Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James B. Comey in the middle of Comey’s investigation into Russian hacking and Trump’s campaign connections with Russian operatives. This has set off alarm bells in the minds of all those interested in knowing the truth in these matters. Does the president have the power to fire the FBI Director? Yes. Does the timing of this firing seem suspicious? Yes. Why? Let’s look at the timeline.
Ten months ago: Comey announces in a press conference that he will not be recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton in relation to the email server “scandal.” He also pronounced her actions “extremely careless.” Trump’s reaction at the time was that Comey should have gone even further and filed charges.
Seven months ago: Comey announces a reopening of the email investigation eleven days before the election. Trump’s reaction at the time: “It took guts for Director Comey to make the move he made…. What he did was the right thing.”
Six months ago: After the election, in deciding to keep Comey on, Trump commented about Comey: “I respect him a lot.”
Since then: Comey announces his active investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives; he asks for more money for his investigation; and he describes himself as “mildly nauseous” when thinking about having possibly affecting the outcome of the election. This all, obviously, Trump found irritating, to say the least.
And now: Trump fires him, citing a report from his Deputy Atty. General judging Comey’s actions at the press conference unacceptable. These are the very same actions that Trump was praising before and after the election.
Any thinking person would wonder why Trump would change his mind and disapprove of Comey’s actions and fire him, months after those actions occurred and after praising those very actions. And that person would begin to wonder if it had anything to do with Comey’s investigation of Trump and his campaign. After all, this is not the first time a president has fired the person responsible for heading up an investigation of the very same president. Nixon did it. Trump has already done it with Sally Yates.
So. Is it possible that Trump had a change of heart after receiving the advice of his Deputy Atty. General? Sure. Is it likely? Not even close. Which is why Congress needs to exercise their oversight powers to demand a special investigator who would be independent of the executive branch to handle this investigation. We need to find the truth. One way or another.
Unfortunately, Congressman Steve Knight has a very hide-and-seek attitude to the truth. He has always seemed more interested in advancing party policy than representing the interests of his constituency. (Look no further than his vote in favor the the American Health Care Act for evidence of that.) And the truth has a way of gumming up an ideologue’s purity of thought.
It is time for Steve Knight to do his job and demand a special investigator who will discover the truth about Trump and Russia, and allow the consequences to follow.
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