A sitting “Commander-in-Chief” firing the head of a law enforcement agency playing a key role in the on-going investigation into whether or not he possibly committed treason is a huge deal — especially considering how guilty Trump has looked and acted throughout this entire process.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin clearly agrees, calling Tuesday’s move a “grotesque abuse of power by the President of the United States.”
“When there is an investigation that reaches near the President of the United States, or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation,” he added. “I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973, when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor.”
While he agreed that Trump has the power to do this, he said it goes against “American political traditions.”
“This is not normal. This is not politics as usual,” Toobin stated. “This is something that is completely outside how American law is supposed to work.”
He then pointed out how this is the second time Trump has fired someone in a position of legal authority with close ties to what’s going on with the current investigation into his ties to Russia.
“His White House counsel was described yesterday as being told that his national security adviser was subject to blackmail by the Russians, and they fired the attorney general a few days later,” Toobin said. “Now they’ve fired the FBI director. I mean, what kind of country is this?”
Think about that for a moment. This is the second time in less than three months Trump has fired someone in a high-level position of law enforcement for seemingly no other reason than doing what he wanted. Neither firing had anything to do with “right or wrong,” it was about people in positions of power not doing what he told them to do — American values and our laws be damned.
First it was acting attorney general Sally Yates who refused to comply with his Muslim/travel ban that was overturned in federal court (twice). Now it’s the head of a U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agency that’s currently in the midst of an investigation into whether or not the current “Commander-in-Chief” potentially betrayed this country by colluding with Russian officials during the 2016 election.
Jeffrey Toobin is absolutely right to compare this type of behavior to what is normal in non-democracies (otherwise usually known as some kind of authoritarian dictatorship) rather than how our government and our laws are supposed to work.
Nobody is denying Trump had the power to fire Comey — but that’s not the point. As Toobin also stated, this wasn’t an ethical act based on Comey’s actual job performance, this was a “political act when the President is under investigation.”
This seems to me like nothing more than the act of a desperate man making a last-ditch effort to keep himself from being sent to prison.