President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, saying it was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the nation’s top law enforcement agency following several tumultuous months.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” the White House statement reads.
“President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” the statement said.
“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 statement.
The White House said the search for a new FBI director was beginning immediately.
Read some of the official documents and communications related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey, including his dismissal letter from President Trump.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee released the following statement on FBI Director James Comey:
“President Trump called me at 5:30 p.m. and indicated he would be removing Director Comey, saying the FBI needed a change. The next FBI director must be strong and independent and will receive a fair hearing in the Judiciary Committee.”
The White House made the stunning announcement shortly after the FBI corrected a sentence in Comey’s sworn testimony on Capitol Hill last week. Comey told lawmakers that Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, had sent “hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband’s laptop, including some with classified information.
On Tuesday, the FBI said in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that only “a small number” of the thousands of emails found on the laptop had been forwarded there while most had simply been backed up from electronic devices. Most of the email chains on the laptop containing classified information were not the result of forwarding, the FBI said.
Comey, 56, was nominated by President Barack Obama for the FBI post in 2013 to a 10-year term. Praised for his independence and integrity, Comey has spent three decades in law enforcement and has been no stranger to controversy.
According to CBS News, U.S. officials confirmed that Comey was in Los Angeles FBI complex when he learned of his firing.
The FBI Agents Association’s President Thomas O’Connor issued the following statement on President Trump’s termination of James Comey as FBI Director:
“A change in FBI leadership of this magnitude must be handled carefully and with an eye towards ensuring that the Bureau can continue to fulfill its responsibility to protect the American public from criminal and national security threats.
We greatly appreciate Director Comey’s service, leadership, and support for Special Agents during his tenure. He understood the centrality of the Agent to the Bureau’s mission, recognizing that Agents put their lives on the line every day. His focus was to ensure that the Bureau’s investigations complied with the law and the Constitution, and that Agents performed their mission with integrity and professionalism.
As vital stakeholders, FBI Agents should be given a voice in the process of selecting the next Director.”
Story by The Associated Press.
Michael Wildes talks about FBI Director James Comey firing
For more on the firing of FBI Director, James Comey CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Michael Wildes. He’s a former U.S. Prosecutor.