The recent decision by President Trump on May 9th to fire FBI Director James Comey, followed by contradictory White House explanations for the director’s ousting, has raised new suspicions about the President’s political motives during a time when the FBI director had recently asked for additional resources to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia on behalf of an investigation from the Senate intelligence committee.
The New York Times reported in a Thursday article that after President Trump was sworn in, FBI Director Comey told his associates that he was summoned to the White House for a private dinner with the President and was asked to pledge his loyalty to him.
Comey believes that the dinner conversation that ensued with the President in the White House was a “harbinger of his downfall” after the President asked FBI Director Comey to pledge his loyalty to him which Director Comey declined to do.
Director Comey claims he told President Trump that he would give him “honesty” but not pledge his loyalty, according to an account of the conversation reported by the New York Times.
Director Comey told the President that the country would be best served by an independent FBI and Justice Department.
The Trump administration disputes Comey’s claims.
Many Republicans, including President Trump, praised former FBI Director James Comey ahead of the 2016 presidential election when he investigated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the political fallout helped to serve the political interests of the Republican Party.
However, after the FBI continued to carry out a Russian meddling investigation in 2017 involving possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Director Comey became the main target for a temperamental Republican president who previously terminated former Attorney General Sally Yates and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who was known for aggressively prosecuting cases of public corruption and Wall Street crime.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Senate minority leader, has joined other Democrats in calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Russian meddling case and highlighted a pattern unfolding in the recent firing of Director Comey with other controversial firings of Sally Yates and Preet Bharara.
Senator Schumer tweeted on May 9th, “First Pres Trump fired Sally Yates, then Preet Bharara. Now #Comey. Doesn’t seem like an accident. We must have a special prosecutor.”
First Pres Trump fired Sally Yates, then Preet Bharara. Now #Comey. Doesn't seem like an accident. We must have a special prosecutor.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 9, 2017
President Trump has recently come under fire for suggesting that he secretly recorded conversations with FBI Director James Comey, an action that could get the President in hot water.
On Friday, President Trump tweeted, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
During a Friday White House press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed that he didn’t know about any tape recorded conversations between President Trump and James Comey.
Asked about the dinner with James Comey and whether anyone in this White House has an audio recording of what unfolded during the January 27th dinner between the former FBI director and the President of the United States, Press Secretary Spicer said, “I am not aware of that.”
CNN reported that former FBI Director Comey is not worried about any tapes of conversations between him and President Trump, according to a source familiar with the matter.
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