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Bush’s Ethics Lawyer Just Revealed The REAL Reason Trump Fired Comey

Bush’s Ethics Lawyer Just Revealed The REAL Reason Trump Fired Comey

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President Trump should not have been allowed to fire the man leading an investigation into him, accordingly to Richard W. Painter, who was the Chief White House Ethics Lawyer under President George W. Bush.

Now that Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, Painter says that an independent prosecutor is needed to carry on the investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

He also said the House Judiciary Committee should convene tomorrow to investigate an abuse of power by the president.

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Painter, who now teaches law at the University of Minnesota, and has private business interests, is referring back to June 1972 when President Nixon fired an independent special prosecutor, Alexander Cox, who had been appointed to investigate the break-in at the Watergate and the subsequent cover-up by the Nixon administration.

When Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox, he refused and then resigned. When Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus also refused to terminate Cox, he too resigned in what came to be known as the Saturday Night Massacre. 

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Richardson and Ruckelshaus had promised during their confirmation hearings not to fire Cox without cause, and neither was willing to break their promise.

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Nixon next turned to Solicitor General Robert Bork, who he had just named an acting head of the Justice Department. After some hesitation, Bork agreed. He wrote the letter firing Cox. Under pressure, however, Nixon had to agree to the appointment of a new special counsel.

it was later revealed that Nixon had made a secret deal to appoint Bork to the Supreme Court in return for his agreement. Instead, Nixon resigned. However, later President Reagan picked Bork for the court, but the Senate refused to confirm him.

The situation for Trump is quite different. He has never succumbed to calls to appoint an independent investigator into the Russian election hacking and influence. 

Trump also has an Attorney General in Jeff Sessions who would no doubt be happy to do his bidding, and fire anyone who threatens the administration.

A key to all of this is hidden in the letter that Trump sent to Comey to inform him he was being terminated at the suggestion of Sessions and the Assistant Attorney General.

The second paragraph of the four-paragraph letter from Trump to Comey read:

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.”

By making it clear that he was not being investigated, Trump excuses himself from being accused of interfering with the FBI investigation. It also makes it possible for Sessions to be involved in firing him, even though Sessions has recused himself from anything having to do with the Russia investigation. 

Painter does not believe Trump, which is why he is calling for an independent investigation.

However, Trump and Sessions will claim that they are firing Comey for other reasons than Russia, and will not allow a truly independent investigation. The only way that can happen is if the Democrats take back the House in the 2018 election and then have the power to do their own investigation.

As corrupt as Nixon was, Trump is worse and far more clever. He will not give his enemies the power that an independent investigation would bring. Only a vote by the American people will ever displace him from the White House.



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Benjamin Locke

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