Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in a move that has raised serious concerns over the independent functioning of the bureau without any interference from the Trump administration. The move came as a surprise to everyone, as no one, including those in Congress, conservative circles, and even in FBI, had any knowledge of such an impending action. According to the reports, even James Comey learned about the decision via news on the television.
Donald Trump stated that the decision was based on the mishandling of Hillary Clinton’s email investigation by James Comey. The move comes a week after Comey had incorrectly testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In a letter to Comey, Trump wrote that it was essential to find new, effective leadership to restore the public trust and confidence in the law enforcement agency. He also mentioned that Comey was unable to lead the bureau effectively.
However, the firing of James Comey by Donald Trump has been widely criticized, as this is seen as interference in the investigation of the Trump-Russia ties. Notably, grand jury subpoenas were issued in recent weeks to associates of Michel Flynn as a part of the ongoing investigation, as reported by CNN. This indicates that the FBI’s Russia investigations were reaching a significant stage. The firing of Jamey Comey is being compared to Watergate by several political experts.
Senator Bernie Sanders said in a statement that this decision raises a serious question about what the administration was hiding. He said that the timing was problematic as Comey was scheduled to appear before Congress to discuss “worldwide threats.”
Sanders further added, “Why did President Trump fire the person leading the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Russian government?”
Bernie Sander reiterated the fact that there has been a continuous attempt by Trump to interfere in the investigation of the Trump-Russia ties. He then said something that might start a massive Democratic resistance against whomever Trump nominates as the next FBI director.
Bernie Sanders stated, “It is clear that whomever President Trump handpicks to lead the FBI will not be able to objectively carry out this investigation. We need an independent investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.”
Senate Democrats, and maybe even a few Senate Republicans, are expected to use the argument made by Sanders to push for an independent investigation. Several Democrats have already said that the timing of the firing is very troublesome.
Justin Amash, a conservative Michigan congressman, said, “My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia.”
President Donald Trump has been vehemently defending his decision to fire Comey via a series of tweets. Notably, a few days before the elections, Trump had praised Comey for his handling of Clinton’s email inquiry. At a campaign rally, he had even said that it takes a lot of guts to take such a stand. It is also speculated that Trump was merely looking for a reason to get rid of the FBI director.
At present, there are huge doubts over the future of the investigation into the Trump-Russia ties. James Comey was leading the complex counterintelligence investigation that included the FBI and three congressional committees. Currently, the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, has been named as the acting director while the White House continuous its search for the next FBI director.
The next FBI director appointed by Trump will have an enormous impact on the entire Russia investigation. The new director may choose to drop the inquiry or not pursue it as aggressively as James Comey. Senator Richard Burr, who is the chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the firing of Jamey Comey would further complicate an already difficult investigation. His statement is one of the strongest yet by a Republican.
Although unlikely, due to this move by Trump, there appears a possibility of an appointment of a special prosecutor.
[Featured Image by Matt York/AP Images]