They said they had lost confidence in then-FBI Director James Comey. Former Sen. Harry Reid wanted him to resign. In January, Politico said that Democrats no longer felt the FBI could carry out a credible and impartial investigation of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, though stopped short of calling for him to resign. Yet, at The Washington Post, a growing chorus demanding Comey be shown the exit was growing among Democrats. So, which is it? Surely, a lot of Democrats do feed into the tin foil hat theories that Mr. Comey contributed to Clinton’s loss, despite pollsters and data crunchers saying that he probably wasn’t a factor, or that you should be skeptical of such a theory. Clinton was rebounding the weekend before Election Day.
Democrats were calling for Comey's firing until Trump actually did it. pic.twitter.com/flQobM4EbI— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) May 10, 2017
Now, it seems the Democratic dream had come true: Mr. Comey was indeed fired by President Trump. Rejoice! Pop the champagne! Nope. They’re concerned about the timing of the dismissal. Still, Mr. Comey is expected to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on their probe into possible Russia-Trump ties should the need arise. Yet, for now, former Clinton staffers find this decision by the Trump White House terrifying (via Politico):
Veterans of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have little love for James Comey, but they were quick to condemn President Donald Trump’s firing of the FBI director on Tuesday evening — as many renewed their calls for an independent investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“Twilight zone. I was as disappointed and frustrated as anyone at how the email investigation was handled. But this terrifies me,” tweeted Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook. “If Members of Congress are patriots, they will call for a special prosecutor to take over this investigation and they will call for it now.”
“I’m not shedding any tears for Comey personally — he hurt FBI’s reputation — but I do worry whether we ever get to the bottom of Russia now,” wrote Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign’s national press secretary and a former Justice Department spokesman. “The only thing that could do more to erode faith in independence of FBI than Comey staying is Comey being fired. This is 100% political.”
“The irony of Comey firing is that the man who helped make Trump president was the one guy who might well have also brought him down,” Fallon added.
Yeah, as you can see, they’re still committed to the falsehood that Mr. Comey tilted the election for Trump. In case Politico didn’t make things clear, Wired noted how Mr. Comey’s firing wouldn’t impede the investigation, as did Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV):
“The Russia investigation will continue,” says a former FBI cybercrimes investigator, who spoke with WIRED on the condition of anonymity. “The director doesn’t run the investigation, the assistant director doesn’t run it, the unit chiefs don’t run it. There’s a case agent or a series of case agents assigned to run it all the way through.”
That means that, at least until Congress approves Comey’s replacement, the investigation should continue undaunted. “If you want to stop this investigation, someone in management could hinder it, reassign the agents, block requests for investigative techniques, but there’s always a different way to get the information,” says the former agent. “There are ways to circumvent bad supervisors.”
There’s also no certainty that whomever takes Comey’s place would necessarily pull the plug, especially given the wariness with which prominent senators and representatives have so far viewed the firing. And if they did, it would have serious repercussions.
“If that happens, you’ll hear it,” says the former agent. “People will talk, and it will be very loud. Or he’ll have to let it run and let the chips fall where they may.”
Given the nature of this sensitive and highly publicized agenda item on Capitol Hill, there’s no way this investigation is being terminated. It also undercuts the whole Nixonian line since the firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox was done to impede the Watergate investigation, and it was pretty clear Nixon had abused his power. That’s not evident here, despite the ramblings from the left wing blogosphere. Mr. Comey was not a special prosecutor, Nixon didn’t fire his FBI director, and Trump isn’t facing an investigation where there is any direct evidence of wrongdoing; Nixon was caught on tape with White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman plotting the cover up of the Watergate break-in. The most explosive allegation facing Donald Trump is that his campaign colluded with Russian intelligence to defeat Clinton. There is zero evidence to prove any of this.