Excerpt of a longer article, cross-posted at Politico.
It’s a deeply unsettling moment.
This has every appearance of a brazen cover-up, a possible act of obstruction of justice, just as much as Richard Nixon firing the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in October 1973. That’s the only comparable historical precedent. That led to a constitutional crisis and a public outpouring of anger. Will this?
Trump’s rationale is transparently, laughably absurd. Does anyone actually believe that Donald Trump fired Comey because Comey was unfair to Hillary Clinton during the campaign?
Let’s be very clear what happened here. For all his flaws and mistakes, Comey is leading an investigation of extraordinary gravity: possible collusion between Trump, his campaign and administration, and a hostile foreign power. Remember, Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation because he himself lied to Congress about conversations with Russia. So he did the next best thing, recommending that the person leading the investigation—Comey—be fired.
It comes a day after the former Acting Attorney General clearly implied there was an ongoing FBI investigation of Michael Flynn. It comes before Comey was due to testify again.
Comey made many errors. But does anyone trust Trump to nominate his successor, the person who will effectively lead the investigation? How can Americans have trust in their government without even the pretense of independence for key investigations?
This is an extraordinary test of our democracy and its institutions. Will the Republicans in Congress stand up for the rule of law and independent investigations, at a time when a hostile foreign power has tried to interfere in our democracy? Will they stand up for country or party?
Read the full piece at Politico.