Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trumpgate - The Firing of FBI Director Comey

Something smells about the firing of FBI Director Comey.  If you look at the sequence of events, the facts do not seem to support the reason given for the firing, but instead more strongly argue that it was done to stop or influence the FBI investigation into Trump campaign officials’ contacts with Russians regarding Russia’s attempt to throw the election to Trump.

The actions by Comey regarding the Clinton investigation are old news.  They happened prior to the election, more than 6 months ago.  Add to that Trump’s statements at the time supporting Comey, saying that he thought Comey was showing guts.

Why the change in sentiment?  A hint is given in the firing letter from Trump to Comey in which he doesn’t refer to the handling of the Clinton investigation at all, but he does say that although Comey assured him three times that he was “not under investigation,” he was following the recommendation of the Attorney General.  That statement can only refer to the Russia investigation; we know from his Tweets that that has been very much on his mind, and probably Attorney General Session’s mind as well.

This perspective has gained traction with the revelation that just days before the firing, Comey approached the Deputy Attorney General … the same man who wrote the detailed memo in support of the firing … asking for increased resources for the Russia investigation.  This would have quite understandably ratcheted up White House concern that Comey was taking the investigation very seriously and would follow it wherever it lead.  He was after all not a Trump appointee and clearly independent.

If in fact this was the true reason for firing Comey, then several questions are raised.  If the campaign officials, and by extension Trump, did nothing improper then why fire Comey?  They would have nothing to fear from an investigation.  It makes one take more seriously the possibility that either there was indeed collusion as legally defined or if there wasn’t, that the evidence would show an appearance of collusion which in itself would be devastating. 

If Trump’s action was an attempt to prevent a thorough, unfettered, investigation, then regardless whether there was in fact collusion, the firing was not just an abuse of power, it was an obstruction of justice.  And thus an impeachable offense.

Given the facts already available, a select committee of Congress needs to investigate the firing.  This has the potential of truly being Trump’s Watergate.  As one Senator commented, the firing was “Nixonian.”