“Who Was Actually Behind James Comey’s Ouster?”, Huffington Post asks. If you ask me, if the Comey firing had to be narrowed down to one critical individual, the answer would be Rudy Giuliani. What was most fateful for Comey — in my view in viewing Comey’s most recent Senate testimony — was not his confirmation that the Russian interference investigation was continuing — which everyone knew — but rather Comey’s promise to the Senate that he would be investigating leaks in the FBI. A couple of days after this, there were news reports that Giuliani was going to be investigated as well since the FBI leaks cannot be disentangled from Giuliani who spoke publicly about them in the days before Comey’s publicizing the re-opening of the investigation into Clinton emails found on Weiner’s computer. Then coming shortly after the news reports that Giuliani would be investigated came the news release from the FBI correcting Comey’s misstatements at the Senate hearing concerning the number of Clinton emails. While this news release appears high-minded and scrupulous, it undermined Comey by to some degree reducing public support for him and was in fact signaling the FBI’s withdrawal of support for him. Then shortly after this came the Comey firing with accompanying letters from attorney general Sessions and deputy attorney general Rosenstein. It looks to me that momentum gathered leading inevitably to Comey’s firing when news about Giuliani going to be investigated in conjunction with the FBI leaks started to come out. Giuliani was not only alarmed that he was going to come under investigation for himself, but also with respect to the faction at the FBI NYC field office he has close ties to. Most significantly, Giuliani wouldn’t want to be the cause of this faction being exposed as having been instrumental in pressuring Comey to take it upon himself to go public with the recently-discovered Clinton emails on Weiner’s computer and for whatever ill effects this would have on the FBI — no doubt Giuliani’s favorite institution — and members of the NYC field office faction Giuliani has ties with.

With both Trump and Giuliani wanting Comey to be fired to cut off investigations with respect to each, it doesn’t matter if the FBI rank-and-file held Comey in high esteem. Trump probably would have found some pretense to fire Comey before long anyway. But when Comey brought Giuliani into the specter of investigation, Comey’s fate was sealed. He had to be fired as soon as possible, before an investigation into FBI leaks and Giuliani’s involvement in this got off the ground.