Rand Paul

Rand Paul Doesn't Want a Special Prosecutor on Russia

"I think a lot of the uproar is concocted," the libertarian senator tells CNN.

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In the wake of President Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) have both called for a special commission to investigate Russia's involvement in the U.S. presidential election. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) isn't having it.

"Lots of crocodile tears in DC," he tweeted this morning.

Paul elaborated in an appearance on FOX Business's Varney & Co.:

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going around," Paul said, pointing to Sen. Charles Schumer's (D-NY) criticism of Comey from earlier this year and Secretary Hillary Clinton's recent claim that Comey's public disclosures about the FBI investigation into her private email server helped tilt the election to Trump.

Paul also shared his own reasons for not objecting to Comey's dismissal. "One of my concerns with Comey is that he was always up here on the hill advocating for more power for the FBI," Paul said on Varney & Co. "When I countered that and said, 'You could've done a better job investigating the killer in Orlando,' He would always respond, 'Oh, we just need more power to tap more phones of everybody and we'll get enough information to stop this.' And my point was they just need to do better police work when someone tips them off. A gun store tipped them off about the Orlando killer and they did virtually zero to investigate it."

When asked who should replace Comey, Paul said he wants "somebody who balances civil liberties with law enforcement." Whether Paul's preference will lead to him checking and balancing Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains to be seen. Reason's Peter Suderman is doubtful.

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  1. Paul’s not wrong that the Democrats are hypocrites, and if the shoe was on the other foot, they’d be reacting in a completely different manner. I also don’t disagree with his assessment of Comey’s desire for more surveillance powers.

    That said, as long we’re talking about hypocrisy in this situation, it’s a bit funny to see Republicans, including Trump and Sessions, who supported Comey’s decision to send the letter and were fine with him having a press conference where he criticized Clinton’s judgment (while of course wishing he had recommended indictment) suddenly defend a firing that was supposedly based on Comey’s decision to do those things. Trump and the GOP have criticized Comey for a year for being too easy on Clinton (and not for no good reason – she was fortunate to be privileged enough to avoid prosecution in that case) but now we’re suddenly supposed to believe that Trump and Sessions fired him because his actions were too harsh on her? Come on, get real.

    1. I have a feeling it was an ill-conceived attempt to use the Democrats’ arguments for getting rid of Comey against them, to keep pressure off him. Obviously it was an utter failure.

      1. That’s probably the case, but I’m astounded they actually thought that would work. For a cover story to work, it has to believable. The notion that Comey was fired for the reasons stated was obviously dubious.

        1. Rod Rosenstein was finally confirmed as Deputy Attorney General a few weeks ago. He wrote this letter which got Comey fired. Everything in the letter sure seems like a legitimate complaint and I don’t blame Rosenstein for having no desire to work with an FBI Director who is playing politics and making a fool of himself.

          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39866767

          1. I’m not making any argument about whether or not the complaints are legitimate – I’m arguing that it’s transparently obvious that they are not the reasons Trump and Sessions wanted him gone. They and most of the rest of the GOP praised Comey’s letter, and had no problem with him criticizing Clinton at the press conference, or even having the press conference and recommending a decision, only that the decision was to recommend no indictment. To then present these reasons as the explanation for why they fired him is laughable.

            1. It’s like the administration is trying to shoot itself in the foot.

            2. Well, yeah, that’s the argument you’re making this afternoon after being roundly beat about the head and neck all day. Losing too much ground on that hill you planned to die on, methinks.

              Do you honestly believe a single word Trump says? Like, now is the time you decided to start taking him at his honest word? Sure.

    2. Hillary should have been indicted. Her careless control of official State Department emails, including classified information contained in them was criminal. Your average government peon would already be a year into his sentence if he/she had done the same.

      1. That ship has left the barn. You need a new nag to nag. How about (wait for it) Fauxcahontas?
        She speaks with (wait for it) forked tongue!
        Smokum pin-head pipe!
        Har har har!

        1. “Har har har” was DanOhOh’s nickname in community college.

          1. Very poor.
            D-

            1. Very poor.
              D-

              ::DanO’s re-enacts his dating history::

        2. Maybe that ship has sailed, and maybe not. The statute of limitations has not elapsed.

          Maybe the wretched hag will have to face a grand jury?

