Yesterday, the President of the United States fired the man leading an investigation into his ties with Russia.
James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, found out about his dismissal from television news; before he had heard from the White House.
According to a statement from Trump’s press secretary, Mr Comey was “removed from office” as a result of the recommendations of both the U.S. Attorney General and his deputy.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, the President claimed that the director “was not doing a good job”.
The official line from the Oval Office is that Director Comey lost his job due to his handling of the investigation into Hilary Clinton’s private email server, despite Trump previously praising his investigation.
In the wake of Comey’s firing, questions have been raised surrounding collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
It has been reported that in the days before his removal as director of the FBI, Comey asked for more resources into his investigation of Trump’s Russian connections.
Now that James Comey is out, Democrats are demanding that a special prosecutor take over the investigation, arguing that anybody Donald Trump chooses to head the FBI will only quash any significant findings.
Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the Senate lead the calls for a special prosecutor:
“Every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up”
– Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader
Countless comparisons between Trump and the infamous President of the early 70s, Richard Nixon; the only U.S. leader to resign from the presidency have been made since the announcement of Comey’s dismissal.
In 1973 President Nixon’s commands to fire special investigator Archibald Cox cost him both his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, and his Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus, as they both resigned in protest of the President’s request.
Cox was investigating the events surrounding the break-in at the Democratic party’s headquarters, events that would be remembered in history as the Watergate scandal.
The evening of Richardson and Ruckelshaus’ resignations would become known as the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’. This evening was a key moment in the scandal that would lead to Nixon’s resignation.
A week after the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ an NBC News poll suggested that more American’s supported the impeachment of Richard Nixon than opposed it.
President Nixon resigned less than two weeks later.
It’s often said that if you wait long enough history will repeat itself. It seems that with the firing of the man leading an investigation against the President of the United States, this statement has been proven true.
Whether the rest of the story mirrors anything close to the events of four decades ago is yet to be seen.