trump lied about the invitation, claiming that Comey asked for the date, and according to Trump, he did this to keep his job.  But officials close to Comey report that Trump asked Comey to dinner to badger him by asking Comey for his “loyalty.”  But Comey refused, saying that he could only be loyal to the Constitution, and that he would, however, “always be honest with him.”

Trump probably has dyslexia, and some type of reading disability.  He watches lots of TV, a major source of his information and irritation. But Trump is prone to being fooled (and considered a fool by his close associates).  He does read one page reports in very large fonts, but some of his staff slip in “fake news” reports, which Trump believes to be true, and then either goes onto Twitter, or gives a Fox interview.

Trump knows very little about the nature of American government, its origins, its separation of powers, and how the Federal government works.  He no doubt has not read the constitution, nor has discussed the importance of knowing what the Founders had in mind in creating our government.  Yet, he heads one of the branches of government, but because his government knowledge I.Q. is very low, he makes the assumption, that as President, he can manage the government as if he were the C.E.O.  His tantrums are legion, and a direct result of knowing very little about what it means to be President.

When Comey says that we need to be “deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power,” we need to realize that we are talking about President Trump.  Although Presidential abuse of power is not a new idea, the president resident of the White House is the poster child for abuse of power.





About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University