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ND professor: Americans ‘should be deeply concerned’ about Comey firing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Notre Dame Law Professor Jimmy Gurulé – a former assistant U.S. attorney general – said President Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey ‘poses a threat to our democracy.’

“I think that the events of [Tuesday] justify and demand an independent counsel,” said Gurulé.

In an interview Wednesday, Gurulé said President Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey jeopardizes the president’s credibility – and his team’s – especially when it comes to the Justice Department’s investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Team Trump.

“The U.S. is a democracy,” said Gurulé. ‘It’s based on the rule of law. It’s based on this fundamental principle that no person is above the law, including the President of the United States. And when the president interferes with a criminal investigation – a criminal investigation involving his close associates – that threatens that cherished principle of the rule of law.”

Gurulé said a big headline is the fact that President Trump will now be appointing a new FBI director – who will ultimately be investigating the president’s campaign.

The White House said Trump fired Comey because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016.

Gurulé said that justification is ‘highly questionable’ because it’s the direct opposite of what candidate Trump said leading up to the election.

“During the campaign, then-candidate Trump was applauding [Comey’s] actions; was praising those actions; was claiming that Director Comey’s actions constituted a profile in courage,” said Gurulé. “So, then it was alright. Then it was positive; he was praising the director’s actions. And now, he’s using those same actions as justification for firing the FBI director.”

Gurulé – who is also an expert in international criminal law and complex criminal litigation – said you at home should care deeply about this.

“Central to a healthy and vibrant economy is an independent prosecutor’s office, is an independent law enforcement and investigative office,” said Gurulé. “It should not be politicized…cause it threatens the core values of our democracy. It threatens the rule of law. And if we lose that, then it undermines and erodes this precious democracy that we all embrace.”

Gurulé was actually finishing an op-ed for the New York Times about this issue ahead of this interview.

He said he not only thinks an independent prosecutor should be brought in to take over the Russia investigation, but he thinks that same prosecutor should also investigate the reasons behind President Trump’s decision to fire Comey.  

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