Trump’s Letter Firing FBI Director Implies Russia Investigation Had Effect On Decision
President Trump’s letter firing Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Comey, dated May 9, 2017, actually implies that Director Comey’s decision regarding the investigation of Russia-Trump ties had an effect on President Trump’s decision, and that the effect would have been to support firing Director Comey were he to have investigated those ties. President Trump’s letter reads,
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
A copy of the termination letter to FBI Director James Comey from US President Donald Trump is seen at the White House on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
The italics are mine, and are all important. The use of the word “nevertheless” implies that the existence (or not) of an investigation had an effect on President Trump’s decision making. The effect implied by President Trump is that had Director Comey been investigating President Trump, that investigation would have weighed negatively on President Trump’s assessment of Director Comey’s ability to “effectively lead the Bureau.”
Since Director Comey is indeed leading an investigation of the Trump campaign, which President Trump cannot but know to be true, this letter is tantamount to an admission of firing Director Comey, at least in part, because of that investigation. An investigation of the Trump campaign presumably includes an investigation of candidate Trump as well.
That sentence by President Trump is therefore misleading at best, and most likely a dissimulation. It is an egregious violation of American trust in rule of law in the United States, and should not be allowed to stand. President Trump should retract the sentence, the letter, and the decision to fire Director Comey.
The U.S. Senate and House, along with the FBI, should use all tools at their disposal to fully and publicly investigate financial and other connections between President Trump and foreign powers. While I have supported President Trump elsewhere, here he has strained credulity. A high risk of undue foreign influence on the Office of the President, combined with misleading statements by that President on the topic, is enough to explore the option of impeachment.