The FBI quagmire is getting deeper and deeper down in the US of A. Firing James B. Comey, the former FBI Director is Donny’s prerogative, as he’s the new kid in town, even though past precedent has been the FBI director serves a nominal ten-year (1) term.
Donny didn’t like the way Comey handled the Clinton Email server thing and reports exist that Trump asked Comey for a pledge of personal loyalty, yet another odd request of the FBI director. The Office of Government Ethics has a bit to say about loyalty oaths. So, for that matter, did a certain German Chancellor in 1934. As for the timelines on when Donny made up his mind, it’s all over the map, from it took from breakfast the day of, to four months ago.
Where the real dirt comes to the surface are the persons who, at least according to Donny, were ones who recommended canning Comey. That would be Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in a memo to AG Jeff Sessions, saying Comey had to go.
SPOILER ALERT: Attorney-General Jeff Sessions formally recused himself a couple of weeks ago from any involvement in the FBI investigation into the 2016 campaign Russian interference claims. That means AG Jeff Sessions has broken his promise to recuse himself, and is in the shit with the Ethics Office, as according to Donny, Sessions is the one who agreed to pull the trigger on Comey. Sessions had a formal, legal duty, as a recused AG to have nothing to do with the person who leads the investigation, James C Comey. Recommending firing him, would be having “something” to do with it, even by the most generous of considerations.
The blowback has been remarkable. Donny has shut his piehole for the time being, waiting out the time he can take off on his “Statesman” international trip next week, leaving his staff to clean up the mess.
As head of the FBI, Comey, like any other head of the FBI had his detractors and his followers, as nobody in that job ever has a 100% approval rating. However, a recused AG doing the recommending is a clear, very clear violation of ethics. I’ll quote from a former colleague, Brian Whiteford, from his Facebook page (2), who laid it out succinctly:
The legal and ethical groundswell calling out Nixon…Oops, I mean Trump grows…Twenty state and district attorneys general have signed a letter asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint an “independent special counsel” to investigate Russia’s attempts to meddle in the United States presidential election bearing in mind the Comey firing.
As well, an ethics watchdog group filed a complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday (May 12) alleging that his participation in the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey violated Justice Department rules and Sessions’ promise to recuse himself from matters involving Russia.
Guess who’s interviewing the candidates for the new FBI Director? You got it! Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein. Trump on Saturday said that it is “possible” the top position at the FBI could be filled by Friday.
Which explains why a lot of folks in DC are now calling for an independent counsel to investigate Donny-gate, with full legal standing, the ability to call witnesses, subpoena evidence and require testimony under oath. The first subpoena should be for “any and all recordings, electronic files, transcriptions or records of conversations between The President and the then Director of the FBI, at any location.”
You and I know that Donny has a recording system in place, to record his every utterance for history and his yuge legacy to the American people and Making America Great Again, by bringing back the most venal, despicable, dishonest and lawless era in American history: Nixon’s Watergate.
As with Nixon’s Watergate it is now time for the media to go to the mattresses and send this international embarrassment back to his golf clubs.
1: The ten-year rule was to preclude another J. Edgar Hoover, who used the FBI to get dirt on any candidate for any party, so he could protect his job. J. Edgar served from 1932 to 1972, when he died in the chair. Everybody in DC was terrified of him, the stories being if J. Edgar didn’t have your fullsome and complete, everlasting fealty as the head of the Stasi (pardon, Federal Bureau of Investigation) he’d leak pictures of you with your pants down getting a shine job from a circus clown and a midget in the middle of Bourbon street, even if it never actually happened.
2: Copyright 2017 by Brian Whiteford, used with permission and thanks