Following Donald Trump’s inauguration, he decided to keep James Comey around as FBI director, possibly because he was thrilled when Comey reopened the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails weeks before the election. However, Trump may regret that decision after he hears that Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject his groundless accusations against former President Obama, who Trump claims wiretapped Trump Tower.
The Justice Department has yet to comment on the matter, but on Sunday morning, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper told CNN that no intelligence agencies wiretapped Trump, and he says the FBI never asked for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-related court order to do so.
According to the New York Times, Comey seeks to convince the Justice Department not only because Trump offered no proof but also because he’s implicitly accusing the F.B.I. of illegal behavior, which undermines its credibility. However and since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations that have anything to do with Trump-Russia ties, there aren’t many senior Justice Department officials with the power to issue such a public rejection. Here are more details:
A statement by the Justice Department or Mr. Comey refuting Mr. Trump’s allegations would be a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement officials in the position of questioning the truthfulness of the government’s top leader. The situation underscores the high stakes of what the president and his aides have set out by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.
Mr. Comey’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering is certain to invite contrasts to his actions last year, when he spoke publicly about the Hillary Clinton email case and disregarded Justice Department entreaties not to.
Meanwhile, the White House wants an investigation of Trump’s accusations against Obama while Senator Al Franken finds all of this very hilarious. Even a Republican senator has demanded an explanation for Trump’s accusations, and a White House spokesperson tried to soften Trump’s words without success. What an utter mess.
Every so often, Trump pulls it together and decides to act “presidential,” but inevitably, everything falls apart, and he takes several bigly steps back. After Sessions recused himself, Trump went ballistic on Friday and dashed out of D.C. without Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus. And on Saturday morning, he further took his anger out on Obama with this wiretapping jazz. Naturally, Trump based his claim upon a right-wing conspiracy theory because that’s how he rolls. No wonder Comey wants to shut this down.