Last night President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI James Comey according to AFP and Reuters. “The president accepted the recommendations of General Prosecutor Jeff Sessions and his deputy regarding the dismissal of the FBI head”, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer announced.
“The FBI is one of the most honorable institutions in the United States and today will start a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement”. The statement also said that the search for a new FBI director will immediately begin.
In the letter of dismissal Trump sent to Comey he wrote that Comey is unable to run the FBI effectively. “It’s essential that we find new leadership for the FBI who will restore public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.” The letter also said “you are terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”
Comey was appointed by Barak Obama in2013 for a 10 year term. Trump already didn’t get along with him when he was running for president. At the time Trump accused Comey of not indicting Hillary Clinton about her Email security scandal. Even then Trump said if he gets elected it’s not certain he would keep Comey at his post. When getting into office however Trump announced that he has no intention of dismissing Comey.
The main reason for Comey’s dismissal was that he went to the public with news about his investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails, first announcing the FBI opinion that she wouldn’t be tried and the case is closed. Later he announced that the investigation on Hillary Clinton’s e mails was reopened. The letter deputy prosecutor Rod Rosenstein wrote had this scathing criticism of Comey: “The goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference.” Hillary Clinton was upset at his announcement which was only 10 days before elections claiming that his announcement destroyed her chances of winning.
Comey’s more recent investigations dealt with trying to ascertain if Russia meddled in US presidential elections and if Trump has ties with Russia. Both sides of the political map thought that Comey had politicized the FBI but now that Comey actually was dismissed some feel that it was because Trump wants to stop the investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in US elections.
According to CNN Comey was in the LA FBI office when he heard the announcement of his dismissal. He was humorous to keep the atmosphere pleasant and then made a call to confirm it was true, he was dismissed. Some reports say he originally thought it was a joke until he made the phone call.