President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this evening in a surprise move. Various politicians and the media have openly referred to the act as “Nixonian” and “another Saturday Night Massacre.” I have previously stated how the Saturday Day Massacre has been misrepresented. I also do not agree with Jeff Toobin on CNN tonight that the decision was clearly due to the fact that Comey’s investigation was getting “too close” to President Trump. I agree that the timing is concerning and legitimately questioned. However, the Administration may also have waited for the Deputy Attorney General to be confirmed to allow a career prosecutor to review the matter and to concur with the decision.
President Trump took efforts in his letter state that Comey assured him that he was not under investigation. He stated that “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.”
The White House released a memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a respected career prosecutor. He found that Comey’s prior conduct did “substantial damage” to the FBI’s “reputation and credibility.”He noted that the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department” and that his conduct was “a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.”
Reprinted with permission from JonathanTurley.org.