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Trump sacking FBI director is making grounds stronger for his impeachment

Angshukanta Chakraborty
Angshukanta ChakrabortyMay 10, 2017 | 14:05

Trump sacking FBI director is making grounds stronger for his impeachment

After Indian-American attorney Preet Bharara, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, it’s the turn of the FBI director James Comey to get sacked for doing his job. Such is the state of affairs in the White House administration under US President Donald Trump that being good at your job can veritably land you in trouble.

On May 9, 2017, President Trump fired James Comey, who was in charge of an “impartial investigation into the extent of Russia’s meddling with the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump”.

Comey had announced in March this year that in case any Trump campaign personnel were found to be colluding with the Russians, then they could be prosecuted under US law.

Trump’s volte-face on Comey

Ironically, Trump had earlier been all praise for James Comey when the latter had opened the probe into Hillary Clinton private email server scandal, after the Podesta email dump was unleashed by WikilLeaks before the November 2016 US polls.

At that time, Comey’s decision to open probe into the Clinton private email scandal made him the darling of the Trump campaign and a controversial figure in the liberal media circles.

Yet, to think that President Trump has cited Comey’s handling of Clinton private email case to fire him is just beyond belief. In fact, it looks like a thinly veiled attack on a high-ranking federal government officer, who had by now become a threat for Trump’s own political continuation and his own ability to stay in office.

Watergate 2.0?

The letter of Comey’s dismissal from Trump is bizarre and reeks of double standards, with many saying the manner of events progressing harks back to the Watergate scandal during the Richard Nixon era, which had led to the Republican president’s impeachment.

The letter states that the recommendation to sack Comey came from US attorney general Jeff Sessions’ office, and it is by now obvious that the different departments under Trump government are at loggerheads with each other.

The sacking of James Comey appears to be an attempt to cover up the goings-on in Trump-led White House and in case it’s being remote-controlled from Moscow under Vladimir Putin.

In fact, the only reaction so far from Trump’s Twitter handle has been this rather petulant tweet aimed at Senator Chuck Schumer, who called for an independent probe into Comey’s dismissal.

The dismissal of James Comey from his office as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the country’s top probing body for domestic/internal affairs, throws into question the independence and future of the top law enforcement institutions within the United States.

Bharara, Yates, Comey: who’s next?

Comey is not alone who has been dismissed by the vindictive Trump administration. Preet Bharara, the former US attorney, who was leading a probe into Trump’s HHS secretary Tom Price for his financial investments and links with the Russians, was sacked unceremoniously by the president in March this year.

Similarly, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, who had warned the Trump administration about Michael Flynn, the disgraced national security adviser to Trump who had to resign following allegations of him being blackmailed by the Russians, has been sacked.

James Comey, too, faced the axe for doing his job and trying to hold an impartial investigation into L’affaire Trump.

Even Edward Snowden, the whistleblower-in-chief and the nemesis of the US security state, including Comey who had sought Snowden’s extradition in order to prosecute him, has condemned the sacking of James Comey as thoroughly unwarranted, something that calls into question once again Trump’s ability to lead the United States as its 45th president.

Can Trump be impeached?

In fact murmurs within the Republican party are becoming louder by the day, asking if the president’s handling of the issues at hand, including the latest dismissal of Comey, has any “clarity on his rationale”.

Already, the Los Angeles Council has passed an “impeachment probe resolution” to show the US president that “no one is above the law”.

The Council wants the US Congress to investigate if any of Donald Trump’s actions warrant impeachment, since the US president has already “breached the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from accepting financial benefits including monetary payments and purchase of goods and services from a foreign power”.

Moreover, respected publications such as the New Yorker, are already carrying ruminations on whether or not there are constitutional grounds for Trump’s impeachment, and they already have a precedent in Nixon’s cover-ups of the Watergate scandal.

Many say that the alleged Trump-Russia links could be a thousand times bigger than the Watergate surveillance case, and far graver in its consequences.

In Washington DC, and in fact, inside the premises of the US Capitol Hill, protesters chanted “Impeach Forty-Five”, while the massive Women’s March in January this year, right after Trump’s inauguration, had asked for Trump’s impeachment on the account of him being an alleged sexual assaulter.

In addition, Trump’s alleged tax evasions, bungling of administrative duties, absurd tweets that call into question his mental health, the in-your-face nepotism by involving daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner at the highest decision-making levels, and his openly racist executive orders could all make the case for his impeachment reasonably strong, provided the US has the moral courage to dismiss an elected president once again.

The New York Times in its editorial has equated the removal of Comey with the “Saturday Night Massacre” in October 1973 under Nixon regime. All of Trump’s campaign-time statements have now disappeared from his website, though they are catalogued for the future in various media outlets.

Yet, will history repeat itself, though the NYT says that the US “has reached an even more perilous moment” than the Watergate scandal?

Last updated: May 11, 2017 | 11:47
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