Imagine a kid gets a bad report card. So he decides to throw it away and not give it to his parents. Because if no one sees the bad grades, it’s like the bad grades aren’t there, right?
Now, imagine if instead of a kid, we’re talking about the President of the United States, and instead of bad grades, we’re talking about the results of a law enforcement investigation into his ties to Russian hackers who influenced an election. And instead of throwing away a report card, he fired the director of the FBI.
That’s basically what happened yesterday. In an action reminiscent of Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal, President Trump announced yesterday afternoon that he was firing FBI director James Comey, effective immediately. Allegedly, he made his decision on the strength of recommendations from Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. That’s his story and he is sticking to it.
It was a matter of only hours before the official narrative began to unravel and another story emerged. A story in which the president looks like an enraged child trying to get out of trouble.
According to a Politico story, Trump has been increasingly infuriated over the Russia investigation overseen by Comey and his agency. He even screams at the TV when he sees reporting on it.
Just like Obama screamed at the TV every time he saw Trump doing interviews saying Obama was from Kenya.
Oh wait. Wait. No. That didn't happen. Never mind.
Anyway, Trump was mad about the ongoing investigation and came up with the idea of firing Comey about a week ago. The letters from the Justice Department were supposed to provide cover, but anonymous sources say the president had asked the AG and DAG to find a rationale for firing Comey. Trumped up charges, if you will.
Now the New York Times is reporting that days before his ouster, Comey met with Deputy AG Rosenstein to ask for more funds for the investigation into Russian hacking and alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
I’m having a very hard time believing that an escalation in the investigation and the decision to fire Comey are unrelated.
Multiple members of Congress and the Senate are calling for an independent special prosecutor in the wake of the president’s actions. They — and much of the public — want the investigation into Russian interference to go on unimpeded, despite the sudden change in personnel. The known information about Trump campaign ties to Russia is suspicious enough that experts think there is a lot more to investigate.
Because, let’s face it, a kid doesn’t hide a report card with straight As, and a blameless politician doesn’t fire an FBI director who's turning up nothing on him.
Senator McConnell says he won’t appoint a special prosecutor, saying that would only impede the investigations being conducted in the House and Senate. Senator McConnell’s wife is a member of Trump’s Cabinet.
Is that last fact relevant? Who knows at this point.
One thing we can be sure of, the Russia questions are not going away, no matter how much Trump wishes they would. Something is rotten in Washington and the facts will be found out, one way or another. It may not be the FBI, but someone will keep digging. Journalists, rogue federal staffers, watchdog groups, and citizen activists are not letting this go. We should never let this go.
Stay alert, friends. We are living in interesting times and we all have a role to play in making sure they don’t become dangerous.