Breaking news is coming out of Washington that Donald Trump has decided to fire FBI Director James Comey on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The White House issued an official statement regarding the firing of James Comey, according to ABC News.
“President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” the statement said.
The news comes just several days after James Comey testified before Congress. During that hearing, Democrats asked him questions regarding the investigations into Trump administration ties to Russia, while Republicans mostly questioned Comey on last year’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send State Department emails while she was secretary of state. According to ABC News, James Comey gave inaccurate testimony during that hearing regarding Clinton’s emails.
During his testimony, Comey claimed that Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails [to her husband, Anthony Weiner], some of which contain classified information.”
FBI sources claim that Comey vastly overstated the number of emails that Abedin forwarded.
This could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for James Comey’s job as FBI director. Donald Trump had criticized Comey for his handling of the Clinton email investigation, claiming that James Comey helped Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign, according to ABC News.
“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election,” Trump tweeted on May 2, 2017.
Democrats, however, are concerned that the firing of James Comey may have something to do with Trump wanting to hinder the FBI investigation into his alleged ties with Russia. According to Reuters, even Republican Lindsey Graham is voicing concerns over Donald Trump’s alleged business ties to Russia, and speculation has been raging for months as to the degree to which the Trump campaign and members of his administration have been colluding with Russia.
According to NPR News, a letter was sent to James Comey from Donald Trump with an attached memorandum titled “Restoring Public Confidence In The FBI.” That memorandum begins by taking a clear shot at the job Comey has done in the past year running the bureau.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation’s top investigative agency,” the memo says. “Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.”
The memo goes on to allege that James Comey was wrong to close the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in July of last year without recommending prosecution. Comey during testimony explained that he did so because he believed then Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict of interest, but the memo states that the current attorney general and deputy attorney general believe Comey’s job was to complete his investigations and present his findings to federal prosecutors.
The official memo will likely just add fuel to the fires of speculation that the Trump administration is getting rid of Comey to hinder the FBI investigation into their own alleged dealings with Russia. As with most things in Washington, the line will likely be cut pretty evenly down party lines, between Republicans who believe Comey’s firing was past due for his mishandling of the Clinton email investigation and Democrats who will take the opportunity to allege that Comey’s firing is purely political at best, and an attempt to cover crimes at worst.
The Trump administration has announced it will begin the search for James Comey’s replacement immediately. The only thing that can really be known for certain is that the move will be yet another point of contention between warring factions in Washington, D.C.
[Featured Image by Zach Gibson/Getty Images]