James Comey and the definition of a 'constitutional crisis'

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

Trump desperately needs to convince restive Capitol Hill Republicans that his colossally chaotic presidency won't lead to disastrous results for them in the 2018 election.

One week after Trump was sworn is as the 45th president of the United States, he met with Comey at a private dinner and asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation director to pledge his loyalty, according to a report by The New York Times.

After Comey was dismissed on Tuesday, the White House first attributed the decision to recommendations from the justice department, a version of events duly recounted by surrogates, including Vice President Mike Pence. Both polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Trump's firing of Comey already has left him with the dubious distinction of being the first president since Nixon to fire a law enforcement official overseeing an investigation tied to the White House.

Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?

The assessment comes amid a mushrooming crisis for the Trump team as questions swirl over why the president fired his FBI director, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian election meddling and possible connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia past year. "Risky because he may be obstructing justice, in terms of the investigation that really goes to the heart of our democracy -the accountability of the President, and the people around him, to the rule of law - protecting our democracy from an invasion - a cyber-invasion by the Russians", he said.

Comey told Trump he would be "honest" with him, to which, according to the published account, Trump asked if it could "honest loyalty".

In the termination letter to Comey, Trump thanked him for telling the president "three times" that he personally is not under investigation for collusion with Russian Federation during his 2016 campaign. He said in an interview on Thursday with NBC News that Comey gave him this assurance during the January dinner at the White House and in two phone conversations. It included Trump's altogether implausible assertion that Comey had assured Trump three times that he was not himself under investigation.

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!", the president tweeted.

He added, "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"

"I can not defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the almost universal judgment that he was mistaken", Mr Rosenstein goes on to say. The next day, Sanders said the president asked Rosenstein to put his concerns in writing.

White House officials insist the firing had nothing to do with the Russian Federation probe, though the president appears to have undermined that assertion during a televised interview Thursday. One of the recordings released after a fight with Congress and the courts revealed the president's involvement in attempts to stymie an investigation into an attempt to wiretap the Democratic National Committee.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign of interference in the election aimed at tilting the vote in Trump's favor. And the Russia scandal has already claimed one Trump official - former national security adviser Mike Flynn, who was sacked for not giving a correct account of his meetings with a Russian official.

"Whether or not Trump's firing of Comey evolves into a constitutional crisis ultimately depends on what happens next".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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