The so-called “mainstream” media tried to paint a picture that Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey was “Nixonian” and unprecedented.
While that is false, Trump’s actions are comparable to another former President.
And once again, Bill Clinton’s past is coming back to haunt Democrats.
FBI Directors have been fired before.
In fact, the last President to fire a FBI Director was none other than Bill Clinton.
He canned Director William Sessions in July 1993 over ethical concerns.
“…Clinton fired Sessions after the issuance of a report that alleged ethical problems including “evading taxes and refusing to cooperate with an investigation of a home mortgage loan,” The New York Times reported.
The FBI director is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The position has a fixed 10-year term.
The report was completed by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility during the George H.W. Bush administration, just before Clinton’s inauguration.
Clinton told reporters there had been “serious questions” about Sessions’ “conduct and the leadership.” He asked his attorney general, Janet Reno, to review Sessions’ tenure and the situation at the FBI.
“She has reported to me in no uncertain terms that he can no longer effectively lead the Bureau and law enforcement community,” Clinton said.”
But the same serious questions about conduct and ability to lead dogged Comey.
Comey attracted the ire of both Democrats and Republicans during the 2016 campaign.
A week before his firing, Trump argued Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton by refusing to recommend criminal charges be brought against her.
Critics also argued that Comey was grandstanding on the Russia investigation to create a situation where Trump couldn’t fire him or else he’d be accused of a cover up.
Writing in The Federalist, Ben Domenech explained that Comey should have been sacked months ago:
“There is a simple fact that makes analysis of the firing of FBI Director James Comey difficult: he deserved to be fired. At any point over the past nine months, prominent members of both parties have contended that Comey had to go. It is far easier to advance a convincing argument that Comey’s behavior over that time represented the wrong course for the FBI Director to take in every single instance, from his decision to hold his press conference, his decision not to recommend indictment, his decision to publicly continue to talk both on and off the record about these matters, his decision to publicly reopen the case in the manner he did, his decision to rely upon a laughable dossier constructed by the President’s political opponents, and his continued decisions regarding what he says in public and private, and what he implies about current investigations. The overall appearance he creates as the head of the FBI has seen an utter collapse in that time from that of a respected independent career official to someone who is viewed fundamentally as a political actor who cares more about his personal image than the department he leads. At every juncture, Comey might have been better off adopting George Costanza’s approach: just do the opposite, and see what happens.”
For all the media members climbing up on their high horses and making self-righteous declarations about “constitutional crises” and “the new Watergate”, Trump acted within his authority to fire Director Comey.
And while Sessions had committed ethical violations, whereas Comey continued to step on political minefields, both were ultimately removed because they had lost the confidence of the President – at whose pleasure they serve.
Comey admitted as much in his farewell letter, stating he knew President’s can fire a FBI Director whenever they want to and for whatever reason.
Trump removing Comey because he had lost confidence in his ability to lead the FBI is not unprecedented.
Just ask Bill Clinton.