I was surprised when President Trump decided to retain James Comey as FBI director. It seemed like a mistake.
Today, Trump tried to remedy that mistake. He sacked Comey.
Some will argue that Trump instead compounded the mistake. Certainly, the president will come in for a huge amount of criticism. He may also reinforce the suspicion that he has something to hide when it comes to Russia and the 2016 election, matters Comey was investigating. As I said when Trump retained Comey:
If Trump fires Comey down the road, when he’s in the middle of investigating this or that Trump scandal, [Democrats] will squawk vociferously and possibly to good effect.
However, in defense of the sacking, Comey seems to have lost the thread. The pressure of the Clinton investigation, the tough calls he had to make, and the fierce criticism he endured may well have gotten to him.
The Comey firing comes after he misstated key findings involving the Hillary Clinton email investigation during testimony to Congress last week. Earlier today, the FBI notified Congress of Comey’s misstatements. It said that only a small number of Clinton emails had been forwarded to disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, not the “hundreds and thousands” Comey had claimed in his testimony. The FBI letter to Congress also clarified some of the figures Comey gave regarding ongoing terrorism probes.
Was Comey’s incorrect testimony the last straw? Was it a pretext to get rid of him for other reasons?
I don’t know. But to me it was further evidence that this very difficult job has gotten the better of James Comey.
I’m sure we will have more to say about the Comey firing.