A Coup of Innuendo


AP Photo Seth Wenig

Today, just two days before the 2016 presidential election in the United States of America, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, announced that the most recent Hillary Clinton email review is over and there are no changes to the conclusions made in July.

The announcement today comes just nine days after Director Comey sent a letter on October 28, 2016 to select lawmakers informing them that the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. Mr. Comey sent the letter on October 28 over the objections of the Justice Department even though these emails had not yet been reviewed and even though there were less than two weeks before the presidential election.

After Comey’s vague communication to Congress, Donald Trump and his surrogates had nine days to lie about the FBI investigation and spread false innuendo concerning Hillary Clinton until Comey’s announcement today, and Trump lied about it relentlessly. Millions of people voted in early voting and absentee voting during that 9 day period.

During this same 9 day period, sources with connections to the FBI, including close associates of Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani, spread unsubstantiated innuendo that Clinton was facing imminent indictment, and Rudy Giuliani publicly admitted that this information was communicated in advance to the Trump Campaign. This innuendo was reported by FOX News as if it were fact, and soon thereafter, FOX had to apologize for reporting inaccurately about the unsubstantiated innuendo.

In the midst of all of the innuendo coming from the FBI and sources close to the FBI, Trump has been repeatedly calling on his supporters to go to poll locations other than their own in areas heavily populated by African Americans to “watch,” and he tells his supporters “you know what I mean by watch.” He has whipped his supporters into a frenzy over the election being rigged, and he used Comey’s letter about the review of the emails as way to portray Clinton as corrupt and to gain much needed momentum after trailing badly in the polls. The past nine days since the release of Comey’s letter have made a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives impossible, Democratic control of the Senate much less probable than it was, and a Trump presidency within the realm of the possible.

All the while, the Republican controlled U.S. Senate continues to refuse to even hold a hearing for a Supreme Court Justice position that has been vacant since February of 2016. This is the longest period of time a seat on the Supreme Court has been vacant without a hearing in the history of the United States. Some sitting Republican senators say they will block all nominees to the Supreme Court if Secretary Clinton wins the presidency.

These actions are an affront to our democracy and a clear and present danger to our Republic. They represent the closest thing to a coup attempt that I have seen in my lifetime in this country, and they are a reminder that Charles Blow of the New York Times is correct in his assessment that Donald Trump is an existential threat to the United States of America and to the world.

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