Hank Johnson looks to check Trump for firing Comey

U. S. Congressmen Hank Johnson (left) and John Lewis (right) talk with the media following a meeting at Hartsfield Jackson International airport on January 25, 2017. Kent D. Johnson/AJC

It’s been three months since President Donald Trump stunned Washington by firing FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating Russian meddling in last year’s election. A new bill from Lithonia Congressman Hank Johnson is looking to limit the commander-in-chief’s ability to do something similar in the future.

The Democrat’s “FBI Director Integrity Act” would significantly curtail Trump – or any future president’s – ability to sack the head of the law enforcement agency at will. The bill would instead require presidents to first have “good cause” that the director has violated the FBI or Justice Department’s code of conduct, been convicted of a crime, misappropriated money or property or made an intentionally false statement.

“A free and independent federal law enforcement agency is critical to upholding our democracy, and all the values we cherish as Americans,” Johnson said in a statement. His office added that the legislation is meant to “ensure the integrity” of ongoing investigations into Russian meddling and possible contacts with the Trump campaign, a probe the president has described as a “witch hunt.”

FBI directors are nominated by presidents and confirmed by the Senate to serve 10-year terms, a process that’s designed to insulate the bureau’s leaders from politics. But the president is still allowed to fire the FBI director at will, which Trump did back in May after it was reported that Comey would not vow his loyalty.

The Senate has since confirmed Atlanta attorney Christopher Wray to lead the bureau.

Johnson’s legislation has little chance of advancing in the GOP-controlled Congress, but the six-term Democrat isn’t alone in looking to prevent another situation similar to Comey’s firing.

Amid fear that Trump could order the firing of former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, Republican and Democratic senators have introduced bills that would require a judicial review should the president fire the special counsel.

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Reader Comments 0

74 comments
Kris Henningsen
Kris Henningsen

Hank thought Guam could tip over! BWAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Brenda Wheeler
Brenda Wheeler

Hank who thought Guam was going to "tilt over??" The voters who elected him need serious help.

0.736268411116
0.736268411116

There is no evidence that there was any illegal activity between Trump and any Russian operative. Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate a non-crime. The only thing Mueller can do is attempt to operate a STING by inducing someone commit perjury. There are many legal expert who question if Mueller's appointment is even constitutional. The only crime committed was Comey's leaking of documents in order to get a special prosecutor appointed. Comey was operating as a political operative and not as a law enforcement official. He should have been fired.

David Becker
David Becker

I think, based on the last several Congress folk elected by that district, the district should be declared a brain dead zone. Hank Johnson and Cynthia McKinbey must be related, the gene pool can't be THAT polluted!

David Becker
David Becker

Hank Johnson....vaccinated with the same needle as his crazy predecessor...

summerville
summerville

Hank Johnson,Really,Hank Johnson.LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO

Ronald Baker
Ronald Baker

DEMs were outraged at Comey just before he was fired, and suddenly they were not, that "tips over" his stunt.

James P. Morrow
James P. Morrow

Just wonder if Hank ever got the Guam tipping over thing settled.

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Jimmy Hansford
Jimmy Hansford

I was on Guam back in the 60's felt a little shaky to me \U0001f606\U0001f44d\U0001f1fa\U0001f1f8 but I was drinking heavily \U0001f378

Michael Caldwell
Michael Caldwell

Is this to take place before or after Guam capsizes Hank?

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Ben L Rainey
Ben L Rainey

Hank Johnson can not find his rear end with both hands, what a sicko

Stan Pitts
Stan Pitts

This entire story completely lost credibility after the words "Hank Johnson"... Hank could just keep his mouth shut and let people think he's an idiot, but no... He regularly feels the need to validate... What an embarrassment.

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards

You would need to amend the constitution for this to take effect. The FBI is a part of the Executive Branch of Gov't. Hank Johnson spoke on the House floor about his belief that islands(Guam) can flip over when built on so he probably didn't think this through either. Yet his constituents continue to re-elect him.

Patsy Pierce
Patsy Pierce

Comey ruined FBIs reputation and those working for him allowed him to do it.

Michael Rogers
Michael Rogers

Are we talking about the same guy who thought Guam would "tip over"? \U0001f923\U0001f923\U0001f602\U0001f602

Shelley Lange Rahiya
Shelley Lange Rahiya

We need checks and balances. Our country is what we serve. Not any one position or person.

