Mr. Comey & Mr. Trump

President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey, sweeping away the man who is responsible for the bureau’s investigation into whether members of his campaign team colluded with Russia in its interference in last year’s election.

The bombshell announcement that sent shocks and surprise ricocheting through Washington ends the career of the man who was once seen as the unimpeachable and nonpartisan ideal of how a law enforcement officer should behave. But Comey saw his reputation tarnished when he was dragged into the toxic politics of the 2016 campaign.
In recent days, he again came under fire for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Many Democrats believe that his announcement that he was re-opening the probe 11 days before the election cost the former secretary of state the presidency.
The White House said that Comey was fired based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation since he was a member of Trump’s campaign team.
In a signed letter, Trump informed Comey that he was “hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately,” explaining that he reached the conclusion that Comey is “not able to effectively lead the bureau.”
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Trump told Comey in the letter. “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
In a separate letter, rich in irony, Rosenstein laid out the reasons for Comey’s firing, arguing that it was his transgressions over the Clinton email investigation that were the cause of his dismissal.
At the center of Rosenstein’s rationale for recommending Comey’s firing was the director’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s private server, namely his decision to recommend no charges be filed and the news conference he held to explain his reasoning.
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.
“Compounding the error, the director ignored another longstanding principle: We do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation,” Rosenstein argued in his memo.
“We should reject the departure and return to the traditions (of the bureau),” Rosenstein said. “The way the director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”
CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, however, was not buying the idea that Comey was sacked over the Clinton investigation, saying it was “absurd.”
Toobin branded the move a “grotesque abuse of power by the President of the United States.”
“This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies,” Toobin said, referring to the fact that Comey was dismissed while leading an investigation that “reaches near” the President. “We do not fire FBI directors when they are closing in on the White House.”
“This is not something that is within the American political tradition,” Toobin said, comparing the sacking of Comey to President Richard Nixon’s firing of special prospector Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.
“This is not normal. This is not politics as usual,” Toobin said though added that Trump did have the legal authority to fire an FBI director.
Toobin: Trump admin going to put a stooge in
Former officials of the Clinton campaign, accused Trump of using the furor over Comey’s handling of the email server as a ruse to get out from under the Russia investigation.

“I was as frustrated, concerned and disappointed as anyone with Director Comey’s handling of the email investigation, but President Trump just fired the man investigating how Russia meddled in our election and whether members of his campaign were involved, an investigation President Trump called “charade” only 24 hours ago,” said Clinton’s former campaign manager Robby Mook.
“It’s equally concerning that our attorney general, who lied about his own meetings with the Russians, approved Director Comey’s firing,” he said.
One Trump loyalist, who worked on the campaign and the transition gave his reaction to CNN’s Jim Scuitto.
“I firmly believe the Russia angle is fake news. But this gives me pause,” the person said.
Senior Justice and FBI officials say they were unaware of the Comey decision until the announcement. Officials who spoke to CNN said they are shocked by the development.
Comey’s term was due to run until 2023. The decade-long tenure was introduced to shield FBI directors from being drawn into politics.
The firing of Comey sent shockwaves through Capitol Hill.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is leading one of four investigations into Russia’s interference in the election, said he supported Trump’s decision.
“Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” Graham said in a statement Tuesday. “I encourage the President to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”
But Democrats, like Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey blasted the move.
“This is Nixonian. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special counsel to continue the Trump/Russia investigation,” he said.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said shortly before 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday that Comey was “notified a short time ago,” but declined to say how Comey was told. Comey’s dismissal took effect immediately.
The White House said it will immediately launch the search for a new FBI director.
Comey was appointed FBI director by President Barack Obama in 2013.
In so doing, he elevated a Republican law enforcement veteran who had been critical of the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush to the top domestic investigative and surveillance organization, among the most powerful posts in the world.
In the decades since former FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, the controversial director who brought FBI into the modern era, law enforcement has avoided the appearance of influencing politics the way Hoover did.
But Comey’s decision to thrust himself repeatedly into the 2016 election, put him at odds with the FBI’s general decision to stay away from the political spotlight.
Comey made the decision in July to go public with his recommendation that the Justice Department not pursue any charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or her former staffers over her email practices as secretary of state. However, he also took the opportunity to rebuke Clinton at length as being “extremely careless” with sensitive information.
Then-candidate Trump had talked up the investigation until this point, at which time he and his campaign derided Comey for the “political” decision.
Just days away from the election, Comey jumped into the race again. He informed Congress, via letter, that the FBI had re-opened its investigation into Clinton. The decision was made because of its investigation into former Rep.
Anthony Weiner, who is married to Clinton confidant Huma Abedin. Comey followed up days later with another letter, informing Congress that the FBI didn’t find anything and continued to believe Clinton’s practices did not merit the pursuance of any criminal charges.
After Clinton’s loss, former President Bill Clinton blamed Comey for it, as have many Clinton staffers, at least in part.
After taking office, Trump met with Comey at the White House.
He offered a cryptic remark to the FBI chief.
“Oh, here’s Jim,” Trump said in January. “He’s become more famous than me.”
cnn

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Michael Eli Dokosi is a journalist and a formidable writer with a decade's experience. He is a blogger as well who currently owns and manages the news portal www.blakkpepper.com. The site is a wholesome news platform with entertainment, political, general, sports, negroid and foreign news offerings with the tagline 'More than Straight News' because of its alternate take on issues. The blakkpepper name emerged because the site is Afrocentric and hot. The Managing Editor can be reached via cell line (+233) 0249907425 & (+233) 0262907425 and via email blakkpeppergh@gmail.com for adverts, enquiries and news coverage invites.

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