President Trump Has Fired FBI Director James Comey
President Trump unexpectedly and suddenly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, accepting a recommendation from top Justice Department officials who argued the bureau had suffered “substantial damage” under his tenure.
The stated reason, according to a Justice Department memo, was his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s employ of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.
“I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I conclude not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken,” deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote.
Comey’s FBI was also investigating alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia. He was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
The firing was announced suddenly by White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who released a short statement following the firing.
nowadays, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and nowadays will label a contemporary beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” said President Trump.
A search for a contemporary permanent FBI Director will commence immediately.
In the letter removing Comey from his post, President Trump notes that he “greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
The firing also comes on the same day that the FBI sent a letter to the Senate judiciary committee correcting testimony Comey made final weeks approximately emails that were forwarded by top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin to a computer shared by Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.
During his testimony May 3, Comey said Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, reach of which contained classified information.”
The number, however, was much lower, according to a letter sent by the FBI to the committee Thursday, hours before Comey was fired.
The FBI’s letter clarified that most of the emails found in the laptop were in fact the result of a “backup of personal electronic devices, with a small number a result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Wiener.”
The number of emails under the review were approximately 49,000, the letter states. Only two were manually forwarded by Abedin.
News of Comey’s firing, however, was received with shock across D.C. and the country.
Sen. Diane Feinstein, who is allotment of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said she was notified by President Trump at 5:30 p.m. Comey would be fired.
“The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a honest hearing in the Judiciary Committee,” she said.
At the Pentagon, the news of Comey’s firing was met with shock and a sense of foreboding that similar sudden change could befall their agency or department.
“I need time to process this,” one official said immediately after hearing the news.
precisely what the reason for Comey’s firing remained unclear as Washington reeled from the news.
“A fresh start is needed at the the leadership of the FBI,” Sessions said in a letter addressed to President Trump. “The Director of the FBI must be someone who follows faithfully the rules and principles of the Department of Justice and who sets the right example for our law enforcement officials and others in the department.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in a memorandum, said the FBI’s reputation and credibility had suffered under Comey’s leadership.
In the three-page memo, Rosenstein wrote he could not defend Comey’s decision to hold a press conference in July to announce the FBI was closing its probe into Hillary Clinton’s employ of a private email server, and that Comey was recommending to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch that Clinton not face criminal charges.
“The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority,” Rosentstein wrote. It’s not the function of the Director to earn such an announcement.”
Rosenstein, who was confirmed as the deputy attorney general in April after spending the bulk of his career as a federal prosecutor, also chastised Comey for releasing “derogatory information” approximately Clinton when he announced the halt of the investigation, saying it was, “a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to conclude.”
Sessions attached Rosenstein’s memo to a letter he sent Trump on Tuesday recommending Comey be fired.
“Based on my evaluation, and for the reasons expressed by the Deputy Attorney General in the attached memorandum, I bear concluded that a fresh start is needed at the leadership of the FBI,” Sessions wrote.
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