The firing came the same day the FBI announced Comey had given inaccurate information to Congress about the number of emails Huma Abedin had forwarded to her then husband, Anthony Weiner. This was the basis of the administration’s stated reason for Comey’s firing, as laid out in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s letter to Trump:
“I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.”‘
But this reasoning appeared strained considering Trump’s vocal support of Comey during his campaign and the fact that Comey’s actions are largely seen as having helped deliver the White House to Mr. Trump. Critics also saw the lack of any reference to the Russia probe in Rosenstein’s letter as a transparent ploy to allow Attorney General Sessions to be involved. Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation after it was revealed he misled Congress during his confirmation hearing as to his own contacts with Russians.
If Donald Trump thought firing James Comey would make the entire Russia matter go away, this also seems to be a bad miscalculation. Instead, this latest move seems to have only emboldened opponents of the Trump administration even as the Russia investigation escalates.