FBI Director James Comey, a man who has the distinct honor of uniting polarized Democrats and Republicans by nonpartisan hatred, has been “terminated and removed from office,” per a statement from the White House.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” read the statement. “A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately.”
In a letter sent to Comey, Trump rather pointedly wrote, “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.”
The announcement came hours after CNN reported that Comey “erroneously” testified in Congress last week that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had “forwarded hundreds and thousands” of emails to husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop. According to the FBI, Abedin forwarded only two emails.
Comey, who interviewed Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server for hours last July, later held an unusual press conference in which he called Clinton “extremely careless” but declined to press criminal charges. Then, days before the election, he announced that the FBI was re-opening an investigation based on emails found on Weiner’s laptop. Clinton has said that Comey’s announcement cost her the election.
On Tuesday, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General said that Comey defied protocol throughout the investigation. “The way the Director handled the conclusion of the investigation of the emails was wrong,” the memo reads. “As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes to never repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”
It should be noted that the Office of the Deputy Attorney General has not recommended the ouster of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who lied about his ties to Russia under oath during his confirmation hearings.