Right now, Trump is trying to pick a new head of the FBI. The time span from the recommendation to fire Comey from Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein (just 14 days after Rosenstein got the job, by the way), to AG Jeff Sessions’ letter to the President to the termination letter from Trump was a matter of mere hours. A fast review process, right? Later, Trump claimed that he “was going to fire regardless of recommendation,” which begs the question, “Why hasn’t he already determined a replacement?”
I realize that this assumes the attribution of an unreasonable amount of logic to Trump and his administration, but if it were me I would have figured out who I wanted in before I kick the current guy out. I also realize that I may be misunderstanding how things work in the Den of Crooks. Trump has said that he wants to make a fast decision and may even have one by next week. I suppose that might be considered fast, but I also find it hard to believe that if Trump already have it in mind to fire Comey that he didn’t already have a replacement in mind. But who knows what’s going on anymore. Maybe he did already have someone in mind. But my impression is that Comey’s firing was less a calculated decision than a knee-jerk one made by an insecure and spoiled brat of a president.
While Trump claimed that he was firing Comey because Comey was doing a “not doing a good job,” the more obvious motivation has the appearance of attempting to undermine the FBI investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. By many accounts, Comey was well-liked in the FBI and although he encountered criticism in the 2016 election year I don’t think anyone really thought that he wasn’t doing a good job. For Trump to remove the head of the FBI while he is investigating Trump (even though Trump made it a point, for some reason, to say that Comey told him he wasn’t under investigation), and even if the intended purpose of the firing was to intervene in the investigation, seems like a pretty bone-headed move. Of course that’s going to look suspicious.
The firing of Comey may have been due to a question of loyalty, as some stories suggest, when Comey declined to pledge personal loyalty to Trump in favor of loyalty to the Constitution. I think it likely that the firing of Comey was due to a combination of the two, and that it was less a calculated decision by Trump and more a result of pure id and insecurity. The fact that they have no replacement in mind kind of points to that. Trump pulls a “you’re fired” on Comey and now what?
Although I suspect this is the part Trump likes best. He gets to relive his “Apprentice” days.
Whether the firing of Comey was a calculated decision from a political mastermind (I think not) or the result of Trump just being a dick (ie., being Trump), the investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia has been interfered with, and in probably the most obvious and least effective way. The investigation must now intensify. That’s the only thing that makes sense. While some solid choices for FBI director have been proposed, I have this sick feeling in my gut that the one we’ll get is the one that will benefit Trump the most.