A scathing editorial from the New York Times is accusing President Trump of deliberately sabotaging the FBI investigation of his campaign.
On Tuesday evening, after Trump suddenly fired FBI Director James Comey, it set off a wave of questions about what would happen to the ongoing FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s supposed conversations with the Russian government throughout the 2016 presidential election that had been ongoing since last July. Comey announced the existence of an investigation on March 20, and the agency’s inquiry was seen as the only truly independent and honest probe of Trump’s Russian ties, as both Congressional committees investigating the matter are headed by pro-Trump Republicans.
The New York Times aptly noted that had Trump’s stated reason for firing Comey been accurate, in regard to his misleading testimony about the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Trump could have fired him as early as January 20, when he first took office. However, President Trump chose instead to wait until the FBI’s investigation was starting to loop in members of the President’s inner circle — like former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and former foreign policy advisor Carter Page — before dismissing Comey.
“Mr. Comey was fired because he was leading an active investigation that could bring down a president,” the Times’ editorial board wrote on Tuesday night. “Though compromised by his own poor judgment, Mr. Comey’s agency has been pursuing ties between the Russian government and Mr. Trump and his associates, with potentially ruinous consequences for the administration.”
The Times described Trump’s firing of Comey as “an even more perilous moment” than when former President Richard M. Nixon fired Archibald Cox — the special prosecutor appointed to oversee the investigation into the Watergate scandal. The Times’ editorial board demanded that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoint a special prosecutor to pick up the Trump/Russia investigation where Comey left off in the interest of fairness and impartiality.
The president of the United States, who is no more above the law than any other citizen, has now decisively crippled the F.B.I.’s ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates. There is no guarantee that Mr. Comey’s replacement, who will be chosen by Mr. Trump, will continue that investigation; in fact, there are already hints to the contrary.
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.