Donald Trump Fired FBI Director James Comey

Published Using Press This.

The New York Times.  Written by  MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MATT APUZZO

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the leader of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The stunning development in Mr. Trump’s nascent presidency drew comparisons to President Richard M. Nixon’s infamous “Saturday Night Massacre,” in which Nixon purged the Justice Department in the middle of the Watergate investigation. Mr. Trump’s move immediately ignited Democratic calls for an independent prosecutor to lead the Russia probe.

Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s controversial handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited from that inquiry. Mr. Trump had also once praised Mr. Comey for being “gutsy” in pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign.

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Mr. Comey dated Tuesday.

Mr. Comey, who is three years into a 10-year term at the helm of the F.B.I., learned from news reports that he had been fired while addressing bureau employees in Los Angeles. While Mr. Comey spoke, television screens in the background began flashing the news. Shortly after, a letter was delivered to F.B.I. Headquarters in Washington.

The abrupt firing raised questions over whether Mr. Trump was trying to influence the Russia investigation. But the president said he was following recommendations from the Justice Department, which criticized how Mr. Comey concluded the investigation into Mrs. Clinton.

“It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Mr. Trump wrote.

Mr. Comey’s firing came hours after the F.B.I. corrected his testimony last week about how classified information ended up on the laptop of the disgraced former congressman Anthony D. Weiner.

Document | White House Announces Firing of James Comey Read the letter President Trump sent the F.B.I. director about his firing.

Mr. Comey had told the Senate Judiciary Committee that during the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, officers uncovered evidence that her aide, Huma Abedin, had “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information” to Mr. Weiner, her husband.

But the F.B.I. told Congress that only a few of the emails had been forwarded and that the vast majority were simply backed up to Mr. Weiner’s laptop.

Mr. Comey broke with longstanding tradition and policies by publicly discussing the Clinton case last July and chastising her “careless” handling of classified information. Then, in the campaign’s final days, Mr. Comey announced that the F.B.I. was reopening the investigation, a move that earned him widespread criticism.

Yet many of the facts cited as evidence for Mr. Comey’s dismissal were well known when Mr. Trump kept him on the job. And both Mr. Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, had praised Mr. Comey back then as “gutsy.”

The president has the authority to fire the F.B.I. director for any reason. Officials at the F.B.I. said they learned through news reports of Mr. Comey’s dismissal, which Mr. Trump described as effective immediately.

Under the F.B.I.’s normal rules of succession, Mr. Comey’s deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, a career F.B.I. officer, becomes acting director. The White House said the search for a new director will begin immediately.

The firing puts Democrats in a difficult position. Many had hoped that Mrs. Clinton would fire Mr. Comey soon after taking office, and blamed him as costing her the election. But under Mr. Trump, the outspoken and independent-minded Mr. Comey was seen as an important check on the new administration.

“Any attempt to stop or undermine this F.B.I. investigation would raise grave constitutional issues,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois. “We await clarification by the White House as soon as possible as to whether this investigation will continue and whether it will have a credible lead so that we know that it’ll have a just outcome.”

Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, praised Mr. Comey’s service but said new leadership at the F.B.I. “will restore confidence in the organization.”

“Many, including myself, have questioned his actions more than once over the last year,” Mr. Blunt, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

But the president’s firing of Mr. Comey was far more consequential. Ms. Yates was a holdover, and would only have served in the Trump administration for a matter of days or weeks. By contrast, Mr. Comey was in the midst of his term as director of the bureau.

The White House said Mr. Sessions and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, pushed for Mr. Comey’s dismissal.

“I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails,” Mr. Rosenstein wrote in another letter that was released by the White House, “and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

A longtime prosecutor who served as the deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush administration, Mr. Comey came into office in 2013 with widespread bipartisan support. He has essentially been in a public feud with Mr. Trump since long before the presidential election.

In a Twitter message this week, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Comey of being “the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton,” accusing him of giving her “a free pass for many bad deeds.”

Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a post on Twitter that Mr. Comey “should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing about the status of Russia/Trump investigation at the time he was fired.”

During his daily briefing, Mr. Spicer was asked — as he frequently is — whether Mr. Comey still has the confidence of the president. Instead of saying yes, Mr. Spicer danced around the question.

“I have no reason to believe — I haven’t asked him,” Mr. Spicer said. “I have not asked the president since the last time we spoke about this.”

A reporter noted that Mr. Spicer had previously indicated that the president did have confidence in Mr. Comey, but asked whether recent revelations about Mr. Comey’s misstatement during testimony on Capitol Hill would change that.

“In light of what you’re telling me, I don’t want to start speaking on behalf of the president without speaking to him first,” Mr. Spicer said.

The president’s decision to fire Mr. Comey appeared to be the culmination of the bad will between the men that intensified in early March, when the president posted Twitter messages accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his office.

