Nixon Library weighs in: Comey firing '#notNixonian'

Trevor Noah

Still, they've met President Trump's surprising Tuesday evening decision to fire Comey with near-universal outrage.

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who Trump fired January 30, appeared at a lengthy hearing Monday before another Senate Judiciary subcommittee and offered further details about her efforts to alert the Trump White House about then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russians.

An FBI official, who was not authorized to speak to reporters and so asked not to be identified, said the staff meeting would explore next steps for the law-enforcement agency.

What was inaccurate about Comey's testimony?

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, never one to shy away from hyperbole, said Comey's firing was "disturbingly reminiscent" of Nixon's purge of the Watergate special prosecutor and nothing less than a threat to the American judicial system.

Comey said that one of Clinton's top aides, Huma Abedin, had sent "hundreds and thousands" of emails to her husband's laptop, including some with classified information.

But it's hard to see Comey's firing as anything other than political, said Frank Montoya Jr., a former FBI agent who worked on counterintelligence investigations and led the bureau's Seattle office. That left many blasting the firing as an abuse of power, even if as they did not quibble with the reasons the White House put forward as cause.

In an odd twist, a White House official said the letter firing him was delivered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by Keith Schiller, Trump's longtime armed personal bodyguard who is now director of Oval Office Operations at the White House.

Both Wyden and Whitehouse are members of Senate committees that are doing their own investigations into the Trump campaign's ties with Russian Federation. It was President Clinton. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already hard investigation by the Committee.

"I appreciate Director Comey's service to our nation in a variety of roles", Graham said in a statement. That may have been an exaggeration at the time.

Mr Comey has been embroiled in controversy regarding the handling of his investigation into whether Mrs Clinton's use of a private email server when secretary of state compromised national security. During the hearing, Comey said he was "mildly nauseous" if his actions had any effect on the presidential election, while insisting he had no choice but to inform the public about the emails.

She did not address Comey's termination but said he planned on speaking. Comey, serving as acting attorney general while Ashcroft was hospitalized, went there to block senior Bush administration officials who had hoped to make an end run around him by getting Ashcroft's permission to reauthorize a secret no-warrant wiretapping program.

Following word of Comey's firing, Senate Minority Leader Schumer told the president, "with all due respect, you are making a big mistake". "Nearly everyone agrees that the director made serious mistakes".

Late on Tuesday, Trump replied on Twitter, noting that Schumer himself had questioned Comey's fitness for the job in comments just prior to the election.

What about the Russian Federation investigation? That meant Trump was elected president as his associates remained under investigation for possible connections to Russian Federation, a probe that was unannounced in this case.

"The only question in Washington that matters now is, 'When will Congress create and fully fund an independent investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election?'" declared Common Cause president Karen Hobart Flynn.

"Why did it happen today?" asked Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of NY.