CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin Loses His Mind Over Comey Being Fired

Washington, DC was rocked Tuesday evening when news broke that President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey. According to a memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein, Comey was recommended to be fired for going over the head of Attorney General Loretta Lynch on July 5, 2016, and holding a press conference about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail investigation. But according to CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, the FBI director was fired because he was hot on Trump’s trail.

“The FBI is running an investigation of Donald Trump's campaign and Russia and apparently it’s getting too close for comfort,” he angrily yelled. “That the only rational conclusion that you can draw from this firing.”

At the top of the 6 o’clock hour, Toobin told Wolf Blitzer that Comey’s firing was “a grotesque abuse of power” by Trump. And he declared that Trump was acting like a dictator, saying: “This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies. That when there is a investigation that reaches near the president of the United States, or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation.”

He also equated the shocking development to events that occurred during the Watergate scandal:

I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973 when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor. This is something that is not within the American political tradition. That firing led indirectly but certainly to the resignation of President Nixon. And this is very much in this tradition. This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is something that is completely outside how the American law is supposed to work.

After Rosenstein’s memo was released to the press, Toobin’s reaction was just as over top. “Can we point out that emperor is not wearing any clothes? This memo from Rod Rosenstein says that James Comey was a fired for being too mean to Hillary Clinton,” he opined. “Does anyone believe that? Could anyone believe that? I mean, it is just absurd.”

He again compared the situation to Watergate and tried to predict a dark future for the Russia investigation:

If anyone thinks a new FBI director is going come in and the agency will just take over and continue their investigation, as if this had never happened, that's not how it works. They will put in a stooge who will shut down this investigation. They are in charge, the political people are in charge of the FBI. Not the street agents. The street agent do what they're told and now Donald Trump will put in, maybe Chris Christie, someone who will do his bidding.

Surprisingly, CNN’s Gloria Borger confronted Toobin and reiterated what was in Rosenstein’s controversial memo. “And it criticizes his recent testimony in which Comey said he had a choice between conceal and speak,” she told Toobin. “And he says here in this letter, ‘conceal is a loaded term that misstates the issue’ and he says that you should refrain from publicizing nonpublic information.”

Only time will tell if Toobin’s assertions were correct. But his attitude and demeanor were way over the top. That’s not to mention that his tirade was based on what little information is available to the public, which means all of his pontificating was mere speculation. 

Transcript below:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

CNN
The Situation Room
May 9, 2017
6:01:10 PM Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: I want to bring in Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal analyst. Jeffrey, this is an extraordinary moment in American history.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: You bet it is, Wolf. And a grotesque abuse of power, by the President of the United States. This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies. That when there is a investigation that reaches near the president of the united States, or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation. I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973 when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor. This is something that is not within the American political tradition. That firing led indirectly but certainly to the resignation of President Nixon. And this is very much in this tradition. This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is something that is completely outside how the American law is supposed to work.

BLITZER: But the president does have the authority to fire the FBI director, Jeffrey right?

TOOBIN: He certainly does. He absolutely does. Bill Clinton fired William Sessions early in President Clinton's term. There is no question that the President has the legal authority to do what he has done. But that is not by any means the end of the inquiry. This is a political act when the president is under investigation, when his White House counsel was described yesterday as being told that his national security adviser was subject to blackmail by the Russians. And they fired the attorney general a few days later. Now they fired the FBI director. I mean, what kind of country is this?

6:20:36 PM

TOOBIN: Can we point out that emperor is not wearing any clothes? This memo from Rod Rosenstein says that James Comey was a fired for being too mean to Hillary Clinton? Does anyone believe that? Could anyone believe that? I mean, it is just absurd. That suddenly here it is in May of 2017 that he is being fired for a press conference that he held in July of 2016? I mean, this is just the most preposterous pretext. This is an investigator, investigating the White House, and he was just fired by the White House.

This doesn't happen in the United States, except on October 20, 1973 when Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox. If anyone thinks a new FBI director is going come in and the agency will just take over and continue their investigation, as if this had never happened, that's not how it works. They will put in a stooge who will shut down this investigation. They are in charge, the political people are in charge of the FBI. Not the street agents. The street agent do what they're told and now Donald Trump will put in, maybe Chris Christie, someone who will do his bidding.

GLORIA BORGER: Well let me ask you this also Jeffrey. because this letter from Rosenstein also talks about the October 28—his letter of course that through the election into a tizzy on October 28th. And it criticizes his recent testimony in which Comey said he had a choice between conceal and speak. Remember that testimony? And he says here in this letter, “conceal is a loaded term that misstates the issue” and he says that you should refrain from publicizing nonpublic information. And in other words, they are now saying that Comey should never have released that letter to congress that Democrats charge handed the election to Hillary Clinton.

[Blitzer takes phone call from Brian Fallon, agrees with Toobin]

TOOBIN: We do not fire FBI director when they are closing in on the White House.

BLITZER: Why do you think he is fired?

TOOBIN: Because he is running a – because the FBI is running an investigation of Donald Trump's campaign and Russia and apparently it’s getting too close for comfort. That the only rational conclusion that you can draw from this firing.

CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections Appointments Crime Foreign Policy Russia Government Agencies Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Labeling Trump transition Political Scandals CNN The Situation Room Video James Comey FBI Jeffrey Toobin Gloria Borger Wolf Blitzer Donald Trump