FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Sacking FBI chief, a clear misfire
Posted:May 11, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
President Donald Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at a time when the agency is expanding a probe into the possible collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign team and Moscow could well be a turning point in a scandal that is engulfing his administration. No incumbent of the White House since Richard Nixon has fired a top law enforcement official probing the President or his close aides. Nixon’s decision to sack the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal backfired, unleashing a chain of events that led to his eventual resignation. 
 
The reason Mr. Trump has given for ousting Mr. Comey is hardly convincing. The administration accuses Mr. Comey of having been unfair to Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponent, in an investigation concerning her private email server while serving as Secretary of State, and of incompetence. To be sure, Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton case was very controversial and had triggered sharp criticism, especially from the Democrats. She said that Mr. Comey’s public statement just days before the November 2016 election that the FBI had reopened the probe into the server issue cost her many votes. The irony is that Mr. Trump had then appreciated Mr. Comey’s “guts”. So now when he cites Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton server probe as the reason to get rid of him, naturally it finds few takers.
On the other side, available facts suggest that the investigation into the Russia scandal was closing in on Mr. Trump’s associates and that the White House has had little control over Mr. Comey’s FBI. Earlier, Mr. Comey confirmed to Congress that the Bureau was conducting a “criminal investigation” into any links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Mr. Trump has already lost Michael Flynn, his original pick for National Security Adviser, from the Cabinet. 
 
Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General, has recused himself from the Russia probe, given his past ties to Moscow. Other Trump associates, such as Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone, also face accusations in the scandal. Besides, as the American media reported, Mr. Comey had asked the Justice Department for more resources for the investigation. 
 
But what he got was a dismissal letter from the President. This reinforces the perception that Mr. Trump was wary of the investigation and that he fired Mr. Comey to stop, or at least disrupt, the process. He now has the opportunity to choose the next FBI chief, who will oversee the probe going forward. But the political storm his action has triggered in Washington and the growing calls for an independent investigation into the entire ‘Russia’ scandal suggest that Mr. Trump has overplayed his hand — both ethically and tactically. The Comey firing has, in fact, taken him closer to Russiagate, which he had tried so hard over the past three months to distance himself from.
 
The Hindu, May 12, 2017
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Peru  are united by El Niño and the monsoon yet separated by vast distances across oceans.  Jorge Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to India, talks to INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS exclusively about what is bringing the two geographically-apart countries closer.
 
read-more
Indian judge Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice on Monday as the UN General Assembly rallied behind him in a show of force that made Britain  bow to the majority and withdraw its candidate.
 
read-more
Those with a resolve make a big difference to the society. They inspire others to make the best out of a bad situation, steer out of morass with fortitude. Insha Mushtaq, the teenage girl who was pelleted to complete blindness during 2016 emerged as a classic example of courage.
 
read-more
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have "great potential" and they could work together at a "practical level".
 
read-more
This week a major United Nations gathering on climate change gets underway in Bonn, Germany.
 
read-more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to build India's global appeal for investors seem to have finally yielded returns in terms of the country's performance in the World Bank&rsquo...

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.