Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump fires FBI Director Comey - His Nixonian Moment - The Cover Up Deepens

FBI Director James Comey  - who was leading an investigation into alleged links between Donald Trump's team and Russia - has been fired by the US President.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement that Mr Comey has been "terminated and removed from office." Mr Trump was said to have acted on "clear recommendations" from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in a move that has shocked Washington.

However, Democratic Senators were quick to point out the constitutional crisis that has been created by Mr Trump removing a man in charge of investigating him. Senator Dick Durbin said on the Senate floor that the firing of Mr Comey raises questions "as to whether the Russian interference in the last presidential election... will also be investigated by the FBI."

Mr Durbin called on the White House to clarify whether the investigation will continue, adding that any "attempt to stop or undermine the FBI probe would raise grave constitutional issues".
Mr Trump's statement indicated that a search for a new director of the FBI "will begin immediately."

In Mr Trump's letter formally informing Mr Comey of his termination, he was appreciative of Mr Comey "informing [him] on three separate occasions" that the president was not under investigation by the agency.

It is essential we find new leadership...that restores public trust and confidence," Mr Trump said.

In addition to the Senate and FBI investigations, the House Intelligence Committee is also conducting one. Democratic Representative Eric Swallwell, the ranking member on the committee, said that Mr Comey's firing "should send a chill down the spine of every American, no matter who they voted for."

“The administration of justice must remain free of political influence, and President Trump has just leaped over that line," Mr Swalwell said.

Calls from several members of Congress, including Republican Senator John McCain, about having an independent, bipartisan commission to conduct the Russia investigation have been amplified in the wake of Mr Comey's dismissal.

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued show all

Mr McCain expressed his "disappointment" in Mr Trump's decision, calling Mr Comey a "man of honor and integrity" in a statement.

Several Democrats have also called the firing “Nixonian," referring to the Saturday Night Massacre – when former President Richard Nixon dismissed Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. That night, the attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned in protest to the firing of Mr Cox.

"Today's action by President Trump completely obliterates any semblance of an independent investigation into Russian efforts to influence our election, and places our nation on the verge of a constitutional crisis," said Representative John Conyers, senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Mr Conyers and other Democrats have echoed Mr McCain's calls for an independent commission or a special prosecutor to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 election - with Chuck Shumer, the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate calling for a "fearless" special prosecutor to take on the Trump-Russia probe, wondering whether the firing of Mr Comey meant the various Russia probes were "getting too close to home for the President".

SOURCE: Independent

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