Comey’s refusal to accept the department’s conclusion that he made major mistakes are reasonable grounds for dismissal of any employee in any circumstance, not least one who enjoys self-aggrandizing displays of independence.
It is understandable that his bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his recently confirmed deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, lost confidence in Comey. They pushed for his ouster, and the president agreed.
Yet Comey could have been fired for other aspects of the Clinton probe. The failure to empanel a grand jury, the willingness to destroy evidence as part of immunity agreements, the absurd claim that no reasonable prosecutor would take the case–each action and assertion suggested a less-than-thorough probe designed to please his Democratic bosses.
Then there are the leaks of investigations that amounted to a flood of illegal disclosures about the Trump administration. Virtually everything we know about whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russian meddling in the election comes through leaks.
The names of those supposedly being investigated–Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page–all were made public through leaks. The fact that Sessions himself was wrong to tell the Senate he had not met with the Russian ambassador–we know that because of leaks to the Washington Post.
We know a computer server for Trump Tower was communicating with a Russian bank–because of leaks. Not incidentally, Hillary Clinton jumped on those leaks to insist Trump was guilty of collusion.
Only later did we learn–through leaks–that the FBI determined the server was sending spam.