Trump cleans the table with James Comey
Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced through media news that he would have removed the director of the FBI James B. Comey, from his post, putting an end to the investigation carried out by the bureau on the links between advisers close to the President and the government of Russia.
The President's argument about Comey's dismissal was the mismanagement of the investigation against Hilary Clinton by the use of a private email server, “even though the president was widely seen to have benefited politically from that inquiry and had once praised Mr. Comey for his ‘guts’ in his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign”, according to The New York Times.
This way, the White House would be terminating the professional career of a man who once considered "unimpeachable", and that represented the "non-partisan ideal that should characterize the police officer." According to CNN, Comey compromised his reputation by being drawn into disputes within the 2016 campaign.
The news took everyone by surprise, even Comey himself, who learned of his dismissal through television while addressing the FBI staff in Los Angeles office.
Subsequently, in a letter delivered to the FBI, the President thanked the director for having informed him on three occasions that he was not under any investigation, but added, " I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau", according to The Guardian.
On the other hand, those who insisted that the President fired the Director of the FBI are individuals very close to the investigation that Comey supervised. Among them was Roger Stone, who served as an advisor to Trump's presidential campaign, and who is under scrutiny. Stone shared his concerns with the President, after Comey spoke at the hearing last week on Capitol Hill, a source told CNN.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also recommended the dismissal of the Director because he considered that the handling of the Clinton case had been very poor, especially after his recommendation not to file charges.
"Rosenstein accused Comey of attempting to "usurp the attorney general's authority" by publicly announcing why he felt the case should be closed without prosecution”, according to Rosenstein, "We do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation".
But the reprisals did not take long to be heard, especially on the part of the Democratic congressional bench, going as far as an assertion from a Senator to considered Comey’s dismissal as a “nixonian” move, since is perceived like a maneuver on the part of Trump to remove from the table the subject of his links with Russia.
The fact that the grand jury has begun to issue subpoenas in the case of Michael Flynn - former social security adviser for Trump, who is under investigation for his ties to the Russian government, and the possibility that the 2016 elections were intervened by the foreign government - meant to analysts that the FBI's investigation was reaching "a significant new phase."
"Were these investigations getting too close to home for the President?” asked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Democrats have insisted on a special council to lead the investigation into the possible implications of Russia on the new administration, considering that "Trump's Justice Department is not reliable to oversee the case."
Republican Senator Richard Burr, who heads the Senate's intelligence committee on the issue, expressed his discontent, saying that Comey's dismissal meant "a loss to the bureau and to the nation," but he and the rest of his party have insisted that the request of the Democrats is not necessary.
The majority of the Senate supports the work of Rod Rosenstein as Attorney General, especially with regard to the issue of investigation that afflicts the new administration. Although Bob Corker, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would have warned of the "suspicions" that Comey’s dismissal would arouse.
But as The Guardian report explains, while the majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives could curb congressional investigations, "a grand jury is not under Trump's control. He might not be able to prevent the Russian collusion case from reaching the court. "
Finally, and while Comey packs his things, the only business Trump will deal with today is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.