WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In an interview aired on Thursday, Trump told NBC that he made the decision to fire Comey earlier this week before recommendations were made by senior Justice Department officials. Trump faced harsh criticism for removing the FBI Director amid an ongoing probe into the president’s alleged connections with Russia.
"The replacement of James Comey by a new person appointed by President Trump does not bode well for civil liberties," Ohio State University Professor Emeritus of International Law John Quigley told Sputnik.
However, Quigley said he needed to be remembered as a senior US security official who opposed efforts to re-use, revive or extend the use of torture against terror suspects.
Any successor to Comey as FBI director would be chosen by Trump and would probably be more willing to allow the use against captives of "enhanced interrogation" techniques, Quigley warned.
Libertarian author and historian James Bovard told Sputnik the firing of Comey was unlikely to threaten the civil rights and freedoms of US citizens in any significant way.
"It is unclear whether Comey's firing will have any positive impact on Americans' freedom," Bovard said.
"This should be a great chance to review the FBI's long and sordid record of violating Americans' rights," he said.
However it was likely this opportunity for human rights advocates in the United States to go on the offensive would be wasted and forgotten in the predictable tug of war between two sets of equally entrenched and superficial political establishments, Bovard cautioned.
"Washington players are simply taking sides ‘for’ and ‘against’ — and almost no one bothers looking at the history lessons that provide far more insight than the latest personality squabbles," he said.
Trump fired Comey amid US media reports, citing unnamed sources, that the FBI director was seeking funding to extend his bureau’s inquiry into alleged links between Russia and Trump and interference in the 2016 presidential election. Russian officials have repeatedly denied charges of interfering in the US elections and called the allegations and attempt to divert the public’s attention from important issues like corruption.