James Comey and the GOP establishment may be the winners of the 2016 election


No one but James Comey knows what his future plans or ambitions are. However, whatever they may be, the Republican establishment will be sure to help the former FBI Director to achieve them. If the memo reported by the New York Times leads to the downfall of President Donald Trump, Comey will have orchestrated the downfall of both of 2016's major party candidates, inserted Mike Pence (or Paul Ryan) into the white house and emerged looking like a patriotic hero.

Just days before the 2016 election, Comey publicly announced he was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. The move caused Clinon's poll numbers to spike downward and is widely credited with costing her the election. On May 9,  just before Comey was fired by Trump, it was revealed that Comey's testimony to congress about the Clinton investigation wasn't accurate.

While Comey originally stated that Clinton aide Huma Abedin "forwarded hundreds and thousands" of emails to her husband, Anthony Weiner's laptop. In reality it appears that there were relatively few emails, all a result of Abedin backing up her phone. The matter probably could have been cleared up in a matter of hours without any need to re-open the investigation and it is likely that Hillary Clinton would be sitting in the White House right now.

Of course that news got buried by the events that followed shortly after: Immediately after the updated reports about Abedin came out, Comey was fired by Trump. This was followed by several days of accusations and recriminations because Comey was also handling the investigation into the Trump administrations connections to Russia. While all of that was happening, news broke that Trump had shared top secret intelligence with Russian officials and then last night the New York Times reported that Comey had evidence proving Trump tried to obstruct the Russian investigation.

Obstruction is the offence that marked the beginning of the end for Richard Nixon and it could lead to the resignation or impeachment of Donald Trump.

Throughout 2016 as Donald Trump continued to gain momentum in the primaries, the GOP establishment tried repeatedly to put together a "Stop Trump" movement. In the end, they failed to unite or coalesce around a candidate and were forced to choose between supporting Trump and holding their noses and voting for Hillary Clinton (who most Republican insiders have hated since the 1990s).

If Trump goes, Comey will have almost single-handedly solved the problem for them - removing both Clinton and Trump from the picture and installing an unpopular Indiana governor who no one voted for into the Oval Office. Vice President Mike Pence is a unspectacular but reliable footsoldier for the GOP establishment, who was facing an uphill battle to win re-election in Indiana before joining the Trump ticket. While perhaps not the first choice of GOP power brokers, Pence is a fiscal conservative who is liked by the religious right and is unlikely to get in the way of anything the Republican controlled congress tries to do.

Some on the left want Pence to be impeached too, but that is unlikely. The Vice President has been careful to keep his hands clean. The reason given for the firing of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was that he lied to Pence. And the story about Trump asking Comey to "get over" the Russia investigation also states that Pence was asked to leave the room before Trump and Comey talked. Even if Pence were to go out with Trump, the order of succession would put Paul Ryan in the White House - also an acceptable outcome for the GOP establishment.

If the Republicans need a new face for 2020, one that is considered highly credible on the right and the left, I hear James Comey is looking for a job.



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