We’re Demanding Records on Comey’s Dismissal. Here’s Why.

The ACLU today submitted a request to the Department of Justice and the FBI asking for the release of all documents relating to President Donald Trump’s decision to remove FBI Director James Comey from office. The cloud of uncertainty swirling over Comey’s dismissal, along with indications that the president may have gravely abused his power, demands a public accounting.

DEMAND A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR ON RUSSIA

At the time of his dismissal, FBI Director Comey was responsible for overseeing an ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government. According to initial White House statements — by most accounts hastily assembled with little coordination — the president dismissed Comey on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The two, we learned, had prepared a pair of memoranda asserting that Comey had mishandled the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and had violated Department of Justice policies when he publicly announced the results of that investigation. (This, despite the fact that both Sessions and Trump had previously lauded Comey’s handling of that investigation.)

Subsequent reports indicate that the president had already decided to fire Comey — among other reasons, for being insufficiently loyal to the president — and that he sought the help of Sessions and Rosenstein to justify his decision. Several days after the dismissal, the president said in an interview that he fired Comey because “he’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander.” President Trump also stated that he had the Russia investigation in mind when he fired Mr. Comey, and media accounts indicate that Mr. Comey had requested additional resources for the FBI’s investigation in the days before he was dismissed. In other words, the White House’s explanations for firing Comey shifted significantly over a matter of days, and the public doesn’t know the actual basis for the decision.

As the nation’s predominant law enforcement agency, the FBI’s impact on American justice can’t be overstated. Our history offers important lessons into why the FBI director role needs to be insulated from political interference. In response to both Watergate and a litany of abuses wrought by J. Edgar Hoover’s five-decade tenure as FBI director, Congress established a 10-year term meant to both check the director’s power and insulate the position from party politics. The FBI plays a central role in defending the rule of law, conducting domestic law enforcement investigations, and protecting against civil rights and civil liberties violations. As a result, the agency has tremendous power to affect the lives of ordinary people — for good or ill. Its use of those powers should not be affected by political interests.

The president’s actions and shifting justifications threaten the rule of law. As both Trump and his deputy press secretary suggested, by firing Mr. Comey, Trump sought to hasten an end to the FBI’s ongoing investigation into his own campaign. But the rule of law requires that investigators and prosecutors have the independence to follow the facts wherever they lead — even if they lead to the president’s door. It is a firmly rooted tradition in our democracy that the president does not interfere with individual criminal investigations — let alone those that implicate the president’s own interests or the interests of his family, friends, or political associates.

To intervene in such an investigation, or to obstruct its progress, threatens to place the president above the law. It would subvert our system of justice, which requires the FBI and Department of Justice to hold even the most powerful to account. For these reasons, the ACLU has called for the appointment of a special prosecutor and the establishment of a select committee to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian interference. We have also called for the acting FBI director to permanently lead the Russia investigation. At this stage, this is the best way to ensure the investigation’s independence.

Meanwhile, we cannot afford to be kept in the dark on the president’s actual reasons for firing the FBI director.

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Anonymous

Why would anyone be against the ACLU looking into the craziness of 45? Makes me wonder... Probably the same reason that 45 would not release his taxes. Hiding something? Crooked? Ignorant?

ACLU supporter

It's curious to me that so many of the posts on this article published by the ACLU are by people who seem to fundamentally disagree with the ACLU. Are they hoping to convince ACLU supporters we're misinformed and that if we honestly consider their point of view we'll change our minds? Or is it just socking it to the enemy? The mission of the ACLU is to defend the rights of EVERYONE, so keep on keeping on, ACLU detractors. I appreciate hearing your perspective. Convince us with your well reasoned arguments. That's what democracy is all about!

March For Truth

Support The March For Truth to demand an impartial investigation! > https://teespring.com/March-For-Truth-shirt-8

William Forrest

ACLU should review and vet these comments, to eliminate hateful insults.

Anonymous

Does the ACLU have any legal authority to request and obtain the documents you are seeking regarding the firing of Comey?

Anonymousbikerdude

Anyone who doesn't know why Comey was fired has something wrong with their brain. With all the leaks and no investigation , with telling us Clinton committed crimes and no prosecution. With all the umasking of American citizens and Comey doing nothing seems like good reason to fire him in my opinion . He is not doing his job which is possibly one of the most important jobs in the world.. duh. Get real and report the news . A few weeks ago the demo wanted come fired but since it was trump that fired him these idiot dems are saying trump is obstructing justice. Nothing will change in the trump Russia thing , it will still be investigated and you will see no collusion. Comey got caught up in the Clinton machine and it cost him his job

Debbie

I don't understand why the position of FBI director is under the president's control. Shouldn't he/she be appointed by someone, or a committee, that is non-political?

Anonymous

Mr Trump has consistently ignored or pushed aside our constitutional law and he he has a great deal of misguided followers backing him. Enabling him to hide possible criminal acts with his income tax,meeting with Russian dignitaries God only knows what he may told them about our defense systems,our stealth technology. People don't understand he's just trying to make a dollar by any means necessary for friends and family.

Anonymous

Any likely compliance with or "legal enforcement" of this "request" seem vague & ambiguous at best.

Only 2 legal/enforceable 'handles' I've heard are:
1) Special Prosecutor/Commission
2) House initiation of Impeachment investigation (not damn likely, IMO)

Of course, in lieu of a "request", ACLU could consider a "Poll" or, better still, a "Petition Drive" [sarcasm, folks!]

Cjmacintosh

Start with this ,
Here is a little background on Mr Comey, seems he has always helped the Clinton's. 
Remember Whitewater? 20 years ago James Comey as an attorney on the Senate Whitewater Investigation was looking into the conduct of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. The investigation was to determine whether Bill Clinton used his political position as governor of Arkansas (in the 1980s) to push through an illegal loan to benefit Bill and Hillary's business partner in Whitewater. Several people involved in Whitewater went to jail, but no criminal prosecution was in the cards for Bill and Hillary. 
Remember James Comey was the Deputy Special Counsel for the Whitewater investigation....In Christopher Anderson's book, American Evita: Hillary Clinton's Rise to Power, Anderson gives details of the New Square offenders pardon by Bill Clinton (who had been convicted of bilking the government of $30 million dollars). Christopher Anderson relates that at Hillary's urging Bill gave clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists who took the lives of 16 Americans and wounded many others. Anderson tells us that Hillary admired the Marxist Carl Oglesby and Saul Alinsky. It is from her admiration for Saul Alinsky that she formed her belief that "the only way to make a real difference is to acquire power." The pardon of billionaire Marc Rich (who traded illegally with America's enemies including Iran) by President Bill Clinton was something that everyone knew reeked of impropriety after learning that Rich's wife donated $450,000 to the Clinton Library. Again James Comey oversaw investigations of the pardon matters as well. Unbelievably James Comey did not recommend charging the Clinton in any of these matters. Wouldn't it be fair and balanced to give news coverage to these facts?
Isn't this strange that the media has not exposed this? 

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