What country is this?
This is a question that I just posed to my friend, Paul, who lives in Tokyo, with whom I communicate once or more times a day on What’sApp. I was referencing the news that President Donald J. Trump has just fired FBI Director James Comey for, as CNN panelists are describing as “being too mean to Hillary Clinton.” I must emphasize that this isn’t from an Onion story.
This doesn’t pass any smell test. It seems history is repeating itself. The historic story of which I speak is that of the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre”. This bloodless event took place on Oct. 20, 1973, when President Richard M. Nixon, who was under fire as a result of the Watergate scandal, ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Nixon ordered Attorney General Eliott Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused. Richardson was then fired. Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus was then ordered to fire the special prosecutor. He refused. Both Justice officials had assured a congressional oversight committee that they wouldn’t intervene in the investigation of Nixon. Solicitor General Robert Bork made no such assurances and he fired Cox. Congress, almost exactly 14 years later, rejected Bork as a Supreme Court nominee. Bork had served as a justice of the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals circuit and was nominated for the Supremes by President Ronald Reagan.
Anyone who has followed the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, should recognize that Comey has made sometimes confusing statements. And Hillary Clinton has recently said that Comey’s announcing that the FBI would look further into her e-mail probe in late October was a contributing factor in the Electoral College win by Trump even though Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.
The Justice Department said in July that Clinton would not be prosecuted for her email practices. The statement by Comey that he would look further into some email problems in Clinton’s State Department appeared to turn the tide for Trump as Republican presidential nominee. It made no difference that Comey announced just a few days before the election that Clinton had another all clear. The rest, is our sorry history.
Some people who acquire great wealth and power come to believe that they may do whatever the hell they want. It seemed that Trump has headed in that direction. Now there is no such question. Are we in for our long national nightmare II, as President Gerald R. Ford described the aftermath of the Nixon saga?
Stay strapped in because it looks our nation is in for another bumpy ride.