Toobin on Coomey Firing: ‘Grotesque Abuse of Power’ and ‘Kind of Thing That Goes on in Non-Democracies’


Reactions from the bombshell news that President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey are coming in hot and fast, and first on our list of insight and analysis comes from New Yorker columnist and CNN legal contributor Jeffrey Toobin.

The long-time and vocal critic of all things Trump did not disappoint an audience looking for critical insight as he compared this news to “non-democracies.” When asked if this was unusual by host Wolf Blitzer, Toobin did not demure, saying:

“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 an 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.”

Toobin finished by drawing in news from Sally Yates‘ testimony yesterday calling this “a political act when the president is under investigation, when his White House counsel was told that his national security adviser was subject to blackmail by the Russians, they fired the attorney general a few days later.” He finished by saying, “Now they fired the FBI director, I mean, what kind of country is this?

Great question.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Colby Hall is the Founding Editor of He is also a Peabody Award-winning television producer of non-fiction narrative programming as well as a terrific dancer and preparer of grilled meats.