President Donald Trump is receiving strong reactions from both ends of the political spectrum after abruptly firing FBI Director James Comey – a sudden move that some critics are saying is a result of his handling of Hillary Clinton’s email probe, while others contend the move is a coverup of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
Contrary to suggestions from the mainstream media that Trump is giving Comey payback or that he is protecting himself from a Russia probe, Trump explained to the now-former FBI director in a letter that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended that he be terminated job performance reasons.
Trump also addressed the hot-button Russian probe issue in the letter.
“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,” Trump continued. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
However, the president did mention last week that he did have his own specific qualms with Comey.
“[T]he president has been especially critical of Comey for his decision not to prosecute Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign for her mishandling of classified information on her private email server while she was secretary of state,” WND reported.
Last week, Trump tweeted his displeasure with Comey regarding his handling of Clinton’s email scandal and the Democrat-spurred Russia probe he was involved in – two issues that likely influenced the president’s decision Tuesday.
“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!” Trump posted on Twitter, according to WND. “The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?”
Rosenstein expressed his uneasiness with Comey to Trump in a memo, detailing his reasoning as to why he believed Comey’s termination was necessary – specifically mentioning his press conference in July, when he told reporters why Clinton should not be prosecuted for using her private email server while serving under former President Barack Obama as secretary of state.
“The director was wrong to usurp the attorney general’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution,” Rosenstein – who was sworn into office in April – stressed to Trump in the memo. “It is not the function of the director to make such an announcement. At most, the director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors.”
As the search for Comey’s replacement continues, the temporary stand-in was announced within hours of the firing.
“Deputy Dir. Andrew McCabe is acting FBI director, according to a message sent to FBI employees by AG Jeff Sessions,” read a CNN tweet posted Wednesday morning.
It is pointed out that the termination came in the midst of new developments regarding Clinton’s email scandal involving her former campaign organizer, Huma Abedin, and her husband, who became infamous for his sexting scandal.
“Comey’s firing comes the same day the FBI had to correct testimony before a Senate panel that former Clinton aide Huma Abedin ‘forwarded hundreds and thousands’ of possibly sensitive emails to her husband, former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner,” the Examiner’s Anna Giaritelli noted. “The FBI on Tuesday said the majority of the data that was transferred ‘occurred as a result of backup of personal data electronic devices – with a small number of result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Weiner.’”
Many speculations are being made about the roles that Sessions, Rosenstein and Comey played in the Russian probe – and how they effected the termination decision.
“Sessions recused himself from a Justice Department investigation into allegations that Russia colluded with the Trump administration during the election,” Giaritelli added. “Rosenstein is overseeing that probe. Comey was overseeing the FBI’s probe into any Trump connections with Russia.”
Reaction time …
Republicans, Democrats, conservatives and liberals all expressed their varying takes on the Comey ouster.
Conservatives, such as Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, declared their support of Trump’s decision to fire Comey.
“This is an important move to restore public confidence in the fair administration of justice at the Federal level,” Fitton proclaimed in an email statement. “Mr. Comey did not seem to understand some of the laws he was asked to investigate and unfortunately, politicized his sensitive positon as the FBI director. President Trump took the right step in cleaning house at the FBI.”
On the other side of the political spectrum, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), insisted that Trump was out-of-line in firing Comey.
“[Y]ou are making a big mistake” Schumer told Trump when he called to let him know he was firing Comey, according to Fox News.
Schumer then shared his disapproval with the media
“The first question the administration has to answer is, ‘Why now?’” Schumer asked reporters. “Were these investigations getting too close to home for the president?”
Shortly afterward, the Democratic leader urged Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor.
“America depends on you to restore faith in our criminal justice system, which is going to be badly shattered after the administration’s actions today,” Schumer told Rosenstein, Fox News reported.
When Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conway, was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper about Schumer’s accusation that Comey’s firing was a “coverup” – bringing up how Sessions urged the director’s firing after recusing himself from the Russian probe – she responded that there was nothing “odd” about it … considering the order of things.
“The FBI Director reports to the Deputy Attorney General; the Deputy Attorney General reports to the Attorney General; the Attorney General reports to the President of the United States,” Conway informed Cooper, according to TheBlaze. “This had nothing to do with Russia, as much as somebody must be getting $50 every time the word is said, I’m convinced, on TV.”
She then contended that the termination was about Comey’s inhibiting the president from doing his job as commander-in-chief.
“[It] has everything to do with whether the current FBI Director has the president’s confidence and can faithfully and capably execute his duties,” Trump’s former campaign manager continued. “The Deputy Attorney General decided that was not the case. He wrote a very long memorandum about it. He presented that to the Attorney General. The Attorney General presented it to the president. The president took the recommendations, as he says in his brief, very powerful letter today. He took their recommendations and he agreed that the only way to restore confidence and trust – public trust and confidence – in its vital … law enforcement mission that the FBI was to have a new director.”
Conway then stressed that Schumer’s accusation of a coverup was way offline.
“He’s wrong – it’s not a coverup,” she told the Left-leaning journalist. “In fact, the president makes very clear in his letter the fact that Mr. Comey – on at least three occasions – assured him he is not under investigation.”
More mixed reactions …
Not agreeing with many of his fellow Republicans on the matter, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, expressed his concern about the firing.
“[I am] troubled by the timing and reasoning [of Comey’s dismissal],” he expressed in a statement, according to Fox News. “In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee. Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), also had some reservations.
“[The timing of Comey’s firing] will raise questions,” he contended. “It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time.”
Also skeptical about the move was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who indicated that he was “disappointed” in the president’s resolve to terminate the now-former FBI director.
“[Comey is] a man of honor and integrity [who] has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances,” McCain proclaimed, Fox News reported. “I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president’s decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
Serving as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) stood 100-percent behind Trump’s ouster of Comey, using the former FBI director’s handling of the Clinton probe during last year’s presidential election campaign as evidence that he was not fit for the job.
“Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” Graham expressed, according to Fox News. “I encourage the president to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also agreed with Trump’s decision to fire Comey, and gave a blunt message to the Left.
“What I would say to Democrats is, if the president of the United States gets a letter like that from a career professional who you just voted for, how could he do anything else except accept the letter?” Gingrich said, according to Newsmax. “He cites attorney general after attorney general from both parties saying this is exactly wrong, and Comey in fact violated the rules of the Justice Department – the principles of the FBI, and he is not capable of rebuilding the FBI – I think President Trump frankly had no choice at that point.”
J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ attorney, told American Family Radio on Wednesday says the firing delivers the message that Trump is a different kind of president.
“It sends a message,” says Adams, “that this president doesn’t care about what the The Washington Post opinion page says or what that guy on CNN named Wolf says, or the Washington establishment.”
All Original Content Copyright** ©**2017 hnewswire.com All Rights Reserved.