Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, the day after Sally Yates mortally wounded him, because he refused to end the Russia Gate investigation and pledge his loyalty to Donald Trump.
Donald Trump and his confidant, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, decided to conceal the reason for firing Comey by ordering Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein to prepare a memo detailing mistakes Comey made in the run-up to the election. After receiving the memo, Trump and Sessions fired Comey and used the memo as the basis for firing him. Session’s participation in firing Comey for refusing to end the Russia Gate investigation was improper because he had recused himself from any role in the investigation.
Unable to resist the impulse to cover his tracks, Trump inserted the following exculpatory statement in his letter firing Comey,
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.
This statement is likely false. Comey testified before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump Campaign for possible collusion in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and Trump is a likely target of that investigation. As a matter of policy, the FBI and the Department of Justice do not notify targets and subjects of investigations that they have been cleared or no longer are under investigation. Like a criminal defendant’s alibi that can be proven false, Trump’s statement may convict him if he should be prosecuted in federal court for obstruction of justice.
Adding insult to injury, Trump met yesterday at the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The optics were terrible. Lavrov acted like the White House was his house. The U.S. Press was excluded from the meeting but Russian photographers were permitted to set up shop in the Oval Office and photograph the three men. Lavrov appeared to be the commanding influence.
Republicans who continue to support Donald Trump are courting disaster. He’s going down. Continued support could result in indictments for obstruction of justice.