On May 9, 2017, James Comey was relieved of his duties, as FBI Director, by President Donald Trump, while he was in the process of conducting a major investigation concerning the presidential race.
A mere three days after Comey requested more information about the Russian’s involvement in the campaign, President Trump sent him a letter. It stated that he was permanently relieved of his duties as the FBI Director.
The letter showed that the president betrayed his words about being focused on the situation with Clinton. The correspondence was, in fact, geared towards his own fallacies concerning his collusion with the Russians. Trump officially made the decision to fire Comey after receiving a memo from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending he do so.
He wrote “A fresh start is needed in the leadership of the FBI” and it should be someone with “principles that ensure the integrity and fairness of federal investigations and prosecutions.”
One investigation was geared toward Hillary Clinton’s emails because she used a private email server. This investigation was seen to have benefitted Trump in the election. He went so far, once, as to praise Comey for having “Guts” in his pursuit of Clinton during that time. Although Trump saw this as an advantage in the race, the people of the White House were not so pleased with Director Comey’s decision, especially Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.
Members of the White House put out a piece of paper listing a variety of Democrats who were particularly unhappy with the way Comey handled the investigation. They called for his resignation as a result of their belief he mishandled the situation. Nearly everyone came to an agreement that the director was in the wrong with his actions.
The other investigation Comey conducted seemed to take much more precedence in Trump’s mind. It concerned him being in collusion with the Russians to win the presidential campaign, although he claimed there was another reason. Trump claimed that he heeded the AG’s advice because of the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s investigation, not his own.
However, evidence previously mentioned suggests the idea that Trump may have had a different motive than what he originally said.
Sean Spicer, White House press secretary said Comey’s termination is in effect immediately. He was asked if the president still trusted the director, and he said yes. However, Trump’s actions indicated otherwise.
The letter read: “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 effectively able to lead the Bureau.” In addition, the president informed Comey that both the deputy attorney general and the general recommended his dismissal.
Dianne Feinstein, on the Judiciary Committee, said: “President Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. and indicated he would be removing Director Comey, saying the FBI needed a change.” She proceeded to say that the new F.B.I. Director needs to be independent and strong and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.
Many people, along with Feinstein, heard about the news of Comey’s dismissal before he did. He learned from news reports that this was the case, and initially thought it was a “fairly funny joke”. Unfortunately, he soon received the email denying is theory of the news being a joke, and he really had been relieved of his duties as FBI Director.
Most people in the White House agree with President Trump’s decision. One letter released from The House stated: “I do not understand [Comey’s] refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken [about Hillary].”
However, Senators Chuck Schumer, (D-New York) and Jeff Flake, (R-Arizona), and others had different opinions. Schumer stated the firing may make Americans suspect a cover-up in the White House.
Flake Tweeted: “I’ve spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey’s firing. I just can’t do it.”
Comey testified on Capitol Hill and said that did not regret any of his decisions. In fact, he felt “mildly nauseous” that his former actions may have led Trump to own the race.
Written by Trinity Oglesby
Edited by Cathy Milne
The New York Times: F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump
The New York Times: ‘The Daily’: Which Investigation Got James Comey Fired?
NPR: White House Announces Trump Has Fired FBI Director James Comey
CNN: Trump’s letter firing FBI Director James Comey
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