In this week’s installment of the slow death of the American Experiment, Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey amid an ongoing FBI-led criminal investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Official rationale cited by the White House was that Comey’s termination had been recommended by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein as the only proper response to Comey’s improper handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
While Sessions claims to have recused himself from any pending investigations into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, he technically retains the authority to preside over issues pertaining to last year’s Hillary Clinton investigation. In his letter, Sessions largely points to Rosenstein’s recommendation as his rationale for recommending that Comey be fired. Though Rosenstein’s letter never explicitly calls for Comey’s termination, it criticizes the former FBI Director at length--and spends a particularly long time castigating Comey for his October 28 letter to Congress, which many now believe cost Clinton the election.
But Trump’s letter to Comey tells a different story.
via: Buzzfeed News
“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," wrote Trump, betraying his interest in the ongoing Russia investigation (and, let’s face it, not exactly inspiring confidence in his version of events). What’s more, news has emerged that--mere days before his termination--Comey had requested additional funds for his investigation into Trump’s Russian ties.
If that weren’t enough, Trump himself directly contradicted the official White House rationale for Comey’s dismissal in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt on Wednesday night. “I was going to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation,” he boasted.
The decision has provoked panic and outrage in Congress and across the nation. After months spent acting in lock-step with Trump’s desires, many Republicans have begun to voice concern that the President’s dismissal of Comey amid the current investigation into Russia constitutes an abuse of power. Senator John McCain and other Republican lawmakers now join the growing chorus of Congresspeople demanding an independent investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has already indicated that Democrats plan to force a vote on the issue, and on Wednesday the Democratic Senators united in a show of obstruction designed to keep the focus on the impropriety of Comey’s dismissal.
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