mardi 27 juin 2017

NYT: How Donald Trump Misunderstood the FBI

I enjoyed reading this well written article from the New York Times. It describes the historically changed relationship between the Presidency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. It is also as much about other Presidents who have butted up against the FBI as it is about Donald Trump.


Originally Posted by New York Times
Since Watergate, the bureau has come to view itself as an essential, and essentially independent, check on the president...

"I take the president at his word — that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,’’ James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, said in June, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee a month after his abrupt dismissal from his post by the president. Comey was referring to the account Trump gave in an NBC interview on May 11 — and Comey fought back on the rest of the story as Trump told it. Trump, he said, ‘‘chose to defame me and, more importantly, the F.B.I. by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.’’

Trump, Comey said, had asked his F.B.I. director for his loyalty — and that seemed to shock Comey the most. The F.B.I.’s stated mission is ‘‘to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States’’ — not to protect the president. Trump seemed to believe Comey was dutybound to do his bidding and stop investigating the recently fired national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. ‘‘The statue of Justice has a blindfold on because you’re not supposed to be peeking out to see whether your patron is pleased or not with what you’re doing,’’ Comey said. ‘‘It should be about the facts and the law.’’

Trump might have been less confused about how Comey saw his job if he had ever visited the F.B.I. director in his office. On his desk, under glass, Comey famously kept a copy of a 1963 order authorizing Hoover to conduct round-the-clock F.B.I. surveillance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was signed by the young attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, after Hoover convinced John F. Kennedy and his brother that King had Communists in his organization — a reminder of the abuses of power that had emanated from the desk where Comey sat...

via International Skeptics Forum

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