The testimony of former FBI director James Comey should have come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to recent events.
All the while, it is worth noting that Comey is a “nut job” and is completely unreliable as an investigator, at least according to President Donald Trump.
Trump’s record shows that anytime he claims something is awful or bad, it is usually quite the opposite. For example, Trump has derided Former President Barack Obama’s health care law and foreign policies claiming that some were drawn up on a whim. Comey’s testimony, however, should be the clearest example.
Comey was fired by the Trump administration after he rebuffed attempts by Trump to demand “loyalty,” whatever that possibly meant. Subsequently, an acquaintance of Comey’s leaked a non-classified memo stating that there were investigations into the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.
Naturally, the Trump administration’s response was to claim that Comey was unreliable. The effort to offset the blame was only thinly-veiled and it is not difficult to see past.
Additionally, in one bizarrely deflated attempt, the Trump campaign questioned Comey’s bravery and manhood for testifying before Congress.
Trump even sent out a tweet declaring his own opinions about the former FBI director, criticizing his competency and the legality of his actions.
Those who want Trump to step down as president or be impeached viewed Comey’s testimony with some hope. As hopeful as Comey’s testimony might have been, at the end of the day it only reaffirmed what everyone already knew about the president: he has no sense of right or wrong unless it is right for himself. Trump is stepping into some very Nixonian shoes in his attempts to slice away those who question his decisions and power.
Comey’s questioning by Republican members of Congress did not exactly help; the party attempted to question Comey’s conduct in the face of possible obstructions of justice committed by the executive branch.
Members of the Republican Party seem as though they are simply unable to escape their own need for partisan rule over the best interests of all U.S. citizens. That best interest, right now, is a president whose administration and campaign did not essentially commit treason in order to gain power.
For legitimate, immediate action against Trump, it is necessary for there to be a majority of legislators against him, of which there are currently few.
No matter the thoughts of the Republican Party, they are still the party of Trump and, as long as they maintain power, it is unlikely that any substantial measure will be taken. Any real punishment toward his loathsome administration will not come any earlier than local elections in 2018 and the subsequent inaugurations in 2019.
Under Trump, two more years of scandal after scandal will ensure, with a bit of political absurdity thrown in for good measure. The firing of someone as known as Comey is only the tip of the iceberg, and further testimonies are useless without any real action to back them.
There can only be so many great photos or sound bites without any actual bite to them.
Bite is what the people of the United States need now. This entire testimony proved that there can be media circuses and accusations thrown back and forth without anyone truly opposing Trump.
In a year, there will be someone else in Comey’s position saying the same things about Trump and, until Republicans are elected out of office, it will mean nothing. Unless the United States wants more Twitter rants and less policy decisions, the Comey hearing cannot set a standard for political pageantry. As painful as it may be to watch the testimony go to waste, it is a stern and harsh reminder of the world in which the country now exists.
The words of a seasoned FBI director do not matter because his serious accusations are treated like a formality, a way to appease everyone and make it seem as though the government takes incredibly important cases to heart even though this is clearly not the situation. It is the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal all over again, a distraction layered on top of a distraction to temporarily abate U.S. citizens in the most glamorous way possible.
Reuven Glezer is a junior studying Literary Form and Writing. He is a frequent contributor to The Ticker and an editor for Refract Magazine at Baruch College.