WASHINGTON — In dramatically casting aside James B. Comey, President Trump fired the man who may have helped make him president — and the man who potentially most threatened the future of his presidency.
Not since Watergate has a president dismissed the person leading an investigation bearing on him, and Mr. Trump’s decision late Tuesday afternoon drew instant comparisons to the “Saturday Night Massacre” in October 1973, when President Richard M. Nixon ordered the firing of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor looking into the so-called third-rate burglary that would eventually bring Nixon down.
In his letter firing Mr. Comey, the F.B.I. director, Mr. Trump made a point of noting that Mr. Comey had three times told the president that he was not under investigation, Mr. Trump’s way of pre-emptively denying that his action was self-interested. But in fact, he had plenty at stake, given that Mr. Comey had said publicly that the bureau was investigating Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election and whether any associates of Mr. Trump’s campaign were coordinating with Moscow.
The decision stunned members of both parties, who saw it as a brazen act sure to inflame an already politically explosive investigation. For all his unconventional actions in his nearly four months as president, Mr. Trump still has the capacity to shock, and the notion of firing an F.B.I. director in the middle of such an investigation crossed all the normal lines.
— In Trump’s Firing of James Comey, Echoes of Watergate, The New York Times (May 9, 2017).
I’ve been concerned about many, many issues impacting our government. My concerns relate directly to our sitting president and his administration. Most concerning, to me, are ethical issues. After all, if one cannot trust POTUS to do the right thing, who will? You know, lead by example, and all that. Personally profiting from his current role as President; purposefully misstating facts; and shielding his financial interests from disclosure, are deeply troubling–just to name a few.
Perhaps, then, it should come as no surprise that POTUS summarily dismissed Mr. Comey from his position. He did so without informing Mr. Comey. And, likely, without following proper protocol. Indeed, it is unlikely Mr. Comey was debriefed considering he learned of his termination of employment by way of breaking news.
But how Mr. Comey was dismissed is not the issue that should make Americans shake with anger and shudder with fear. Those emotions should be reserved for the question, why was he fired? To be expected, the stated reason for Mr. Comey’s termination appears facially neutral (and, even, lawful). But, based upon the facts known, it would not be a reach (of any measure) to assume that it was a pretext for the real reason he was fired–to disrupt, delay, and/or derail current FBI investigations into the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
For those who consider themselves patriots, this is the moment to question, “What can I do?” and, then, act accordingly.
What side are you on? Me, I’m fighting for the integrity of our country.