James Comey’s ouster from the FBI has left the country and the world feeling aftershocks.
The former FBI director was entrenched in an investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, and his firing was recommended by Attorney General Jeff Sessions who had recused himself from matters related to that investigation.
National security expert Juliette Kayyem joined BPR to explain the implications of Comey’s removal.
Kayyem focused on two related aspects of Comey’s firing: his impending testimony, and her predictions of Trump’s eventual impeachment.
“I don’t even get this holding on to Trump anymore; You’re going to get Pence at the end of this,” she said. “But Pence probably has more respect for institutions.”
Kayyem said she’s still not sure of the extent of the Trump administration’s relationship to Russia, but the past 48 hours have made her suspicious.
“I’m not at collusion yet. I’m getting closer because of their behavior,” she said. “Do people who are very unlucky because they have all these coincidences, do they behave this way? The answer is no.”
Kayyem also said “there’s no question” about the fact that Comey will eventually testify, and when he does, he’ll be able to comment on procedural matters, like whether or not he requested more money and resources before he was forced out of the bureau.
She also said Trump may have “opened the door” for Comey to give more information about the president’s ties to Russia because of the language he used in the firing letter.
Trump wrote, “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.’’
“Comey will be able to say that statement is inaccurate, because it’s a public statement. It has nothing to do with the investigation,” said Kayyem.
Kayyem predicted Comey’s testimony, in addition to other information likely to emerge in the coming weeks, will force more Republicans to take a hard line against the administration.
“You just start to create a foundation [that] goes into committee hearings, that goes into the media, which is doing a fantastic job, and then eventually that gets into polling,” she said. “History will view this time with heroes and villains.”
She reiterated that she “doesn’t quite get” those defending Trump at this stage.
“We deserve better, whether you’re a Trump supporter or were a Clinton supporter or somewhere in between,” she said. “This is no way to take care of this nation.”
National Security Expert Juliette Kayyem is the host of the SCIF podcast and a contributor to CNN and WGBH. She’s founder of Kayyem Solutions and her book Security Mom is now out in paperback. To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.