Donald Trump demanded that FBI Director James Comey sign a “loyalty oath” to him — putting his needs at President above the laws that Comey was supposed to support and enforce.
Comey refused. Trump fired him.
The sudden and shoddy way that Trump dismissed Comey came as the FBI’s investigations operation zeroed in on unethical and illegal actions by Trump and his aides through questionable contacts with Russia before the 2016 Presidential election.
Trump, in his dismissal letter, claimed he had received assurances from Comey that the investigations did not include any looks at illegal actions by the Presidential candidate with Russia in what could have been the deciding factor in Trump’s upset win in that election.
Trump lied about the “assurances.” Comey has never acknowledged any such assurances and FBI sources say the investigation has always included looking at how the new President may have broken the law.
CBS 60 Minutes replayed an interview with Comey earlier in his term as FBI Director and it tells a lot about why he is no longer the boss of the bureau.
He made it clear that he, as FBI Director, was to enforce the law, not support the President. He proved that when, as assistant U.S. Attorney General under George W. Bush, he stopped an attempt by the White House to violate the law with vastly expanded wiretaps of American citizens.
Trump is now not just an inept President. He is a dangerous one.
Said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois last Friday; “I think to get to the bottom line here. President Trump is dangerous.”
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr., agrees, writing Sunday:
The firing of James B. Comey as FBI director and the administration’s fog of lies aimed at clouding the real reason for Trump’s decision are the most important signs that we have a leader who will do whatever it takes to resist accountability.
He will fire anyone who gets in his way. Trump’s dismissal of Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, and Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in New York, can now be seen in a more sinister light. Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general on whom the Trump apparat initially tried to pin responsibility for Comey’s firing, may be next — if he is the person of integrity his friends describe.
Jennifer Steinhauer of The New York Times reports today that Republican Senators are separating themselves from Trump.
“It does seem like we have an upheaval, a crisis almost every day in Washington that changes the subject,” Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, told Steinhauer.
The latest subject-changing crisis has been the fallout from Mr. Trump’s sudden dismissal of Mr. Comey, who was leading the F.B.I.’s investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mr. Trump suggested last week that he might have surreptitiously taped his conversations with Mr. Comey, and on Sunday two Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said the president should turn over any such tapes, if they exist.
Already, Republicans are talking openly about rejecting components of the budget request that Mr. Trump is expected to release in two weeks. Any new request for money for a border wall would almost certainly be rejected, as would large cuts to drug control programs.
In Republican cloakroom on Capitol Hill, GOP members of both the House and Senate now talk with their colleagues about “getting rid of Trump” because they realize that any attempt to actually work with him is dangerous political suicide.
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