Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Constitutional Crisis: the Comey Firing, Part One

“It is my fervent hope and the hope of millions that ... such courage is still possible, that today’s members of Congress regardless of party are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth, even when it contradicts party positions…”

Former President Obama spoke the above words and more, after accepting the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award at the JFK presidential library this past Sunday. Needless to say, the contrast between the uplifting spirit of that event and the tone in Washington this week couldn’t be more stark. Here’s the “short” list: 

-         Monday: Former Justice Department Acting Director Sally Yates’ testifies in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the warnings she delivered to the Trump White House last February that Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn, was possibly compromised by his ties to Russia; it took 18 days for the new president to take her warning seriously and to fire Mike Flynn, and then only after the news accounts started to make him look bad. In those 18 days, Flynn continued to attend sensitive, classified-only meetings on behalf of the administration.

-        Tuesday: “breaking news!”—On the bizarre pretext that the director mishandled the case surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails during last year’s presidential campaign, Trump fires FBI Director, James Comey, just days after Comey confirmed that the Trump organization is being investigated for ties to Russia. Timing is everything—the White House aide who delivered the firing letter to FBI headquarters yesterday, reportedly entered the building at just past 5 p.m. (meaning that’s the time we’ll use for the event chart ahead). Comey was not given personal notice—attending an FBI event in Los Angeles, he found out via television reports, while he was standing at the podium.

As one reporter put it, Trump has been “looking” for a way to get rid of Comey, and his politically-appointed Deputy Attorney General and Attorney General just happened to send letters to Trump suggesting that Comey should be fired, affording him some cover—how much cover remains to be seen.

Calls for a strictly independent investigation into these Trump ties are mounting, even as I write this. “We have crossed a line we haven’t crossed since Watergate,” another reporter commented. CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jefferey Toobin calls Trump’s move a “grotesque abuse of power.” Even more stunningly, Congresswoman and House Intelligence Committee member Jackie Speier (D, CA), characterized the development as a “Constitutional crisis.” 

She believes Comey’s dismissal had its genesis in the FBI Director’s testimony at a House intelligence hearing on March 20th, which revealed that Trump campaign members were being investigated for ties to Russia. “The president has gone one step way too far,” Speier concluded.

One of several high-level voices decrying Trump’s attack on the “rule of law” with Comey’s dismissal, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is leading the charge for appointing a Special Prosecutor, similar to the one appointed to investigate the 9/11 attacks and the 1970s Watergate crisis that led to then-President Nixon’s resignation.

-        Wednesday: Given the timing, Trump’s meeting today with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov is almost ghoulish. Apparently, Syria is the topic of discussion, however Trump does seem determined to rub American noses in the optics, demonstrating (in his mind, anyway) that he’s accountable to no one, for nothing. If something looks fishy or suspicious, that’s on us. Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has come out in support of Comey’s firing, and is dismissing calls for the Special Prosecutor into Trump-Russia ties. He, of course has a vested interest (and to my mind, should recuse himself on all Trump-related investigations): his wife Elaine Chao is Trump's Secretary of Labor.

      Trump himself is saying it’s time to “get beyond” Russia, and when asked about Comey’s firing, Lavrov “laughed it off.” Senator Tim Kaine says he believes we are “living through the stress test for this 230-year democracy.” 

Putting it all into astrological perspective

The Personal Dimension: MSNBC political analyst Robert Costa observes how closely Trump himself has been involved in the Comey dismissal—the real mystery is why the White House is surprised by the explosive, shocked and deeply concerned reaction across the nation. We’ll examine this dimension when we consider Biwheel #1 between the Trump and Comey firing charts.

The flip-side of this, of course, is what the firing means to Comey himself: we’ll tease out the dynamics at work when we examine Biwheel #2 between his noon chart (no time available, birth data taken from Wikipedia). A few interesting dynamics between the natal charts of the two men will come up in the process.

