|James Comey, Robert Mueller, Robert Kennedy & Jimmy Hoffa
Because the virus has captured the news, the Mueller investigation into the fantasy of Trump colluding with the Russians now seems like ancient history. But the investigation was brought back to mind by a book that I recently read: In Hoffa's Shadow, by Jack Goldsmith.
Goldsmith is a former Justice Department attorney. His stepfather, Chuckie O'Brien, had been Hoffa's right-hand man for decades and had been suspected by the FBI as being involved in Hoffa's murder, a suspicion that Goldsmith deconstructs in the book.
Anyway, the book recounts the time in 2004 when James Comey was the deputy to Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Robert Mueller was the FBI Director. Both of them took a strong stand at the time against surveillance of anyone, including foreign nationals, without a warrant. Both said that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) should be followed to the letter of the law. When President Bush and Vice President Cheney tried to find a legal way of skirting the law, Mueller was so opposed to this idea that he threatened to resign.
Not too ironic, eh?
The author goes on to put this issue in historical context. He details how former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had authorized FBI wiretaps on Jimmy Hoffa and Martin Luther King without warrants. And as other authors have written, he describes Kennedy as an obnoxious, Ivy League spoiled brat, whose prosecution of Hoffa set back the union movement in the US and ended up hurting working stiffs, who at the time, were loyal Democrats.
It has always fascinated me how history has downplayed the misdeeds of RFK and his brother JFK, due to both of them being assassinated and the nonsense about Camelot. Heck, just imagine the howling and wailing by the media if Trump had tried to appoint a brother as attorney general, or if it came out that his attorney general had wiretapped a civil rights leader, or if his CIA had secretly planned a botched invasion of another country, or if his administration had looked the other way when an elected president of an allied government was assassinated, as was the case with South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem.
History is fascinating and makes being holed up in the house tolerable.
Craig J. Cantoni