Beginning of the end
President Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey is confirmation of what I said yesterday: Flynn was not the only one compromised. It is really hard to imagine after yesterday’s testimony by former Deputy Attorney General Yates that this hasty move isn’t aimed to block a serious investigation of criminal activity in the White House. Trump simply cannot afford an FBI that acts independently, as it is supposed to do in pursuing criminal activity.
The obvious precedent is the Saturday Night Massacre, when in 1973 President Nixon fired a special prosecutor and both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General quit in response. Of course there is no possibility Jeff Sessions or his Deputy Attorney General, both cited as recommending the firing, will quit. They are reliable Trump loyalists. The analogy lies in the president’s attempt to stymie an investigation bound to produce results. After Saturday Night, Nixon was compelled to appoint a new special prosecutor and was gone within a year, once impeachment became a certainty.
The Deputy Attorney General is asserting that the firing is due to Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation last summer, which heavily favored Trump’s election campaign. That is bozotic. Comey bent over backwards to help Trump by hiding the fact that the FBI was also investigating his campaign. Trump last summer praised Comey to the skies for his handling of the Clinton emails. No one he appoints as director after this firing could be relied on to conduct a serious investigation.
The Democrats are calling for an independent special prosecutor.* But it won’t happen until the Republicans realize that this president is going down and will take them with him unless they cut him loose. There is no predicting when they will reach that conclusion, but for the country’s sake I hope it is a matter of weeks or months rather than years. The sooner Mike Pence becomes president the better prepared for the 2018 election the Republicans will be. This should be the beginning of the end for a president clearly determined to prevent anyone from finding out the truth about his and his campaign’s relations with Moscow.
*PS: It turns out this is not possible, as the enabling legislation has been allowed to expire. The correct term of art these days is apparently “special counsel.” Apologies.