by Paul Notice
Just days after requesting for "more resources" in the FBI's investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017.
Initially, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that Comey had lost the confidence of the rank-and-file FBI agents, and that Comey misplaced his priorities onto investigating the Russian ties with the Trump campaign, which she called "a minor concern."
In his written statement to Comey, Trump thanked him for allegedly telling Trump that he was not under investigation "three times." In his interview with Lester Holt, Trump doubled down, saying that one of those times included a dinner he and Comey attended with no witnesses, except the waitstaff present.
However, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe rejected Huckabee's claims this past Thursday, stating that the Russian probe will continue as a high priority, and Comey "enjoyed broad support" among the rank-and-file agents of the FBI, and is "loved to this day."
McCabe also rejected Trump's claim that Comey had reassured him that he was under investigation, saying that during the dinner, Trump asked Comey if he could "count on [Comey's] loyalty." According to McCabe, Comey refused, telling Trump that he could "depend on [his] honesty." What's more, Comey is not going away silently.
However, Trump's recent admission to removing Comey in regards to his apparent disapproval of the Russian probe, leads many to criticize the move's legality. For lower-level elected officials, it would constitute obstruction of justice charges, like in the case of former LA County Undersherriff, Paul Tanaka. Whom courts convicted for merely pressuring and threatening agents to impede the investigation into their department. If McCabe's account is true, Trump not only pressured Comey to conduct the investigation in his favor, but followed-through in removing a Comey, once Comey's actions began to not fit with Trump's demand for "loyalty."
But does this apply to the president? And even it doesn't, shouldn't it? In the larger historical context, President Nixon underwent similar criticism for his role in attempting to impede the Watergate investigation.
Following McCabe's direct contradiction of his account about the dinner, Trump revealed another Nixon similarity:
Though the apparent threat hasn't shaken Comey, Trump's alleged covert recording of conversations parallels to Nixon's infamous secret audio recordings in the Oval Office - recordings which ultimately aided in his undoing.