What You Need to Know About Trump Firing James Comey
You might have heard people freaking the f*ck out about FBI Director James Comey getting fired by Donald Trump yesterday. And now, you might be wondering why that’s such a big deal.
Well, there are several reasons. Allow us to enumerate them.
1. The FBI is supposed to keep the president in check.
Remember in grade school when your teacher would yammer on about “checks and balances”? Well, this is when they’re supposed to come in handy.
Checks and balances are the systems our government has in place to make sure our president doesn’t start acting like a dictator [insert laughter/sobbing here]. Judges, members of congress, and yes, the FBI are supposed to be able to check the president’s power, and the president’s supposed to check their power right back. And all of these sources of power are supposed to balance each other out.
The FBI director is one person who’s potentially capable of checking the president before he wrecks himself (oh, and our country). So for Trump to say, “nah, that’s okay,” and chop the guy, that’s pretty effing sketchy.
2. The FBI is investigating some of Trump’s people.
Imagine if the cops were investigating your friend group for supplying beer to underage drinkers at a party (oops!) and you had the power to casually fire the police chief. Suddenly, you guys are all innocent! Sick.
That’s basically what’s going on right now.
The FBI is basically investigating members of Trump’s campaign team for potential ties to Russia. There could be a pretty explosive story lurking beneath the surface. In fact, it could even lead to Trump’s impeachment if the FBI finds enough dirt.
So for James Comey, the guy who’s calling the shots on the investigation, to suddenly be out of the picture is, again, sketchy on Trump’s part to say the least. And I don’t think it’s gonna help us get to the bottom of the whole Russia situation any sooner.
3. This has only been done once before.
This whole situation is rare. In fact, ol’ Donny’s been married more times than a president has fired an FBI director!
The first and only other time this happened was when Bill Clinton fired FBI director William Sessions in 1993 for what appeared to be some shady tax activity. The key difference: William Sessions reportedly wasn’t investigating Bill Clinton at the time.
Anyway, this is probably why Comey, who was in the middle of a speaking engagement in LA when he got the news, was reportedly “surprised, really surprised,” and “caught flat-footed.”
People are also comparing Trump’s actions to those of Richard Nixon, who fired an investigator back in the day. But Nixon didn’t fire the FBI director, he fired a prosecutor — but it was a prosecutor who was actively investigating him. And either way, Nixon’s not exactly a dude most modern presidents strive to emulate.
READ ALSO: Melania Trump Faved a Tweet Mocking Donald
4. Trump’s claiming Comey got fired for being a low-key attention whore.
While the entire world assumes Comey got fired because the FBI is investigating people associated with Trump, the president swears that’s not it.
Instead, he pointed out in his letter that Comey has repeatedly said the FBI’s not investigating Trump. His letter said:
“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. It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
Tump also claims he fired Comey on advice from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy. But Trump himself appointed Sessions, so could just be one big circle-jerk of yes-men telling each other what they want to hear.
Some people are saying Trump didn’t like the fact that Comey’s name was in the news so frequently. In fact, when Trump made those claims that Obama was wiretapping him earlier this year, Comey actually tweeted to say there was no evidence that was true. This was embarrassing for Trump, and Trump doesn’t like to be embarrassed. He also doesn’t like competing for attention in the media.
Normally, the U.S. government is run by people who at least pretend they’re above firing subordinates just because they don’t like them or are jealous or embarrassed. But as we’ve all learned, Trump is a different animal.
Here are some other possible reasons Trump could’ve fired Comey.
And then there’s the weirdest part of all…
5. Some say Comey actually helped Trump get elected.
Another reason Trump’s people are giving for the firing is that Comey mishandled investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, which we are somehow still talking about. But the weird part is that if Comey mishandled the investigation, he mishandled it in Trump’s favor.
Some people say Comey practically handed the election to Trump when he announced that the FBI would be investigating Hillary’s emails again right before the presidential election. People already mistrusted Hillary because of the infamous emails, and this might have given some voters the push they needed to vote Trump.
So why would Trump fire Comey for this? Well, maybe because this isn’t the real reason. Maybe the real reason has more to do with Russia, which is what most people are figuring right now.
6. Now Trump gets to pick a new FBI director — to investigate his own campaign’s Russia ties.
The biggest injustice of it all is that the president appoints the FBI director when there’s an opening in that position. FBI directors’ terms last 10 years, which is supposed to keep them apolitical so that they don’t favor one president or party over another. Comey still had six whole years left in this term.
But when an FBI director is appointed at the very beginning of a new president’s term, you can imagine they might be a little biased for the next four years.
People are speculating Trump could pick his buddies Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie. Chances are he’s not gonna appoint anyone who’s got a vested interest in investigating his potential Russia ties. Why would he?! That would only hurt him. Meanwhile, Trump’s opponents are calling for a special appointment of an independent investigator to look into the whole Russia thing.
Oh, and here’s the pièce de la résistance: Trump just so happened to have a meeting scheduled with Russia’s foreign minister today. LOL.
So now you know why this is a total ethics shitshow, and our checks and balances are on even shakier ground than before. Keep watching this story because it’s sure to get even more dramatic.