The big news tonight is that FBI Director James Comey has been fired by Donald Trump after Attorney General Jeff Sessions advised him to do so.
The administration cites Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as the reason behind the firing, which makes little sense in its own right, but the larger question is this: Why is Sessions involved in this decision if he has supposedly recused himself from all things related to Russia?
Certainly, advising the president to fire the FBI director while he is in the midst of an explosive investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia would be under the umbrella of Sessions’ recusal.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine pointed this out in a tweet a short time ago:
Comey firing recommended by Sessions. I thought he had recused himself from Russia investigation!
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) May 9, 2017
Not only is this a clear breach of the commitment made by Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, but it’s a sign that the attorney general likely never removed himself from the matter to begin with.
The decision by the president to fire Comey raises a wide range of red flags, like whether the FBI can now be trusted to run a fair and credible investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia after the president chooses a new director.
But the fact that Jeff Sessions, a man who previously lied about his own links to Russia before subsequently pledging to recuse himself from the investigation, has now been instrumental in firing the man running the probe – that’s a troubling sign that something fishy is going on in.
As Sarah Jones wrote a short time ago: “Looks like obstruction, walks like obstruction, probably is obstruction of justice.”
It’s past due to take this investigation far from the Trump White House or Justice Department and put it in the hands of an independent, special prosecutor.