The only certain thing in the bombshell story about the dismissal of the FBI director James Comey is that only Trump knows the real reasons for Comey’s firing.
The bombshell news delivered on late Tuesday night about the termination of the FBI director James Comey caught everyone by surprise. Even the FBI director himself, who had learned about his dismissal at the same time the public-at-large, was shocked. It looked as if the reality show The Apprentice came out directly from the White House with a legendary punch line: “You are fired.”
This is the second time in American history that an FBI director has gotten dismissed. In 1993, Bill Clinton terminated the FBI director William Sessions. The recommendation for such move was made by, at that time, his attorney general, Janet Reno.
There has to be a good reason for firing the head of the FBI. While the reasons for the firing of William Sessions in 1993 were pretty flat-out and rooted in the tax avoidance and unethical conduct of Sessions, it is still unclear on what grounds Comey got fired.
Decline in confidence in Comey and quoting democrats as it was some kind of Kellyanne Conway’s vox populi poll, not only is not convincing but it also comes at a belated time in the Trump administration. For any Clinton-related rationale for the firing, the timing has been long overdue. Especially in the light of the public praises, President Trump has made for James Comey.
The only certain thing so far in the bombshell story about dismissals of the FBI director James Comey is that only Trump knows the real reasons for firing Comey.
The WH narrative or whitewashing?
The background info the White House sent out to the press corps last night consists of the two documents. One containing the letters regarding Comey and the second, showing press clippings of quotes made by democrats stating how they have lost faith in Comey at the time of Clinton’s investigation.
When did the Republicans decide to use the vox populi of the Democrats as an excuse for political decision-making? It comes as a great surprise that Trump’s advisors would opt to justify the President’s decision in connection with Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s investigation.
It does not take that much hard online search to get the tweet of Kellyanne Conway made in October 2016 on which she is now, with the rest of the Trump’s advisors, flip-flopping.
So what is really going on? What is it that the White House is not telling us? What was the real impetus for the events that led to firing Comey?
The fact that we do not know the real reason that led Trump to fire Comey does not look good. It does not look good because of two reasons. First, there is evidence in public statements that members of the Trump administration were in favor of the Comey’s investigation of Clinton in 2016. Second, so many unknowns regarding the real reason for the firing are opening up space for speculation about the motives of the President.
The current spin coming out of the White House is doing the President disservice as now everyone thinks that James Comey was getting too close to something discriminating regarding the investigation on Russia.
Trump may be completely innocent, but how the White House is handling this news is not skillful. The two coinciding events: the testimony of Sally Yates and the firing of Comey are only raising more questions.
To make any substantial analysis about Comey’s firing, it would require more information, and first and foremost a public clarification from President Trump himself.
Questions for President Trump
On Wednesday morning the President tweeted that “ James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI”.
In order to make concerns about his motives for firing Comey go away, the President would have to answer the set of following questions.
President Trump, if you were contemplating decision to fire Comey for some time now, what additional information about him, if any, prompted you to act and fire him on Tuesday, May 9, 2017? What was the tipping point that made you make this call? You knew about the mistrust of the Democrats in Comey in 2016, what made you suddenly consider their opinions and sentiments? How do you explain that you have fired Comey just the day after the testimony of Clapper and Sally Yates? What do you think you have gained by firing Comey? President Trump, is this firing act a way for you to put a break on the investigation about Russia?
Firing Comey won’t stop the questions
Yes, the timing of Comey’s firing may be a coincidence, and yes, “ the Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the facts that he should be fired”, but the President is justifying his decision in a wrong way.
The White House will now probably try to reconfigure the narrative, but if anyone thinks this is going to stop the questioning regarding the links between Trump’s campaign and the Russians, it won’t. The democrats are now even more determined in calling for the special prosecutor.
Whoever told President Trump that this should be communicated as a bi-partisan agreement for firing Comey has advised him in a wrong way. The whole firing act does not look good and it will only raise more questions.The media will not move on to the next issue as this is not how media works.
All this could make it worse for Trump and it could backfire. Some argue that this bombshell firing story is reminiscent of the Nixon administration. If in any sense, however, the firing of Comey echoes Nixon, it may be that Henry Kissinger is talking into Trump’s ear.
Either way, even if I disagree with the analytical grounds for the Nixon comparison, the lesson learned in the 70s is still very telling: firing the lead prosecutor did not save Nixon from impeachment.
Only Trump knows the real reason for Comey’s firing. What is clear to everyone is that it did not happen over the Comey’s investigation of Hillary Clinton. Why did it happen then? Hopefully, the President will soon explain his decision in a more substantial way and show everyone that his real reason for firing the FBI director was a good one.