Friday, June 9, 2017

Key GOP senator shrugs off Trump’s scandalous demand for loyalty
"Note, Burr isn’t rejecting Comey’s account as unreliable. Rather, the North Carolina Republican is saying that if the account is true, he just doesn’t care.  I realize assorted partisans are going to take steps to defend their party’s leader, but Burr’s quote is unsettling, not just because he’s the chairman of the committee investigating the Russia scandal, but also because he’s completely wrong. The FBI published a document several years ago that’s still online, which Richard Burr may want to take a minute to read: “It is significant that we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution and not an individual leader, ruler, office, or entity. This is true for the simple reason that the Constitution is based on lasting principles of sound government that provide balance, stability, and consistency through time. A government based on individuals – who are inconsistent, fallible, and often prone to error – too easily leads to tyranny on the one extreme or anarchy on the other. The founding fathers sought to avoid these extremes and create a balanced government based on constitutional principles.” All Americans – including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee – should care when a sitting president abandons these principles and tells the director of the FBI, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Richard Burr, confronted with this, said he doesn’t see anything “wrong” with such an appeal. That’s as ridiculous as it is dangerous: our system of government is predicated on the idea that those responsible for protecting the rule of law are loyal, above all, to the American system of justice. Trump, however, appears to have pressed Comey to prioritize the interests of his presidency."