James Comey takes the shame or the glory of having derailed the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton into his forced retirement.
“You’re fired!” That was Donald Trump’s favorite phrase when he was a TV host. Now that he’s a host of world politics he continues to use it, perhaps following the advice of Machiavelli: “When you see your advisor thinking more of his own interests than of yours, and seeking to further his own goals, such a man will never make a good advisor. You will never be able to trust him.” The violent removal of James B. Comey, director of the FBI, again inflames American policy. The reason that Trump intended to strike him down was that he acted at the recommendation of the attorney general and the attorney general’s second in command.
It is considered to be within the president’s authority to remove officials from his administration, and this is true. Only, Comey is not any official, he is not even comparable to Cabinet secretaries. The director of the FBI plays in the major leagues of American politics. It is therefore hoped that the removal will not cloud the current investigation, but will help to clarify the role of the Russians in the U.S. presidential election.
Comey has already picked up his things from the building named after J. Edgar Hoover on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Hoover was the founder of the FBI – the office that focuses on American intelligence gathering activity. Hoover carried out tasks that, at the time, seemed impossible to do; he even spied directly on the leaders of the world's most powerful countries during the Cold War years, namely the Soviet Union and China. He stopped a coup against an elected leader in the Dominican Republic – Joaquin Balaguer – and he subtly undermined the power of several U.S. presidents.
In the absence of the CIA, the FBI conducted espionage and counterespionage in connection with everything that seemed suspicious. One of the most well known episodes in 20th century American history is the case of Sacco and Vanzetti, about which so much has been written and so many films have been made. Hoover investigated groups opposing the execution of Italian anarchists. Liberal groups have always contended that it was a setup to try and eliminate them. Hoover was convinced that Sacco and Vanzetti were responsible for the terrorist bombings that left a bloodbath on Wall Street, even though he could never prove it. The case remained open indefinitely.
The relationship between Jeff Sessions, the attorney general (who recused himself from the investigation in the matter of Russian intervention in the presidential election), and the dismissed Comey is clearly a bad one. In that office, the relationship between the boss and the subordinate has never been an easy one. It is somewhat similar to the relationship between the secretary of energy of Mexico and the director of Pemex: the first, a hierarchical boss, and the second, a superior economic politician.
It is enough to remember the awful relationship between Hoover and the Kennedys. In the last conversation between Hoover and Robert Kennedy on Nov. 22 in 1963, Hoover called the attorney general by phone to inform him that his brother had been shot. “I have some bad news for you,” he said. Tim Weiner, the author of “Enemies: A History of the FBI,” thinks that he did not give him “bad news” – which undoubtedly it was – but simply news. After 45 minutes, Hoover called again to tell him that his brother had died. Not even the Kennedys with all their power dared to stop the director of the FBI. Hoover had the recordings of President Kennedy’s meeting with movie legend Marilyn Monroe.
Hated by Democrats and Republicans, Comey takes the shame or glory of having derailed the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton into his forced retirement. It is not yet known whether his dismissal could be the start of the long-awaited derailment of Trump's presidency. It is likely, if the president’s involvement with the Russians is confirmed, that the U.S. political system will say to Trump, “You’re Fired!”