Tuesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” reacting to President Donald Trump firing FBI Director James Comey, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said it was “grotesque abuse of power,” and that reminded him of former President Richard Nixon’s firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
Toobin said, “It’s a grotesque abuse of power by the President of the United States. This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies—that when there is an investigation that reaches near the President of the United States or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation. I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973, when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor. This is something that is not within the American political tradition. That firing led indirectly to the resignation of President Nixon, and this is very much in this tradition. This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is something that is completely outside how the American law is supposed to work.”
He added, “There is no question the president has the legal authority to do what he has done. But that is not by any means the end of the inquiry. This is a political act—when the president is under investigation when his White House counsel was described yesterday as being told that his national security adviser was subject to blackmail by the Russians. And they fired the attorney general a few days later. Now they fired the FBI director. I mean, what kind of country is this?
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