Todd A. Warshaw
Todd A. Warshaw

One of America's most ignorant politicians (The one who feared Guam was going to tip over), is the perfect person to trust on this or any other issue! \U0001f602

Erie Byrom
Erie Byrom

Doesn't he have his hands full keeping Guam from tiping over and capsizing?

Luther Harter
Luther Harter

U mean the same dumbass that said Korea would tip over if you put to many people on 1 side

Tom Haney
Tom Haney

Nah, that would give the F.B.I. the ability to sabotage the President!

Stephen Alexander
Stephen Alexander

Bad idea. You don't want to tie the hands of future presidents to get rid of any federal employee Nothing sacred about the office of Director of the FBI.

Linda Morgan
Linda Morgan

"Integrity" being the key word there. A director who lies and protects only certain people from prosecution because of who they are has no integrity.

Don't Tread
Don't Tread

Hank Johnson isn't bright enough to check his own underwear.

Mark Bowen
Mark Bowen

Unconstitutional! FBI director works at the pleasure of the president. Get real!

Dale Meeks
Dale Meeks

Here we go another J Edgar Hoover in the making . Someone needs to be able to fire any U.S Dept head at any given moment if it's perceived they are failing to do their job as a appointed civil servant

George Mortensen
George Mortensen

Someone needs to tell this moron and his cheerleaders at the AJC this pathetic law, which has zero chance to even make it to committee, can't change the Constitution.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Perhaps you should actually read the Constitution, specifically Article II section 2.

Lou Davis
Lou Davis

Hahaha! Hank Johnson talking about integrity. What a joke.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Do you have some information that shows Hank Johnson isn't upstanding?

Lou Davis
Lou Davis

Other than Maxine Waters, Hank is the biggest moron in Congress. That's saying a lit.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Do you know the definition of integrity? Do you understand that integrity has nothing to do with IQ or knowing everything about everything?

Lou Davis
Lou Davis

He obviously doesn't understand the Constitution, and if he does, then trying to subvert it shows a lack of integrity.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Read Article II section 2 of the US Constitution. His bill doesn't subvert the Constitution, it follows it.

Thomas Fisher
Thomas Fisher

So let me ask this question. Clinton supporters wanted Comey's head in Oct/Nov 2016.Then after Trump fires him (like they suggested Obama should have done), they defend him suddenly. Based on everything that has come out with him making copies or writing down sensitive info to save for later (violating security protocols) he seems to have been misguided over the last 6 months to a year of his time as head of the FBI.

Lou Davis
Lou Davis

The FBI director reports to the Attorney General, and the Attorney General serves at the pleasure of the president. The president can hire and fire the FBI director. Hank Johnson is trying to pass an unconstitutional law. Fortunately, it's just political grandstanding and meaningless because it has zero chance of pasding.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Dean, evidently Nolan never has attempted to read the Constitution. He quit reading Article II section 2 before it got to the part germane to this post.

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

It has little chance of passing, but according to the Constitution, itself, it would be constitutional.

Marion Baker
Marion Baker

Did Hank Johnson ever get off those Bad Drugs he was taking when he thought that Guam was flipping because there were so many Marines on one side ???? LOL

Thomas Fisher
Thomas Fisher

It may be Constitutional, but so is Congress already vesting the power to the President. I have to admit I haven't read the ENTIRE story (just the beginning) but I'm sure any new change would only take effect after the existing administration/Senate elections as is customary with laws changing things like Congress voting for pay raises, etc. So this even further adds to the confusion over the intent here. I see where he is going, but where does it stop? There are nearly 3500 appointees made by the president between Senior positions both with and without Senate approval, SES & Schedule C. Currently, only 1200 require Senate approval. Can you imagine having a hostile Congress dragging their feet on 3 times the number we have now?I pity the President who has to deal with fighting for that many positions regardless of the party. The government would essentially be closed for business for the majority of their term. So the Senate and President can have a 3-4 year pissing contest. Who really wins from this? Definitely not the citizens who elect the President or Congress.

Nolan Sims
Nolan Sims

Daniel Eason WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TREATIES? DUMBASS!

Dean Walton
Dean Walton

Nolan Sims who said anything about treaties?

Daniel Eason
Daniel Eason

Thomas, you should go ahead and read the article. And by the way, this isn't about Senate confirmations. The FBI director job is already one that requires Senate confirmation.