As one Democrat after another has rushed to condemn President Trump for firing James Comey from his position as FBI director, they seem to have forgotten that many of them spent months calling for his resignation and for him to be investigated. In last Thursday’s White House press briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reminded them of that.
While fielding questions about the firing of Comey, Sanders was asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl about who was “in the dark” about Trump’s decision to fire Comey. Sanders responded:
Nobody was “in the dark,” Jonathan. You want to create this false narrative. If you want to talk about contradicting statements and people that were maybe in the dark, how about the Democrats. Let’s read a few of them. You want to talk about them? Here’s what Democrats said not long ago about Comey. Harry Reid said Comey should resign and be investigated by the Senate. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “I don't have confidence in him any longer.” Senator Bernie Sanders said it would not be a bad thing for the American people if Comey resigned. Nancy Pelosi said Comey was not in the right job. Former DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Shultz said that she thought Comey was no longer able to serve in a neutral and credible way. President Obama’s advisor, Valerie Jarrett, reportedly urged him to fire Comey. Just yesterday, Representative Maxine Waters said that Hillary Clinton would have fired Comey.
If you want to talk about people in the dark? Our story is consistent. The President is the only person that can fire the director of the FBI. He serves at the pleasure of the President. The President made the decision. It was the right decision. The people that are in the dark today are the Democrats. They want to come out, they want to talk about all of these — they love Comey and how great he was.
Look at the facts. The facts don't lie. Their statements are all right there. I think it's extremely clear that — and, frankly, I think it's kind of sad — in Washington, we finally have something that I think we should have all been able to agree on, and that was that Director Comey shouldn’t have been at the FBI, but the Democrats want to play partisan games. And I think that's the most glaring thing that's being left out of all of your process stories.
Before getting into the doublethink of the Democrats who hated Comey for their perception that his investigation of Hillary Clinton’s crimes was somehow responsible for her losing the election, and then — because they hate Trump even more — switched gears as soon as Trump fired Comey, let’s just spend a moment on Sanders’ clear, concise, and glaringly accurate point that “The President is the only person that can fire the director of the FBI.” Because at the bottom of all of the teeth-gnashing and garment-rending of the Democrats is the implication that President Trump cannot fire — for any reason he sees fit — a member of his cabinet that (as Sanders so aptly said) “serves at the pleasure of the President.”
It would appear the Democrats have forgotten their post-war-between-the-states history. Because besides Hillary’s disgraced husband, the only other president to ever be impeached was another Democrat: Andrew Johnson. The charges against him basically amounted to the fact that he fired his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton. After the Republican-controlled House voted to impeach Johnson, the Senate voted shy of conviction. In the end, Johnson was still president and Stanton was fired.
Not only was Sanders correct that the president has the authority to fire the FBI director, she was correct in her quotes showing what Democrats had said about Comey. Let’s look at those in context.
In December — almost as soon as Trump had secured the necessary electoral votes — Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was at the time the outgoing Senate minority leader, called Comey “the new J. Edgar Hoover” (he meant it as an insult) and said, “This is not fake news. Intelligence officials are hiding connections to the Russian government. There is no question. Comey knew and deliberately kept this info a secret.” He added that Comey should resign. Reid even went to so far as to call Comey a “national security” risk and say that “he should be investigated by other agencies in the government, including the security agencies.”
Of course, this is the same Harry Reid who famously encouraged the Intelligence Community to provide candidate Trump with fake intelligence briefings.
In early November, even before Reid made the statements above, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Comey’s letter to Congress informing them of the renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private e-mail server caused the senator to lose confidence in Comey. “I do not have confidence in him any longer,” Schumer said, adding that Comey’s decision to inform Congress that he was reopening the investigation after finding more e-mails was “appalling.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is a mixed bag by anyone’s reckoning. He holds his Senate seat as an Independent, but ran against Hillary Clinton in the primaries as a Democrat (during which, according to leaked DNC e-mails, Clinton stole the nomination from him). He also was extremely critical of Comey. In January — less than a week before Trump moved into the White House — Bernie Sanders told ABC’s This Week that because of Comey’s investigation into Hillary’s e-mail scandal, “I think he should take a hard look at what he has done” adding, “And I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) parroted the same party dogma about Comey in the wake of the two FBI investigations into Hillary’s e-mail scandal. On November 2, Pelosi told CNN, “Maybe he’s not in the right job,” adding, “I think that we have to just get through this election and just see what the casualties are along the way.” In other words, let’s see if Hillary wins.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.) — who was forced to resign her chairmanship of the DNC in the midst of the scandal caused by leaked DNC e-mails showing corruption and illegality within the DNC — blasted Comey in a classified briefing he held on January 13 for members of Congress. Her heated exchange with Comey — about the DNC leaks — lasted about 10 minutes of that briefing. In a statement after that briefing, she said that she would not violate the classified nature of the briefing, but added, “However, the FBI Director must clarify for the American people, the agency’s policies for investigating and alerting those who are hacked by foreign governments. There are further questions that must be answered by Director Comey, who must provide more clarity on this and other questions that have arisen surrounding the FBI’s handling of Russian hacking during the 2016 election cycle.”
Four days later, on January 17, she told CNN, “I think Director Comey has taken enough actions that call into question his ability to continue to serve credibly," adding, "I would lean in the direction that he no longer is able to serve in a neutral and credible way."
Of course, Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who was at that same briefing with Comey, told the press afterward, “All I can tell you is the FBI Director has no credibility.” Last week, Waters told MSNBC’s Peter Alexander that though she did not “support the president's decision” to fire Comey, she would have supported Hillary Clinton firing Comey if she had won the election. “Well, let me tell you something. If she had won the White House, I believe that given what he did to her, and what he tried to do, she should have fired him. Yes.”
So, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders certainly did not exaggerate. If anything, she played it light. The people she quoted said everything she said they did and more. And they are not alone. Other Democrats who are frothing at the mouth over their pretended disgust of Trump firing Comey said similar things about him while he was still the FBI director. Now that he has been fired, he has suddenly undergone some type of metamorphosis in their memories.
At this rate, they may even come — before it’s all over — to praise him for protecting their candidate from criminal prosecution by refusing — not once but twice — to recommend indictment for her many and obvious crimes.
One thing is certain given the disparity between the song this liberal choir was singing right up until Trump fired Comey and the song they’ve been singing since: If it weren’t for double standards, these Democrats would have no standards at all.
Photo of Senator Chuck Schumer and former Senator Harry Reid: AP Images