On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump fired Director of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, James Comey.
Comey’s sack sparked outrage in the US, especially on social media.
Many Americans came out guns blazing. They made reference to the “other time” an FBI director was fired, accusing former president Richard Nixon of being the first president to fire an FBI chief. But they were absolutely wrong.
The accusation gathered momentum so much that #NIxonian started trending on Twitter. But they were absolutely wrong. Nixon never sacked any FBI director, he only ordered the firing of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor charged with the investigation into the Watergate scandal. That led to the resignations of his attorney general, Elliott Richardson, and his deputy attorney general, William Ruckelshaus.
But debunking that claim, the Nixon Libray tweeted, “FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI #FBIDirector #notNixonian.”
— RichardNixonLibrary (@NixonLibrary) May 9, 2017
But the first ever time an FBI director was fired was 24 years ago.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton kicked out then FBI director, William Sessions after he refused to step down voluntarily.
Sessions, who was appoointed by Ronald Reagan was fired for ethical reasons.
He was under investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility during George H.W. Bush’s final year in office.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Justice Department report found, among other things, that Sessions had engaged in a sham transaction to avoid paying taxes on his use of an FBI limousine to take him to and from work, that he had billed the government for a security fence around his home that provided no security and that he had arranged business trips to places where he could meet with relatives.”
Sessions dismissed the findings and refused to resign.
Clinton’s then attorney general, Janet Remo recommended Sessions dismissal.
“We cannot have a leadership vacuum at an agency as important to the United States as the FBI,” Clinton said at a White House news conference. “It is time that this difficult chapter in the agency’s history is brought to a close.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.