On May 11th, President Donald Trump spoke to Lester Holt in an interview with NBC. Holt questioned the President’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey. During the interview, the President told Holt that he asked “showboat” Comey if he was under investigation for his alleged ties to Russia, to which Comey responded ‘You are not under investigation” according to the President. The president was so sure on the matter that he told Holt “I know I’m not under investigation.” Critics and legal experts are claiming that it is strange for an individual who is the focus of such a probe, to ask if he was under investigation and be told he was not by the FBI.
Trump fired Comey on May 9th, as he was recommended to by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. They all concluded that Comey had lost trust within the FBI by his improper actions when investigating the email probe on Hillary Clinton and her campaign. But Comey was fired in the middle of an investigation on whether the President’s presidential campaign had illegal ties to Russia during the election to help him secure the presidency, making it seem suspicious to some commentators.
The President also claims that he is willing to support a full investigation into Russian interference in the U.S election so that it could be done “properly.”
The President then went on to say in the interview that he already decided to fire Comey before being advised by Sessions and Rosenstein. This ultimately contradicts the White House’s original account of events. The President said he also had the investigation in mind when he was making his decision, and said the entire probe was a “made up story.”
Andrew McCabe, who is the Acting FBI Director, testified in front of the Senate committee that is investigating the President’s ties with Russia. He also said many things that contradicted the White House’s story, including that Comey had “broad support within the FBI” when Comey was fired. He said that the FBI will continue the investigation as it is “highly significant.”
There are four candidates currently that are being interviewed as a replacement for the FBI Director position: Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Texas Senator John Cornyn, and Judge Michael J Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals. With Harry Reid’s post nuclear legislation, it would only take fifty senate votes to confirm the next FBI Director, something Senator Bernie Sanders has criticized as he believes the replacement should be nonpartisan and restore trust in the government.
No one is sure as to why Comey was fired and it is unclear what this means for the Russia Investigation. This only continues to raise eyebrows surrounding Russia and President Trump. The President now must quickly find a competent replacement quickly.