Backstory: Donald Trump was going to fire FBI Director James Comey the whole time, he just needed a perfect premise

President Donald Trump shook the entire US political landscape on Tuesday, 9 May, when he fired the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), James Comey.

In his letter firing Comey, President Trump said he had received letters from the US Attorney General and his deputy recommending Comey’s dismissal and had accepted their recommendations. “You are not able to effectively lead the Bureau“, he said.

The letter notwithstanding, Comey had his dismissal in the works and Trump had never quite minced words about it, hence the need not to be shocked he made the move in the most unprecedented manner. Trump’s administration has passed the message that Comey’s dismissal is largely hinged on his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server controversy from the presidential election in 2016 and that may very well be true. BUT! Comey is also the man who is in charge of the FBI investigation into Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 election and a possible collusion with Trump’s campaign. Trump’s critics, Democrats and some FBI staff are sticking with the latter explanation as it seems to provide a better premise for Comey’s firing.

A former FBI supervisory agent on hacking cases, Austin Berglas commenting on the matter, said:

“Trump praised him for the work on the email investigation, so that’s not it. I think he realised the extent of the Russia investigation under way and moved him out. To me, that’s the only logical explanation right now.”

Either of both situations plus the fact he was an Obama appointee could have led to the end of Comey’s career as FBI chief. How?

In April 2017, Trump announced this event in the most subtle manner that it was almost ignored. In an interview with Fox Business Network, host Maria Bartiromo quizzed President Trump on his decision to retain some Obama staffers including Comey when he could have let him go at the beginning of his administration. Bartiromo asked, “Is it too late now to ask him to step down?“. Trump replied saying: “No, it’s not too late, but, you know, I have confidence in him. We’ll see what happens. You know, it’s going to be interesting”As promised, things are getting very interesting.

In an attempt to briefly explore the FBI’s investigations into Clinton’s private email server and Trump’s perception of the matter, it’s not news that Trump had since blamed Comey for a careless handling of the case. In July 2016, Comey announced that the Clinton email case should be closed with no charges brought against the former Secretary of State. With every opportunity to discuss the issue, Trump has reiterated that Comey simply Hillary Clinton off the hook. The most recent citing being only last week when Trump tweeted:

In that Fox interview in April, he made a similar statement: “Director Comey was very, very good to Hillary Clinton, that I can tell you. If he weren’t, she would be, right now, going to trial”.

It was in March that Comey finally gave President Trump the brightest signal to kick him out. He announced that the FBI was “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts” to influence the 2016 election.” In that same announcement, he debunked Trump’s wiretapping allegations against former president Obama claiming he had no information to support Trump’s claims.

Trump mentioning in Comey’s dismissal letter that he appreciates the latter telling him three times that he is not under investigation in the Russian debacle, may be a pointer to the real reason the FBI director was fired.

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