Everybody, including mainstream media, was caught by surprise over Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey earlier. So many scrambled not just to report the shocking, explosive breaking news but to make sense of the reason and cause behind such a move. True to its infamous form, CNN was quick to not just report the shock move, but questioned it as well, using the issue as another opportunity to slam Trump.
CNN said on Wednesday that the Trump administration's reason for firing Comey are not plausible or even believable. The news organization maliciously suggested instead that in letting go of Comey, Trump was merely trying to disrupt investigations into the President's alleged ties with Russia. In short, CNN is imputing that Comey's firing was the mere cover-up. CNN anchors and reporters based their so-called conclusions on a Department of Justice memo that criticized Comey's press conference in October when he declared that he was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton private email server scandal. The memo said Comey was wrong in claiming that failing to announce the move would be similar to "concealing" information, and asserted that to quietly open an investigation is not the same as actually "concealing" information. CNN is doubtful about the argument since they said Trump himself benefitted from Comey's press conference.
The network's resident legal analyst Jeff Toobin dismissed said part of the memo as a "non-plausible attempt" to make it appear as Trump wanting to punish Comey for being "mean" to Clinton. CNN host Chris Cuomo agreed and said Trump had even supported Comey's decision to reopen the Clinton emails probe, so he said it can't really be about Hillary Clinton.
Whether it's just a matter of failing to appreciate the facts, or a deliberate attempt to misread and mislead, the CNN's political take largely ignored the Trump administration's policy reason for firing Comey that was actually laid out in the memo, had they bothered to read, comprehend and report correctly. It was actually very clear that the primary reason in the Rosenstein's memo for his dismissal was Comey's decision to take on the powers of the attorney general in this case. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch may have recused herself from the case especially with her supposed links to the Clintons and the Democrats, but Rosenstein said Comey had no right or authority to end the case on his own.
The memo said Comey was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016, and announce on his own that the case should be closed without prosecution. Rosenstein said it is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. He also added that the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department since there is another well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General.
Comey's earlier press conference also added to the problem when he claimed that he would not seek charges against Clinton because it appeared as if he were making a "closing argument" without a trial, something he is not really authorized to do.
But again, CNN got is wrong as always, at least they are consistent that way.