President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey amid the bureau’s investigation into members of the president’s campaign and his former national security adviser.
The reason given by Trump was Comey’s adamant position that there was no basis to charge Hillary Clinton over her email investigation.
The White House said in a statement reported by The Will that Trump fired Comey based on recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Sessions and Rosenstein cited Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, accusing him of “usurping” the powers of the former attorney general and announcing the investigation was closed.
Neither men mentioned the ongoing investigation into purported ties between Trump’s circle and Russia related to Moscow’s campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election through hacking and propaganda.
Andrew McCabe, previously serving as Comey’s deputy, is the Acting FBI Director, while Attorney General Sessions is expected to announce an interim director as the president will have to nominate a new director, who must be confirmed by the Senate.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” Trump said in a letter to Comey.
“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.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.
“I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”
Attorney General Sessions had in a recommendation to Trump stated that “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.
“Therefore, I must recommend that you remove Director James B. Comey, Jr. and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of the FBI,” he added.
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