The Historical Dimension: the glaringly obvious precedent for Trump’s actions is being noted by many analysts, including Michael Bechloss, White House historian. He draws the parallels between today’s event and the October, 1973 so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” of Nixon/Watergate fame. In that instance, Nixon—beset by investigations headed up by Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox—decided to fire the investigator, as Trump is doing more than 40 years later. 

There’s a long story to tell here, but Bechloss summed it up nicely by pointing out that Nixon wasn’t above the law then, and Trump isn’t above it now. We’ll examine that parallel more closely in Biwheel #3, setting the 1973 event chart (set for noon) against the Comey firing. Suffice to say, the echoes are deafening. 

The Collective Dimension:  here we’ll consider the “Constitutional crisis” label that many are applying in Biwheel #4, setting the U.S. Sibly chart against the Comey firing event chart.
Bear with me, please: to do the complicated astrology of this story justice, I will need to roll it out in stages, over the next couple days. In this post, we’ll consider the first, personal dimension.   

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Comey Firing, May 9, 2017, 5:05 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C..
Interchart Cardinal Grand-Square: Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) opposes Firing Pluto (Capricorn); this axis squares Firing Mercury-Uranus (Aries) opposed to Trump Jupiter-Firing Jupiter. We can see that a great deal of tension was released by Trump with this firing. Interestingly, the move seems to have been calculated for its potential benefit to Trump’s Jupiter and to ease up on any personal wounding (we’ll see how this ties in which Trump’s Chiron next). The fact that Trump claims he’s the victim of a “hoax,” a baseless investigation that he calls a “waste of taxpayer money,” is clearly a defensive ploy: his security-oriented Cancer points are squared by the aggressive, shocking Aries duo of Mercury-Uranus. 

Falling over his 8th house, Mercury and Uranus may register in Trump’s mind as a threat to his businesses, which with this placement, he might equate with threats to his very existence. His financial conflicts of interest show no sign of being resolved, and calls for investigations into those are probably also a factor in the cardinal tension. 

Clearly, the investigations into fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s Russian connections are threatening to Trump, as well: CNN just announced that “Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year's election, according to people familiar with the matter. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey.”[emphasis added]. 

The plot thickens: CNN is also revealing that just days before Comey was fired, he “sought more resources from the Justice Department for the FBI’s Russia investigation.” By definition, a grand square reflects that many interrelated forces and concerns converge at once: all of this together provides a stunning example. 

It makes sense then, that Firing Pluto (Capricorn) opposes Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer). This suggests that Trump feels under siege by powers beyond his control, and the fact that he’s not in total control (damn those pesky checks and balances) is a major problem for him, one that perhaps guides a lot of his actions. The firing letter he sent to FBI headquarters made a point of “thanking” Comey for assuring him 3 times that he, Trump, was “not under investigation.” Clearly this contradicts Comey’s own testimony; maybe Trump’s thinking if he says this enough times, it’ll be true? 

Senator Kaine (D, VA) points out how “deeply insecure” this president is, and we certainly see that here. This is not the role Trump signed on for in the presidential “reality TV” show he envisioned, where he gets to fire people who fall short in their loyalty to him, and the problem just goes away forever. His aggressive Sagittarius Moon (a full Moon) disposes his Cancer points (Saturn-Venus and Mercury), so he doesn’t hesitate to use offense as a good defense. More on all this as we go.

Firing ASC (Libra) conjoins Trump’s Chiron-Jupiter (Libra); Firing Venus/Mercury-Uranus (midpoint, Aries) opposes Trump Neptune/Jupiter (midpoint, Libra); Firing Venus opposes Trump Neptune.  This is a tricky configuration to tease apart, however there’s a sense that Trump’s illusions (Neptune)—that he’s somehow immune from accountability—are only partially supported here. The shocked press (Mercury-Uranus) is already covering the story mercilessly, influencing how well Trump will be able to charm (Venus) his way out of the brouhaha he’s created. 

