On Tuesday, May 9, President Donald Trump suddenly fired FBI Director James Comey. This is a major move by Trump to suppress government investigations of him. Comey had played a crucial role during the election for Trump when he attacked Hillary Clinton as irresponsible for her handling of emails and then reopened the investigation of her just ten days before the election (which was later dropped). For this Trump applauded him.
But Comey’s FBI has also been investigating ties between those around Trump and Russia. Yet here Trump, with no notice whatsoever, fires Comey just at the time when this investigation is heating up. The firing of Comey amid this ongoing investigation brings up the specter of Richard Nixon’s infamous firing of Justice Department officials in an effort to squash the Watergate investigations into Nixon’s cover-up of illegal acts by his underlings. Based on what happened during Watergate, presidents are not supposed to have the power to fire or hire those who are investigating, or supposed to investigate, them. The firing of Comey is a big step by the Trump/Pence regime toward eliminating or silencing opposition to them within the ruling class, which is a key part of their ability to move forward with their fascist agenda.
This outrageous step by the Trump/Pence regime to increase their power comes on the heels of a week full of fascist assaults, including tearing up basic rights and norms. To cite three examples: 1) Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said that constitutional changes to the First Amendment were “being looked at” so that they could change libel laws and sue critics in the media; 2) Trump demanded that the Senate eliminate its rules requiring 60 votes for some measures to pass, declaring these norms, which aim to produce a measure of consensus within the ruling class, “an archaic system”; 3) Trump signed an executive order allowing tax-exempt religious organizations to directly endorse political candidates—an assault on the separation of church and state that empowers Christian fascists. (For more see “Trump After 100 Days: It’s Not ‘How Little He Accomplished…’ But How Much Further He Moved Things Toward Full-out Fascism”)
The fascist regime is pushing hard and fast toward consolidating fascist rule in America. The FBI is a key institution within the repressive machinery of this system that rules over the people. Trump himself, in referring to the sacking of Comey, called the FBI “our crown jewel of law enforcement.” By getting rid of Comey, which opens the way for Trump to name a new FBI head, the Trump/Pence regime is moving to more directly control this powerful agency of repression. The FBI has carried out many reactionary acts and crimes against those that the system sees as enemies and against the people overall—and now it is more directly in the hands of the fascists occupying the White House.
As the Refuse Fascism Call to Action says: “Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence. Because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, the Trump/Pence regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.”
If you had doubts before, look at what is happening now. The fascist Trump/Pence regime is moving rapidly forward in many different fronts to consolidate their power. If they succeed, they will bring on even more massive horrors for people here and around the world. It is imperative now to join with Refuse Fascism in its efforts to call out and resist this latest outrage, and to do that as part of driving out this vicious and illegitimate regime. “The Trump/Pence Regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is. For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out.” (from the Refuse Fascism Call to Action)