In a new report from the New York Times, the days leading up to the firing of FBI Director James Comey were laid out, suggesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had sent an aide to seek out damaging information on Comey from congressional staffers.
From the Times:
Sessions also wanted a negative article about Comey each day, someone with knowledge of the meeting told the Times.
It would appear that Sessions’ idea was to find out if there was something to impugn Comey’s character, to the point that there was no way he came out of this situation as a sympathetic character.
Did he kick his dog? Cheat on his wife? Have any unpaid traffic tickets?
They were searching for ammunition for a character assassination.
A DOJ spokesperson denies that any such directives were given.
“This did not happen and would not happen,” Sarah Isgur Flores said. “Plain and simple.”
The White House has said Trump fired Comey in May per the recommendation of Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In a letter, Rosenstein said he “cannot 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 nearly universal judgement that he was mistaken.”
That was the letter, at least.
To be clear, the president wouldn’t have needed a reason to replace the FBI director. He could have simply installed his own pick when he took office. That’s not what Trump did, however, and the timing of the firing seems particularly questionable.
Also, the fact that Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired him because of the Russia probe.
Yeah. His own words are worse than anything the media could manufacture.
The report said Trump initially planned to submit a letter to Comey, calling the Russia probe “fabricated and politically motivated.” Aides prevented him from following through with it.
Smart move, but he said essentially that in that NBC interview. I’m pretty sure investigators have not missed that.
Look for these details to come up again.
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