Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday despite the bureau being in the midst of an investigation into the connections between the Trump administration and campaign to Russia. Put another way, Trump fired the guy in charge of the investigation that some believe will end with his impeachment. SEE ALSO: Newspaper succinctly trolls Trump's new pick for country ambassador Another president fired the person in charge of investigating his administration: Richard Nixon. Almost immediately after Trump fired Comey, the Nixon comparisons began -- particularly around the "Saturday Night Massacre." That's the night in which Nixon fired the special prosecutor assigned to investigating what would eventually come to be known as the Watergate Scandal.
President Trump's sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday was nearly unprecedented. Some observers compared the dismissal to Richard Nixon's infamous "Saturday Night Massacre," in which Nixon had Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox fired. But the Richard Nixon Presidential Library doesn't appreciate the comparison. On Tuesday, after the news of Comey's firing broke, the Nixon Library tweeted from its official account "FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI #FBIDirector #notNixonian." Cox was fired on Oct. 20, 1973, after the special prosecutor attempted to subpoena the president, seeking tapes of conversations recorded in the Oval Office.
President Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James B. Comey has renewed calls for an outside counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. President Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James B. Comey has renewed calls for an outside counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. With his abrupt firing of former FBI Director James B. Comey, President Trump faces more strenuous demands that an independent counsel be appointed to investigate any possible collusion between his campaign and Russian agents working to undermine rival Hillary Clinton. Critics assert that Trump's move was an attempt to stymie the FBI's probe and insist the only way to ensure a full, impartial investigation is to hand the matter to a special prosecutor with no ties, or obligations, to Trump or his administration. The president and his surrogates have adamantly insisted the Trump campaign had nothing whatever to do with Russian meddling in the presidential race and efforts to find a connection are nothing more than partisan witch-hunting.
President Richard Nixon says goodbye to family and staff in the White House East Room on August 9, 1974. Amid the controversy over James Comey's firing and the Russia investigations, President Donald Trump's critics -- most notably Rep. Al Green, D-Texas -- have already begun calling for his impeachment. But it could take months, if not longer, for Congress and special counsel Robert Mueller to finish their investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and connections to Mr. Trump's campaign. Which means the final outcome could still be a long way off. Critics have been quick to compare the controversy surrounding the White House and Russia to the Watergate scandal that forced President Richard Nixon to resign.
FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters The abrupt removal of James Comey as FBI director Tuesday marked the third time President Donald Trump has fired a high-profile official in his first three-plus months in office, following the ousters of his national security adviser and acting attorney general. Comey, three years into his 10-year term as FBI director, didn't know he was fired until news of his removal appeared on TV. Multiple outlets reported that Comey was giving a speech at the FBI's Los Angeles office when he found out that Trump had let him go Tuesday evening. In fact, Comey thought it was, at first, a "fairly funny prank," The New York Times reported. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, back in the nation's capital, President Donald Trump's trusted security guard Keith Schiller was sent to deliver the official letter of termination in a manila envelope to Comey's office at FBI headquarters.