          A good meme would be a picture of a ham sandwich with the caption “indict her!”.

          An independent counselor for both of them. It’s only fair.

      2. I don’t disagree, but that’s not the issue here. Trump stated reason for firing Comey wasn’t that he should have recommended indictment, it was based on actions that they described as being unfair to Clinton (holding a public press conference to criticize her, sending the letter before the election).

        1. It’s the announcement that the case should be closed without indictment that was the problem. I’ts the job of the FBI to present findings, it’s the job of the Attorney General to chose whether or not an indictment is appropriate.

          1. That was one of the things he was criticized for, but he was also criticized for doing in at a public press conference, and for making derogatory remarks about Clinton despite the investigation being closed. Rosenstein says that in his letter.

          2. Too many people have already forgotten that the Attorney General at the time had to recuse herself. That doesn’t mean that authority actually devolved upon Comey, honestly I couldn’t say either way nor do I care in this instance, but I suppose it would be too much to ask for people to bother mentioning the actual reason why the AG didn’t make that determination.

    3. we’re suddenly supposed to believe that Trump and Sessions fired him because his actions were too harsh on her? Come on, get real.

      No less believable than that he fired Comey because he was trying to impede an investigation that has been going on for 6 months and Comey wasn’t doing personally. You think whatever investigation was going on is going to stop now?

  2. When asked who should replace Comey, Paul said he wants “somebody who balances civil liberties with law enforcement.”

    BREAKING NEWS: Senator Rand Paul wants Trump removed from office.

    1. He’s a hero of the left now?
      I can’t keep up with this many twists.

      1. If you are speaking about Rand Paul he is actually a hero for the Constitution. He will work with anyone on either side of the aisle as long as they are inline with the Constitution.

        1. And the left still hates him because he would still reduce the size and scope of government. As much as the left hates Trump, they still know which side butters their bread.

          1. This. Their beef isn’t with the size and scope of the Federal government in general, it’s that the wrong shitheel won the election.

  3. “Whether Paul’s preference will lead to him checking and balancing Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains to be seen. Reason’s Peter Suderman is doubtful.”

    That’s pretty unfair. Paul opposed two nominees that Trump was eyeing for Secretary of Defense, including Bolton. He not only opposed them, he went on national television and openly voiced his displeasure with the nominees.

    Stop smearing good elected officials because they are not going crazy over everything the President does. Susan Collins said she approved of the firing, too. Now she’s a lackey for Trump, too? And yet, you praise John ‘I (heart) Dead Iraqis’ McCain.

    The timing of the firing is unseemly, no doubt, but let’s not have another pants-shitting marathon

    1. good elected officials

      This exists?

      1. From what i’ve seen, good people generally don’t feel the need to obtain political power over others.

        1. Ok, ‘preferable elected official’. Geezus

          1. R. Budd Dwyer?

        2. Which means, by definition, there are no good politicians, so they are always enemies.

          That may make you feel clever, but it means permanent failure.

        3. The way I put it was that I want the government out of my bedroom, out of my billfold and off of my back. The only way it seems I can do that is to work to get it off yours as well.

  4. A lot of the squalling that I hear over the firing is purportedly over the timing, but I wonder what timing would have been better. If for instance Trump had fired Comey on inauguration day, I’m sure we would have heard exactly the same “Aha! Trump is trying to spike the Russia investigation!” that we’re hearing now.

    If Trump had waited and nothing came of the Russia investigation (which I think is likely) then the cry would be “Aha! Trump left him there on purpose to cover up for him! After all, he threw the election to Trump; he’s obviously part of the conspiracy!”

    None of this is meant to defend Trump. I’m not part of the MAGA crew. I’m just saying that I find the accusations being raised on this issue unconvincing.

    1. I think doing it right after the inauguration would have just looked like housecleaning, since there were the confirmation hearings and turnover at various other agencies happening at the same time, there wouldn’t be air to give the Comey story any particular attention.

      Doing it now, in the middle of subpoena requests and other goings-on in the Russia investigation, and giving such a transparently dishonest justification for the firing…just colossally stupid, no other way to describe it.

    2. I wonder what timing would have been better.

      The 100th day, duh.

