Director James Comey was hated by the left for his actions regarding Hillary Clinton and by the right for failing to charge Clinton or her advisers with mishandling classified information, but he still had some support within the FBI itself. Many of those supporters were shocked by his firing and, according to Politico, immediately suspicious about why it happened now:
“I’m literally in tears right now. That’s all I have to say,” said a longtime special agent who’s known and worked with Comey for years. The agent first heard the news on the car radio…
“We just have no idea why this happened. No idea,” said one recently retired top FBI official who worked closely with Comey on multiple high-profile investigations. “No one knew this was coming. Everyone is just shocked that this happened.”
The former official said current and former agents were lighting up his phone, texts and emails and asking about the timing of Trump’s decision, especially so long after taking office — and while Comey was out of town.
I’m not buying into the left’s instant assumption that this is an attempt to block the Russia collusion investigation by taking out the lead investigator. If so, it would be a very stupid attempt given that it a) won’t stop the investigation and b) won’t stop the two parallel investigations happening in the House and Senate and c) only creates more suspicion among FBI agents and the media. Maybe the White House could overlook any one of those things but I don’t think they could overlook all three of them.
But putting that aside, I do think the way in which this was handled seems harsh to the point of insulting. Trump could have given the man a few days or weeks to exit with a little dignity. Having him find out from a news report in the midst of a public speech seems like an unnecessarily harsh slap in the face. Even if, for some reason, Trump thought that was appropriate, he ought to be smart enough to know that making enemies at the FBI in the midst of an investigation is not a good idea. If you thought we had lots of leaks before, we’re going to have a new wave of them now.