How far will we go down this slippery slope before we irreversibly slide right off the edge? Donald Trump just recently hit the trifecta and fired the third person who was actively investigating him. It’s a move we should have seen coming, and it’s reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre that served as the tipping point in the Watergate scandal that ousted Nixon. But, I keep coming back to the idea that Watergate wouldn’t even make the front page in 2017.
The Saturday Night Massacre may not be familiar to everyone. In fact, it probably isn’t familiar to many, if the old saying that those who forget the past are bound to repeat it is true. In short, Nixon was being investigated by a special prosecutor, he demanded that the Attorney General to fire the prosecutor which caused that prosecutor to resign. The Deputy Attorney General also resigned rather than going through with it. It was a watershed moment in the whole incident.
What do Sally Yates, Preet Bharara, and James Comey have in common? They were all three fired by Donald Trump, and they were all three actively investigating him. This latest egregious affront to democracy and the balance of power comes at the hands of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, who are both targets of investigations.
Reports are surfacing that Jeff Sessions has been tasked since last week with manufacturing a reason to fire Comey. Although, it is early in this story and the White House seems to be grasping for credit for this disaster.
While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.
Trump couldn’t resist throwing in a bit of exculpatory bluster in there.
I’m not one for being an alarmist, but this is bad. It’s very bad. At the very least we have a President who doesn’t care about the appearance of his moves, and at the worst we have a Nixonian cover up going on right under our noses. In fact, if Nixon were alive today, he’d probably be pretty pissed that he was tossed out over something as relatively small as the litany of criminal things he was doing.
Unfortunately for us, the only people we have left to investigate this and protect us are the GOP-controlled, mostly entirely craven, House and Senate. Judging from Republican Twitter feeds, don’t hold your breath.
And here’s a parting shot:
Even Edward Snowden, a man Comey has wanted to lock away for years, finds this move to be alarming. You’re allowed to feel like Comey’s actions the week of the election are problematic AND that this firing is a threat to our freedom.