Some Republicans are vainly trying to defend Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey, but none of their explanations even pass the smell test. Here are the most common arguments:
Trump has the power to fire the FBI director.
Not if he did it to obstruct justice. Especially not if he lied, and had other people lie, about why he did it. According to a Republican ethics expert: “We cannot tolerate this — for the president to be firing people who are investigating him and his campaign and its collusion with the Russians. It’s a lot worse than Watergate.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein is an honest public servant, so we have to believe the rationale he gave for firing Comey.
This excuse is based on the fact that Rosenstein wrote a memo saying that Comey mishandled the investigation into Clinton’s emails. Except that a few hours later it came out that Rosenstein threatened to resign after the White House blamed him for the firing. Confirming those reports was the fact that the White House suddenly changed their tune and went on TV to say that the firing of Comey had nothing to do with Clinton’s emails. Also, Trump had effusively praised Comey’s handling of the email investigation.
And finally, the most hilarious excuse is that “Trump is not stupid enough to fire Comey to stop the Russia investigation.”
Oh really? If so, then he was even more stupid to fire Comey in a way that would make it look exactly like he fired him to stop the Russia investigation. And this ignores the huge question why “why now?”. And the only possible answer is the Russia investigation.
Also published on Medium.