In a move that has all of Washington recalling the Richard Nixon’s infamous Saturday Night Massacre, Donald Trump has fired FBI director at the suggestion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters:
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The FBI is currently involved in an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion on the part of Trump campaign operatives and the head of state himself.
The acting FBI Director will Andrew McCabe, who was Comey’s deputy prior to his firing
As recently as April, Trump said he had “confidence” in the FBI chief, so the removal of Comey raises all sorts of new questions:
- Is the administration attempting to subvert the investigation before it can uncover evidence of collusion and treason?
- Did Trump remove Comey because of remarks the director has made to Congressional investigators?
- Could all of this bring about a Constitutional crisis reminiscent of Watergate?
In a letter Trump sent to Comey announcing his removal, Trump wrote:
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
And in a letter Sessions sent to Trump, the Attorney General, who also had meetings with the Russian ambassador that he failed to reveal at his confirmation hearings stated:
“It is essential that this Department of Justice clearly reaffirm its commitment to longstanding principles that ensure the integrity and fairness of federal investigations and prosecutions. The Director of the FBI must be someone who follows faithfully the rules and principles of the Department of Justice and who sets the right example for our law enforcement officials and others in the Department.”
It is unclear exactly what Sessions was referring to when he referenced following the “rules and principles of the Department of Justice.”
One thing is certain: Washington is reverberating this evening as Congressional hearings on the Trump-Russia matter continue. With his actions, has Trump, like Nixon, set himself on a course of action that will lead to him being removed from office?
Featured Image Via NBC News