After news broke Monday that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe had left his job after being publicly berated multiple times by President Trump on Twitter, speculation swirled as to exactly how McCabe’s departure came about. Did he leave willingly? Was he forced out? Was he forced out over the Justice Department’s investigation involving the president and his campaign?
We don’t know the answers to those questions (yet). What we do know is that it looks especially suspicious. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders effectively granted those suspicions even more credence while responding to reporters’ questions on Monday by admitting that yes, the president did apply pressure on McCabe to wrap up the Russia investigation.
Of course, in the president’s eyes, this isn’t actually obstruction of justice. It’s merely “fighting back.” But ask any logical, educated person if the president pressuring an FBI official to conclude an investigation involving himself is about as close to the textbook definition of obstruction of justice and nine out of ten of them will tell you, yes, yes it is obstruction.
It doesn’t really take a constitutional scholar to recognize that obstruction of justice in any form or at any level of government is a threat to the entire American judicial system. Former FBI Director James Comey reminded us of this in a tweet sent out from his official Twitter handle on Monday night.
“Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you,” Comey tweeted.
Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.
— James Comey (@Comey) January 30, 2018
Follow Jon Street on Twitter @JonStreet.