Thursday, May 11, 2017

Did Jeff Sessions Break His Recusal Ageement When Trump Fired Comey?

Donald Trump's explanation for firing Comey implied that he was responding to the chain of command in the Justice Department.  The Assistant Attorney General, who was Comey's immediate supervisor,  did an evaluation of Comey which was given to Attorney General Sessions.  Sessions then gave the evaluation of Comey to Trump who then decided to fire him.  Few believed that Trump fired Comey for the reasons that were initially provided by the White House.  This article argues that if Session participated in firing Comey as described by the White House he would be in violation of his recusal which prevents him from participation in the Russian investigation.  Trump may also have legal issues if he interfered with an ongoing investigation by firing Comey.

Trump may have been appraised of the legal issues following the White House description of the process.  He announced today that his decision was not based upon the evaluation he received from the Attorney General.  He declared that it was entirely his decision and that he would have made the same decision without the Justice Department evaluation of Comey. He even accused Comey of being a loud mouth and an attention grabber. (like himself?). Few believed the initial story that was provided by the White House.  Trump now claims total responsibility for the decision to fire Comey. Perhaps that is why he claims that Comey told him that he was not a subject of the investigation three times in his current explanation for firing Comey.  He could not do that if he was a potential target in the investigation.  Comey publically announced that potential collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russian intervention in the election was part of the investigation.  Trump's involvement could not be excluded from any investigation of his campaign and associates without knowledge about findings that might be found later in the investigation. 

The story will probably change again tomorrow after it is tested with a focus group and more lawyers.

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