The Russian Connection: FBI Director Fired

There are a lot of Hillary supporters out there that think the firing of FBI Director James Comey was justice. Perhaps, there is a little satisfaction there but it was hardly the motive for the sudden dismissal. It is quite obvious that the real reason that Trump fired him was not his mishandling of the investigation of Hillary’s private servers and e-mails, it was because the FBI was continuing the investigation into his campaign’s connection to the Russian interference with the election. Trump has tried everything he can to impede and distract the from this investigation, including useless military actions. It was reported this morning that Comey had asked the Justice Department for more resources to investigate Trump’s Russian connections.

Last night, Sen. Warren made it very clear in an interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes Comey was not fired because of the mishandling of Hillary Clinton’s private server and e-mails. He was fired because of the Russians.

Trump has now fired three people who where investigating his campaign’s connection to the Russian interference in the 2016 election: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates; US Attorney Preet Brahara; and, now, the FBI Director Comey. It is quite obvious that Trump does not want anyone investigating his campaign, Trump tower or his connection to the Russians.

Regardless of the excuses spewing from the White House and Trump’s twitter feed, one of the questions is what precipitated Comey’s firing. It seems strange that after Trump had praised Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation, expressed confidence in him as late as last week, that he should abruptly fire him. It’s apparent that Trump’s letter and the three page memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein were not written yesterday.

Trump had watched Comey’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee when Comey said that it made him “mildly nauseous” that his actions might have tipped the election to Mr. Trump. Did Trump perceive that as an a personal insult? Remember this man is an a pathological narcissist. He even had his personal body guard, Keith Schiller, deliver the letter to the director’s office in Washington.

Also last week, the Senate investigators sent a request to the Treasury Department’s criminal investigation division for any information related to President Donald Trump, his top officials and his campaign aides. This came just days after federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, a sign that the things were escalating.

Comey didn’t help himself either by misstating how classified information ended up on the laptop of the disgraced former congressman Anthony D. Weiner to the Senate committee, he gave Trump the opening to fire him and further stall the Russian investigation.

Many are saying that Trump has now gone full Watergate. While Nixon may not have fired the FBI director, his henchmen did just as bad, as Charles Pierce recalls:

What Nixon did was hang poor L. Patrick Gray out to dry. Remember, the “smoking gun” tape involves Nixon and H.R. Haldeman concocting a scheme to have the CIA scare off the exceedingly dim FBI director. Gray’s situation eventually became so dire that his deputy director, Mark Felt, went into business for himself, meeting Bob Woodward in parking garages and gradually transforming himself into Hal Holbrook for the movies. I mention all this just to make sure that you and I and history are all on the same page.

One thing is certain, that there are no Republican heroes in this mess as there were during the Nixon investigation. This president* will continue to do as he pleases, surrounded by incompetent sycophants who feed his ego, and no one to check him. There is no longer an independent FBI. No matter the reasons, the president cannot just fire the person who is investigating him. This is a constitutional crisis.