“Nothing burger” has become the operative word in Washington of late. It was used by Democrats to describe the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and it is now being used by Republicans to describe the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.
It is only a matter of time until enterprising restauranteurs add it to their menus. So what is in a nothing burger? It might appear to be a bun with nothing in between, but a nothing burger on display in the James Comey hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, was something quite different.
A nothing burger, Washington style, could best be described as baloney with a slice of ham. Add to that a good helping of relish, mustard, mayo and limburger cheese, served with a big slice of lettuce, and — yes — a little red meat on the side.
The baloney: Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) in his opening testimony insinuated there was a crime which has not surfaced but he let us know that he is going to keep looking until hell freezes over or Trump is out of office,
Sen. Warner opined,
“(W)e saw the candidate himself express an odd and unexplained affection for the Russian dictator.”
Warner should have be laughed out of the room at that point. Any attempt at bipartisanship went out the window. Trump has never expressed affection for Putin. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/03/politics/trump-putin-russia-timeline/ Trump said that Putin is a more effective leader than Obama. Who can dispute that? (John McCain excluded. Senility and/or envy does strange things to people.)
On numerous occasions Trump also expressed a desire to get along with Putin as he did in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on April 28, 2016.
“If we can make a great deal for our country and get along with Russia that would be a tremendous thing. I would love to try it.”
The ham: Senators love these hearings and use them as more of an opportunity to preen before the cameras and raise their political profile than an effort to get the truth. Examples are too numerous to mention. Here is but one:
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
“…I believe the timing of your firing stinks! And yesterday, you put on the record testimony that demonstrates why the odor of presidential abuse of power is so strong.”
Add the relish:
Marco Rubio: (R-FL)
“You know, this investigation is full of leaks, left and right. I mean, we’ve learned more from the newspapers sometimes than we do from our open hearings, for sure.
You ever wonder why, of all the things in this investigation, the only thing that’s never been leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation, despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans in the leadership of Congress knew that, and have known that for weeks?”
Mustard for spice:
Jim Reich (R-ID)
“Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter any other criminal offense, where this — they said, or thought, they hoped for an outcome?”
Mayo makes it go down easy:
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
“Mr. Comey, I just want you to know that I have great respect for you. . . And I know that you’re a man of strength and integrity…”
Limburger cheese which smells to high heaven:
Senator Warner ( D-VA)
“As the director of the FBI, Mr. Comey was ultimately responsible for conducting that investigation, which might explain why you’re sitting now as a private citizen.
What we didn’t know was, at the same time that this investigation was proceeding, the president himself appears to have been engaged in an effort to influence, or at least co-opt, the director of the FBI. The testimony that Mr. Comey has submitted for today’s hearing is very disturbing.” Oooo!
A Little meat:
We now know that Comey was directed (no ambiguity here) by Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to use Clinton campaign language to refer to the FBI investigation into her emails as a “matter” and he acquiesced. Then, this lily-white FBI director admitted that he, in fact, leaked (highly unethical if not illegal) government documents to the press in order to prompt a special counsel.
Served with a big slice of lettuce:
That’s a fancy name for money folks. The appointment of a special counsel and all these hearings to search for a crime against Trump and members of his administration is unprecedented. It’s wasting valuable time and it’s costing taxpayers big bucks.
This is the real crime and we need to put a stop to it.