President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey "has very much the feel" of Richard Nixon's firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox during the "Saturday Night Massacre," according to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.).
During an interview Tuesday on CNN, Wolf Blitzer asked Blumenthal about his questioning of Comey during the former FBI director's congressional testimony last week. Refusing to say if he swayed the decision to fire Comey, Blumenthal pivoted to claiming that the firing implied a "looming" constitutional crisis.
"Let's remember that we face a looming the constitutional crisis, very much like happened in 1973, the midnight massacre," he said. "This episode has very much the feel of that chapter in our history, one that we should not repeat."
Blitzer asked Blumenthal if he agreed with his Senate Judiciary Committee colleague Patrick Leahy's (D., Vt.) claim that the firing was "nothing less than Nixonian." Blitzer's question was prompted by a press release in which Leahy used the aforementioned language.
BREAKING: Sen. Patrick Leahy's REAX To President Trump's Firing Of FBI Director James Comey pic.twitter.com/N6gpSsvMgg
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) May 9, 2017
"Do you believe this is another Saturday night massacre?" Blitzer asked Blumenthal.
"It has that feel very definitely," Blumenthal said. "History never repeats but it rhymes, I think is the adage. It certainly is Nixonian in its air and quality and tone to fire someone of this stature. Even though I've had disagreements with him, as General Hayden did, in the midst of an investigation it is absolutely unfathomable for the commander in chief of the United States to do in the midst of an investigation."