Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley sounded the alarm bells after Donald Trump fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday, two days before McCabe’s retirement.
In an interview with CNN, Brinkley called the firing of McCabe “very cruel and sad” and said it should serve as a wake-up call to the American people.
Brinkley blasted the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for carrying out the firing in a “cloak of secrecy late at night’:
This’ll be known as the ‘Friday Night Slaughter’. The very idea that Jeff Sessions hasn’t released something to inform the public of what this is, it was done in a kind of a cloak of secrecy late at night, bizarre fashion. The fact that he was about to have his pension and they couldn’t let it go. It’s something very cruel and sad that’s occurred tonight. And I hope our country is going to wake up, I mean, Donald Trump is struggling for his life. He’s paranoid, he decided McCabe was too close to Comey, and he decided to get rid of anybody and anything that’s standing in his way of kind of survival mode right now. I think we can say tonight that the Trump White House is at war with our FBI.
Trump’s desperate move to fire McCabe on a Friday night before a holiday, when most Americans aren’t paying attention, is just the latest in a growing list of questionable firings carried out by his lawless president.
In the case of McCabe, there are two forces behind the egregious Trump move:
1. This is a petty president. With just over a day left until McCabe was eligible to collect his retirement package, Trump fired him. It followed months of Trump smearing McCabe’s reputation on Twitter and falsely accusing him of being a Hillary Clinton loyalist. His decision to remove the deputy FBI director – who gave decades of service to his country – was deeply personal and vindictive.
2. Robert Mueller’s investigation – especially with the news that the special counsel has subpoenaed the Trump Organization – is getting ever closer to Donald Trump. As his presidency becomes at risk of being wiped away by scandal, Trump is increasingly lashing out at the FBI as a way to both discredit the agency and stock it with people who will do his bidding.
It is long past time for Republican lawmakers to wake up and do their jobs. In times of crisis, when a president is abusing his power and waging war on America’s law enforcement agencies, it is up to Congress to step in and protect our democracy was presidential overreach and corruption.
If the GOP doesn’t grow a backbone, not only will they suffer at the ballot box in November, but our entire democracy will be weakened in the long term.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.