In a shocking display of authoritarianism, Donald Trump fired FBI Director, James Comey. Not since Nixon have we seen such an overt attempt to use the executive office to obstruct an investigation. This is not Trump’s first attempt to fire his way out of his Russian problems, having already terminated Sally Yates and Preet Bahrara.
Over the past 48 hours, the White House has changed it’s official story regarding Comey’s termination multiple times. Unbelievably citing the FBI’s misreporting of forwarded emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop as the reason, Trump claimed this move was at the behest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. As it was Trump, himself, who asked Sessions and Rosenstein to draft the letters regarding Comey, Rosenstein threatened to resign over this misrepresentation. Despite attempts to distract from the obvious, this is clearly about the FBI’s investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. In his bizarre letter notifying Comey of termination, Trump states:
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
Rumor is that he told Comey he would be fired if he didn’t stop the grand juries, quite likely given that Trump and Comey shared a private dinner together in which Comey was asked for loyalty to Trump. Comey’s answer that he could only be honest was not exactly the pledge of support Trump is used to. (And yes, if Bill Clinton talking to Loretta Lynch on the tarmac bothered you, this should send you through the roof). If sources are correct that Comey was at the Rocket Docket in Virginia yesterday, submitting intel for expedition, he likely knew this was coming. Immediately following Comey’s firing, subpoenas were issued to Michael Flynn and his associates regarding their connections to Russia. Other sources have said that as many as 25 sealed indictments have already resulted from the grand juries. This looks more and more likely given yesterday’s FBI raid on a GOP campaign firm in Annapolis. Firing Comey will not stop the wheels of justice from turning, but, remember that a sitting President can’t be indicted. He will need to be impeached by Congress.
Speaking of Congress, it doesn’t appear that the WH and FBI were the only ones who knew this was coming. The last question Lindsey Graham posed to Sally Yates in her hearing on Monday was whether or not she trusted Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. This was no coincidence, and served to pre-validate Rosenstein’s upcoming actions against Comey. This implies foreknowledge about Trump’s plan to have Sessions and Rosenstein write the letters against Comey–this is even worse when you remember that Jeff Sessions is supposed to be recused from anything related to the Russia investigation.
Democratic legislatures are calling for an independent investigation. Even many GOP members of Congress put out statements admonishing Trump’s abuse of power, but it’s worth noting that Graham is continuing to say there is no need for a special prosecutor, as is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Between their focus on leaking over treason during the Yates hearing and yesterday’s events with Comey, it couldn’t be more clear that the GOP is not capable of investigating this in a bipartisan manner. The people must demand an independent investigation. I encourage you to get involved in any way that you can and demand the truth. Remember, in Watergate, everyone went down except for Nixon. Trump is simply not worth it. Our country deserves answers and justice.