In fact, there’s a real possibility that a cover-up is underway, with allies (Venus) supporting his potential corruption (opposing his Neptune). The midpoint oppositions reflect the “he said/she said” dilemma for those trying to get at the truth, but they also suggest that Trump will be held accountable in some way for his careless decision, and the hypocrisy and possible ethical improprieties it represents (Jupiter/Neptune). Uranus will continue squaring Trump’s Saturn-Venus through March, 2019, as Pluto moves into an even tighter opposititon to these Cancer points, so this is a long-term pressurized situation.  

Firing Mars (Gemini) squares Firing Neptune (Pisces) and trines Firing Jupiter-ASC-Trump Jupiter-Chiron (Libra). The growing scandal involving former military officer Michael Flynn is certainly covered here; the connections to Trump’s Libra points suggest that the Flynn story does implicate him in some way—most likely financial (2nd house Libra). Given that Trump’s Neptune rules his Pisces 8th house, it’s not surprising that he likes to keep his financial dealings (especially 8th house indebtedness) as nebulous and mysterious as possible. 

Three distinct, but related threats are clearly roiling Trump: 1) the resurgent questions about why it took Trump 18 days to fire Flynn after then-acting DOJ Director Sally Yates issued her warnings against him; 2) the subpoenas just issued for Flynn’s financial records; and Senator Lindsey Graham’s intentions to investigate any business dealings Trump may have in Russia. All told, these threads of inquiry may hit too close for comfort. 

Flynn’s offer of testimony in return for immunity could also be weighing on Trump’s mind, even though no one has taken Flynn up on the offer. This pressure forms an interesting backdrop for the next configuration.

Interchart Yod: Firing Neptune (Pisces) inconjoins Firing Jupiter-Trump Jupiter-Chiron and Trump Pluto (Leo). Elusive Neptune is always a tough energy to have as the focal point of anything, much less a frustrating yod, but it certainly reflects the obstacles encountered in the investigations noted above, which have been on-again, off-again, subject to constant distortion and sabotage. The fact that Trump is relying on conveniently timed DOJ letters suggesting that Comey’s handling of the Clinton emails was the proverbial “straw” that warranted firing is Obfuscation 101. 

Neptune falls over his 7th house of allies and enemies, reflecting his “victim consciousness;” the inconjuncts with his 12th house Pluto (Leo) and 2nd house Chiron suggest that this defensiveness (and feeling of woundedness) may approach the depths of paranoia. The White House’s attempts to “circle-the-wagons” in his defense also fit here. 

Interchart Grand Trine: Firing Mercury-Uranus (Aries) trine Trump Mars-ASC-Firing No. Node (Leo) trine Trump Moon-Firing Saturn-GC (Sagittarius). There’s some cosmic Kung-Fu at work here, with Trump tapping into the public’s passion for getting to the truth (Saturn-GC) and flipping it to his own advantage. Or at least, he’s trying to. The Leo Node on Trump’s Mars-ASC presented an opening and validated his compelling need to regain control, however as we’ve seen, the Aries points aren’t particularly supportive in other ways. 

Even the trine formed by the Aries points with his fiery Moon can promote over-the-top emotional behavior that may or may not be productive. The trine also reflects the momentum that’s been gained lately in the investigations, not to mention the revelations (GC); Comey’s request for further resources probably raised a red flag in Trump’s mind, who would clearly want to interrupt that momentum for his own emotional (Moon) reasons. 

Speaking of emotional needs, Trump seems to be driven by an intense need to diminish former President Obama at every opportunity, and he certainly wouldn’t want the nation’s spotlight to linger on Obama’s receipt of the Profiles in Courage award this past Sunday any longer than necessary. 

In fact, this same fiery grand trine cast Obama in a noble, dignified light, tying into his Leo North Node-Uranus conjunction, which disposes his Aquarius Jupiter. I won’t go into it any further here, on this frenzied news day, but the triwheel below certainly reveals Trump’s “issues” with Obama’s success, and his desire to grab the spotlight back to himself. It’s hard to envision Trump gaining the spotlight for anything positive at this point, but he certainly has his ways of dominating the news.

Feel free to offer your observations on the triwheel below - more on the historical dimension of the Comey firing soon!

Triwheel: (inner wheel) ; (middle wheel); (outer wheel). 

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved. 

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