Edward Snowden's Reaction To Comey's Firing Suggests It Isn't All Partisan Politics

The news is putting political opponents on the same side of the aisle.

In a surprising decision that left both Democrats and Republicans scrambling for an explanation, President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday evening.

The news came as the FBI moves forward with an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia, and just 24 hours after former attorney general Sally Yates testified in an open hearing about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. But in the wake of the controversial decision, an unsuspecting character came to Comey's defense: Edward Snowden.

Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) who was behind one of the biggest data leaks in U.S. history, isn't exactly a friend to Comey. For years, since Snowden fled the United States, Comey has been calling for his arrest and extradition back to the U.S. for a trial. 

Nevertheless, in a series of tweets, Snowden questioned the legitimacy of Comey's firing:


Snowden's concern about the firing isn't unique. Representative Justin Amash, one of the most notable members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, said he is reviewing legislation for an independent prosecutor to replace Comey in the investigation into Trump's ties to Russia.  

The second paragraph that Amash refers to includes a line where Trump thanks Comey for "informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." For anyone who has been following, this part of the letter is particularly confounding because Comey has testified under oath that he was, in fact, investigating Trump's team's ties to Russian interference in the election. 

Jeff Flake, a Republican Senator from Arizona and another staunchly conservative member of Congress, expressed similar concerns about the timing of the firing. 

Even conservative political pundit Ben Shapiro, who has made a reputation for excoriating liberals and "leftists," expressed his own concerns on Twitter about the firing. 

"Trump's either so incompetent that an innocent firing looks like a cover-up, or he's so incompetent that a cover-up looks like a cover-up," he tweeted. 

But not all Republicans are opposed to the firing. Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Susan Collins — some of the most recognizable names in the Republican party — have come out and expressed support for the decision, saying Comey lost the trust of the American people. 

Whether Trump is trying to put an end to an investigation that has gotten too close to him or whether he truly made a decision with poor political optics, one thing is clear: this issue has, in many ways, broken down barriers of partisanship that have plagued U.S. political culture since the election. 

Cover photo: Shutterstock / a katz.


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