The timing of Trump’s decision has led to serious questions about the President’s motivation, with accusations of a Watergate-style cover-up over his ties to Russia.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey has been condemned by Democrats, with leading voices calling for an independent investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.
Trump claims that Comey was fired over his handling of the investigation into former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, but the timing of Comey’s firing has been condemned given the fact he was leading the current probe into Trump’s ties with Russia.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says the decision goes against the White House’s commitment to look into possible Russian interference in last year’s Presidential election.
“This does not seem a coincidence,” Mr Schumer said.
“This investigation must be run as far away as possible from this White House and as far away as possible from anyone that President Trump has appointed.”
Some went further, accusing Trump of using ‘Nixonian’ tactics similar to those employed by Richard Nixon in the 1970s after the Watergate scandal broke.
This was Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey Jr.’s response:
This is Nixonian. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) May 9, 2017
Schumer, calling for an independent investigation into Trump’s Russian ties, said he had spoken to the President to tell him he thought the firing of Comey was a bad idea and that the only way to restore the faith of the American people would be to independently investigate those ties.
Trump “did not really answer” his concerns, Schumer said, but later he tweeted…
Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
“Donald Trump’s decision to fire him now, in the midst of an investigation into Trump associates and their ties to Russia, is outrageous,” said Ron Wyden, a Democratic Senator from Oregon.
Senator Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving Democrat in the chamber, was more scathing. “The President has removed the sitting FBI Director in the midst of one of the most critical national security investigations in the history of our country – one that implicates senior officials in the Trump campaign and administration,” he railed.
Former Republican candidate for President John McCain added his concern to the mix.
“While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President’s decision to remove James Comey from office,” McCain said. “James Comey is a man of honor and has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances.”