The Flurry Of Trump Firings Continues With James Comey

  • Calvin Wolf
  • May 11, 2017 10:45AM

In life as in poker, you gotta know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. If anyone should be a master of this, it is rookie president Donald Trump, who has entered office as the most controversial commander-in-chief in U.S. history. Despite losing the popular vote, the former reality TV star was elevated to the Oval Office by the intricacies of the Electoral College. Since his swearing in on January 20, the New York real estate mogul has refused to moderate his eyebrow-raising behavior.

And now, less than four months into his first term, Donald Trump’s path toward impeachment may have already begun. The saga already has enough drama for Hollywood to begin seeking spec scripts, and talent agents may even be searching their headshot archives to see if any clients are lookalikes for Sally Yates, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, or James Comey.  If those names do not ring any bells, a brief explanation should clear things up:

Newly-elected president Donald Trump (maybe played in the future blockbuster by his SNL-impersonator, Alec Baldwin?) picked former lieutenant general Michael Flynn to be his National Security Adviser, a position on the White House staff which does not require Senate confirmation. It quickly turned out that Flynn, while still a private citizen, had been in contact with members of the Russian government. This is a violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from conducting foreign policy.

When questioned about his talks with Russian officials, Flynn allegedly lied about discussing economic sanctions levied by the U.S. on Russia. 

Trump eventually fired Flynn, stating that he did so not because of the Logan Act violation, but because Flynn apparently lied to vice president Mike Pence. But the whole Russia thing never went away, with more and more evidence piling up that Vladimir Putin and his cronies in Moscow actively attempted to manipulate the 2016 presidential election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. A month after Flynn’s dismissal, evidence revealed that the former military man had received money from Russia-related entities. 

Were the Russians trying to buy influence with Trump’s advisers?  And did anyone in Trump’s innermost circle know about it?

After the Flynn story re-erupted, Trump tried to blame Flynn on his predecessor, Barack Obama.  Since the Obama administration had given Lt. Gen. Flynn a top-secret security clearance, Trump essentially argued, it wasn’t his own administration’s job to do the vetting.  As one can expect, this sort of immature buck-passing has received condemnation from Democrats and eye-rolls from establishment Republicans.