  5. I think we need, and I support appointing two independent prosecutors:

    One to investigate the Russian election meddling, and a separate one to investigate Hillary’s email anomalies. Indict and prosecute whoever is deemed criminally accountable in either case. Let the chips fall where they may.

    Do you think the Democratic crooks bleating about stolen elections would go along with this proposal?

    Between Trump and Hillary, who do you think would fare worst if each were subject to an independent prosecutors?

    1. Hillary would likely personally go down, but I think Trump would come out perfectly innocent. His little toadies are the ones that have been shady behind his back, and a couple of them would go down. He’s not smart enough to do what they’re accusing him of doing. Over a dozen people close to the Clintons went down in Whitewater, yet Bill and Hillary came out unscathed.

      1. Hillary doesn’t go down. Why do you think Bill had to molest all those other women?

    2. Let’s see what Jeff Sessions thinks of how Clinton would fare subjected to an independent prosecution:

      Two days after Comey’s press conference, where he harshly criticized Clinton’s “extremely careless” handing of classified material even as he insisted that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against her, Sessions, then an Alabama senator and a leading Trump supporter, appeared on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News show. “This was a difficult case,” he said, according to the Nexis transcript. “I think it clearly could have gone the other way.” Sessions, a former U.S. attorney, said there seemed to be enough evidence for at least a misdemeanor charge against Clinton. But he conceded that “I haven’t studied the facts” and described Comey as “a skilled former prosecutor” whom “I have respected over…the years.”

    3. So according to Sessions, Clinton’s case was a close call on whether it was even prosecutable and if it was then it was a misdemeanor beef at best. She lock her up as always been a fucking misrepresentation. She could have taken a plea and walked out that courtroom without a record after completing a superfluous probationary period.

      1. According to a long recent NYT article about Comey and the FBI’s handling of the investigation, the best the FBI could hope for what after the punishment Petreaus received, which in Clinton’s case would have been more difficult to prove. So, I think that was a misdemeanor and a fine.

    4. I’d say that’s a win-win since I wouldn’t mind seeing Trump impeached and Clinton behind bars.

      Of course, then we’ll have President Pence. Too alliterative, at the very least.

  6. I watched the video and do not recall him saying anything about “not wanting a special prosecutor on Russia”, which was the title of the article. Did I miss it?

  7. the libertarian senator

    Whoa, promoted from libertarian-leaning to full-fledged Libertarian? When was the tipping point?

    1. “Whoa” was DanOhOh’s nickname in community college.

      1. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

        1. Yes, that was your nickname…

    2. Well, when compared to the most recent LP President and VP nominees…

    3. When was the tipping point?

      Top of your head, cockswoggler.

  8. When asked who should replace Comey, Paul said he wants somebody who kicks ass and chews bubblegum. Then we’re going to defund his bubblegum budget.

  9. This is your moment Rand Paul. You have these police state traitors by the balls. Use your power to get us someone who actually cares about the Constitution.

    1. Jesus, that’s a setup for an awful lot of disappointment.

    2. How much power do you think the Jr Senator from Kentucky has?

      1. Junior was Scarecrow Repair’s nickname in the bath house.

      2. Exactly. He has only been golfing once with Trump. After a few rounds his influence should grow.

      3. It’s funny that Rand Paul is considered both powerful enough that his failure to come out against the firing is a threat to the Constitution, and powerless enough that his desire for a pro-liberty FBI director is dismissed as meaningless.

  10. Now that he’s been canned, Comey has nothing to lose and much to gain by going public with everything he knows about Russian ties to Trump, assuming there are any. If 6 months go by and we hear nothing, then the whole thing was a team blue butt-hurt fantasy. Curiously, Lindsey Graham was on NPR this morning and said he didn’t think it was a big deal that Comey is gone.

    1. If this was to cover something up, it was the dumbest possible way to do it. It’s not like Comey was personally doing the investigating and getting rid of him would change anything. All Trump did was piss off the only people who can take him down. Comey will still go tell Congress everything he knows. This is nothing whatsoever like Watergate.

    2. I agree. I think if there was any real evidence it would already have surfaced. Washington D.C. leaks like a sieve, classification of the information notwithstanding.

