Things are not looking great for the Trump Administration. Yesterday, news broke that the flailing president fired FBI Director James Comey, ostensibly over his handling over the Clinton email probe. Admittedly, Comey severely bungled that investigation, and other mishaps over the past few years haven’t generated the best legacy for the now deposed FBI chief.
But the fact of the matter is that Trump fired Comey shortly after he requested extra resources for the ongoing Russia investigation. All of this comes on the heels of Comey’s confirmation in March that the FBI does have an open investigation into the Trump camp’s relations with Russian intelligence, as well as last week’s revelations during the Sally Yates hearing that Trump and senior staff knew that Michael Flynn was potentially comprised for a full 18 days before axing the now disgraced former NSC head. Flynn’s dismissal, tellingly, only occurred following a public report from the Washington Post profiling Yates’ warning to Trump officials.
Among the more damning aspects of yesterday’s shock news is that Comey was pushed out after Jeff Sessions – who publicly recused himself from the Russia probe after he was caught lying under oath about his dealings with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak – purportedly prodded Trump to make the move.
There are so many potentially scandalous details to unpack that it’s downright daunting. Comparisons to Watergate – which until now came off as partisan jabs at Trump – are now horrifyingly accurate. After some trouble due to internal protests, former President Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox (who was appointed to investigate the Watergate scandal) after he issued a subpoena relating to the case. Trump firing Comey, who was leading the investigation into the Trump Administration, is obviously quite similiar. To make the situation even more eerily reminiscent of the Nixon scadal, CNN recently released an exclusive report confirming that the first subpoenas relating to the Russia probe have just been issued. This is huge, and frightening.
Trump is evidently using strong-man tactics to stonewall any oversight into his scandal-ridden administration. While firing Comey may temporarily complicate things to his advantage, Trump is making himself seem more guilty, which will only further compound public and official mistrust and most likely accelerate inquiry into the case.