|Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick the next FBI director|
|Petition to the U.S. Senate:
“Commit to blocking and resisting any Donald Trump nominee to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Congress must not allow a man under a cloud of investigation to choose the next director of the FBI.”Add your name:
Donald Trump’s reward for firing James Comey – the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – in order to ease “pressure” from Russia investigations is … getting to pick the next FBI director?1
While testifying under oath in the Senate yesterday, Comey said that Trump pressured him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, that Trump lied and that he believes he was fired because Trump did not like how he was conducting the Russia investigation.2,3 But the biggest bombshell out of Comey’s testimony is that he is sure special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Trump’s obstruction of justice.4
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that his pick to lead the FBI is Christopher Wray, Chris Christie’s personal lawyer during the Bridgegate scandal and a partner at a law firm that represents major Russian corporations, including state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom and oil giant Rosneft. 5 But even if Wray had an impeccable record with no connections to Trump or Russia, there is no way that Trump should be able to name the head of the FBI in the midst of its investigation into his Russia ties.
Comey’s blockbuster testimony has made this point all the clearer. But we need to step up to drive the point home that Trump has no right to choose the next FBI director.
Comey’s prepared testimony detailed how Trump demanded “loyalty” and made repeated requests that Comey publicly state that Trump was not under investigation. His meticulous records documented in detail each of his interactions with Trump. 6 Comey also testified about a meeting with Trump the day after Michael Flynn resigned for lying about his communication with the Russians in which Trump asked Comey (emphasis ours):
Comey went on to say:
Furthermore, Comey revealed that Trump had asked him what he could do to could do to “lift the cloud” – a phrase Trump used to describe the Russia investigation “that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country.”9
Legal experts had already suggested that Trump’s firing of Comey constitutes obstruction of justice.10 Comey’s explosive testimony strengthens that argument. In fact, Trump previously admitted himself in an interview that he fired Comey because he was pursuing the “made up story” of Trump and Russia. Yet in the weeks following, even as the Department of Justice tasked a special prosecutor to investigate him, Trump started interviewing potential FBI directors as if it was yet another hiring decision.11
Say Trump did, in fact, attempt to obstruct justice by firing Comey. If that turns out to be true, then picking the next FBI director would make that attempt successful. We cannot take that chance – the Senate must block Trump from choosing a new FBI director.
Acting Director Andrew McCabe is a 20-year veteran of the FBI who is leading the agency in the absence of a long-term director.12Leaving the position vacant would keep McCabe in charge and do no damage to American security or law enforcement. But allowing Donald Trump to replace Comey could do irreparable damage to the rule of law and our republic itself. The Senate must confirm any Trump nominee, which means the Senate has the power to declare that no Trump nominee will be confirmed.13
Too many in Washington are pretending that this is business-as-usual – so it will take a loud outcry now to give Democrats and Republicans alike the courage to stand up for the rule of law.
Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick next FBI director. Click the link below to sign the petition.
Thank you for speaking out.
Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
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