“It is quite likely that Congress will insist on a special investigator”by Malcolm Rifkind / May 10, 2017 / Leave a comment
President Trump’s letter to James Comey sacking him as Director of the FBI was only slightly longer than one of his regular tweets and hardly more informative. Using rather sinister language Comey was informed that he had been “hereby terminated” and that his removal from office was immediate.
No explanation was given other than that the President had received a recommendation from the Attorney General recommending that Comey go. There were no polite thanks to the director for his previous service though, to be fair, the president did wish him “the best of luck” in his “future endeavors.”
The most bizarre part of the letter was an expression of appreciation that “on three separate occasions” he (the president) had been informed by Comey that he was “not under investigation.” Why this was thought to be relevant is a mystery that says more about Trump’s personal priorities than about his assessment of the national interest.
The White House is attempting to argue that Comey’s dismissal was because of the controversy about how he handled the Clinton e-mails. But that does not wash. When, in the final days of the election campaign, Comey reopened the investigation into Clinton, Trump publicly praised him saying that this decision “took guts” and that “What he did brought back his reputation.”
Nothing that has happened since then on the Clinton issue can possibly justify the instant dismissal that has been imposed. It simply is not credible.