      It is the favorite Team Blue fantasy though. Impeachment would cheer them, but not completely since that would make Pence the President. But in their fantasy if the Trump campaign is shown to have colluded with the Russians then Trump and everybody who came with him would be “disqualified” and then the only choice: make Hillary President! The progs masturbate to that fantasy every night.

      1. in their fantasy if the Trump campaign is shown to have colluded with the Russians then Trump and everybody who came with him would be “disqualified” and then the only choice: make Hillary President!

        They’ll be in for quite the surprise when Paul Ryan gets sworn in as President with Orrin Hatch as VP. We’ll be treated to another nice round of salty ham tears when it finally dawns on them that there is absolutely no way for Hillary to become the president short of some kind of military coup, and for some reason I don’t think she has enough divisions at her disposal for that.

        1. I am still waiting for the proggies to flee to Canada, or now France, so they can be ruled by enlightened metrosexuals.

          1. Fuck that. We don’t want America’s retards. Send us some libertarians. We could use a few million up here.

            1. You can take the reason.com libertarians. Most if not all are Republicans. Which is about the only way you’d get to millions

    3. More than 6 months went by and we’ve heard nothing already.

      There was no collusion.

      Russian ‘interference’ with the election consisted of the same type of ‘interference we engage in–i.e. propaganda and hectoring news articles

      Why are we acting as if the left’s weird fantasy excuse for losing is real?

      1. I agree. There was no hacking of voting terminals. The Russkies were not funneling cash to the Trump campaign. This isn’t like the 84 countries and elections the CIA has either tampered with, or outright overthrown since WWII. Did Russia hack the DNC and send the info to Wiki leaks? Maybe. Do they have thousands of trolls spamming internet chat boards with pro-Russia propaganda? Probably. You would have to be out of your mind to think that Trump directly solicited the Russians to do any of this.

        1. And even if all the worst about Russia is true, it’s not because Putin loves Trump so much, its simply because he hated Hillary and he wanted to create discord in the US. The Democrats took up his offer by going into hysterics. They are playing into Putin’s hands just as much as Trump is.

        2. I want to know why the DNC refused the FBI access to their servers even AFTER they were complaining of the Russian hacking.

      2. Yes, except there has not been six months of hearings. Or that many hearings. And a key figure was begging for immunity

        Why are we acting as if the left’s weird fantasy excuse for losing is real?
        Exactly, money would be better wasted on another Benghazi hearing, right Drumpfistas?

  11. What does Twitter say on this matter?

    1. Something of great importance no doubt. Let’s not rush to judgement until Twitter does.

  12. Not only do I stand with Rand, there is more to it than the FBI simply doing a shitty job on the Orlando shooting. The fact that the FBI even EXISTS is part of the reason the thing even happened.

    Presumably the Orlando police were tipped first. They either did nothing or they twiddled while waiting for the FBI to get involved. Despite the fact that it was a whacked-out Muslim dude, it was still essentially an Orlando problem.

    Give bureaucrats multiple levels onto which they can pass a buck, and they absolutely will pass those bucks and use it an an excuse for more money and power.

    The FBI needs to be shrunk to a manageable size and local police need to be purged of their union-enabled incompetence. I don’t expect either to happen in my lifetime, but the two certainly enable each other to increase their budgets and power, all while proving they do little but waste money and create as much crime as they solve.

    1. Give bureaucrats multiple levels onto which they can pass a buck, and they absolutely will pass those bucks and use it an an excuse for more money and power.

      The very existence of multiple levels demands that bucks be passed. The impetus for generating multiple levels is that there are too many bucks and some of them *need* to be passed.

  13. Yup, another Republican posing as a libertarian wanting to end the investigation in case it reveals something.

    EIGHT Benghazi hearings, Aqua Buddha! EIGHT! After the third, did you ever scream “SHUT THIS NONSENSE DOWN”?

  14. Rod Rosenstein was finally confirmed as Deputy Attorney General a few weeks ago. He wrote this letter which got Comey fired. Everything in the letter sure seems like a legitimate complaint and I don’t blame Rosenstein for having no desire to work with an FBI Director who is playing politics and making a fool of himself.
    Sent from http://flashreviewz.com/

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