I’d been dreading this move for weeks. It’s directly in line with everything we know about Trump and the incompetence he’s surrounded himself with, so I’m not surprised to hear that President Trump has fired the head of the FBI, James Comey. The White House press has been vigorously engaging itself in vain attempts to convince everybody that the premature termination of Comey’s tenure is designed to ‘increase confidence in the FBI’.
This is an obvious non-truth on the part of White House officials, and looks suspiciously like a case of the tail that wags the dog. The FBI has made it clear that they are busying themselves investigating ties between Trump’s election campaign and Russia. The shadow of the Kremlin lies heavy and dark on DC, and ever since Michael Flynn stepped down as National Security Advisor on February 13th for lying about a conversation with a Russian official he had on the campaign trail, the media has waited with bated breath for word on the full extent to which Russia meddled in the 2016 election. The investigation is still underway, and was being led by James Comey. Trump, as always, has kept his ‘fake news’ badges near to hand, that he may slap them haphazardly on anything and everything the investigation turned up that he didn’t like the sound of. I just hope he doesn’t catch wind of this article.
‘It is unclear at the moment how much Trump himself knows about Russian involvement in the election’
In case he does, I’ll be fair and play advocatus diaboli. It is unclear at the moment how much Trump himself knows about Russian involvement in the election. That is to say, going on what we understand to be the facts, and ignoring, for now, the veritable golden shower of allegations of corruption, not to mention Trump’s sinister unwillingness to say anything too damning about the autocratic and hostile rule of Vladimir Putin, Flynn only stepped down for misleading the then president elect on his contact with the Russian ambassador.
But let’s not be too naïve. This is a deeply undemocratic move from a deeply undemocratic president, and it’s only the latest in a long line of attacks on the structure of American government as we know it. The man has openly admired the totalitarian, militaristic leadership of Putin and Kim Jong Un, recently attacked the constitution for inconveniently limiting his executive powers, fired Sally Yates from her position as Acting Attorney General after she lawfully blocked his deeply flawed travel ban, and has now fired James Comey in a similar bid to ensure that as many obstacles between him and despotism as possible are bulldozed. Comey became head of the FBI in 2013 under the Obama administration, a position occupied in ten-year cycles, so as to avoid just this kind of partisan political incursion into the workings of the office. However, Trump has ignored this tacit understanding of how his own system works, and what’s more, will now be able to appoint whomever he likes to the position. The corruption that this may well entail could result in an attempted cover-up of the current White House’s links to Russia, in what would compete with Watergate as the most shocking scandal in American political history.
‘This is a deeply undemocratic move from a deeply undemocratic president’
The ugly, power-grabbing spectre of Richard Nixon drifts creepily around this dismissal like pink mist. Now, we need to hope that grounds for impeachment appear most speedily, to put a stop to the Donald before he damages his country – and the world – beyond repair.