The next morning, word spread quickly that Mr. Comey wanted the Justice Department to issue a statement saying that he had no evidence to support the president’s accusation. The department did not issue such a statement.

For weeks after, Mr. Trump insisted that his accusation was correct. In dramatic testimony later in March, Mr. Comey said that he had no information to back up the president’s allegations.

That set up a remarkable dynamic — an F.B.I. director directly contradicting a sitting president at the same time that the bureau was pursuing a possible criminal investigation into the president’s aides.

Posted on 05/09/2017, in politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Liked by 3 people

  2. This is total madness but why did I think it would be anything else?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Juan,
      Before the election I was talking to a friend who absolutely did not want Hillary elected. When I mentioned to him that Trump has no political experience, he agreed but said that Trump had experience in hiring the right people. Well, now he is concerned that Trump hires members of the Trump family. Its’ Trump’s way, or the highway.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. crustyolemothman

    Is this really a surprise to anyone? The tRump is cornered and like any other wild animal he will strike out in a desperate attempt to save his skin. This combined with the comments he made over the last few days about reopening the war in Afghanistan should be a strong warning to the citizens of this nation as to what this man will do to keep his position of power. I would hope that no one needs to be reminded that going to war in Afghanistan is what actually caused the USSR to collapse.. Putin will be very proud of his hand chosen leader for this nation…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mothman,
      This is a dangerous time for our country. It appears that we are under authoritarianism. One of my concerns with Trump being president is that he has no experience leading.

      Liked by 2 people

      • crustyolemothman

        Xena, I remember being told many years ago that before one can lead he must first learn to follow! Not on can tRump not lead, he has shown he can not follow, rules, laws, or advice…

        Liked by 4 people

        • Mothman,
          That is true. If one wants to lead, they must first learn to serve. In the end, the leader learns that leading is serving.

          In most organizations, when staff is not doing their job properly, they are called on the carpet, told what they did incorrectly, and given a time to improve. But, Trump fires outright without notice. It appears that he thinks that being president is the acting on the Apprentice.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Liked by 3 people

  5. “The nation’s capital was thrust into political turmoil on Tuesday with the unexpected firing. Rosenstein’s letter made the case that Comey be removed because senior Justice Department administration officials believed he treated Hillary Clinton unfairly in last year’s investigation of her emails and damaged the credibility of the bureau and the Justice Department as a result.”

    Seriously, they want us to believe that Chump fired him because he was being mean to Hillary.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/news/james-comey-reportedly-learned-firing-002602285.html

    Liked by 3 people

  6. His interim replacement Andrew McCabe. He won’t be there too long. What happened to chump’s promise to surround himself with the ‘best people’? It seems to take him several tries to find the ‘best people’.

    http://heavy.com/news/2017/05/andrew-mccabe-interim-fbi-director-democrat-clinton-mcauliffe-politics-photos-bio-wife/

    Liked by 3 people

  7. “President Donald Trump raised the issue of the nearly $700,000 in contributions given to McCabe’s wife during a campaign stop in Florida on two occasions in October 2016.

    “One of the closest people to Hillary Clinton, with longstanding ties to her and husband — the closest person, I can tell you that … gave more than $675,000 to the campaign of the wife of a top FBI official who oversaw the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s illegal email server,” Trump said at the Sanford rally, according to Politifact. “In other words, the man who was in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton accepted essentially from Hillary Clinton $675,000 that went to his wife.”

    This claim was rated false by Politifact but still why would chump hire someone HE had accused of misconduct?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I hope this means he will be gone soon. Of course, it will be years before we recover what is left in the wake, but at least with this, last night was the first time I actually slept well in almost a year.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Liked by 3 people

  10. oh wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Look out!

    Liked by 2 people

    • crustyolemothman

      Any bets as to how many white house employees are hard at work deleting recordings in the oval office? I simply have to shake my head at the thought of how stupid it was to state that there might be recording being made in the office… Perhaps tRump should have thought about how well that turned out for President Nixon..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mothman,
        Know what I first understood Trump’s tweet to say? I thought he was saying that Comey recorded their conversations. That would be fine but I suspect that Trump would try to have that evidence omitted unless Comey had a warrant or order of the court otherwise to make the recordings. It will be very interesting if Comey did.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. Thhere is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

    Like

    • Welcome Autumn. I have no problem with reblogs and Word Press allows them. If your site is not a wordpress blog, then it might not have or allow the reblog button. Thanks for considering this blog as part of the content and diversity you seek.

      Like

  13. The White House bugged:

    “Donald, Honey: You be the Pope and I’ll be a nun…”
    “…Hey, it’s working…it’s working!…”
    “…The Lord is my shepherd…”

    Like

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