I normally don’t comment on breaking news until some time has passed and all the details have come out… but President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey? Wow! Excerpt:
President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the leader of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The stunning development in Mr. Trump’s nascent presidency drew comparisons to President Richard M. Nixon’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre,” in which Nixon purged the Justice Department in the middle of the Watergate investigation. Mr. Trump’s move immediately ignited Democratic calls for an independent prosecutor to lead the Russia probe.
Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s controversial handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited from that inquiry. Mr. Trump had also once praised Mr. Comey for being “gutsy” in pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign.
“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,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Mr. Comey dated Tuesday.
When I first heard the news my immediate reaction was something like “holy shit!”
Let’s imagine for a moment that Her Royal Highness Hillary I was in the Imperial Mansion now, instead of President Trump; now let’s imagine that President Clinton MkII (shudder) took this identical action and fired Director Comey. The optics on that would be awful; people on both parties (at least the honest ones) would be calling it revenge for Director Comey’s speech of last July and his release of the news of a renewed investigation into Her Imperial Majesty’s emails a few days before the 2016 election.
Now in some ways the optics for President Trump aren’t a hell of a lot better. There have been calls for more investigation into supposed Russian connections to the Trump campaign, and some folks – mostly on the political Left – are already claiming that the reason for the latest “you’re fired” proclamation from the man who might as well have trademarked that phrase may have been to scotch those investigations by intimidation. You know, the same people that were screeching on November 9th on how Comey should resign because he “threw the election” with his October Surprise.
My estimation of the Comey directorship is simple; he showed every sign of a man who had lost control of the organization he was supposed to be running. But my question for the Trump Administration is simple: Why now? Why not the day after the inauguration?
It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out.