There are now multiple reports that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey in part because Comey didn’t provide him assurances of loyalty.
The Washington Post has reported Trump “had long questioned Comey’s loyalty and judgment.” CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that a source close to Comey told him Comey’s lack of “any assurance of personal loyalty” was one of two main reasons Comey was fired. And now the New York Times is reporting that Trump asked for a loyalty pledge during a dinner about a week after Trump was inaugurated:
As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.
Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.
Trump would have known what Comey’s answer would be if he had taken the time to understand the oath taken by FBI officers – and members of the military for that matter. Those oaths are taken to the Constitution and not the president for a very specific reason.
Right there on its website, the FBI says the bureau and its officials must only swear an oath to the Constitution – not even a president. The reason? Because the latter “too easily leads to tyranny”:
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Aaron Blake