Trump Goes Full Watergate—and Threatens Russia Investigation
His Nixonian firing of FBI director James Comey creates a crisis.
David Corn and AJ VicensMay
9, 2017 7:32 PM
Not since Watergate.
How else can one start an article about President Donald Trump summarily firing FBI chief James Comey?
On March 20, Comey appeared before the House intelligence committee and took the unusual step of publicly disclosing that his bureau had been investigating interactions between Trump associates and Russians since last July. This was a historic moment. First Comey said that Trump's allegation that President Barack Obama had wiretapped him in Trump Tower was complete bunk. Then he noted the bureau had been conducting a top-secret counterintelligence operation targeting people close to Trump. So the FBI chief was calling the president a liar and saying his associates were being probed. He was a threat to Trump and the White House.
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Trump's decision to terminate Comey cannot be separated from the Russia investigation. After all, his political and business associates were being probed by Comey. And there's no telling how this move will affect this investigation. "FBI agents value their integrity more than anything and if nothing else, this is a challenge to the integrity of whatever investigation Trump is trying to stifle," David Gomez, a former FBI agent tells Mother Jones.
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Trump now gets to appoint the next FBI director. How can anyone he places in this job be trusted to manage these sensitive Russia-related inquiries that may lead to Trump's doorstep? Comey has been attacked by both Democrats and Republicans at different points. He had few political supporters in Washington. But Comey was independent of the White House and Sessions' Justice Department. That gave him space to oversee the critical Trump-Russia inquiries. Trump has now obliterated that space and independence. That's big trouble. And this is a crisis.
Read on: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/05/donald-trump-james-comey-firing-watergate-russia-1