From Michael Goodwin at the New York Post:
At first blush, Donald Trump’s decision to swear off criminal investigations of Hillary Clinton didn’t look like a good idea. At second blush, it looks like a terrible idea.
The decision, dribbled out in a TV report and then confirmed by aide Kellyanne Conway, is too momentous to come in bits and pieces and from anyone other than Trump directly.
He made the pledge at a debate to appoint a special prosecutor, and it smacks of Washington-as-usual for the reversal to slither out the back door.
To be sure, there is a pragmatic argument for dropping the pledge. New investigations of Clinton could consume Washington and interfere with Trump’s plans to deliver on big economic and immigration promises, which are more important to the well-being of the country.
Trump had hinted at that view, telling the Wall Street Journal after his victory that Clinton probes were not high on his agenda.
“It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform,” he said.
Another reason to back off is that appointing special prosecutors can be risky because they are free of nearly all oversight, except the courts’. President George W. Bush was pushed to name one in the Valerie Plame case, and it backfired when the real leaker was never prosecuted while White House aide Scooter Libby was unfairly prosecuted and convicted.
Yet arguments in favor of keeping the prosecution promise also are compelling. To start with, the debate pledge was no ordinary campaign blarney. About 67 million people watched the fiery face-off, and the issue was a centerpiece of Trump’s claim that Washington is rigged in favor of insiders and that he could fix it.
The ideal that all are equal before the law is the essence of America and should not be trifled with casually. The pledge also resonated because the FBI investigation into Clinton violated many usual procedures.
Despite a mountain of evidence that Clinton’s use of a private server led to the mishandling of national secrets, President Obama said it was just a mistake that didn’t harm the country.
As I wrote at the time, Obama’s defense was the all-clear signal, and we later learned that the Justice Department never convened a grand jury, never issued subpoenas and took the highly unusual step of granting limited immunity to five Clinton aides. And don’t forget Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s suspect meeting with former President Bill Clinton during the investigation.
Against that backdrop, the FBI decision not to recommend charges looked like a fix. Trump left no doubt about his feelings, saying Clinton was “guilty.”
Another complicating factor in his latest comments are reports that the FBI has had a two-year investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The focus is said to be on whether Clinton, as secretary of state, traded government favors for contributions to the foundation and millions of dollars in speaking fees to her husband.
Some incidents suggest America’s interests were disregarded as the foundation got many, many millions from multinational firms and foreign individuals and governments. To me, some of those incidents look like bribery.
If that probe remains ongoing, is Trump planning to stop it? If so, on what basis?AND THEN THERE'S THIS:
Is He Backtracking on Waterboarding and Global Warming?
The Deplorable Raven comments:
1) He's not letting her off the hook. He said he's not taking pursuing charges against her off the table. He's distancing himself and what could be perceived as personal vendetta from his DoJ. This way as soon as Sessions brings it up Trump can say "nope DoJ is independent". This is in stark contrast to the current politicized and criminal DoJ of OKenyan.
2) This is from NYT: Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge that humans contribute to climate change Tuesday in a meeting with New York Times reporters, moving closer to widely held scientific opinion but away from the Republican Party line.
He is keeping an "open mind" when it comes to climate issues, he said. "I think there is some connectivity" between human activity and climate change, Trump said[.]
In other words he said nothing. Or changed anything. All of his statements on every single thing so far since he's been elected are designed to make him appear NOT unhinged and destroy the media narrative about him.
The decisions that he is making or considering are designed to get the opposition to him out of the way so he can get his agenda passed (Priebus as COS specifically for example is so he can get the RINOs in Congress, through Ryan, on his side).
He is also very aware that the electors haven't voted yet and there's a concerted effort by assholes to get the electors to vote against Trump. He shows any sign of "being unfit to be president" and he gives these groups more ammo.
My advice? Wait till he's inaugurated.
If you think I'm basing this on nothing. Go back and watch how Trump's behavior changed when he endorsed Ryan and McCain and the lot. It was at a time when he needed to focus solely on the demon-crats and avoid getting attacked from both sides.
That is the stage he's in right now. He's not a baby. He needs people on his side and he needs people to buy that he's stable and not unhinged.