Months before President Donald Trump fired James Comey, Democrats had called for the dismissal of the FBI Director themselves. Now they are calling the firing they supported “Nixonian,” in the face of the Russia investigation. It’s as though they think the current FBI investigation will suddenly stop with Comey’s firing. But Trump didn’t fire the FBI – just the Director. Still, Democrats are raising the mantle of hypocrisy to an unprecedented level.
Trump and the White House insisted on Wednesday that Comey’s firing was not politically motivated and, instead, was an effort to restore public trust and confidence in the FBI. Yet the timing and the motive of Comey’s dismissal puzzled many Democrats and Republicans alike.
Democrats are expressing concern that the effect of the Comey firing will be to shut down the investigation in which he had no personal involvement. To a man, FBI leaders have asserted this will have zero effect on their work. Still, Democrats decry the timing of the firing, as if they would have supported Mr. Trump had he taken this action the day after his inauguration, one month into his Administration, or at any other time.
Newt Gingrich was right when he observed, “If President Trump said the American flag was red, white, and blue, the Democrats would say it is fuchsia.”
What makes the Democratic hysteria hysterical is that so many of them had personally called for the firing of Mr. Comey. Never did any of them say the timing mattered. In fact, they have been beating the “Fire Comey” drumbeat for months. Only when Trump did what they supported did they no longer support their own idea.
Here’s a brief timeline.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (October 30, 2016) – He accused the FBI Director of breaking the Hatch Act, a federal law, by publicly disclosing new information about the Hillary Clinton investigation 11 days ahead of a presidential election. He called on the Director’s removal with a personal letter in which he wrote, “Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”
Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee (October 31, 2016) – “I have no confidence in him.” He then called on Comey to resign his FBI post.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (November 2, 2016) – “I do not have confidence in him any longer,” he told Bloomberg News.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader (November 2, 2016) – “He’s not right for the job,” she told CNN.
Rep. Maxine Waters (January 13, 2017) – “The FBI Director has no credibility.”
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (January 24, 2017) – “James Comey needs to fade away into oblivion.”
Add the opinion of the New York Daily News Editorial Board – “Comey must resign.” And Newsweek columnist Kurt Eichenwald went even further. “James Comey should not simply be fired as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He must be barred forever from any form of public service.”
In the week since the Comey firing, not one of the above eight critics have supported the very move they personally called for. What it is – hypocrisy of the highest order. What it is not – surprising.
About the Author
Luis Gomez is a writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune.