Politics, self-interest and being done in a disrespectful way aside, President Trump was correct to fire James Comey even if the way he did it was wrong and even if he did it for self-gain. Its proof that our system of democracy and transparency works ultimately overcoming incompetence, self-dealing, personal ambitions, ego trips and outright bad intentions. Its success is not tied to any individual but to a constitution and set of principles that make America truly a “shining city on a hill”.
Those who are outraged at the President pulling the trigger on James Comey should calm down and let the process play out. Democrat Leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are correct that the timing is self-serving for President Trump. They were also correct when they too determined that Comey should be fired.
Comey was exhibiting J Edgar Hoover like behavior and had to be removed. A FBI Director can never be allowed to take matters into their hands and mind for their own personal judgment. We all witnessed his infamous July 2016 press conference where he gave a 20 minute Comey-speak riff, before announcing that no charges should be brought against Hillary Clinton. This was curious but to hear him testify in Senate hearings that he decided to deliberately usurp his boss the United States Attorney General, was earth shattering. To think that after the harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. and Hoover, in 2017 an FBI Director is once again deciding that he alone knows and will determine what action to take.
No one person indispensable to process
Critics who legitimately feel that the timing was wrong because of the importance of the Russia investigation, are forgetting that our system is built on the rule of law not on the rule of any particular man or woman. Comey was providing critical supervision of the investigation but was not doing any of the investigating himself.
Even if he was on the front line doing the investigating himself nothing should ever be tied to an individual, but tied to rules, operating procedures and the law. Because of FBI operating procedures there has been no slowdown from day one of the Russia investigation, it continued right on thru the firing of Comey and it continues as we speak.
If President Trump is guilty of something and thought firing Comey would help his situation he miscalculated. First he only fired Comey not the investigators actually doing the work. Second the media smells a ratings mother-lode and is all over this story providing laser like transparency to a potential Trump cover-up of wrong doing.
Media spotlight guarantees accountability
Democrats and all others who are rightly concerned about abuse of power now have a powerful ally in the media. Congressman Devin Nunes Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee had to step aside from leading the investigation into Russia, because media transparency and public pressure raised questions about his ability to conduct a non-bias investigation.
His replacement Congressman Mike Conaway is under the microscope now and is forced not only to do the right thing, but to dot every i and cross every t.
On the Senate side Senator Richard Burr Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is under that same microscope and forced to do a thorough non-political investigation.
Many have expressed concern about President Trump being the one to pick the new FBI Director. They question his ability to make a quality pick. To them I say H.R.McMaster was an excellent replacement pick of Michael Flynn. Those that say he will pick a Trump loyalist who will do his dirty work, I say it won’t happen because the spotlight will be all over that person making it impossible to do any dirty work.
Whether by design or accident Donald Trump’s actions have guaranteed that there will be a thorough Russia investigation. Both Intelligence Committees of the House and Senate, the media and the public are focused on the Russia investigations, the work of the FBI and President Trump more intensely than they would have under normal circumstances.
Our democracy is designed so that it’s not dependent on James Comey or any individual to root out injustice, and to deny even a President the ability to game the system. All that is required is for the rules and laws be followed and for citizens to pay close attention and exercise their right to vote accordingly.
To that end James Comey might have performed his most important public service by the way he was fired assuring maximum focus and scrutiny on both Russia and President Donald Trump.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective into current events. Drop by his blog for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.